The King, The Mice And The Cheese

19 03 2007

A retro children’s book hits the nail right on the head.

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The Age, an Australia-based news site, makes an astute observation:

In the book, a cheese-loving king’s castle is infested with mice. So the king brings in cats to get rid of the mice. Then the castle’s overrun with cats, so he brings in dogs to get rid of them, then lions to get rid of the dogs, elephants to get rid of the lions, and finally, mice to get rid of the elephants.

That scenario in “The King, the Mice and the Cheese,” by Nancy and Eric Gurney, should give scientists pause before taking extreme measures to mess with Mother Nature, says Weaver of the University of Victoria.

A commenter over at Amazon notes that the key lessons of the book are:

1. That wise men (ie experts) are not always that wise.
2. Government intervention to solve a problem is not always that successful and often does a lot of damage.
3. It is sometimes far better for a government to simply find a way to accommodate a problem rather than try and fix it.

Couldn’t have said it better myself, or I would have.

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