Thursday, September 15, 2016

Low Cost Interventions for a Better World: Reform by Redefinition?

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"To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace. "
-- Publius Cornelius Tacitus
Alternative Facts?

In the Republic of Foz a group of high-minded citizens undertook to remove the bitterness from every medicinal preparation. And with all but one potion they succeeded. But there was an elixir the curative power of which diminished with its bitterness. This elixir was the only antidote for the fatal sting of the Fozfly. Thus, there arose at first a murmuring, then public indignation at the efforts of this band of crusaders.

Fearful that their quest be frustrated, our noble champions regrouped and with the help of a government grant formed the Foz Foundation. The members of the Foz Foundation dedicated their research to demonstrating that the sting of the Fozfly, far from being an affliction, was merely an occasion that precipitated a "natural life crisis."

Now, in the Fozian language, nothing categorized as a "natural life crisis" is considered to be a disease. Nor is anything characterized with the term disease also conceived to be a natural life crisis. Since only diseases require medical treatment, the proper Fozian response to a natural life crisis is acceptance and resignation.

Thus as the influence of the Foz Foundation waxed, the need for the recalcitrantly bitter potion waned. In the final stages of enlightenment to which most of Fozian society was educated -- called Fozzy thinking -- there existed in all the land no medicinal preparation that had a bitter taste.

And death by Fozfly -- still rumored by certain barbarians to be avoidable -- came to be accepted as natural and necessary, if still a discontent of Fozian civilization.

To examine these issues further, see School Violence, Punishment, and Justice

See, also, Cheating Well

--- EGR