From the Editor’s Perch…

The Pyramid of Rational Thought & How It Leads to Extinction


My rational, well-informed, well-educated, scientifically minded, community minded, liberal leaning friends who apparently care more about people that I do, believe that the world would be a better place and our lives would be happier if run on a more ‘rational’ and ‘enlightened’ basis.

My rational friends bemoan the fact that people act ‘crazy’.  And my liberal friends are trying every method of persuasion, from ridicule to downright contempt and hatred, to ‘reason’ individuals out of their craziness, be it religion, politics, astrology, alchemy, naturopathy, or whatever asinine thing we might think of next, like enjoying a Big Mac.  But study this diagram:

The Pyramid of Rational Thought

The Pyramid of Rational Thought

The facts of these matters seem to say otherwise.  Study this Pyramid of Life (above).

We see that the greater the intelligence of the species, the smaller its population.  This is true for every species you might say, except for humans.  Humans seem to be the exception, multiplying at a crazy pace, and ever threatening the planet’s carrying capacity.

How do we do this?

My rational friends would say that of course, that we aren’t doing this; that we are, in fact, headed for extinction, or a grand apocalypse.  And their rational explanations end in a doomsday analysis, from planetary depletion of resources, to fouling of the ecosystem, to global warming… and on and on.  And that it’s crazy and irrational to think otherwise.

However, a rational person would have to note that these folks have been making these doomsday predictions for quite some time.  Malthus, the great vertebra of the doomsday scenario, published his Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798, and rational thinkers have been predicting a Malthusian catastrophe ever since.  In my youthful years it was Paul Ehrlich who took up the banner.  He’s pretty passé currently and there are lots more youthful Cassandras out there now.  You won’t have any trouble locating them.

These people are always finding meaning in nature, and well they should.  Nature is very rational.  Everything out there is running around for a good reason.  And the more intelligent the animals have become, the more they begin running about for very, very good reasons… never wasting their resources.  Until, if you extend the side of the pyramid upwards – there is no one left… and for some very, good reason.  J

My own thinking is that my rational friends’ thinking, is a good recipe for extinction. Study the pyramid.

I contend that we are crazy.  As a species we are highly irrational.  And that it is the only thing saving us from extinction.  It is our craziness, as a species, which allows us to produce the unforeseeable – and not our reason.

At one time, imagining the earth as round was thought of as crazy.  Sailing off the edge of the world was surely a crazy undertaking.  Baboons don’t do it.  Why go to the moon?  Dogs don’t do it.  Why fly?  Why look into a microscope?  You ever see a chicken wasting its time doing that?  Why count the stars?   Why put bananas on your peanut butter sandwich?  Why not kill people and take what they have?  Why waste your time worshipping?  Why read?  It is our craziness which has expanded the carrying capacity or our predicament and allowed us to flourish to this unprecedented state.

We’re all crazy.  (And especially all these informed, rational people.)  Respect this.  That’s how we stay alive.

Nuf’ said.

Diagram by Carl Nelson – no rights reserved 🙂

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7 Responses to “From the Editor’s Perch…”

  1. Johannes Nelson Says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a little bit lately –and for the most part I agree. There is a difference, though, between creative and intelligent speculation (the world is round was not only a guess), and total craziness (if I wear a dead rabbits foot around my neck, good things will happen).

    It is our flexible reason that carries us forth, and sometimes it flexes far into the absurd (Einstein) and turns out to be in invaluable truth!

    I can’t even speculate as to what a world of totally rational people would look like. Part of me wants to optimistically believe that we’d get a lot done and develop a very pleasant and rational moral system that keeps everyone happy. The other part of me is afraid that we would collapse into a very violent, rational war for some reason like diminishing our numbers in order to make better use of remaining resources. I think superstition and delusion –while unpleasant sometimes to witness –act as a big pacifier that we can all collectively suck on.

  2. Fish Clamor Says:

    Carl I read this and read this but could not understand the connection between rational/irrational and liberal/evil? Help me???


    • schn00dles Says:

      Dear Ms Clamoring Fish,
      I am not blowing bubbles here! It’s rational/irrational and liberal/conservative. Conservatives hold fast to the irrational like barnacles. We find a good vessel, we go with it. Just close your eyes and if you can feel the irrational all around us – and within us – you could become a conservative too! (This could be your come to Jesus moment.)

  3. Jen Says:

    You win I am laughing too hard to think up a better reply!
    But I get you next time!!! Ha!!!!!!


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