As I was driving back from a location this afternoon, I had the radio tuned to Dr. Dean Odell, "America's Doctor". I really like Odell... he is a facts based guy and he keeps up with his science. He was talking about how insane it is for us to have "moral food choices"... ie this is bad for you, this is good for you... because nutrition is an incredibly complex subject where various components balance towards eating everything and in moderation. For instance, Item X can cause pancreatic cancer, but prevent heart disease.
I then thought about a discussion I had with the guys that wrote the original Landmark interpretation system. Like all sophisticated software programs, no one person knew how it all worked. As they added a component or a feature, they would accidentally break or disable another, which in turn they would fix and hope the fix didn't damage another component. This level of complexity leads towards fear of advancement or change... they system just gets stuck. Landmark dealt with it by rewriting the whole think from scratch.
This is somewhat analagous to what is happening to us today. The environmental movement has us so scared that any action we take will bring down all of mother nature in one fell swoop that we are increasingly choosing to do nothing. Whereas our society and the interleavings and linkages have grown incredibly complex over the last 50 to 100 years, our impact on nature has not. In fact, we have done a fantastic job of cleaning up our messes in the last 40 years. What we haven't done is decreased the likelihood of catastrophic failure of the complex socio-economic system because it is out of sight and out of mind. Instead we wail about global warming and some inane bird species not seen in the last 30 years. We are looking in the wrong direction, folks. I am MUCH more worried about economic collapse of China, or the sudden and catastrophic loss of trillions of dollars of wealth if a catastrophic earthquake hit Japan or California next week. Real issues that we KNOW are very likely.
I guess nihilism is a natural response to a 2 million dollar dry hole... on a Sunday afternoon!