Now, just wait until you hear about the other thing that’s happening that day. Ellllllipppppppsisssss…
Per Roderick on the Line e41. You can’t make this shit up, folks.
Great Leap Forward - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Backyard Furnaces)
With no personal knowledge of metallurgy, Mao encouraged the establishment of small backyard steel furnaces in every commune and in each urban neighborhood. Mao was shown an example of a backyard furnace in Hefei, Anhui in September 1958 by provincial first secretary Zeng Xisheng. The unit was claimed to be manufacturing high quality steel (though in fact the finished steel had probably been manufactured elsewhere).
Huge efforts on the part of peasants and other workers were made to produce steel out of scrap metal. To fuel the furnaces the local environment was denuded of trees and wood taken from the doors and furniture of peasants’ houses. Pots, pans, and other metal artifacts were requisitioned to supply the “scrap” for the furnaces so that the wildly optimistic production targets could be met. Many of the male agricultural workers were diverted from the harvest to help the iron production as were the workers at many factories, schools and even hospitals. Although the output consisted of low quality lumps of pig iron which was of negligible economic worth, Mao had a deep distrust of intellectuals and faith in the power of the mass mobilization of the peasants.
Moreover, the experience of the intellectual classes following the Hundred Flowers Campaign silenced those aware of the folly of such a plan. According to his private doctor, Li Zhisui, Mao and his entourage visited traditional steel works in Manchuria in January 1959 where he found out that high quality steel could only be produced in large-scale factories using reliable fuel such as coal. However, he decided not to order a halt to the backyard steel furnaces so as not to dampen the revolutionary enthusiasm of the masses. The program was only quietly abandoned much later in that year.
I believe that we are all, human beings, waiting for the opportunity to become monsters. It is in us.
John Roderick: My problem, in this instance, was you called, and I was looking at something else, and I reached for my headphones and I grabbed my coffee cup instead. And I almost poured it on top of my head. I almost put my coffee cup on my head like it was my headphones.
Merlin Mann: I don’t wanna go meta but could we please have a little bit of fan art of that? Maybe as a small animated GIF?
(Roderick On The Line S01E41 - In Lieu Of A Laundromat)
This just won everything.
My God. So great.
John Roderick, Ep. 40: “Status Butter” (via roderickin