Inductive thought

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Almost enough good stuff last weekend to overcome the mind-twisting pessimism that writing this week’s cover story brought on. I’ll let you read it, but when the brightest news of a story is that mass starvation may be the best hope for the world—well, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for optimism. Human beings must adapt to non-oil technology or suffer the apocalyptic consequences. And the oil companies, which contribute massively to political campaigns and reap the subsidies, are absolutely conflicted against mankind’s best interests. In other words, if oil companies fight green technology now, when Peak Oil hits, they’ll be guaranteed subsidies and profits when oil gets hard to come by—forever.

On related lines, I’ve been attending the Saturday General Assemblies for one of the Occupy Reno groups. I’m very much in support until I start hearing misinformation coming from them. There’s this concept of leadership: The group makes the claim that it’s a “leaderless” group. I’ve been to all the general assemblies (except the first, when I was sick, and it was raining), and I note that the same people, five or six of them, are facilitating the public and private discussions, are establishing things like websites and government communications, are deciding when and where to “occupy.”

When a small group of people decides for the larger group things like scheduling, negotiations, money management, communications, meetings, who gets to talk and when they get to talk, and then presents their decisions for voting as a fait accompli (for example, the plan to “occupy” the Moana Pool park), then those people are leaders. I’m not trying to get in a pissing match about this, but while people can title themselves whatever they want, it’s not my job to do their public relations for them.

I do understand the reasons people don’t want to be identified as leaders—there are a lot of psychos and future employers in this world—and I’m sensitive to such things, but those who walk like ducks and quack like ducks, are going to get called ducks.