2011-06-21

Stay ignorant

A blog entry about Miss USA is not normally something I attend to. And there are many (too many) other places where folk in the USA proudly exhibit the unscientific. Why pick on this one?

It's just that I've commented on that article with the suggestion that the USA's apparent willingness to embrace the medieval and the superstitious is good news for their economic competitors. Their staying with magic and witchcraft can only be good for the rest of us who use actual working technology. I've said this before. The theory is that it's good to let your friends know when they are making a mistake, even though sometimes it might hurt their feelings.

It seems self-evident that if somebody in one country believes (for example) that the earth is only about six thousand years old - and that they're in charge of (say) a power industry - then any foreign economic competitor who understands actual geology is probably going to find it moderately easy to compete, take all their customers, and blow them out of the water. By extension, if the majority of politicians in that country get real power and act consistently with their beliefs then the country they're leading is going to become a technological backwater and, ultimately, irrelevant on the world stage when foreign competition leaps ahead of them.

But they aren't actually in charge are they? The USA is actually doing OK, technologically speaking. Is it possible that these exhibitions of medieval mindsets are part of the USA's strategy of economic competition? Get those pesky foreigners laughing at us, lull them into a false sense of security? We'll spout the anti-reality nonsense but quietly work the way that actually works. The hypocrites - they tricked us!