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Passions in Poetry

The Great Society

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Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


25 posted 10-08-2005 03:02 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
It was much later that I discovered blue jays don't eat peanuts, at least not when live insects are readily available. It was nice that a blue jay visited my yard shortly after putting out peanuts, a coincidence likely spurred simply because I was looking more closely for him, but it had nothing at all to do with the peanuts. Not surprisingly, putting out more peanuts didn't result in more coincidences.


It motivated you to look more closely at what you are doing. It motivated you to realize that crickets are more tasty than peanuts.

I don't think it's such a bad analogy for the initial phase. Nor do I think its bad for the second phase under Nixon.

Well, almost.

Now, let's say you have a neighbor that derides your peanut experiment, not because he knows that peanuts aren't as tasty as crickets but because he thinks Jays are going to eat up all your peanuts when you aren't looking and then come screaming for more. In his stranger moments, he has memory flashes from a Hitchcock movie.

But he notices that your experiment worked. Nobody has worked out why yet, but he decides that if a little thing is a good thing than a lot has to be better. He buys a lot of peanuts, gives them to neighbors who don't care about Jays, spends a lot of time placing peanuts in places that didn't need them in the first place, and what happens?

Nothing much except that everybody starts screaming about peanuts.

So, you're watchful neighbor starts saying that he had been right all along. It just doesn't work.

And it was your fault all along.

But you, you're doing just fine, because you've already graduated to crickets.

That doesn't cover everything of course, but it's pretty much why I don't think Nixon's actions are paradoxical.

Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


26 posted 10-08-2005 07:25 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I think we're pretty much in agreement, Brad.

(Wow. I typed that and my ceiling didn't crash or anything! )

I would, however, add a little more to the analogy if I may? Had I continued putting out peanuts, or if my neighbors had started to follow suit as you suggested, I have a sneaking suspicion my yard would have been quickly overrun with squirrels. Since those bushy-tailed rodents like just about any seed, not just peanuts, I would have been forced to install squirrel-guards on all of my some two dozen bird feeders (after moving several of them far enough from trees so the tricky critters couldn't jump to them). Squirrels will also eat eggs, so I might have been similarly compelled to install guards on five birdhouses.

Eventually, I would have spent far more time and money protecting my birds than ever I spent trying to help them. Worse, as anyone who has been infested by squirrels will attest, my protections would never be quite enough to completely thwart the frustrating pilfering.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


27 posted 10-08-2005 10:30 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

You've already set up my response:

Rats are everywhere.  

I don't know. Many evolutionary scientists and science fiction writers seem to think they'll win in the long run.

What's a poor primate to do?
JesusChristPose
Senior Member
since 06-21-2005
Posts 679
Pittsburgh, Pa


28 posted 10-19-2005 06:17 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

Sure, Johnson screwed up on Vietnam... but that was an easy mistake to make due to many reasons.

The Great Society - was a necessary evil, I believe. Somewhat similiar to quotas.  I believe it created societies which produced people with an inferior ability to be successful in a corporate America... a complex situation, indeed. I don't care what color skin a person has, if that person was raised in those types of neighborhoods, the overwhelming odds would be that that person would possess an inferior ability to become successful in what is deemed as the "American Dream."

Give a person a fish or teach them how is a great concept, but who controls who gives whom the fishing rod?
  

"If this grand panaorama before me is what you call God... then God is not dead."

 
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