Tag: Stanislaw Lem

Stanislaw Lem and Real Life


I have noticed in the past several weeks the surprise by some at what it takes to run our day-to-day lives. The stunning obliviousness as to how the things that we depend on are made and transported to us. “We must shut down the interstate rest areas,” some central planner exclaimed. Only to be shocked by the fact that truck drivers have to use the bathroom. I’m sure that planner, if he had ever been to a rest area, looked at the semis parked there with a type of resignation that he must mingle with the hoi polloi in a substandard bathroom since there wasn’t an exit nearby. It never occurring to him that every item he packed for his trip had originally traveled in a semi to get to him.

This same blindness infects the discussion of what an essential business is. “We must have protein,” the planners decide. The packing plants need to remain open. But just like they have no idea of what it takes to create a pencil, they have no idea of what’s essential beyond the slaughterhouse itself. The packing plant is essential, it must be cleaned. Are the companies that sell the water hoses, mops, rags, etc., essential as well?