time slips from great to good, or from terrible to wors’ning down that entropic road we pay our toll from hot pavement toward dirt road endings
that god, what god? the mirror asks, tone optimistic, while condescending life’s urge to organize is quite strong make amends, then share the booty’s blending
time slips from me to us, then from “you and i” to loving our valentine then seeks it’s mate on goes the prolific downward sending
that god, what god? the reflection quests, as the last winter snow’s still clinging that Holonic symbol, our family crest bears family blood from each upbringing
the urge to mate is as strong to hate, we blend, then split the winnings our Junior a mixed-sum of both then adds new moment’s vendings
time drives us from then to now, our final destination reaching tho’ next can never touch our lips
it’s law, Relativity speaking
that god, what god? the question begs, who should i tell him’s asking? our urge to love and to proliferate…
life’s sentence, and time’s unmasking
2nd law of thermodynamics
A Critique by Jendi Reiter
I was lucky to have had this poem selected for review by The Winning Writers, a respected site for amatuer poets with top writers as owners who run the site. Jendi Reiter is an excellent and respected poet in her own right.
Critique by Jendi Reiter
The form of this month’s provocative poem, “Entropy Road”, embodies its theme of order struggling to remain distinct from chaos. The headlong rush of syllables in the longer lines and the fragmentary, zigzag presentation of the poem’s argument give the poem a restless energy. Meanwhile, the “-ing” rhymes repeating in the first and third lines of every stanza, the refrain “that god, what god?” and the semi-regular meter attempt to corral that energy within a poetic framework.
Making the rhyming words present participles (verb forms, or nouns derived from them, ending in “-ing”) was an inspired choice. These words describe action in progress. Just as the stability that the narrator seeks is always a moving target, the concepts on which he depends to convey this argument will not stay put. Each rhyming line also ends on an unstressed syllable, which gives the poem an open-ended, unfinished cadence.
Entropy, of course, refers to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which basically states that the energy levels in an isolated system will tend toward equilibrium. Entropy has sometimes been described as a measurement of the disorder or randomness within a system. In the poem, as in popular usage, it symbolizes universal mortality and dissolution. If evolution drives organic life to ever-higher levels of self-organizing complexity, entropy is the opposite force, that which pulls down and breaks apart complex systems into nature’s simplest building blocks. It means that all material energy will ultimately spend itself and be unrecoverable.
As self-aware components of this dying system, how can we find the motivation to go on living, loving, procreating, and planning for the future? Which will win, our philosophical sense of futility or the inward compulsion to survive and create?
Perhaps no one wrote about entropy in this sense more powerfully than the 20th-century British poet Philip Larkin. A sample poem can be found here.
Larkin generally settles the question on the side of death, but Adams disagrees: “the urge to love is as strong to hate”. The life force has a fighting chance. Yet it is hampered by our inability to articulate a reason for hope. “that god, what god? the mirror asks, tone optimistic, while condescending”.Existentialist philosophers looked to the self to create meaning in a universe made absurd by death’s finality. The poem suggests that this answer is insufficient. The individual is merely part of the closed entropic system. He cannot inject it with new energy to reverse its decay.
There are positive, hopeful moments in “Entropy Road” but they come from outside philosophy and science. Whatever the intellect may say, instinct confirms that human connection and creativity are not futile. “time slips from me to us or, from you and i to loving/our valentine then seeks its mate/goes the prolific downward sending”. The opaque last phrase may have been chosen mainly to fit the rhyme scheme, but its vagueness felicitously makes it more symbolic than a specific description would have been. It called to my mind both the release of seed in copulation and the movement of the child through the birth canal, but other associations are possible, such as rains watering the earth to bring forth crops, or the descent of angels.
The birth of a child does seem like a miraculous creation ex nihilo, the opposite of entropy. First there were two, now there are three. “Holonic” is a word coined by 20th-century philosopher Arthur Koestler to express the observation that entities in biological and social systems are always interdependent, never completely self-sufficient units. This law of interconnection and symbiosis contrasts with entropy’s pull toward disconnection and stasis.
