I've been thinking hard about a lot of issues recently. There's the risk of civil war in Iraq. On the home front, Amazon.com and Toys R Us have been engaged in lawsuits. Apple has released a "Mac mini" that's inferior to the machine it replaced. The Bush administration has been caught exaggerating the degree to which tragedies like New Orleans were unforeseeable.
At first, all these things appear unrelated. But in a kind of way, they're not. They all involve people. People doing what they believe is right, and getting it wrong. There's no doubt in my mind that nobody wants a civil war in Iraq or New Orleans to flood again, but basic human nature means that, despite our best efforts, we end up going headlong into tragedy and suffering whenever we try to fix things beforehand. I'm sure Amazon and TRU didn't intend to hurt one another, but in the end, we saw a beach of contract. Someone somewhere mislead someone else, probably for all innocent reasons. And, well, I think I speak for everyone when I say I'm not going to pay $100 for some leather speakers, even if they can be hacked to run Windows.
We can do something about this, but it involves being willing to adopt democracy, a forceful power that, through thick and thin, has yet to fail us when we've been willing to give it a try. When we're worried about issues like the above, we can always just write to our senators and congressmen. They're good people. Sure, some do bad things, but that's the nature of the game, our senators and congressmen are just like us really, a mixture of good and bad, some liking chocolate, others cheese, but always walking together, forward, in the same direction, ploughing on towards the light, out of the darkness, away from the suffering.
We must do that too.