The lesson seems clear. Don't allow a whole system to become hostage to the workings of some geek's formula. Keep in mind the possibility that the real world might not behave as the formula indicates.Mad scientists? Check!
But, astonishingly, our society seems about to forget that lesson, just as it should have been learned. Congress is poised, at least if the Obama administration gets its way, to pass major new laws on carbon emissions and on health care whose success depends on geeks bearing formulas.
Consider carbon emissions. Carbon dioxide is a harmless gas, not a pollutant. But geeks bearing formulas tell us that increasing amounts of it will heat up the world's climate and cause catastrophic damage some decades hence.
Al Gore is so certain of this that he tells us all debate must end -- disagreeing is like denying the Holocaust.Al Gore is fat? Check!
But the Holocaust happened, while the disasters that Gore predicts have not.
But imposing huge costs on the private sector economy -- raising the price of electricity for everybody -- solely on the basis of some geeks' formulas seems, well, not prudent. But that's what Barack Obama tells us we must do.Fear the immense costs? The Obamessiah? Check! Check!
But wait...that's it? Michael, you disappoint. There's so much more that can be done with this brilliant analogy. The geeks (on Wall Street like in academic science) are only out to get more taxpayer money by lying. Trillions of dollars in grant money are at stake! Also, the geeks have been wrong in the past. Predicting global cooling in the 1970s is analogous to [insert favorite bubble burst scenario here: dot-com, savings & loan, the tulip mania, or if you're really adventurous tie it all back in to how FDR caused the great depression because Keynesian geeks mislead him and it wasn't until the Gipper lowered taxes that we finally realized how wrong these geeks are]. Or how about the analogy between the one-world-government that the radical environmentalists want to create to take away all of our possessions and globalization. Oh wait...sorry, that one might not work, but you get the idea.