Monday, March 22, 2010

The Evolution of Out-of-Control Government

Part #1 of an occasional series, in which we trace the development of different technologies, through the ages, to determine their usefulness and effectiveness:

In the above picture, we can see how the original eighteenth-century steam engine provided a great deal of power to its users. The price of using this completely ungoverned engine, however, is that there were power fluctuations which required constant vigilance by the engine's users.

In the second picture, we can see how the addition of the nineteenth-century flyball governor gave stability and security to the steam engine, for the price of 5% of the steam engine's output power. This innovation in control allowed steam engines to constantly run within a defined range of power, with no vigilance required from the users, whilst consuming a small part of the engine's maximum potential power output. Although the balance between power loss and range of power was a difficult cost to measure, it was felt at the time that the overall cost of adding this governor control was worth it, as there was so little power lost to the user. With no vigilance over the governor required, the engine's users were free to concentrate on other matters.

Alas, there were unforeseen dangers in adding a governor. Nobody realised that once the governor was in control of the engine, then it would become an insatiable demander of power for its own aggrandisement and that it would constantly increase its own power consumption at the cost of useful overall engine power production. In the third picture, we can see how the nineteenth-century innovation of the flyball governor has developed into the out-of-control national socialist governor, which consumes over 50% of the power of the steam engine, while at the same time creating chaos and volatility in the overall engine power output. With so much of the engine's output going into the engine's government process, we have long since passed the point where the national socialist governor is in any way useful. Indeed, the engine itself would be far better off and far more able to serve its user's needs if we dispensed with the governor entirely and returned to the original ungoverned eighteenth-century engine. The price of power fluctuation and constant user vigilance would be more than made up for if this governor process were to be ditched completely as an inherently dangerous idea, which must be stamped out at the cost of constant vigilance. Obviously, the manufacturers of the governor process itself will be unhappy if we were to ditch it, but since when did we give a damn about what the servants and suppliers of engine parts think? Surely the whole point of the engine is to provide service to the engine user, not to provide sustenance and succour to the steam-eating suppliers of engine parts?

Next week, we examine telephones; are they convenient devices of private communication or simply the means with which government will soon begin to track our movements and conversations, 24 hours a day?

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