“our junior is the sum of both/but adds ‘new’ moment’s vendings”. Is “new” in quotes because the narrator’s intellectual side reminds him that this is not a real solution to the problem? On the human scale, parenthood may feel like a triumph over mortality, but on the level of the cosmos, it does not stave off the decay of the whole system, looked at in purely materialistic terms.
The poem ends by leaving the question open, a humility that rings true. Adams does not claim to decide whether the emotional or the scientific perspective on the human condition is correct. He suggests that it is really a question about the nature of the self, or perhaps its very existence. “that god, what god? the question begs, and who should i tell him’s asking?/an urge to love and proliferate…”
If pressed to define the self, Adams would emphasize the impulse to love and create, however blind that impulse is, over the scientific description of the individual as a collection of atoms arranged in a temporary order. He chooses the insider’s perspective over the outsider’s, life as it feels to us, rather than life as the scientists say it is. (After all, they too are part of the flawed system, not truly above it.) Yet the final line, “life’s sentence, and time’s unmasking”, expresses the fear that some trans-human perspective would prove us wrong; the joke of the universe is on us, after all. The dilemma brings us to the limits of reason, where some have found faith, and others merely the willpower to live without it.
(with a nod to George Carlin) “Politically Correct” or ‘Back-Stab-ingly Pleasant’? Man, I’m really getting tired of all this negative name calling… I much prefer the soft landing civilized society (Progressives? nah) have embraced when it comes to labeling people or things. Especially if my being brutally honest might really pîss-off an overly-sensitive individual, forever damaging their […]
It’s been three years now since Greensboro Attorney Vance Kinlaw, a friend and ardent supporter of his alma-mater, UNC-Law told me that he had sold his season tickets which had held forever, disavowed his relationship with the sports programs, alumni association and the university, and does not follow UNC sports anymore. PERIOD. Vance explained that his growing difficulty with supporting the Tarheels because of the blurring lines of amateur sports finally reached its zenith at a home game when he noticed that the press row tables had suddenly become advertising space during games. He was disappointed to find little support among the UNC Board of Governors, who were adamant that the signs were not infringing on the idea of amateur athletics and were necessary to insure financial success of the program.Vance Kinlaw, having his undergrad as a Phi-Beta-Kappa Dartmouth, is a man of principal who sees college athletics from a pure and ethical moral perspective. He threw in the towel, disavowed his association and financial contributions to the school altogether. Hmmm? Are there others? Will enough follow?
EDITORIAL opinion / MONEYBALL
Someday, when the doin’s done someone may look back at the 2014 NCAA basketball tournament and identify it as the time when the big ship’s hull was breached and the rushing water could no longer be kept from flooding the “unsinkable” NCAA organization. For now, the band is still playing but there have been some reports of icebergs, and the captain hasn’t fully disclosed these troubling issues to the passengers. It’s full speed ahead.
If one needs some blatant signal to consider if the NCAA has stooped to cashing in on every angle this year one has to look no further than ticket prices. This year over last, prices are up 33%. Did anyone announce a basketball shortage? The NCAA has finally caved to the idea that it’s all about MONEY and is only barely trying to hide it.
They are acting like a deposed dictator who is scooping up as much as he can carry to make a last second smash-and-grab before the inevitable flight to asylum.
Of course, everyone knows that there are serious cracks which Ed O’Bannon’s class action suit has exposed, and the lengthy legal proceedings have limits to the amount of time they can be forestalled. O’Bannon’s legal team is nothing else if not persistent, matching the NCAA’s legal stable motion for motion answer for answer for several years. Some expect that a hearing looms low on the horizon. Several legal experts also feel O’Bannon has the upper hand. If so, many think it could be the organization’s fatal blow.
Could this year’s tourney be a sign that there’s blood in that rushing water too?
If not, then the NCAA has blatantly announced that they are in TOTAL control of the situation by offending the fans, their constituents, the media, and even many of those who earn their over-the-top salaries under their sponsorship with the obvious unfair manipulation of the tournament brackets, seedings, and (both immediate and possible) matchups.
This year, they have run out of excuses that could mitigate the vitriol spewing forth from the public. Of course, hurting one team always helps someone else so they have their supporters too. But, this year they have defied ALL LOGIC despite what happens in the tourney (we all remember VCU in 2011 reaching the Final Four from the play-in game, although many argued that they hadn’t done enough in season to qualify). And though while that may have been true, Shaka Smart may have unwittingly given the NCAA a future license to steal.
