These are the questions that occurred to me immediately after I found out I'd be writing a blog about ideas for The Atlantic Online. I jotted them down in a notebook. Naturally, it wasn't on hand the next afternoon when I found myself
waiting for a friend at a Los Angeles café. What I discovered, once the waitress
lent me a pen, is that necessity is the mother of writing on napkins. These I
stuffed into my pockets, the fragile squares overflowing with frenetically
scrawled brilliance I thrilled at sharing. Could a single blog contain them?
Alas, we'll never know: into the wash went the pants and around they spun. Once
in the dryer the napkins separated into pieces so small that picking them from
the surrounding load took an hour. Ideas survive laundering about as well as
insights from social science survive the legislative process.
But I predict that what we now think of as the abortion debate is going to radically change within our lifetime in a way that makes many of the strategic gambits employed by both sides irrelevant, or at least beside the point.
Specifically, I think that technology is going to make fetuses viable outside the womb earlier and earlier. In fact that is already happening. And eventually there will be artificial wombs, enabling doctors to extract a fetus from a pregnant woman during the first trimester with a procedure no more invasive or dangerous than abortion, and to keep that baby alive in an incubator.
Let me guess: His turn ons are Heinlein, free markets and getting caught in the rain. Here's another good one.
Consider Las Vegas after 12 hours: already there is an urge to escape. The once quaint sounds of the casino floor clank against the nerves. You discern wrinkles beneath the caked-on makeup of haggard cocktail waitresses and paunch on black-jack dealers whose slouches gradually deepen.
Earlier on wedding parties brush past, tuxedos pressed and bridesmaid dresses flowing, fresh flowers pinned as boutonnières and bundled into bouquets. Friends beam as groom kisses bride: a happy future seems assured.
Hours later, a woman in a wedding dress stands alone, teetering drunk, her husband passed out upstairs. Her veil dangles from a blackjack table, anchored by a rum and coke; its ice is long since melted and a rust colored-ring remains when she yanks up the veil, tipping liquid onto the green felt where the dollar dances of her loved ones were gambled away.
The cliched moralizing, the libertarian fantasy approach to tough questions, the precious self-interest. Oy. A male McArdle.