Monday, May 31, 2010

I Must Be Stupid

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," Memorial Day issue! Remember, hate the war, not the warrior. In all my long life, I've never heard someone say, "Goddamn, I wish I could go back to the front lines and kill some more people!"

We've written many times about Memorial Day here at TGAB, so today's sermon is not going to be about patriotism, but about stupidity. Frankly, I'm feeling stupid, and I wonder if I'm alone in my idiocy.

What's bothering me is that technology doesn't make any sense.

EXHIBIT A: OIL RIG

Look at this thing! For the love of fruit flies, it looks complicated to me! All that scaffolding, all those parts. I would almost make book on the fact that more than one fine mind spent itself designing this puppy. Of course, you would expect something complicated like this, given its purpose. Not easy to go down deep in that dark water, drill a hole, and suck up fossilized liquid plant matter from Hell's basement. You've got to have some immensely elaborate equipment to do the job.

Seriously. Peruse this picture. Is it hard to imagine that something could go wrong on equipment like this? I guess I'm just stupid. I look at that picture, and I say to myself, "But what if Tab A gets pulled out of Slot B somehow?

It could be that a lot of that steel and stuff is just for artistic embellishment, so the oil rig looks good in photographs. I honestly don't know. You tell me. I might paint it a different color, or hang some Christmas lights on it, if the whole thing is just a clever facade, and what's really needed is just the Awesome Augur and a few deep sea divers.

EXHIBIT B: SOLAR PANEL

Here's where I feel like a stone cold moron. This thing looks so easy to make that you could put Red Green and his duct tape to work for a few hours, and it would be done. Heck, when I was a mere stripling I had a magnifying glass that I used to focus the sun on dried leaves and set them on fire.

I admit this could be total ignorance on my part, but solar panels look like they could be made by the millions in a converted Coca-Cola factory and slapped onto rooftops by anyone brave enough to climb a ladder.

Why am I so stupid? Please give me the details of this Intelligent Design. We put so much faith in Exhibit A, when Exhibit B seems so much more practical. Why, if you were to compare Exhibit A to Exhibit B using a natural model, Exhibit A would be Homo sapiens, and Exhibit B would be some basic, one-celled microscopic critter swimming on the locker room floor in some gym.

MRSA MRSA me. I'm so confused.

6 comments:

Thomas said...

I agree that we should get off of fossil fuels, but the comparison of pictures probably isn't the best.

A picture of an oil rig beside a picture of the factory floor where the solar panels are manufactured would be more apt.

Pom said...

Complexity is what has made oil ideal for corporations. Corporations don't like simplicity because anyone can do those things for themselves and how would they rape the Earth and the pocketbooks? Even more disconcerting is the fact that our country has sold off all of our natural resources to the highest bidders to do with as they please - including depleting in 75 years what took millions to come into being.

Lavanah said...

I have to go along with the comment Thomas made. Also, the current technology for making those solar panels tends to make for hazardous conditions in and around those factories. BUT, having said all that, I still think that as a planet we are better off with the solar panels.

Makarios said...

The reason that solar energy is not being more aggressively exploited is that Exxon does not own the sun.

Gwenevier said...

I agree that we should get our energy from sustainable sources, however the reason we use so little solar energy is a bit more complex than that the sun is not owned by Exxon.

I did my master's thesis on renewable energy sources and know a fair bit about solar panels and the technology that goes into making them.

Essentially what it boils down to is that in order to gain energy from the sun and use it for electricity to power all the things we currently have we end up with an energy deficit. As it stands now we would end up having to use fossil fuels to produce energy from the sun and that makes the point moot.

The good news is that the technology improves all the time, and the more consumers ask for sustainable alternatives the greater the chances of it being viable (both economically and technologically).

Anne Johnson said...

This is why I blog -- because many, many people know more about important topics than I do. Thank you for your comments!