Tuesday, January 30, 2007

On Bikers, Birders, and Bush's

On optimism: As any successful off-road motorcycle or bicycle racer is likely to tell you, to move quickly down a boulder-strewn mountainside, you must focus on the path you want to take between the obstacles. If you focus on the rocks themselves, you are almost certain to hit them.

On pessimism: As any good conservationist will tell you, the damned cyclists will ruin the fragile ecosystem of the mountain and the world will collapse. Besides, it is our mountain, because we are good people and read books.

What do I think? Having played for both teams in the above-mentioned combat, I have to conclude that we all go through life making constant risk/benefit analyses, not without some selfishness, and we move on as we see fit. The way the scales tip for each of us may well be genetically influenced. Take the Bush family: No real personal risk to us, so let's send other people's kids racing down this mountainside. I don't think there'll be rocks. And what's a ee-co-system?

- Ralph Murre

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