Sunday, June 12, 2005

Brief geopolitical interlude

Summer has started in Boston and I already want it to be winter again. It's 90 degrees, with 20000% humidity, or at least that's what it feels like. Not having an airconditioner, Christina and I have had the distinct displeasure of dealing with that over the last couple of days.

This has led to me to a new theory why there is so much civil war, genocide and general instances of people behaving badly in Africa -- it's because it's so damn hot. I say this because today I was a first-hand witness to how quickly civil war can erupt when it's hot. Christina and I were snapping at each other all day, for no good reason, other than the fact that we were both miserably hot and sticky. We ended up buying an airconditioner and are now sitting in our nice, cool living room, acting like normal people again instead of the snarling beasts we were earlier.

So, rather than all this debt forgiveness stuff [which is of dubious utility anyway], I think new aid projects should focus on "One functioning airconditioner for every man, woman and child in Africa by 2010 !". Doing so would have all kinds of positive side-effects -- they'd have to build better houses [I don't think you can install an airconditioner in the window of a clay hut], they'd have to beef up the electric grid so all those airconditioners would have electricity, they'd have to build better roads in order to get building materials to the power-generating stations and they'd have to educate a lot of people so there would be enough airconditioner repairmen/women to maintain the airconditioners. It'd also be pretty hard for the governing elites to embezzle the airconditioners -- it's not like you can pull up to a Swiss bank with a few trucks full of airconditioners, march in and say "Hi, I'd like to deposit 10000 AC units". And once everybody is nice and cool, the urge to go decapitate your neighbor because [s]he is of the wrong tribe, or is a witch who looked at you funny, or all the other retarded reasons that all this stupid sh!t happens in Africa, would probably be replaced by the much more pleasant alternative of just staying home and being cool.

Vive l'airconditioner !


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