Engineering Worst Case Politics

 I thought it might be useful to mention an observed human political characteristic of the age of social media that is rather common; that of manufacturing worst-case scenarios for any potential new economic infrastructure without finding anything positive. One cites what facts from abroad one can and conflates them in elegant straw man arguments in order to have a case for disaster.

  One can use the paradigm of a hospital operating room for an example perhaps. One finds that in some African hospital people became infected with a blood born pathogen, maybe Ebola, and use that example as a reason why all hospitals should be banned (because they can be a source of blood born pathogen contamination and disease transmission. Worst-case political engineers would exclusively cite the inadequately examined African circumstance as the only meaningful element in a political situation to build a new hospital.

 Another example is the controversial paradigm of salmon fish farming. Opponents cite every pre-existing negative element concerning fish farming as the only factors involved. They worst-case the entire fish farming paradigm and find no positive elements, nor do they look for any. Positive engineering seeks out solutions for technical challenges regarded negative.

  Norway has a a lot of fish farms that produce something like a five-hundred million fish for market at any given time, while natural fish catches account for just five-hundred thousand. Worst-case engineers would cite the relationship as a proof that fish farms harm natural fish runs, without proof that any relationship exists. In theory farm fish and natural salmon runs are entirely separable and have no effect upon the other. Natural runs decline predominantly because of two causes; over-fishing and habitat destruction. It is possible for some poorly engineered fish farms to adversely impact natural habitats. That too is a result of bad government management. Bad government management can be caused by lack of effort by managers to finding positive remedies to technical challenges.

 Norway’s situation of poor natural runs could be caused by long-term human encroachment on natural run water columns in rivers and streams inn addition to over-fishing with fish farming being more of a restoration of salmon to Norway than a cause of the decline and fall of natural salmon runs. Fish farm technology can be improved and even brought ashore, waste may be reprocessed and not added to the sea, fish may be fed with land-made fish food and in short very low impact on the sea can be effected. It is also possible to restore some natural runs, yet vast structural displacement or extirpation of natural water drainage system ability to support salmon reproduction may be nearly irreparable.

In the modern era worst-case engineering of political arguments often attack ecological economic transitions to more effective forms of infrastructure to adapt human economic activities to the natural environment with ecospheric sustainability. Worst-case political engineering is also used to block technological upgrades to existing infrastructure. Of course it is possible to advance existing infrastructure or ecological economics with such neglect of external factors that social elements do suffer harm. In other words worst-case engineering may occur through neglect, or en passant in the political game of finding positive upgrades to human economic and social culture.