Just a generic geek, with a tendency for taking things apart

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This blog is in the process of moving to Markw.us, just take note.

Sunday, June 05, 2005
People are strange
This title unquestionably goes under the "Astute post title" nominations, but there are serious questions behind it. Why on earth do people buy into most (all?) of the things they do?

I semi-recently mentioned a book Everything bad is good for you that challenges the demented perceptions of reality media - and society - have imposed on pretty much every one of the 6 billion plus bipedal carbon based monkey descended organisms known as humans on this blue marble. (I sound like I've read it don't I?)

I mean where exactly did the anything less than 8 hours of sleep thing get started? Who decided it? I know I, and a lot of other people function on less. I vaguely remember there was a controlled experiment where someone went several months working on a series of 30 minute naps each day. There was a cool PBS documentary on it (I don't remember the final results but I'm mostly sure the subject didn't kill all the experimenters).

Speaking of sleep when did we decided that you're awake during the day go the fuck to sleep at night? I'm having a hard time with that one since I'm finding myself much more effective between 11pm and 8am than I am during other shifts. Of corse thats a floating target since I've all but entirely adopted a 30 to 34 hour clock (my lone bastard summer class forces some degree of conformity)

Why do people believe so thoroughly in recycling (waste of time, money, energy, and space among other things) the "War on Drugs" in a supposedly free country (free to follow orders?) or fear one brand of religious lunatic to the point of near genocide and embraces another? It isn't simple ignorance - when presented the facts they continue to hold these ideas near and dear.

Yes its weird facing it down after you have the facts, but its not impossible. Its usually not even a step backwards or forwards - usually the change needed is a simple lateral. Recycling for example - the 3rs were stamped into us pretty early, but once you accept that recycling is a waste of time (sorting) money (all but metal recycling posts a financial net loss) and energy (how many tons of materials do you need to move around / reprocess - perpetual motion is impossible) it doesn't take much to take a step to its left or right to reduce and reuse - which have a much higher value than recycling.

Who knows - this is probably one of those questions that wins problem solvers big fancy awards like Nobel Peace Prizes and MacArthur Fellowships. Guess welcome none the less

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