Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Mountains of the Moon

Early depictions of the moon show it as a colorful body, but at least dating back to the 1969 moon landing, the moon has been entirely black and white. Some believe this desaturation was caused by the television cameras used at that time; others believe the cause is related to the belief systems of ghosts.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Unenforced rules

When I was in junior high school, the lunchline had a no-cutting rule. But this rule was routinely flouted, and friends would often let their friends cut in line.  The problem got so bad that those of us who obeyed the rule would often have trouble finishing lunch in time.
I realized something general about the situation, and I think it is a little bit of wisdom: unenforced rules are a punishment on people who obey rules. If you create a rule but don't enforce it, you are attacking those who are inclined to be on your side, and helping those who will get away with whatever they can.  If this goes on too long, people will start to switch camps. Far better not to have a rule at all, if you are unable to enforce it consistently.