A blog by Patrick Crozier

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June 03, 2004

All things are relative

I've recently noticed that I have either been writing (or thinking about writing) a lot of posts entitled things like "Safety is not the only thing" or "Pollution is not the only thing" or "Overcrowding is not the only thing". In other words that all things (or rather, almost all things) are relative and that, therefore, there are trade-offs between them.

Are there some absolutes out there? Actually, a couple spring to mind. The first is the threat of mass murder (you know, London being nuked) or invasion by a tyranny. The second is the threat of the extinction of life on Earth while there is something we can do about it (not much point in worrying about what happens when the Sun enters its Red Giant phase.)

Mind you, there are probably some trade-offs here too.



Even the first of these leaves some room for trade-offs (eg if London were to be nuked in a way that somehow stopped Paris, New York and Bombay being nuked). Ditto the tyranny - how Red does the regime have to be before it would be better to be dead?

The latter I'll go with...

Posted by john b on June 4, 2004