The Wake-Up Call And The Power Cord

As you may have noticed, your host has been involuntarily separated from Ethics Alarms for about 24 hours. Several things occurred that under normal circumstances would have had me dashing off a post while waiting for flights or preparing to check out of my hotel—and there were definitely several comments that had me reaching for a phantom keyboard—but I was without laptop, thanks to leaving the power cord behind in my previous hotel.

So I have a little story to tell. I stayed at a decent Boston hotel last night, not a 4 star hotel like the one I just left  in Atlanta (The Four Seasons), but a nice one, professionally run, dependable. Yet this morning this was my wake-up call, via recording:

“It’s 7 AM. This is your wake-up call for March 8, 2018.”

Almost at the same time, David Hogg was on CNN, explaining how darned easy it was to create a system that would prevent school shootings forevermore.

Wrong. Systems break down, you experience-free, arrogant, disrespectful, know-nothing puppet.  The belief that human beings can devise systems that will solve every problem, or any problem, and do what they are designed to do without failing miserably at the worst possible times and in the worst imaginable ways is signature significance for a fool, or a child. O-Rings fail. Police don’t act on warnings that a kid is violent. Obamacare raises health care premiums.  Political parties end up nominating Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Jack Ruby breaks past police security. Communism ends up killing hundreds of millions rather than creating a worker paradise. The Titanic hits the wrong iceberg exactly where it’s weakest. Hitler takes a sleeping pill during the Normandy invasion.

The T-Rex gets loose.

One of the most neglected ethical values is humility. Human beings have ample historical evidence that they are screw-ups, and yet their intellectuals and politicians continue to represent themselves as trustworthy when they claim that they can make everything better. Sometimes they can. But don’t bet on it. Solving complex problems is hard, and risky, and full of dangers, the worst of which is being cock-sure that nothing can or will go wrong.  The second worst is concluding, when someone else’s best laid plan becomes Pickett’s Charge, or the Edsel,  or The Indianapolis, or “My Mother The Car,” that they are idiots, and you have all the answers, and will never make a mistake that, thanks to the wonders of chaos theory, ends Zeppelin travel forever.

When I returned home tonight, I saw that the Four Seasons had, as promised sent me back my powercord via UPS express. Now that’s a dependable hotel!

Then I saw that they had sent me a second powercord that belonged to somebody else.

Of course they did.


Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Marketing and Advertising, War and the Military, Workplace

13 responses to “The Wake-Up Call And The Power Cord

  1. Other Bill

    “Turn to the joke.”

    — Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. I think Hogg’s moment of usefulness is clearly over for the Left…they just haven’t realized it yet. The opposing camps on the topic of 2nd Amendment Repeal are again settled into their trenches with Hogg echoing in his chamber and the defenders of the 2nd Amendment ignoring him other than tossing out unheard but satisfying snark on twitter.

    • dragin_dragon

      Should have been over awhile ago. This BOY has no idea what he is talking about. Hiding in a closet in another building does not make him an ‘expert’…actually getting shot at by men who do not know you (even in black pajamas) and have no reason to want you, personally, dead will make you an expert.

      • Well said, DD

        Note the men in black PJs used high powered rifles, too. They just were not very accurate, as a rule. (well, moderately high powered, anyway…) /snark 🙂

        • Other Bill

          I’ve been wondering when anyone was going to bring up the absurdity of calling every kid enrolled in that school a mass shooting “survivor.” Thanks.

  3. Other Bill

    “Solving complex problems is hard, and risky, and full of dangers, the worst of which is being cock-sure that nothing can or will go wrong.”

    Words to live by.

    Is Murphy’s Law enshrined or otherwise noted in the archives here? That, and the meaning of S.N.A.F.U. are best kept close at hand.

  4. The O ring failure had a great impact on young slickwilly, who was home on a rare sick day and watched the shuttle blow up live. The information that later came out made it clear that launching spaceships was fraught with danger, as there were so many things that could go wrong in such a complex system it was a wonder they ALL did not blow up.

    My first and only brush with ethics (engineering: make sure the bridge does not fall down) was greatly reinforced by memories of that Shuttle disaster. (I still get chills when I think of the radio message “Roger, go with throttle up” which preceded that explosion.

    The definition of hubris is “excessive pride or self-confidence” and comes from Greek Tragedy ” excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.”

    Hubris caused the Shuttle tragedy. NASA (and their contractors) became complacent, and allowed less important considerations (like flight schedules, politics, and mission timelines) overcome important items like launch protocols and safety.

    Hubris is the hallmark of gun control advocates today. Hubris and callous disregard for the rights, dignity, and lives of responsible gun owners. Using Hogg as a useful idiot is par for the course: these are the same people who will tell you the criminal has rights which the homeowner violates when protecting himself during a home invasion. These tactics are despicable, beyond the pale of civilized society. That America has come to where such are excused and even encouraged means our society has fallen further than I had feared.

    Hubris marked progressive governance this past decade as well. Promises made about Obamacare while knowing they were lies. Fast and Furious. ‘A video is to blame for Benghazi.’ IRS suppression of opponents to win the 2012 election. 30,000 email under subpoena erased ‘like with a cloth,’ and no one is even charged. Even the late assertion in the press that Obama was the first scandal free Presidency smacks of hubris.

    Now we find that a falsified dossier was used, without support, to get a FISA warrant to spy on an opposition political candidate. That the federal bureaucracy was weaponized with the goal of removing a duly elected President. That FISA wiretapped US citizens were maliciously and illegally unmasked by Obama Admin officials for political purposes.

    Hubris leads to nemesis, the “inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall.”

    The Democratic party is ripe for nemesis.

    • Other Bill

      Great comment, sw.

      Spent almost three years living in a very nice part of Amsterdam. I was told that if someone broke in, if I hurt them while they were on my premises, I would be responsible to them for their harm. Needless to say, there is a great deal of property crime in Amsterdam. As well as a fairly good sized dollop of moral superiority. Go figure.

  5. Isaac

    Does anyone know why exactly David Hogg is getting this whirlwind press tour in the first place? Where are the JROTC kids who actually saved other students’ lives? Do we get to hear what they have to say about how to prevent school shootings?

    • The JROTC kids represent a mode of thought that supports individuals taking action in the face of evil.

      David Hogg represents a mode of thought that supports surrendering autonomy to our overlords.

      I think we know why Hogg gets all the attention.

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