[Noisebridge-discuss] To the @#$er that broke into my member shelf...

Mitchel McAllister xonimmortal at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 21 21:48:44 UTC 2013

--- On Thu, 3/21/13, Chris Murphy <chrisnoisebridge at gmail.com> wrote:

> You already have what you wish for: a society of short term thinking 
> and stop gap measures. 

I would point out that this is incorrect. Stop-gap measures implies that the measures actually in some way address the issue, however ineffectual they may actually be.

Our society currently values the "visible activity" method. As long as a politician is doing *something*, then at least a portion of their constituents are satisfied. It doesn't even matter that the "Something" has anything to do with the real issue.

Here's the difference: Issue A arises (in our current political climate, the existence of the issue isn't actually necessary). A stop-gap measure will make some part of Issue A illegal, or make some part of the issue difficult to obtain for a short length of time. "Visible Activity" would be if Congress held constant hearings and testimony about the issue, inviting all sorts of people who could be depended upon to support the most sensationalistic side of the issue; several Congress-critters will make impassioned speeches and accuse their opponents of evil-doing, and introduce legislation that exhibits an inability to even comprehend what the issue is.

Note that in order for "visible activity" to succeed (i.e, bamboozle the voters), passage of the legislation isn't even necessary. In fact, defeat of the legislation usually makes great talking points for the next election.

I am reminded of a local politician near Vancouver Washington that, rather than address the economy, the job market, etc., decided to throw a hissy-fit about contamination in the local reservoir, even though there had not been any evidence of said contamination.

The old military saw goes "When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout". The theory behind this is that people/voters/etc. will confuse the activity for action. And unfortunately, it seems to be true.

- Reverend Mik McAllister
Purveyor of Subversive Fiction

More information about the Noisebridge-discuss mailing list