Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sitting on a Doc (The River Anomaly)

I noticed shit's gotten pretty damn political round here lately. People be talking bout healthcare, religion, gay marriage etc. While I like me a good ol political debate, I noticed there's a lot of hatred for my views which frankly I think is uncalled for. So let me run a hypothetical scenario by you, and then ask you a question based on the circumstances of the scenario:

The River Anomaly

 Let's say there are a group of volunteer doctors and their assistants who are traveling through Mongolia to get to a remote tribe called the Ubanoos. There are no modern forms of transportation so they must make the journey on foot carrying the medicine with them as they go. They are trying to reach the Ubanoos in a hurry because an epidemic has broken out; and while it's a relatively easy disease to cure with modern medicine, the tribe is so remote that there is a risk that many will die off before the doctors can reach them. (This is just a hypothetical; don't get all factual on my ass.)

Now they are hurrying along when, for a second time on this journey, they run into dangerous rapids that they must cross to get to their destination. Two of the doctors are strong personalities, and they have become natural leaders of the group though they often have opposing views. One of them, Doc Z, sees the river and says, "You know what to do gang! Let's build a raft like last time."

But the other leader, Doc X, objects: "Oh no, we're not going through that again! Last time we lost two people and a bunch of medicine. We're lucky to be alive and have what's left of the medicine without which we are useless. No, this time we build a bridge and walk across in a safer manner. Sure it will take more time, but at least we know that us and the medicine will be around to help out the Ubanoos."

Doc Z wasn't having it. "Hell no, we're not building a bridge! That'll take way too long, and more people will die in the meantime. Is that what you want?"

"If we die crossing the river on a makeshift raft, or lose the medicine (which has already happened) then all is lost. The tribe'll be completely wiped out, you're not thinking logically," Replied Doc X.

So that is the scenario. Now I ask you which of the two doctors is evil?

Correct answer: neither. They both want to help out the Ubanoos they just have different ideas on how to accomplish this noble goal, while factoring in risk, timing, and past experience.

Third option: become fatalists, say "they're all gonna die some day anyway," and head home.
Niagara rapids by amerune, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  amerune 

The fact is no one holds all the answers; and it's good to look at, consider, and question all reasonable options that are available. The first ones that come to mind aren't always the best.

This applies to politics as well. What are the social issues of today? Same ones they've always been: poverty, crime, sickness, attack from foreign enemies. Is there only one option to mitigate these social ills? Of course not. For example, some people think we can eliminate poverty by taking money from those that have lots of it and distributing it to those that don't.

Others think that that solution is short sighted and riddled with pitfalls including taking away the population's motivation to produce, and inducing corruption amongst those who take and redistribute the money. In their minds the best solution is to foster a thriving economic environment the produces much growth and opportunities.

They think it's a plan that might not be as instantaneous, but overall will produce a better long-term solution to poverty. Neither side is evil even if they are painted as such by the media. They each want to eliminate poverty, they just have different ideas of how to accomplish this lofty goal.

So when I say that I believe in having a single tax percentage rate for all incomes; or that carrying guns should be legal since states that allow that have lower crime; or that we don't need free medical care we just need to deregulate medicine to lower the cost; or that all recreational drugs should be legal since prohibition didn't work and neither is the war on drugs; or that allowing gay marriage will harm society, don't judge me or call me evil. I care about the Ubanoos just as much as you do. If I didn't, I would give into mainstream political views just to be accepted and get ahead.

I think it's safe to say no one's helping out the Ubanoos just to get laid

*Don't forget to check out my book!  

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