Today, not only in peasant homes but also in the city sky-scrapers, there lives alongside the twentieth century the tenth or thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic power of signs and exorcism … What inexhaustible reserves they possess of darkness, ignorance and savagery!

– Leon Trotsky
There’s this old lady I know. I heard her scoffing last week at the story about scientists calling climate change undeniable. This is coming from someone who consults the Farmer’s Almanac to see what the weather is going to be like for the next few months.
She also believes that WD-40 has analgesic properties, and uses it the way most people might use Bengay. I suspect this might have a bit to do with why her skin looks like old luggage that’s been left outside in the rain for months.
A lifelong smoker who frequently has coughing jags that sound like she’s choking up bits of her lungs, she nonetheless claims that her doctor says she has the health of someone in her twenties.
Oh, and despite being a typical Christian who thinks God is personally intervening in her life on a regular basis, she firmly believes the thing about the Mayan prophecies of the world’s end in 2012.
Stephen Hawking (who’s becoming a real downer lately, it must be said) says we need to make steps toward colonizing space if the human species is going to have any chance of long-term survival. I just wonder how he would ensure that we don’t carry our inherent deadly stupidity out there with us.