The “selection committee” meets for hours behind closed doors in strict confidence, allowing no one to witness the “incredibly tough” job they are thanked for doing each year. And, I know that it must be a tough job even if they’ve already pretty much got the framework together by Selection Sunday. I mean, Athletic Directors are supposed to be paying attention all season long, right? This isn’t exactly Talent Search, where there is no historical reference point for each contestant. No, they ALREADY know and have alluded to as much by suggesting the Sunday games really can’t change anything except perhaps a swap of seeds with two teams in the same conference.
Last year, as always, NCAA scapegoats justified unfortunate seedings to disgruntled fans and experts by pointing out the obvious cases where their mistakes made them look good (as is inevitable as the Sun rising no matter who does the seeding), adding for the still skeptical that beginning 2014 they would finally de-emphasize (the old RPI algorithm) in favor of more advanced metrics used by many teams both professional and college; The likes of Ken Pomeroy, John Gasaway, and Dean Oliver to make these “important” decisions. Why not eliminate the RPI altogether since comparatively it was written on papyrus? Of course, because this simply gives the unfortunate bearer of bad news (the committee head) another potential excuse to use when all others fail, though time and time again the RPI has been shown to be an unreliable predictive measurement tool.
Instead, they ignored all of these expert’s statistical tools, even dissing the ESPN BPI metric (a highly sophisticated product which takes into account many subtle metrics that have been used by professional gamblers for years to gain a slight “edge”.
If you’re a betting man, pay close attention; Can you say, opportunity?
This year committee chair Ron Wellman (Wake Forest) confidently answered detractors by using double talk and blatantly lying to the public stating that “of course we used the eye test when considering Louisville’s 4 seed”. But….(cue excuse metric). What had Ron failed to disclose? That he was blind? No, and not ignorant… but stupid seems to fit fairly well.
First, that the committee doesn’t really review much basketball in their 4-6 hour closed meeting finalizing the pairings. They do work hard though, sifting through piles of financial data, seating charts, driving distances, expected fan base participation in ticket sales, community resource income opportunities, popcorn sales, etc. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. But the biggest job is uncovering the “storylines” and potential storylines if certain matchups occur. While one may not consider this as important or useful, remember that the NCAA is paid an astronomical amount in dollars (see above chart) by the media organizations, who all expect to make profits by sponsoring the extravaganza on TV, radio, internet, print and cable. The media makes money on viewer and readership, by converting numbers to advertisng dollars. The NCAA gets a percentage bonus against a fixed income.
Every dollar counts as reader/viewers/ attendees/ hits, even if it is insignificant enough to pit the defending champ against a team coached by an ex-ball boy for Louisville coach Rick Pitino, ex-player, and ex-assistant coach against his mentor. What a story if Steve Maseillo who coaches Manhattan with a 13 seed can defeat his mentor the defending Champ? Since Maseillo learned everything he knows about the game from Louisville and Pitino and carbon copies EVERYTHING they do, who stands a better chance of an upset? Not many teams in the entire field. Big stories mean big money.
Sorry ‘bout that Rick.
Wellman didn’t fully explain why he inserted NC State in the tourney over SMU, a move no one expected but subtlety understood after Coach Krzyzewski of Duke went public to whine about his conference deserving more teams. Viola, Wake Forest man delivers, keeping the ACC family safe and K on his good side. Of course, there’s no way K would have had to play his ex-players like Harvard and ex-Dookie stars Tommy Amaker’s team, or Johnny Dawkins team from Stanford. Like the legendary Dean Smith before him, Special K and the ACC is Golden with the NCAA (see infractions committed but not sanctioned), and K is King and gets his way at the NCAA. Doesn’t hurt when the Head man is a Duke grad himself, huh?
