Feeds

Radiohead backs WW2-style austerity program

Music for a new society?

Application security programs and practises

Heaven knows, we're miserable now

I've noticed two curious aspects to this "war" which might help shed some light on it (no pun intended). I have no idea which is the more significant - and perhaps you can help?

The first is the underlying assumption that resources are finite. This has a corollary: which is that these limited resources are close to exhaustion, and therefore... the end times are a'comin'!

In fact, "resources" are anything we can usefully make stuff with. Cavemen knew nothing of naphtha crackers, or how to make anthracite. Spectrum scarcity was not a concern for Newton. Today, we've barely begun to tap into the potential of fusion, or geothermal energy.

So it's odd to hear someone urging us to turn down the heating - and get accustomed to shivering miserably in our cold homes - when we're sitting on a global furnace. Fossil fuels may be exhausted, but what got us here was a little inventiveness, and specifically some sound applied materials science.

Our limitations, therefore, are not of a material nature: our ingenuity, resourcefulness, and courage are our most precious resources.

The second observation is the underlying belief that somehow mankind is a stain on the planet - which would be better off without us. Quite literally, we don't deserve to walk this Earth, and there's some divine retribution taking place.

This belief manifests itself in the idea that any pleasure or material comfort is sinful, and this is fundamentally a Puritan notion. The CO2 Cult is strongest in northern Europe and the United States, and almost completely ignored in the rest of the world. Coincidence? Neither Catholicism nor Islam teach the idea that God hates us - quite the reverse - so perhaps it's no coincidence at all.

Put the two together and you have consequences which include an eagerness to chivvy, bully, and coerce us, and Malthusianism: which is really a thinly-disguised racism. The "models" and "consensus" to support this are almost an accidental by-product.

(As Reg readers know, you can make a computer model say whatever you want it to say. Here's a good example of this in action.)

So my conundrum can be expressed like this. Are these people miserable because they're poorly informed? Or are they poorly informed because they want to be miserable?

Answers on a postcard, please.

Of course, it could be that Radiohead are brilliant businessmen. In urging us on into a monochrome world of World War 2-style rationing, austerity, and existential angst, they're simply creating the optimal market conditions for their own product. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.