I’m an elitist populist. I believe democracy is the best form of government, but it’s insanely important to have checks in that government to protect (and even foster) minority opinions. This is because we are incredibly and eternally stupid, stupid people. We believe all sorts of very dumb things, no matter how smart and reasonable we are. I, for instance, believe that democracy is the best form of government despite it needing well-reasoned and intelligent people to make it work.
After a couple of hundred years, our leaders are doing their best to end our terrible experiment with democracy. The Senate passed an unnecessary bill granting the federal government ability to spy on us with no oversight. This bill also give telecom companies, like AT&T, immunity from prosecution for helping the federal government spy on us without oversight, while it was illegal. Kings are not ideal leaders for representative democracies, but a large portion of idiots in this country want one anyway. Currently, the House of Representatives is holding back the passage of this bill into law, but I’m sure it is just a matter of days until the King gets his bill passed and his 5 or 6 business buddies all sigh with relief.
It’s the cynic in me that sees commercials for products like the Kinoki footpad or the Riddex pest control system, and says, “we’re all doomed.” Kinoki is a pad soaked in vinegar that claims to rid the body of poisons and toxins. This makes sense as evolution has left the human body without a liver. Riddex keeps pests away through the miracle of digital-pulse technology. You plug it in, and it sends some sort of electric signal through your home’s electrical system. Apparently, bugs and rats are fine with 50-60 Hz, but send a digital pulse at some unknown frequency, and they go packing. It is all so reasonable. I’ve read reviews that said that the ultrasonic version of Riddex was crap, but the electric modulation one (that’s the less sci-fi term for digital-pulse) really works. Well, I’m convinced. Let me buy two, because, according to the ad, the pulses only work for about 2,000 sq ft, so each floor of your home should have one. How those digital-pulses can leap from circuit to circuit, but cannot go floor to floor, I can’t explain. Luckily, both Riddex and Kinoki will send me a second batch of their products ABSOLUTELY FREE. All I have to do is pay shipping and handling. Sounds like a deal.
But the parent company of Riddex made some $2 million last quarter selling their bunk. I’m sure Kinoki is experiencing similar success. It takes me a second or two to see the flaws in these ripoffs, but many people are taken in by them. Instead, I’m a sucker for sob-stories and emotional appeals. Luckily, all I have to do is shut off my compassion, and I won’t fall for scams based on them. That seems like a fair trade. I won’t care about my fellow men, so I don’t get taken, and my fellow men can continue to get suckered and feed my cynicism. It’s a great way to maintain the status quo, and eventually decay into ruin.
Posted by Jonathan at 01:13 AM, 15 February 2008