Friday, May 4, 2012

Appeal to Unreason

Oh noes! Science has proven that power really does corrupt absolutely! My whole blog is undone!

Err, actually, no. What the science underneath the soundbite-short sensationalist article is telling us is that dopamine levels rise when an individual comes into perceived power. Far from corrupting absolutely, these dopamine levels act as a reward for achieving power, in the same way that you get a dopamine reward for sex, exercise, or lactation. Why do humans get a dopamine reward for achieving power? Because the apes didn't were quickly sidelined/bred out/murdered by those who did.

Of course, cocaine and a number of other drugs work directly on the dopamine system, but that doesn't mean power = cocaine any more than breastfeeding = cocaine. In addition, you can't shoot up power, which is why many persons of considerable power and influence still use cocaine.

Even if power did equal cocaine, the jump from that to power corrupts absolutely requires you to believe the dogma about drugs being physical manifestations of Satan, laced with His very Evil. If you believe this drivel, why do you read my blog?

Just remember, kids, Alexander III of Macedon built a huge empire while high on power, and Frank Whittle designed the turbojet engine while high on methamphetamines.

I, of course, ripped this off of Roissy, who nominally justifies it, but appears to actually be making a point about how the current power elite is addicted to power (something that doesn't just happen, mind you) and can't be saved. He's wrong in several of the details, of course, but his overarching point seems valid.

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