As the old saying goes, only two things are inevitable. Those are death and taxes. But that’s not wholly true. Change, too, is inevitable. And unfortunately, change as often as not is unwelcome as well as needless.

The internet age has ushered in great change, mostly for the good but also, partially for the bad. Children adapted quickly to the digital age, but adults, especially those who came to maturity prior to the age of the internet, often experience difficulty navigating the complex and often hostile world of computers, computer programs and the net itself. Some folks don’t have a computer. Age-related problems, including diminishing eyesight, vex would-be computer users.

But many oldsters eventually learn to navigate and use their computers to pay bills, check mail and a dozen other tasks. Sometimes the task of learning takes a long time. And then, as often as not, the website no longer functions as before. Some geek thought it nice to initiate change and that change sends many people into a tailspin.

The same thing happens in government. Non-elected bureaucrats enjoy being authors of change, perhaps because they think it enhances their resumes. And sometimes these changes are more confusing and costly than they are worth.

For instance, while I was registering a boat and trailer the other day, the town clerk mentioned a new law requiring anyone who has made their own boat to have it inspected by some bureaucrat before it can be registered.

First off, a person that is skilled enough to build a boat is also skilled enough to make it safe. This is nothing but an intrusive, in-your-face law enacted simply for its own sake. It serves no good purpose other than to insult boat builders.

Another needless law, ranked-choice voting, the brainchild of the League of Women Voters of Maine, was placed on the ballot as a referendum question and passed into law. This new method allows voters to select numerous candidates, ranking them by first, second, third and so on, choice.

But is this really a good idea? Do we really need to change how we vote? Might it confuse people? Most certainly to all. Republicans tried their best to thwart this new law, but were unsuccessful in their efforts.

Of course ranked-choice voting only pertains to primary elections. To ask voters to rank all candidates in a general election would totally derail our election process. But even in primaries, most of us who vote know who we are going to vote for well ahead of Election Day and would never vote for anyone but their favorite candidate and would never, of their own accord, list other candidates as seconds or thirds. The majority of us place all our hope on one candidate. And that’s the way it should be.

But change for change’s sake seems the rule of the day and those who oppose it are branded as obstructionists. In other words, like it or not, you can’t win.

Plant cops

Even such mundane matters as wild plants have become the subject of needless change. The Maine Department of Agriculture has adopted a new rule respecting the uses of 33 terrestrial plants deemed invasive. To make it on the invasive species list, a plant must be non-native, has spread or has the potential to spread to “minimally managed plant communities" (who but a bureaucrat could devise such a term?) and can cause economic or environmental harm by developing self-sustaining populations that are dominant or disruptive to native species.

Just recently, a new plant was placed on the banned plant list that while non-native, has not disrupted any other plant groups. Dame’s rocket, a beloved old-time garden flower, was brought here by European colonists. It has sweetly scented flowers that spice the night air.

This demure plant has resided on lawns and gardens for hundreds of years and hasn’t spread or taken over anything. But officialdom thought it good to prohibit the sale, propagation and export of dame’s rocket.

By the way, if the plant cops were to prohibit all non-native plants, our landscape would look pretty barren. A great portion of our established flora is non-native. Do you enjoy picking daisies? Forget it. They are non-native.

Change sometimes helps. But most of the time, especially when initiated by bureaucrats, it definitely hurts.

Tom Seymour is a freelance magazine and newspaper writer, book author, naturalist and forager. He lives in Waldo.