I’m a peace-loving man. Indeed I was kicked out of the Peace Corps for loving peace too much. Those phonies in the Peace Corps say they want peace, but I was the only one willing to fight for it.
As part of my commitment to spreading peace I’m constantly studying the science of aggression, and did you know studies have shown people are more likely to fight and commit crimes at high temperatures? You might ignore a Disneyland line-cutter at 75 degrees but you threaten utter and complete destruction at 95. We like to think we’ve evolved a great deal as rational humans but in reality the only thing keeping the peace is the thermostat.
I spent a few months in New York last summer. My first two months everyone was friendly and polite, and I kept thinking NY must be one of the safest cities in the world. But one day in August the temperature shot up to a muggy 93 and within two hours I saw a fight, I heard a fight, and I heard about a fight. Three fights. The next day the temperature dropped and the whole city returned to civility. The lesson is clear: Don’t send diplomats to the Middle East; send an air conditioner.
There’s also some evidence that colder countries experience a higher incidence of depression and suicide. Based on what we know about hot and cold temperatures’ effect on the human psyche, I wonder if there’s an optimal temperature for giving someone bad news. Too hot and he’ll turn on you. Too cold and he’ll turn on himself. If you can get the thermostat just right, maybe he’ll have nowhere to turn.
In 1945 Robert Sherman of Massachusetts invented a portable, in-window air conditioner that cooled, heated, humidified, dehumidified, and filtered the air. The year 1945 marked the beginning of cheap, consumer air-conditioning. That same year 1945 also marked the ending of the last world war. Coincidence?
Yes. Probably. But still worth pondering.
(We haven’t had any world wars, but I’ll admit we’ve had a fair number of skirmishes, mostly in jungles and deserts.)
I don’t follow the news very closely but apparently there’s some sort of election going on, and of course many candidates have been asking for my endorsement. I’ve given it some thought, and I honestly believe we could do a lot worse than electing an air conditioner, history’s greatest peacemaker and the perfect counter candidate for anyone tired of hot air.
Air Conditioners 2016!