After several weeks of thinking about it, I decided to introduce a new category, “Stupid Is as Stupid Does.”
Entries will be based on events that are possible contributors to the cause of the Revenge Revolution. Events will be selected based severity and the potential for long-lasting impact. Some one-time events might have a severe and long-lasting impact – the Exxon Valdez spill, for example, or even worse an assassination. Other events, which individually seem unimportant, might cumulatively result in a severe and long-lasting impact. An example is daily discharge of small amounts of pollutants into a river or lake eventually renders the body of water uninhabitable. Another is continual restrictions on individual rights.
Some events will seem obvious, some more abstract. To qualify for “Stupid Is as Stupid Does” the event needs to be outside what one would consider “rational thinking.” When such events occur many people pause and ask, “What were they thinking?”
Lest those in glass houses not be accused of throwing stones, I am the first to admit we all make mistakes. But our individual goal should be to keep damage from mistakes to a minimum. When there is adequate time to analyze a situation and make a correction and no correction is made, then one becomes eligible for “Stupid Is as Stupid Does.” Only “Stupid Is as Stupid Does” events will be included that could become contributors to the Revenge Revolution.
Ideally selection of the “Stupid Is as Stupid Does” decisions will not be based on “20-20 hindsight,” or using a sports term, based on “Monday-morning” quarterbacking. The goal is to make the selection real time, recognizing there will be a short time lapse between the trigger event and the blog entry. Further becoming “eligible” for the “Stupid Is as Stupid Does” category likely will require more than one decision.
Because repeated SIASD decisions are required for eligibility, the individual or organization likely suffers from a systemic failure to understand the implications of the action taken. In very simple terms, “They just don’t get it.”
A series of decisions by two companies prompted the idea to develop this category. The events were (1) Duke Energy’s decisions surrounding management of coal ash from power plants; (2) General Motors’ decision to not recall several model years’ production of vehicles with a clear safety problem. More about each company’s actions will be detailed in a future entry.
After deciding to that a SIASD section would be worthwhile, I thought the number of entries would be infrequent. I mean, really, can people and organizations be that stupid? The answer is…unfortunately, yes.
One more example and then on to the SIASD write-ups. In the March 16, 2003 “Review” section of the NY Times, there was an article about the lack of black characters in children’s books. The article cited a study indicating only 93 of 2,300 children’s books published in CY2013 were about children of color.
Pardon me for the obvious, folks, but the solution is simple. Encourage more writers of color to write about children of color.
Publishing a book has never been easier. An author does not need an agent, not need a publisher. E-books can be published at zero cost. Yes, that is zero cost. Understand?
In an earlier blog entry, I asked the question whether Black History Month was a benefit or detriment. To me, citing the low percentage of children’s books with characters of color, with particular emphasis on black characters, is an example of whining and not stepping up and solving the problem.
The Internet does not discriminate. There is no one, repeat no one, stopping writers of color from publishing more children’s books with characters of color. Go solve the problem.
A point of clarification so some readers don’t get all exorcised. Is discrimination a problem? Yes. Are some blacks denied certain rights? Yes. But groups that believe they are discriminated against, however one defines discrimination and/or defines a particular group, need to lead the effort to reduce the discrimination. One way to lead is solve problems that can be solved by the group. Increasing the number of children’s books with characters of color is about as easy a problem to solve as it gets. Go do it.
Next entry: Cleaning Duke Energy’s Ash
Sebastian DiMauro said:
A good example of SIASD is how municipalities handle our water supply. The natural water cycle of our sun and Earth produces clean, distilled water over large areas of the planet in the form of rain. The rain collects in low areas to form rivers which run down hill to other rivers which eventually run into the oceans. The cycle begins again with the sun evaporating the water, etc.
So why is water so expensive, and in many areas, so scarce? Many stupid steps have been institutionalized along the way to bringing water to our faucets. Little or no effort and funds have been spent to manage rain water for drinking. We manage rain water as run-off and channel it to the the ocean. What rain collects naturally in the water table, lakes and ponds is what is treated for drinking water. However, not all the water we use is for sanitation, drinking and cooking. Most of it, up to 90%, is used for flushing toilets, watering the lawn or washing clothes and the car. This is treated, purified water our lawns are getting. This is a huge wast of money and resources.
These natural water supplies are often many miles from the end users. Much expense is incurred pumping the water these many miles to a treatment plant and then to the end users. So what may be a better system for managing the water supply? Create many small, local holding ponds with rain collectors feeding the ponds. Minimal filtration is required for this water, pumping cost are low and infrastructure is minimized.This clean water is plumbed to the homes water system, excluding the sinks and showers. Installing small distillation plants in neighborhoods to purify the water for sinks and showers provides the purified water for the 10% of water used for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.
These small, local distillation plants can be powered by any available fuel since they are external combustion. Electrical power generation can also be integrated into the system to provide a local micro utility.