Seeing President Joe Biden, or any other President, under yet another bridge, proudly announce its reconstruction makes me shake my head, knowing how many roads in the United States are full of potholes causing flooding and erosion courtesy of those roads having been constructed without sufficient water runoff.
The Road Ahead
The compounding patchwork in the righthand lane of many American freeways makes for a bumpy ride. So slow cars and trucks move to the left lanes, causing unnecessary congestion. Just take a one-hour drive down I95 on the east coast or Highway 101 through California, and you know what I am talking about. I recommend you not drive a fancy sportscar down Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The same roads on and around Hilton Head Island get flooded yearly, causing severe congestion and public aggravation.
I have never experienced flooding on the roads of the country where I am originally from, where it rains twenty-six weeks a year. I have also never experienced a power outage where I am from, unlike in the United States, specifically in Silicon Valley, where power outages happen frequently. No surprise. The cables running above ground in downtown Palo Alto, as in third-world countries, have turned into a freeway for rats traveling from house to house.
And should we really be surprised that the wooden shacks we call home cannot withstand the frequent storms? Instead of building wooden houses that, on average, last 30 years, we should build stone houses that last 300 years, putting less pressure on the public funds from FEMA to keep repairing the damage incurred by the structural shortcuts we popularized as capital efficiency.
My point is not to highlight my purported structural engineering expertise but to emphasize when we cut corners to make things as cheap as possible, we ultimately pay the price of the compounding undesirable consequences of that shortcut. Then, only after we are embarrassingly made aware of the burden caused by those shortcuts do we fix them on a piecemeal basis with great fanfare. As in covering up the potholes with a new layer of asphalt, calling on FEMA funds to repair houses every year, or simply kicking the can further down the road.
In an article called the Hamlin Syndrome, I described the symptom of ignoring the cause and focusing on the suboptimization of undesirable consequences. I refer in that article to the depravity of reason stemming from confounding cause and consequence highlighted by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). Attempting to solve the compounding undesirable consequences without addressing the cause is America’s foundational wrath.
You see, the United States, as arguably the most powerful country the world looks up to and depends on for support and safety, does not deliver the burden of proof to cement our foundational excellence. Not only is our infrastructure foundational broken, but so are the systems we sell to the world as undeniable excellence of democracy.
The highest-order cause of a broken democracy is that the sum of human wants does not comport with human needs as defined by Nature. In the same way, what a child wants to eat is not what a child should eat to live a healthy life. Faith in democracy is the implicit denial of how Nature, not Man, controls our future.
Without a method consisting of a human theory correlated to Nature’s first-principles, producing systems that embed said theory, and applying rules to protect the integrity and trust in those systems, the United States is as lost in the woods as the most intelligent species on Planet Earth could ever be.
As the theory determines what can be discovered, in the words of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the vector of expansion tied to the depravity above of reason is the cause of an accelerated anthropogenic cascade covered up by a fantasy world of ever-narrowing opportunity and self-satisfying valuations without renewable value.
We can and must change the root cause of our ballooning debt to humanity, reset the vector of expansion for humanity, and inspire the world with new rigors of excellence we first and successfully apply to ourselves.