18 June, 2015

Flaws in the Design

I can't be sure where I'm headed after death 
To heaven, hell, or beyond to that Great Vast 
But if I can I would like to meet my Maker 
There's one or two things I'd sure like to ask
--"At My Funeral", The Crash Test Dummies

Oftentimes I feel like there are a variety of ongoing cosmic jokes and that I've yet to be let in on any of them.  Many of them are fundamental design flaws.

I'm not talking about human design flaws. I'm not referring, for instance, to the kitchen that contains a heat-maker which spills money on the ceiling and a heat-loser that spills money on the floor; both of them next to each other and not connected in any way. Or the bathroom that contains a bath/shower combo which is not safe to shower in and not comfortable to bathe in (not to mention a toilet that mandates an extremely uncomfortable seating position and wastes both fertilizer and gallons of potable water with every use).
 I'm not talking about whoever designed automobiles so that if your foot slips off the brake pedal it will cause your vehicle to plow into whatever's in front of you--nobody seems to have noticed this, let alone corrected it, in over a century.
No, I'm not even going to ask why we still force, let alone ever forced our children to learn four different alphabets (majuscule and minuscule printing and cursive writing).

It only stands to reason, you know, that our best designers can't even put together a kitchen, a bathroom, a car, or an alphabet that makes sense--and that any who try are ridiculed rather than revered. It's inevitable that we can't design worth shit because we aren't designed worth shit.

Why is sugar, something to which we seem to be irresistibly attracted, a poison? What conceivable purpose do nose and ear hair serve, and why do they grow out to obscene lengths once we hit middle age? Ditto fingernails and toenails and facial hair for that matter. I should be able to select lengths for all these things and have them stay the way they're set.

It's natural that we should be prudent around "the other", but why do people take that fear and magnify it into a defining characteristic of their worldview? Consensus is much more socially rewarding than conflict, so why do so many people seek conflict as a first and only solution to their perceived problems?

What sadist designed the human pain system? For millennia this alarm couldn't be turned off or even dimmed; it often blares totally out of proportion to the problem it's trying to alert us to, and even now we can't do a damned thing about many of the things it shrieks about.

There's enough food to feed everyone on the planet thrice over, yet people are starving, still, and next to nobody cares or even notices. There's enough drinkable water to serve everyone on Earth, and there are still about a sixth of us who have to walk for miles to get water that people living elsewhere wouldn't give their pets. There's enough money to assure everyone a more than comfortable existence, and inequality is rampant and growing by the day. There's enough love to go around--it's one of the few truly renewable resources we have--and far too many people, including people I don't even have to work to find highly loveable,  feel unloved and are thus unloving.

Virtually every large-scale problem we face as a species has been solved on a small scale somewhere. But rather than take note of those solutions and try to scale them up, we decide in advance that it can't be done--or more likely that it would cut into somebody's almighty profit margin. The indifference to human suffering is the most perplexing bug in our system.

Sometimes I don't feel human. Sometimes I wish I wasn't.

1 comment:

karen said...

Failure of imagination.

I wonder about things like this all all the time. We are slaves to so many social constructs. My mantra all day long is, "why do we think this is normal?"