I used to think any form of growth was unsustainable. Just like a perpetual motion machine it’s one of those things that’s impossible. (One of my favorite words.) Then, just now, sitting here, one of my brain cells did something. (It can happen.) For lack of any originality on my part let’s call it my latest theory, k?
Tom’s Theory #42 – Societal Asshole Leech Theory (SALT)
The percentage of leech-based humans is growing over time. Or, the more advanced a civilization the higher the amount of leechage.
As far as we know, there is no causal relationship with the number of pirates known to exist, but admittedly further testing is required. This is a work in progress. (I was on a break.)
98% of all email is spam. Of those messages, 98% attempt to deceive or infect. (The rest merely sell growth products like Viagra, the greatest achievement of our civilization and, dare I say, the entire universe and space-time continuum.) My web server is probed and attacked by cyber-terrorists (mostly from China and Russia) 36 hours a day. There’s an entire subset of humanity that does not have jobs and produces nothing of value yet still has food, shelter, cigarettes, pets, cars, smartphones and internet access.
Is this amount of leechage really on the rise or is it merely my touchy empirical perceptions?
In the days of the old west, touching someone’s ride (aka horse) could get you shot. That’s because without your ride you could very easily die. Your survival often hinged on it. These days, however, grand theft auto will get you a punishment that is decidedly less. Free room and board in a facility with better access to health care that I enjoy, and, mostly likely, early release back to freedom because our overcrowded prisons only have capacity for the ultra-violent and/or the casual drug users.
With punishments drastically reduced from what they were just one or two centuries ago, many more of us our opting for what I euphemistically refer to as “non-traditional career paths.”
Meanwhile, our society is pushing the limits of growth is what is sustainable within the laws of physics. A boss walks into a meeting room and shakes a report at his minions. “This report shows that our widgets are now in the hands of every person on Earth. We’re doomed! Doomed, I say!” Yup. Growth is about to take a major shit. Too bad you didn’t shoot for some sort of equilibrium instead. Oops.
Ironically, though, the futures for leechism are decidedly bullish. There appears to be no limit, except, perhaps, 100% of us sitting around, chillin’ and not contributing. Lie, cheat and steal. The ultimate irony, perhaps, is that some are willing to put an amazing amount of time and effort to remain in the leech class and avoid actual contribution.