Cognitive Dissonance

With oil reaching all time prices, the US government flounders after witless solutions. Once again those in bureacratic positions turn to old friends in the (trumpets please) corn lobby.

Cornholers like Con Agra have been very effective with political muscle over the years. Corn-based additives have appeared before (remember gasohol?) and when it wasn’t rotting the rubber hoses in your vehicle, it was being poured in all its syrupy stickiness into candy bars, popcorn, ketchup, and soft drinks, contributing mightily to American fat-ass-ness.

Ethanol isn’t going to work, ladies and gentlemen. One reason: low caloric content. Another: mixed in with gasoline, it’s actually going to increase our consumption of oil, which will increase the already inflated price of a gallon of the stuff, you see, ‘cos ethanol is far more expensive to produce and refine. And this might have devastating impact on the economy in unintended ways, as corn is diverted for this more profitable use over cattle and human feed stocks (moooo).

This diversion of crop might eat at your conscience and create a crisis within. The seemingly simple act of diverting a food crop to fuel speeding SUV’s might strike you as a crime against humanity, when you consider how starving people the world over would benefit. When you consider this enormous gulf of awareness of the world around US this illustrates, this selfish conflict of commitment to a certain accustomed lifestyle vs. the welfare of humanity this mundane “solution,” creates, one’s heart can only sink.

Our “leaders” are incapable of thinking outside the box (what box? any box! pick one!) and they consistently look in all the wrong places for answers (Iraq).

Well at least they are consistent. Which is not to say they’re not doing great things for themselves and their “class.” But you and I and our less fortunate friends around the globe are the pooches getting screwed in the bargain.

This wonderful blog post amply illustrates the metaphorical and scientific case for the cognitive failures we enjoy today.

Heckuva job ________ !

Of course, I cannot ignore my part in the play. Sure, it’s easy to sit here and opine about the rotten state of the world, and pretend I’m doing something: writing a blog that nobody reads. I’m more than aware that what needs to happen threatens the usual way of doing things, even small every days sorts of things that we take for granted.

I know all too well that when enough people wake up to the realization that their world is rocked, permanently, it’ll be too late.

But it’s good to point out that we are stuck in a matrix of our own choosing, isn’t it? Awareness is probably somehting most people will admit they need to have, right?

We can still be comfortable in our ignorance, and hopeful that someday, far off in the future after you and I are long gone, there will be a solution. Live for today.

Let someone else worry about it.

I’m only one person, my wife doesn’t listen to me, so why would I think anyone else would?

So I’m just a happy serf who surfs (well, used to), I gots no worriez in da world, iz all gud. Nevah mined.

Camilo Jose Vergara came back over the years to photograph changes to these buildings on this Detroit high street.

Got to admire his persistence!

This ought to make anyone with a decent bone in their body mad. [NYT]


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