Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Thursday, 2020.02.27
Or take the issue of crime. It is not sufficiently appreciated how
extraordinary—one can even say unique—the situation with regard to crime is
in the U.S. today. Ours may well be the first society in all of human history in
which the average citizen lives with the constant fear of being victimized by
criminal assaults against his person—assaults perpetrated, not by the
government or its police forces, but by one's fellow citizens. It is a novel
condition. . . . How did it happen?

A good part of the answer is that our sociologists and criminologists and
jurists have applied their theories and their presumed expertise to create a
criminal justice system that was supposed to reduce criminality but has instead
caused it to proliferate wildly. It is an ironical fact that those so-called
"less-developed" nations, which have far fewer criminologists than we do, also
have much lower crime rates. That is what results when one permits
"sophisticated" theories—elaborate ideologies, really—to prevail over common
sense and traditional wisdom. In modern societies, crime (like education)
becomes a problem when our expert theorists make it one.

		Irving Kristol, Whatever Happened to Common Sense?, Jan. 17, 1984


From The Objects-Are-Closer-Than-They-Appear Department

You might be aware that our Sun will be a red giant in about 15 billion years, and its size will increase dramatically beyond the Mercury orbit and we will enter the “crispy critters” phase of our evolution. But do you know that the Andromeda Galaxy will collide with our Milky Way in about 3 billion years? Then another time after 1 billion years to merge themselves. What a mess! I thought there would be some laws against this happening or at the lease some sort of EPA ruling but no such luck. There are some pretty nice simulations in MPEG, and a lot of pictures with some explanation on the web sites listed below.

So the message for today: Party like it’s 2,999,999,999! WooHoo!

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