[ExI] Regulation vs. Freedom

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Jul 15 04:48:54 UTC 2007

Washington D.C., April 12, 2024 (El Independiete) -- Today the U.S. Department of Plenty issued regulations stipulating that all toilet-paper dispensing machines are to be surrendered to your nearest recycling facility within one week. Gone will be the standard three single-ply paper squares and the six-minute wait between emissions designed to thwart eco-criminals. In a new effort to further save trees and preserve the environment, new saniWipe towels are now manditory in all homes and businesses.

Saniwipes send information to your city or county Department of Health if the mandated daily washing of the cloth-like asstowel in your recyclable water system does not occur, provided, of course that someone in your household or business has actually used toilet facilities during a particular 24 hour period, (this information also being collected by the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure compliance with basic hygiene...

We may be glad that it's not really 2024 yet, and that although the government does mandate the rate of flow in your showerheads----wait!  Did you know that?  Did you know that by Federal Regulations it is illegal to sell or trade in showerheads that use more than 2.5 gallons per minute?  Did you know that I myself could be in *big* trouble for suggesting ways that many simpler showerheads can be modified to overcome this particular environmentally friendly form of self-denial/self-flagellation?  Of course, I would never do that, it being strictly against the law, and---as I've said repeatedly---rule of law is the foundation of all our progress (and, given the upcoming Singularity, probably essential to our survival).

I sometimes use razor blades on days following a long recluse, and whenever I do I thank goodness that it's 2008 and not Orwell's 1984 and that the Ministry of Plenty doesn't really exist yet. Winston Smith, in an interesting parallel to today's environment conscious consumer, was compelled to use very inferior quality razor blades for longer and longer periods of time, even as small cuts and abrasions appeared each day on his face in greater numbers.  

But Winston Smith loved Big Brother, or rather he did just as soon as his minor psychiatric issues were adjusted. He knew that from year to year razor blades were becoming of lower and lower quality, but he really wasn't aware, unlike you, the reader of 1984, just how pitifully bad his razor blades had become---because over time people simply adjust to anything. Just as you have in all likelihood (since 1994 when the law went into effect) adjusted to the picayune amount of water your showerhead dispenses. 

I know people who love obeying environmental friendly laws, and who go out of their way, even to pathological extents, to comply in ways not even yet regulated. One woman acquaintance of mine insists not only that everyone in the household recycle all plastic bottles, but that they all be *washed* before being left for the recyclers. If you try pointing out to her that the recycling machinery washes the containers anyway, and as new plastic items are manufactured the plastic undergoes chemical cleansing processes, a look of actual pain crosses her features.  She *likes* washing them because of the warm fuzzies it gives her knowing that her self-denial is a form of conscientiousness in the service of Mother Earth.

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