Douglas Hofstadter – Metamagical Themas (1985)

by vyh

Can you imagine how we would react if someone said to us today: “Hey, everybody! I’ve come up with a really nifty invention. Unfortunately, it has a minor defect—every twelve years or so it will wipe out about as many Americans as the population of San Francisco. But wait a minute! Don’t go away! The rest of you will love it, I promise!” Now, these statistics are accurate for cars. And yet we seldom hear people chanting, “No cars is good cars!” How many bumper stickers have you seen that say, “No more cars!”? Somehow, collectively, we are willing to absorb the loss of 50,000 lives per year without any serious worry. And imagine that half of this—25,000 needless deaths—is due to drunks behind the wheel. Why aren’t you just fuming?

Advertisements