May 28, 2015

Mumpsimus Mania

mumpsimus |ˈməmpsiməs|
noun (pl. mumpsimuses)

a traditional custom or notion adhered to although shown to be unreasonable.
• a person who obstinately adheres to unreasonable customs or notions.

Mumpsimus mania is bringing us down. We don't know when to stop. Or want to stop.

Human nature is such that we often cling to old ways and notions even after they serve as a positive influence in the world. We have a tough time recognizing their best before date, and most often our ways and notions have to spoil and fester before we can think about retiring them.

After tragically shallow learning curves, we no longer adhere to failed ideas such as slavery, smoking, or spraying kids with DDT. Many innocent people died before we were ready to officially label them as perhaps, maybe, sort of bad for us (rarely do we admit outright failure).

Surely by now the notion that a small privileged segment of the population can consume the majority of the planet's resources without affecting other people or the environment is universally thought of as unreasonable.

There is an outbreak of mumpsimus mania surrounding our ongoing unreasonable over-consumption. Rather than wait as long as it did to admit cigarettes cause cancer, we have to stop, let go of old faulty thinking, and get on with restoring the damage that thinking has done.

Minimalism, not mumpsimusism is the way to go.

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