Of Tomatoes and Immigration


֎It was, if you can believe it, only 11 million years ago that tomatoes split away from peppers, evolutionarily speaking. But now, thanks to gene editing technology, scientists may be able to activate genes already lying dormant in tomatoes to, yes, make tomatoes spicy again. [Gizmodo]

The seed catalogues must be drooling over the opportunity for yet another new tomato variety.

֎Last night between tennis matches, mariner tuned to The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC). Lawrence had Ezra Klein as a guest. Ezra provided an excellent interpretation of Donald which mariner thought was dead on. It is worth a check with the video collection at https://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word

֎In these times of overwhelming change, reason and necessity can be worlds apart. Both are real motivations and both are rational responses but in times of significant upheaval their solutions for managing change sprint away from each other. The immigration issue is a good example.

The majority of US citizens are pragmatic, dollar-conscious, and feel shortchanged by their changing culture. Their opinions reflect their concern for their immediate wellbeing and are, of necessity, urgent in nature. Hence, racism increases, identity politics emerges and everything NIMBY is the rule of the day. This is a valid response.

Some citizens are preoccupied with the long view, using reason rather than necessity to establish values. They ask questions like, “What effect does immigration have on the economy and GDP?” or, “Will additional people create overcrowding issues?” or, “What does the Constitution say about immigration?” One question that may be asked is based on the age of the US population. The US, along with Germany, France, China and Japan among others, has a rapidly aging population. Economists suggest that a few decades out there won’t be a large enough labor force to care for all the old people and further, GDP will drop precariously. This line of reasoning suggests that immigration is a good thing and will slow the aging curve.

If this is not enough to chew on, some may involve the effect of artificial intelligence (AI) on the work force and question whether there will be enough jobs to accommodate a new influx of immigrants, thereby shifting the core issue to “What do we do with all the old people?”

In any case, one can see that reason and necessity truly are worlds apart in their responses to extensive change.

Ancient Mariner

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