June 14, 2007

I can't decide if it's funny or sad. I mean, it's seriously cool that King County Metro, Seattle City Light, and Seattle Parks and Recreation have started renting goats to clean up overgrown hillsides. It almost makes me wish we had some overgrown space around here so the goats would come to visit - Caitlyn would love it.

But, it's not like goats are a new technology. They've been eating aggressive plants, and winning, for, well, for as long as there have been goats. It's us silly humans that gave up on goats in favor of machinery and chemicals. Never mind that goats are cleaner, faster, cheaper, more successful and produce a useful by-product. No, we had to say "Never mind!" to something that was working and go with something else, all because it was New! Mechanized! Scientific! Innovative!

Not that I'm against those things. It just seems to me that the best solution to a problem ought to be the one that gets used. So, yay, goats. It's nice to come full circle. It's too bad we ever had to go around. (Although perhaps we had to go around to see the value of what we had... Nothing like experience, I suppose.)


  1. Your post about goats reminds me of a story my friend told me about the American and Russian space programs. NASA spent millions of USDs to invent a writing implement that will work in zero gravity. We can now buy one of those "space pens" at a stationery store. Russians, on the other hand, simply decided to use pencils instead. I think they still use pencils on their Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station.

  2. Well, of course the Americans would have to invent something new... if for no other reason than to have something branded "Invented by NASA and used in Space!" to sell to the average American consumer. I think that's factored into the ROI of most American innovations...