Inanition and You
Well to be fair it’s more a case of Inanition and myself however referencing old posters or instructional videos tends to get a laugh from people old enough to appreciate how terrible the particular thing one is referencing was.
I looked today at the word of the day and found that it was oddly appropriate. For those that read this post at a later time the word is Inanition which is defined by the friendly folks at reference.com as:
inanition \in-uh-NISH-uhn\, noun:
1. The condition or quality of being empty.
2. Exhaustion, as from lack of nourishment.
3. Lack of vitality or spirit.
For those that might be curious as how this pertains to the current state of affairs on this side of the internet it’s pretty simple. I have chronic insomnia which anyone that knows me has a pretty good knowledge of, last night I was blessed with 2 hours of sleep (between the hours of 10 PM and 12 AM). It was certainly an unpleasant event but it’s better than nothing.
However! This is not supposed to be a random blog (folks get enough of that on facebook and twitter) and there was another point that arose today that fits the wonderful word of the day. Currently in the US political sphere (always a sphere) there is much banter about earmarks and while I am not here to berate or support earmarks there is something that has aggravated the hell out of me with the entire martyr march of folks who are against it.
Whenever a politician (like say John McCain since he’s the particular one I saw ranting) banters on about the cost of a project, like for instance, 1 million dollars for research into a locust like insect that has in the words of a USA Today Reporter:
Sometimes the migration involves only small bands. Their numbers, however, gradually increase over several years and may reach densities of 100 per square yard — outbreak proportions. Then the crickets migrate in hordes (ten to fifty thousand) to foothills, rangeland, and crops. The high densities may persist for 5 to 20 years. At the peak of the 1938 infestation, Mormon crickets wiped out 19 million acres in 11 states.
Run George! The Cricket is coming for you!
Now when he says that we are spending 1 million dollars on research it sounds like a money sink and in fact anyone who doesn’t take the 8.23 seconds of time opening their Firefox and Googling (should officially be a verb soon) the topic of Mormon Crickets returns some startling information (that is pretty much unanimous). These insects in particular can start out relatively unassuming and grow to massive proportions utterly devastating the surrounding landscape (and you know…food supplies). In 2000 these devious little bastards cost the state of Utah alone 22 million dollars in damage that means that a single state (you know of the 50 we have) lost 22 times the cost of this bill because of a similar bill not going into effect sooner than 2000 and addressing the issue. In 2003 these little guys caused at least 25 million dollars. So over the course of a single presidential term we lost 47 times the cost of this bill.
Indeed the quality of our politicians (in uncomfortably large amounts) and there motivations are in a state of Inanition. They lack substance and are frankly utterly wasteful uses of the television frequencies that they transmit over (for CSPAN and such). Telling someone the cost of a bill means absolutely nothing without equally telling the estimated return on that investment. When someone hears 1 million dollars in expenditures they feel cheated until they realize that it could have already potentially saved them almost 50 million dollars. I’m quite certain if just about any of John McCain’s(and to be fair anyone else he just happened to be the one I saw ranting) complaints would fall utterly flat if we examined the estimated return on the investments. I’m relatively confident that even the lowest expected return would still be quite promising for a good deal of the planned expenses on the bill.
If we overlook potentially outbreak (I like the word pandemic but I think that’s misused) prone insects to roam free without any sort of research or control we risk losing a whole lot more than monetary resources. Indeed if large quantities of crop lands were lost I’m sure that people would be all the more used to the term Inanition because they’d be suffering from it.
It will be the smallest of things that fells the largest of things with the utmost grace and swiftness, the second we assume that size denotes importance is the second we surrender to the most deadly of adversaries.