Ken Larsen's web site - Chemistry and politics


One would think that there is no connection whatsoever between the science of chemistry and human politics.  I assert that chemistry provides a lot of metaphors that describe what goes on in politics. 


Reversible vs. irreversible reactions


There are two types of chemical reactions:  Irreversible and reversible


Almost all chemical reactions are irreversible.  You take some chemicals, put them together, get them to react, and then a different sets of chemicals result.  Once a new set is produced, you can't return to the original state.  Example:  Once you burn wood, you can't take the ashes and produce a tree.


Irreversibility is a fundamental problem with politics.  Destroying trees to produce a development is irreversible.  You never hear of a development being torn down and replaced with trees.


Developments occasionally do get replaced with trees.  The catalysts are neglect and war.


It would be great if development decisions could be reversed without resorting to war.



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