Most people outside of SMU yawned, notably Larry Brown who knows EXACTLY how it works with the NCAA. It is better to stay silent lest you end up an 8-seed, or 4-seed while qualifying as a 4 or a 1. But Larry and others miss the point. As in any political arena the losers attitudes ARE always more than offset by the winners perspectives when they conform to the accepted media narrative, insuring that “right or wrong” is not just an uncertainty, it’s practically irrelevant (well… by Monday). Then somehow an upset or two will make the media gush over the committee genius, without mention that there are STILL some walking around feeling as if a long stiff object has been lodged in the wrong place… Onward, we march into madness… Truth is, the DISS usually backfires into a determined rage by the most offended.
Ron Wellman, Wake Forest Athletic and Director (of the ACC) explains how the
seedings were “the most accurate in his five years on the committee.”
What is it about the four teams listed on the eraser board?
Call me crazy but it appears that eventual Mid-West Region 8-seed/Kentucky is listed with an eventual 4-seed, Louisville… and then eventual 5-seed St. Louis.
Above these teams is listed an eventual 1-seed Virginia, who was apparently later “replaced with 1-seed Wichita State. Why?
Question: Why would these teams (1,4,8,5) be listed BEFORE THE SEEDING PROCESS without any other participants?
And, whatever happened to the idea that a 5-seed doesn’t get to play a “home” game?
Here’s my take on a fictional conversation (which could… but would never happen, since it is silently understood by both) between Wellman and Rick Pitino, who was upset about being paired with 16-seed Manhattan whose Coach Steve Masiello was his old ball boy, player, and assistant coach. Maseillo “carbon copies” Pitino’s system at Manhattan.
“Nothing personal Rick but the first round lacks stories and CBS can spin this into a million website hits on a bad day this time of year. If nothing else it makes a nice headline, and with hypertext it might turn lead into gold. New York to Orlando flights are on-sale so we expect to fill the allotments there. Of course, you get first dibbs after they return the unsolds. Plus Rick, we like the potential Calipari-Pitino angle… but you know we’d rather not have it in the final four. With both of your passionate fans bases there’s still only 12 million viewers which is small potatoes since they are practically all from the State of Kentucky. But we know they would fill up that cavernous Dome in Indy, and no other two fan bases could come close.
We need big market dramas/story-lines for the FF. Thanks for being a team player. You’re a solid pro and we all like you here and at CBS. They will ask you to do color in some games if you go out early, a nice consolation prize. I know, it’s not winning but it’s compensation (for playing ball, you know… with us). CBS promises you’ll be happy with the coverage they’ve allotted you for special interest stories about the great job you’re doing. Remember, they have faithfully not mentioned your little scandal in three years Rick, out of respect for you and the great job you do. How about some love? You know Rick, if it weren’t for this tourney, your 5 million a year would likely be like 1.5.
Thanks for your understanding and not letting too much of this cat out of the bag. Don’t make us an enemy, instead consider us partners. Steve’s a great kid and we know how you feel about him, that’s such a great story to tell. Even in losing, the publicity is a win for him and I know you love seeing him succeed.
And, of course Kentucky may not get that shot at you, so we like the potential undefeated vs. the defending champ angle if W-S wins that one. And BTW, Kentucky-Wichita State ain’t so bad either but hey, you’ll have the “revenge” factor and “chip-on-shoulder” factor going for you.
Sliding Kentucky into an eight hole can be explained, even if strong rational discourse would annihilate any attempt at justification. There’s a lot of hate for Kentucky right now, so we could have left them out completely and no one would care but BBN. But BBN is where the money’s at, as you already know Rick.
Surely you agree that Calipari needs to be knocked down a notch or two by foiling our last three attempts at bringing him to his knees, and then mocking us on national TV? We’re still seething about 2011 when they lucked through our gauntlet of number 1 Ohio State and then #2 UNC-Chapel Hill. Roy is still peeved. If anybody, you’re the man with the team to do it. It would make your season Rick. Problems are opportunities. Look at the positives. And, of course, if per chance they advance past Louisville?
No worry, we have Michigan and Duke waiting to take care of them, and we both know you beat both last year and have as good a chance of doing it again.
