The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

31 March 2007

Porter's Premise

It goes something like this:

If a human community has the ability and opportunity to collect, harvest, consume an unlimited amount of anything, it will always do so on the basis that no proof exists that doing so is bad. The result will inevitably be one or more negative consequences which were not anticipated at all when the decision was made.

I take minor exception here — with the exception of BS, nothing is available in truly "unlimited" amounts — but otherwise, this seems to be beyond cavil.

Posted at 12:38 PM to Almost Yogurt


I'd had a couple of glasses of cabernet or I might have remembered the BS exception.

Posted by: David Porter at 3:57 PM on 31 March 2007

Beyond cavil? Perhaps...if we forget the supreme importance of the first quoted word: if!

The laws of economics tell us that every human action carries a cost, including the acquisition of an apparently "free" good. Therefore, the precondition for this syllogism of calamity is quite literally impossible.

Impossible hypotheses are the meat and drink of our society's doom-shouters. Beware!

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 4:44 AM on 1 April 2007