Thursday, December 15, 2022

Scott Adams-- "narrative poisoning"

Recently, Scott Adams has been discussing what he calls "narrative poisoning". This is what he calls it when those you listen to have poisoned your mind by presenting a skewed one-sided narrative-- such as those who were honestly persuaded by their biased information sources to fear Trump as a Hitler, or to see January 6th as an "insurrection". 

Eventually, it reaches a point where those affected actually can't even see the possibility that they may have been brainwashed. Their fear is real.

Well, government supremacism is also evidence of narrative poisoning, and Scott suffers this affliction all the time.

On his show a couple of days ago, he posed a question he considered a tell for narrative poisoning of those on the political Right. (Of course, he only talks about "the two sides" as though those are the only options.)

He advocated (or brought up) a federal building code. Those who objected did so, he claimed, because of their narrative poisoning. Due to narrative poisoning causing them to automatically think "federal laws are bad" they couldn't see that one (unified, national) "law" is (in his mind) less tyrannical than 50 (individual state) "laws". By his claim, one national building code would be a net improvement; getting rid of 49 laws. 1 - 50 = -49... Supposedly.

I suspect in most cases, building codes are county or city codes rather than "state" level, but this doesn't really change the argument.

As is so often the case, he's wrong and it's because he's blinded by his government supremacism.

What he missed (and it's in the category of thing he always misses) is that while the state's building code might be a hundred pages long (a guess-- I'm not going to research the real number of pages involved), a national building code would undoubtedly be at least ten times longer to cover every possibility and condition in every part of the country; from Maine, to Hawaii, to Louisiana, to Montana, and everywhere in between. 

Also, if I'm building a house, I don't have to comply with every state's (illegitimate) building codes, but only the code enforced by my state's illegitimate bureaucrats. I could be trading a hundred pages of rules for thousands of pages of rules. This is not a net gain for me.

A national building code would probably encompass conditions that aren't going to exist in most places. Where I live now, I don't need to worry about flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, or temperatures 40 below zero. Other places do have to deal with a mix of those conditions. To impose and enforce a national building code would end up meaning I would have to build my house to standards that are absurd for this location. Adding bureaucratic red tape, unnecessary cost, and long delays to the construction. And this would be the case everywhere else, as well.

"Well", you might say, "they could just make the code's details vary by location, depending on the circumstances where you are". Which would just get us back to where we are now.

Government has no business making or enforcing building codes. Let private certification by competing providers come up with the superior analog of building codes and certify the structures (and builders) that are "up to (their) code". Then let buyers choose who to trust. 

Only a government supremacist would believe government can do it better and should be involved in any way.