Remember the trees that were mowed down to make an very necessary parking place? This is how intensely it is used these days:

In the meanwhile I’ve found out that it is the Alliance in Stockholm that has enforced that each home must have a parking spot, which is just insanely stupid. Lately and belatedly, even they have to come realise that this is not a good idea.

Gee great, does this then mean that they're going to tear up the parking place and plant new trees there? Well, no. And even if they did, it would take about a human lifetime for the new copse to mature. It would be an ecosystem, but not the same as there was before, even if indistinguishable to the casual city-dweller’s eye (“Well, like trees, right?”).

Which brings me to irreversibility, that You Can Never Go Back. A feature of children’s tales is that Bad Things Happen, but the hero perseveres and brings everything back to The Way It Was—the witch’s wand is broken and all the people who were turned into pigs turn back and go home and continue their lives as if nothing had happened and even though they’ve been enslaved for untold ages their children still recognise them and their spouses have not found someone else. Toy Story 3 purportedly is about the inevitable loss of childhood, yet just a quick shower with the garden hose suffices to remove glue, paint, and rubbed-in dirt from the toys and return them into pristine condition—even the lost eye of Mrs Potatohead is retrieved.

Indeed, many stories for adults still work on this premise: Even while some may die in the process, once the tyrant is killed and everything goes back to the original happy state, armies of masterless soldiers on both sides shed their weapons and find gainful employment, nobody’s minds and bodies have been ravaged so that rehabilitation is impossible, no rancour lingers. Contrary to this, while being an action movie, Hrafninn flýgur makes the point that all the violence unleashed does not bring justice but only more violence, all survivors are left scarred and twisted.

So where does that leave the lost copse? It seems a decision was made on ideological grounds, without considering (or bothering about) the consequences, and when they become too apparent to ignore, there is no going back. Is there any drive for evidence-based politics? Would it be possible to develop a political science able to handle non-linear effects, scaling up from smaller-scale experiments, using agreed-upon statistical measures? Am I being a physicist?


Martin said...

Please run for office. I'll vote for you.

thnidu said...

TFT. That's an initialism I've just invented*: Too Fuckin' True.

* probably not the first to do so, but as yet unknown to Google.