Tradition is a Terrible Reason for Anything

One more quick post about Adam Conover's new show since I originally wrote about it back in September. ReasonTV recently aired a short interview with Conover explaining some of the key themes behind the show and its obvious influences from programs like The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight.

If nothing else, the grand lesson is that we can always afford to spend more time examining our cultural norms, asking why we do things, and thinking about how we want things to look going forward.

If you work for a large company, you probably have some type of annual review process. Most people hate them, but the reason they exist is just to give everyone a chance to formally think about things.

Society at large needs to have more "reviews." If I could wave a magic wand over our democracy, I'd suggest that we have state-organized constitutional conventions every 25 years. Not something tied to elections, nor something people would have to vote on - something automatic coded into the system itself. A 25-year review that would give society a new and needed opportunity to assess where we are and where we want to go.

Today is December 5th - Repeal Day. A reminder - of something we tend to forget in modern times - that we can amend the constitution, and if we happen to screw up completely, we can then amend the amendments too. Getting to a more perfect union means occasionally changing things, taking risks, assessing the results, keeping what works, and discarding what doesn't. But that process takes the type of political courage our country hasn't had in quite some time.

Pennies are not even worth what they're worth. So why do we still make them?

So for now, just think about smaller bits of our culture and democracy. Spend some time over on John Oliver's youtube channel. Wonder openly why things like tipping in restaurants, the lottery, Columbus Day, our criminal amount of food waste, and pennies - yes pennies, are all still things.

The short answer is that change takes effort, change is hard, and sadly it's a lot easier for everyone to just continue with the status quo because... tradition.

Seriously though... the penny thing makes zero sense on any level.