This reminds me of why I sometimes think that people are not descendants of Neanderthals, as commonly believed.

We learn in Douglas Adams’ The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the second in his five book “trilogy” Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, that our ancestors had been dispatched from the planet Golgafrincha on the pretense that it was about to be destroyed (perhaps as a result of global warming; I don’t remember). They were principally telephone sanitizers and marketing executives. Miraculously, the threat of destruction disappeared as soon as they had left Golgafrincha. It’s a trifle convoluted, but here’s the relevant part of the story:

The teleporter has meanwhile sent Arthur and Ford to the Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B, a ship of fools which crash-lands on prehistoric Earth. They realize that the bumbling travellers are the real ancestors of modern humans, not the Neanderthals originally inhabiting the planet. . . .

As Ford convinces Arthur that there is nothing that can be done to improve the inevitable history of the Earth, Arthur decides that he should make the best of his situation and settles for a life on prehistoric Earth.

When the Golgafrinchans had arrived on Earth, one of the most creative among them suggested that they should invent fire.

“Well, you’re obviously being totally naive”, Said the girl, “When you’ve been in marketing as long as I have, you know that before any new product can be developed it has to be properly researched. We’ve got to find out what people want from fire, how they relate to it, what sort of image it has for them.”

“Stick it up your nose,” he [Ford] said.

“Which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know,” insisted the girl. “Do people want fire that can be fitted nasally?”

Another of the most creative suggested that inventing a “wheel thingy” might be a good idea. But first, market testing would be required.

“And the wheel,” said the Captain, “what about this wheel thingy? It sounds a terribly interesting project.”

“Ah,” said the marketing girl, “well, we’re having a little difficulty there.”

“Difficulty?” exclaimed Ford. “Difficulty? What do you mean, difficulty? It’s the single simplest machine in the entire Universe!”

The marketing girl soured him with a look. “All right Mr. Wiseguy,” she said, “you’re so clever, you tell us what color it should be.”

I don’t recall whether they ever got around to inventing and marketing either fire or the wheel. Someone, without the assistance of marketing executives, must have done so eventually. In any event, Douglas Adams is a great resource for those who want to understand humanity.


polyp_cartoon_Economic_Growth_EcologyIt’s funny sometimes how two friends of yours get onto parallel courses, isn’t it? Yesterday I was sitting here,dealing with my normal stuff when I got an e-mail from an old friend. He was incredibly frustrated he said, because he had just come from meeting, in one of his employer’s divisions. It’s a division about which I know little since instead of hard products and services like I work with it deals in support functions. He described the meeting like this.

It really was the worst meeting I have attended here.  They are in deep crisis, losing a million and a half a year, and yet still cannot make a decision.


For three hours they talked, and oh, how they talked, they talked and talked and talked, all about how to avoid doing anything except create a structure which would prevent anyone from doing anything. Their VP really has no…

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About danmillerinpanama

I was graduated from Yale University in 1963 with a B.A. in economics and from the University of Virginia School of law, where I was the notes editor of the Virginia Law Review in 1966. Following four years of active duty with the Army JAG Corps, with two tours in Korea, I entered private practice in Washington, D.C. specializing in communications law. I retired in 1996 to sail with my wife, Jeanie, on our sailboat Namaste to and in the Caribbean. In 2002, we settled in the Republic of Panama and live in a very rural area up in the mountains. I have contributed to Pajamas Media and Pajamas Tatler. In addition to my own blog, Dan Miller in Panama, I an an editor of Warsclerotic and contribute to China Daily Mail when I have something to write about North Korea.
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2 Responses to Coincidences

  1. FX Phillips says:

    Yes I’m afraid that way too many people have been educated beyond their intelligence level. The education presents a range of solutions. The lack of intelligence does not allow those who view that range as adequate or inadequate for the situation that presents itself. “Education” becomes a credential rather than a marker of real learning. It is a way the self selected elite identity each other. It guarantees that only approved solutions that maximize the influence of the “elite” to the detriment of the hoi polloi

    This causes the paralysis of analysis (especially when that limited range of options inevitably fails) that we see in “civilized” modern society. Because of the concurrent nurturing of unwarranted self esteem ie self worth because of your being not because of your accomplishment we get people who indulge in incessant mental masturbation that leads to muddled conclusions and actions. No one wants to be responsible for being wrong. Meanwhile definitive actions are needed.

    It is this need for decisive action that leads to authoritarian rule. A society blunders from one event to another with inconclusive results which only seem to exacerbate the societal decay until one day someone has to the balls to say “I have the answer”. Whether it is truly the answer is up for debate. Historically the answer such people deliver is self serving and murderous.

    This is why we find ourselves in the bind we are in. We have a particularly virulent ideologue currently in charge who does not care that his agenda is an historic failure. He knows that the avatars of the culture and communication will support his brazen corruption and hypocrisy so he makes his decision regardless of the outcome and just rides it our with contempt and physical threats to any who oppose him. His supposed “opposition” appears confused between cowardice and complicity. Those in the mushy middle do not want to be targeted by regime thugs and branded as “racist’ for opposing an agenda which has nothing to do with race per se but has to do with the shear power of the elite over the ruled. So by fear and inertia they allow this debacle to continue in the false Eisenhowerian paradigm that the answer must lie somewhere in the middle. Eisenhower as you may remember was the dope who put the bipartisan imprimatur on the ruling class agreement that had been negotiated between the national RINO party and the newly minted liberal fascist NDSWP in 1940 that cemented the US on the path of welfare statism. But I digress as usual.

    Because of their training by the avatars of the culture they have been trained, like a battered wife, to believe it is their inherent actions that lead to their abuse. In this case a manufactured in and projected from academia hatred of the “other” . They are looking for direction and absolution for their alleged heresy so they latch on to some one who they think provides both. They have been sold a bill of goods that only too late will they realize they can’t pay for.

    Of course what the citizenry does not understand is that these avatars are societal and cultural terrorists. They also do not understand the basic law of incentives which implies that when such tactics work they just continue to ratchet up the pressure using such tactic. This is also something the RINO elite either doesn’t understand or uses as an excuse for their duplicity and cowardice.

    It appears that unless we find people to confidently and unabashedly advance the ideas of ordered liberty(freedom tempered by the rule of law) and free markets while at the same time repudiate and excoriate the statists on their dishonesty and bad intentions( the RINO’s with their latest surrender on immigration have gone the way of the WHIGS as far as I’m concerned) we may succumb to the disease of collectivism.

    • I agree.

      When “we the people” present a mental vacuum, nature may abhor it but our “democratically elected leaders” love it and move right in. Now, as you suggest in the last paragraph, we need more people willing and able to advance the basic concepts upon which our nation was founded but from which she has strayed egregiously. In order to advance those concepts, they need first to understand them. Few seem to.


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