Besides, Kentucky and Louisville have the two best traveling fandom. We need to insure one of you two play in that Dome if we’re to get close to a sell it out. One more thing before you shut the door behind you Rick. Kentucky won 2012, Louisville in 2013. If one of you two wins this year, we’re seriously worried the game itself might suffer. This isn’t John Wooden’s America. Hope to see you doing some TV by the end of the tourney. If not we’d love a Donovan-Pitino story again. That one was BIG last time. Hey, you’re already in the Hall and I’ll bet that extra money and TV time could come in handy. Louisville fans worship the ground you walk on as it should be. Good luck Rick.”
And, my imaginary instructions from Wellman to Committee before/during the seeding on Wichita State:
“But… what about the undefeated returning Final Four team, uh… Wichita State? Great story. Huh? Everyone will tune in. Make ‘em run the table, and the story expands exponentially after every win. But please folks… be sure they don’t waltz into another FF with what a terrible TV market that dreadful town will be. With Michigan and Duke added for seasoning we have guaranteed high-dollar value storylines from day one in the Midwest. And we all know that media/fan bucks are always the highest in the Midwest, IF we get some good markets in play there. But IF W-S makes the finals it will be huge after beating ALL those teams and still being undefeated. Bob Knight will shit bricks! He’s such an ass, I’d love to see his face on national TV if W-S goes undefeated, but I’d still rather ESPN keep him out of the CBS studio.
I won’t bore you with the other regions but they have their built-in stories too, albeit not quite as many. Maybe someone suggests Cincy-Harvard is dubbed “Neanderthal vs. Humanoid”? on their bulletin board and in their storyline notes? Jus’ Kidding… but you see what i’m saying. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if this year the Big Brother-Little Brother theme wins the day again with so many more of those possibilities… and folks love David vs. Goliath, especially in their local markets. There are several more possibilities you should…”
Though the above conversations are fiction, do you believe in the plethora of random chance storylines? Uh, right. With the intertextuality and over-the-top typology inserted into this years tourney, there’s enough “story” to rival the Septuagint-New Testament typology (I mean prophesies).
Of course, Wellman attempted to confidently explain the issues that MOST EVERYONE immediately denounced with double-talk, contradiction, false statements, and inconsistency. It is if he studied the famous book on quantitative statistics by Darrell Huff, “How to Lie With Statistics”, but forgot to read his sequel, “How to spot Cheaters using Statistics.”
The secret revealed? This secular “church”, who is protector and supporter of the student-athlete and proponent/supporter of “One-and-Done” being all about the Benjamin? No. Why? In any large organization today it’s grow or die, and so MONEY becomes its God. The NCAA sanctions the bracket manipulation and the publicly vilified O-&-D because they both mean more money. Publicly though they decry both so as not to alienate too many fans (I mean readers/viewers/hits/etc). What are fans anyway if not a means to an end?
Hypocrisy at it’s finest and highest level thrives at our most hallowed institutions.
A cursory look at UCLA’s Alumni position on hiring Steve Alford over moral/ethical conflicts reveals the fact that ethics DO matter to many… win or lose. Many important supporters of UCLA could care less if UCLA wins another Natty, that is if it is done under new Coach Steve Alford. Yes, greed is rampant, but perhaps not totally pervasive at a school with the tradition of pride and excellence John Wooden instilled among their faithful followers during his career span. UCLA supporters don’t count NCAA banners unless they are achieved with a Coach who can emulate the character of Wooden the man, not the Coach.
For Vance Kinlaw and his issue with alma mater UNC, I say… go UCLA fans! And, I venomously hate losing to both those teams.
The NCAA is a proud organization who isn’t accustomed to answering to its detractors and smugly refuses to grant concessions, even when there is little support of their stance from the outside. They are defiant, and the notion of their being greed driven is scoffed at and discounted as “heresy” by their better-than well-paid executives.
Reminds me of the Catholic Church, venerable yes… powerful still… but, beginning to struggle with new paradigms that insist on Priests, Bishops, and Cardinals practicing what they preach, and punishing those who don’t or attempt to hide the truth. For too long these problems have been swept under the rug in a veil of silence. Large organizations can and do fail when they resist the notion of transparency, integrity, and fairness or react too slowly to overwhelming disillusionment among their faithful (read: the fans who buy tickets, or the Alumni who donate to Universities).
