An Engineer plays Politician and goes Binary
In our litigious and political society, it is common for a participant to concentrate on a single element, take a hard-over position, and advocate for it, letting another party make any competing arguments. That can be a clarifying and useful approach, while tacitly admitting utility and validity to competing arguments. Samuel Johnson wrote “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” For the current issue, I rather favor something like “Within Longmont’s present geographical limits and population count, how can we optimize …”
And then the sticky part begins. What are the hard limits? What are we to optimize?
I hope a zero-growth default policy would concentrate our minds wonderfully.
I shall continue to argue as predicate that Longmont’s area and population should each be capped where we are now.
A personal story: My neighbor, an attorney, described a case in which his client (the client's estate, actually) sued the manufacturer of an electric drill. The guy had opened the drill, then squeezed an internal wire to the point of rupturing it with the metal case. It continually tripped a GFCI as a result, so client cut off the grounding lug and -- Zap, he expired. I figured he had done himself in by stupidity. I told Bob that a balanced analysis would not have justified the verdict Bob won for the estate. "And that's why you would never be an expert witness, Richard. In the legal business you don't make the other party's arguments for them."
But in this growth instance, I am going full-bore for zero growth.