Friday, 23 January 2015

Government waste in the Stone Age.

The 5200 year old Newgrange monument in Ireland predates Stonehenge and is a perfect example of government waste.   Always and everywhere when the wealth of many is spent by a powerful few, the waste is prodigious.      The $1.1 billion loss to stop building the Oakville gas plant comes to mind.  At least the Neolithic Irish got something to look at.

2% useable space, unfinished.
The 48,000 square foot public monument has 1000 square feet useable inside space.  It was not a "billionaire's tomb".  For that 2% cultic drama space, leaders consumed the labour of two generations of the farming district.  They brought sea-shore stones for miles, apparently strapped to the underside of rafts that were lifted by the tide and dragged up-river and then across fields.  The showpiece rock slabs came from farther afield.  The skinny corridor lines up with the December 21st sun rise.  Well, that's nice but I could get the same effect with a couple sticks lined up in the dirt a hundred yards apart.  At the end of the day, there was a narrative that appealed to the Paddies, something like, "We're going to land a man on the moon" and they stacked rocks and dirt for their superiors instead of farming, finishing a task their dead grandfathers began.

To be clear, I'm not against waste.   It's nice to be rich and a show-off project can be fun.  I don't like someone else wasting my stuff for me.
Newgrange, Ireland, 3200 BC Farm District Project.


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