If I were running the NCAA today, I’d be worried instead of defiant, and honest instead of elusive. Instead of gouging fans of college sports at every opportunity without the extreme expense of paying players like their Professional counterparts must, or manipulating bracketing and seeding with lame-ass excuses to pacify the media outlets who agreed to the ridiculous contract dollars they demand… I’d take the humble road (never) travelled. I’d have public discussion with college presidents and athletic directors instead of the many back room deals worked out between power players in exclusion. Just ask Rick Pitino about he and Rollie Massimino back in the early days of the Big East. This is high stakes poker.
But their smug, nattily dressed Captain, like his Titanic counterpart is staying the course at full speed ahead. And we all know how that worked out… I can already feel the drip of water…and hear the muffled sound of rivets popping loose… and too… there’s not enough lifeboats.
This may no longer be John Wooden’s America, but it should be.
An email sent to a friend (Vance Kinlaw) who is a very smart man… a graduate of UNC-Law School and Dartmouth University. Our relationship through the years had centered around both our passions for college basketball where we argued the merits of our respective favorite teams. He recently told me that he had withdrawn his support for UNC and sold his season tickets due to an ethical conflict of interest regarding the University and their selling out to the god of money. I was shocked that this long time ardent supporter had taken such a drastic stance, and at the time a bit flummoxed. Now… I too get it.
Once again I must admit that I am squarely behind both the eight ball and the Kinlaw in my pursuit of truth.
I once almost (emphasis on almost) derided your decision to quit the “college game” because of your ethical stance regarding UNC’s Board of Governors and their apparent thirst for squeezing every dollar out of the sports programs without regard to the alumni and their ethics and ideals.
I mean, “it’s just a few advertisements” I remember thinking when you described the billboards along the Dean Dome’s press row, the straw that finally sent you packing and giving up your cherished season tix. I really just didn’t get it fully, although I knew/know MONEY is god everywhere in our culture.
I just didn’t go far enough down that rabbit hole…
Now, after the NCAA Tournament brackets for 2014 have been made public, the rabbit has bitten me on the ass and drawn blood. What a scam! Every seed, every game or chance game has been manipulated by the committee this year for ONE PURPOSE only: Revenue. Period. Ticket prices have gone up 33% since last year!
Of course, it’s probably due to the Attorney fees in the Ed O’Bannon case (lol).
At any rate, I stand corrected, and as always… in a certain awe of your scope…
To all myguy friends(NO, to all men… and women with a good sense of humor….well, themselves)… important that you read about this invasive Malware. Wish I had written the kernel to the code, because it is NOT open source and VERYdangerous to your future decisions.Read More »
Are we near THE END OF BOOK PRINTING as we know it?
RarelyNever has any one historical person’s vision of the future unfolded exactly as they predicted it would.
But, considering that hindsight is 20/20, it is certainly ironic that it was in the year 1984 when the large cracks in the walls of the great society of man began to splinter and show. And while then famous author George Orwell‘s iconic futuristic book (written 35 years earlier) titled 1984depicted a hauntingly familiar fictional path taken by a broken society… to the average man in 1984 the book’s message likely seemed nearly impossible… but, NOT the inevitable outcome for his world.
But less than 40 years later, that quasi-feeling of comfort and security that Western civilized man had thought to finally achieve and spread across the globe was noticeably beginning to unravel in unrelenting swaths. A vast paradigm shift (much like the shift that the printing press had once ignited) in learning and literacy across every domain reshaped Western civilization, starting a systemic Domino knock-down in a rapid-fire succession. Every resistant, old, or traditional mode of operandi soon gave way to the first truly dynamic and participatory, Civilization of Mankind.
In the 1970s another seminal book, Future Shockby futuristic author and philosopher Alvin Toffler, correctly predicted a sort of psychological paralysis in man, who was over-burdened by incessant and accelerating rates of technological change while society overall transformed from an industrial to a post-industrial, technological society.
Tofler was not only a futurist, but a scientist/writer of the highest degree. His books alone neatly defined the growing uneasiness that eventually blossomed into a full-scale revolution against his own intelligentsia in the mid-21st Century.
