Trouble in Paradise

By Eric Crampton 08/11/2014


In The Matrix, the robots stuck humans in a synthetic 1990s. They could have given us paradise, but they found we rejected it: we couldn’t deal with things being too good. And so the 90s it was: Pretty good, but not quite paradise.

Nathan Smith’s excellent NBR editorial reminded me of that [$]. He writes:

New Zealand is as close to the concept of paradise as any human culture in history has ever dreamed of living.

…Like the proverbial dog chasing a car, humans want paradise but don’t know how to live when they find it, so we invent or adopt problems to keep us happy. When this mind-set is scaled up to the level of the nation state, some funny things start happening.

…This is where the prime minister’s incoherent debate about fighting in Iraq converges with the inability of New Zealanders to enjoy the fortune of living in a paradise. We go out of our way to embrace other dilemmas to fill the void of having nothing to fight against because there’s clearly something so existentially frightening about living in a society that’s as close to paradise as humans have ever come.

Go and subscribe that such editorials continue to have a platform.