Thursday, March 12

From "A 'Breakthrough' in the Stem Cell Debate" by Michael Kinsley:
If you wish to believe that every fertilized egg is a human being with full human rights, that is your privilege. I disagree, which makes it a controversy. If I felt you were serious, we would have a quandary as well. But there’s no quandary because you’re not serious. Your actions are too different from your words. You are doing absolutely nothing about the millions of fertilized eggs that are destroyed naturally every year (in miscarriages so early that the potential mother is not even aware of them), or the thousands that are produced and unused by fertility clinics going about their normal work (which are either discarded or pointlessly frozen in the hope of some miraculous ethical breakthrough).
(Thanks, Jana)

Wednesday, March 4

Now that we’re in a global recession, perhaps at the end of it the citizens of the world (particularly the first-world variety) will come to a new balanced perspective of how economic growth should fit into the total framework of human existence.

In the United States, as capitalists in general, we tend to focus on economic growth for its own sake. We see it as the bellwether of the nation’s health. However, economic growth should simply be one of many positive by-products of humanity’s striving to better itself and improve the quality of life for all.

The creators of the Genuine Progress Indicator metric have embraced this way of thinking for over a decade now. If, after all the current chaos subsides, we see a groundswell of support for this “new-old” way of thinking, I for one will consider the revised world-view worth the price.