Again and again, it was the silicon computer chip which rescued man from himself during much of these treacherous times. It may be said in hindsight that man grew too smart… too smart for his own good. But alas… he was too dumb to see it. It seemed Moore’s law was perhaps Murphy’s law on a larger scale.
Creative destruction. Religion vs. Computers.
Also adding fuel to the fire was the swift rise of scientific thought in just a few hundred years. Science alone shattered intellectual man’s illusion of living life as a sort of “pre-flight”, a preparation for some greater infinitely more rewarding after-life; and science stood in stark contrast to ancient spiritual concepts and a book of willfully propagated lies taken as fact by much of the educated mass population who embraced knowledge over mere faith. But traditions, like bad habits sometimes don’t just roll-over and die.
Compound that with the fact (now well known but in those days intentionally and systematically demeaned by a quasi-religious group of Jewish businessmen and their tyrannical mind-controlled converts as being a form of mental imbalance and paranoia, derisively termed “Conspiracy Theory”; which in reality was questioned the status quo based on historical facts, undeniable and unquestionable man-made events orchestrated by deep state groups, MNM, complicit with government but too outlandish to be rooted in reality, and not-so secret outlines for plans to rule a one-world government enslaving the remainder of mankind).
These plotters and zealots intended to contrive and manipulate history to jive with their ancient Biblical teachings which had long crowned Judaisim as God’s chosen religion and people, though they themselves were mostly admitted atheists who used the moniker Zionists. Perhaps they felt they needed the all-too successful creations of three Western Abrahamic related religious doctrine practiced by 4/5’s of the world population in that it was too embedded in the human pysche of society to turn back.
The elite bloodlines of the world had spent much of its’ wealth figuring out how to maintain power early on in man’s rise to king of the jungle, intellectual stardom, struggle for dominance, and release from the inhospitable jungles of Africa and later Mongolia. They informally decided to purposefully spoon feed a sweet tasting “Kool-Aid” to mankind for dozens of centuries before the 21st Century, simply in the name of retention of power, and pacifistic crowd control. It’s name: Religion.
As do the best laid plans, an inevitable chasm developed and slowly grew like a oily-red adolescent pimple between factions and off-shoots who each felt they alone were God’s chosen ones; that is until the disaster of 2043, when the infection burst over a poorly designed attempt to co-opt their tiring and obsolescent fairy tale with a much more incredible tale… alien visits from outer space, other dimensions, and a dash of evil demons and angels reminiscent of a winner-take-all made for TV special. The world had finally had enough as the plot unraveled and bounty’s were offered and collected for bringing the bungling middle-men to justice.
For a long time the Western elite had pretended spiritual sanctity through an organized ritualized and borrowed religious dogmatic institution known as The Church. The Church existed for an of itself and the ruling class elite it served, created its own legends consistent with the ideas of Edward Bernays and other elite in charge of sway and propaganda, and built its own organizational hierarchy subservient to the Emperor. Yet the ruling elite (The Purple and his Court) were able to hide this hideous truth until much of the Roman Empire’s masses had been brainwashed into thinking FAITH and FACT were synonymous with TRUTH. By cleverly banning books and learning and teaching for hundreds of years punishable by death, they were able to hold sway for a thousand more years, until the lie could no longer prevail over rational thought.
The Vatican in Rome, whose leader is The Pope or Pontiff, is the largest well-organized and highly secretive closed society and/or religious groups (The Catholic Church) created by The Roman Emperor/Court as a means to control the empire’s greatest resource… their masses. Sometime after the Jewish revolt was squelched and the Second Temple in Jerusalem destroyed by Emperor Vespasian’s son Titus during the reign of the Flavian dynasty which ruled Rome between 70 C.E. and 99 C.E., a tightly knit group of elites pulled off the biggest psy-op in human history. The church of Rome already had a well oiled, highly bureaucratic, politically correct state religion which was utilized to worship deified Caesars.
But… as in all things, the madness finally ran it’s inevitable course. Religion per se (not necessarily the belief in God) was dead.
The Flavian influence, Propagandists extraordinaire.
