Charley Githler


It’s always best not to overthink things, so why not rush headlong into creating machines that are thousands of times smarter than us yet have no vested interest in the survival of our species?? What could go wrong?

The internet, social media, smartphones… by now it’s pretty clear that it’s a mixed blessing at best, but let’s double down on all of it and keep shuffling toward a world where reality is enhanced, we only communicate through devices and everyone’s an A-hole. It actually seems pretty foolproof.? What could go wrong?

Sometimes you just have to roll the dice.? Let’s put our least competent celebrity in charge and… I know, send him to a face-to-face meeting with the deranged dictator of our sworn nuclear enemy.? I mean, what could go wrong?

Choosing is so hard. Want to let Visum Development make all the decisions about which parts of Collegetown are worth preserving? What could go wrong?

Doesn’t a ginormous trash incinerator between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes seem like a good idea? I have a hunch it is. What could go wrong?

Let’s all pretend climate change is beyond our control. Wait, even better… let’s pretend it’s not even real! What could go wrong?

We haven’t had a pandemic for a while. Let’s go ahead and cut the Center for Disease Control’s funding for global epidemic prevention by 80 percent. What could go wrong?

Now, Donald, you let me handle Ms. Daniels. I’ll even pay the $130,000 out of my own pocket. It’ll never see the light of day.? What could go wrong?

Do you hate the Environmental Protection Agency? Fine. You’re in charge of it now. Are you openly hostile to public education? I now pronounce you Secretary of Education.? Just itching to stir up an old-fashioned war somewhere? Welcome aboard, Mr. Secretary of State.? Don’t worry. What could possibly go wrong?

Proposal: have a couple dozen candidates exhaust, bankrupt and smear each other for months before one of them takes on Tom Reed in the general election. What could go wrong?

I’m bored. Let’s start a trade war with our largest trading partner. What could go wrong?

I’m willing to bet bankers are smarter and less greedy than they were in 2008. Let’s roll back banking regulations and give them the freedom they want and deserve. What could go wrong?

The commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994. It’s been 24 years, and now 94 percent of soybeans, 88 percent of corn and 95 percent of sugar beets are from genetically modified seeds, mostly from our good friends at the Monsanto Corporation. Pretty sure they’ve looked into it and it’s safe. Plus, what could go wrong?

Fact: Ithaca is situated on a floodplain at the terminus of four creeks. Fact: The Cayuga Inlet flood control channel hasn’t been dredged in decades. Every year, according to the City of Ithaca and the Army Corps of Engineers, there’s a 1-in-100 chance of catastrophic flooding of large areas of the city, causing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage. As a veteran gambler, trust me that those are pretty decent odds that we’ll be OK. What could go wrong?


Charley Githler is a columnist for The Ithaca Times. His column, Surrounded By Reality, appears biweekly.

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