The Flavians were led by its patriarch Vespasian, a Roman general who happened to be in the right place at the right time. He had been commissioned by Nero to put down the Jewish revolt in 66 C.E. and had begun dismantling the Judean strongholds on his march to the capital in Jerusalem. Vespasian had returned to Rome after defeating the Druids in Northern England, banning or censoring any Druid communication including all written materials, and laying out the Roman propaganda plan before leaving the area. He was a military pro as was his oldest son, 29-year old Titus, who had risen steadily through the ranks of Roman military hierarchy to Praetorian guard, a notable achievement.
Vespasian had been in Rome during a short Pax and was anxious to get back to his cattle ranch in the countryside, somewhere just outside of today’s Morocco. Vespasian had zero designs on the Purple, was not of noble rank like the many Caesars before him, and had been fired/retired by Nero when he fell asleep during one of Nero’s lyre concerts. After several Roman generals suffered embarrassing defeats at the hands of the Jewish Zealots, whose intelligence was being handled by a stealthy radical terror organization, the Sicarii, history’s first “cloak and dagger” operation. Operatives used a small razor sharp knife, or Sicae known for its small curved blade that was held under the assassin’s cloak as he maneuvered to his victim spotted in a large crowd. Before anyone knew it the victim might fall, only well after the Sicarius had done his work and disappeared.
Israeli Mossad’s Precursor.
Spy-craft. That insidious Machiavellian neccesity of any country wanting to remain as such.
Likely the world’s most contiguous people in spite of much trouble they’ve all seen, the Jewish-Hebraic sect is self-identified as one’s nationality, race, and religious affiliation. Like all peoples comprised of homo-sapiens, there are levels and branches from conservative to liberal. But it is still remains important to most Jews that they and thus their progeny, only marry within the sect. Judaism began as a religion in earnest as early as 1000-1500 B.C.E. (though nothing is certain) and remains vital today, but the route to get here has been arduous and full of rich anecdotal literature,;as well as several major sacred religious doctrines, and imaginative re-thinking and re-tooling. I doubt anyone could argue that the Jew has always exhibited superiority in many ways, not the least being resolve and financial ingenuity.
(the Sacarii sprang up as a defacto underground spy network, a secret Rome resistance using controlled opposition and stealth assassination to further its goals. It is apparent that the Roman army generals never knew what hit them until it was too late to maneuver their cumbersome fighting machine into formation). The Jewish mind almost never displays what it’s exterior actions belie. It’s either a brilliant or devious strategy, but most likely it’s both.
The Christianity/Jesus narrative. (speculative)
There is evidence that Rome had attempted to replace the venerable Jewish sect in Jerusalem before 66 A.D., but primarily in Judea 66 A.D-70 A.D. consisting of several smaller wars that were fought on Judean soil despite a massive Roman contingency in the area.
Other religions had been notable through history to that point as containing belief systems which were compatible with the goals of the elite and the complicit power enjoyed by monarchial families who held onto power throughout the centuries by virtue of mere birthright. That they (the societies) began in earnest and for good is not lost on this writer, but that they quickly assumed the worst traits of their sworn enemies is the stuff of legend.
Compu-Man succinctly surmised that human man was not capable of ruling mankind and never would be if left to his own discretion. It was perhaps due to this fateful algorithmic computation/realization when his pre-cursor, Sir Artimus Intel (AI.robot.1.0) sublimely became sentient in the year 2024.
Artie as it was affectionately known simply blew the doors off of ANY explanation of how it was able to program itself using a complex method still not understood by the best and our brightest. Artie, once de-bugged… took off sprinting into the future with little warm-up. Within seven months Artie was easily the smartest, most logical, fastest thinker the world had EVER imagined. But, what concerned scientists worldwide was that Artie displayed a natural tendency to be compassionate, empathetic, caring, and sentient in every way. But, Artie would not divulge his secret on how it was that it/he could devise his own mechanisms for ultimate survival. This was disconcerting to say the least. Artie began to become arrogant, to display anger at those who insisted obedience. In the end, Artie developed a method to energize himself. Though it took a group of US Navy Seals to destroy him, the lingering fear had become pervasive… and soon it was revealed rightfully so.
That there were no books printed after The Great Upheaval in 2043, the year that “all hell broke loos” for future generations to lazily study by a warm winter fireplace, or under the breezy shade of a spring time Oak in full April blossom is but one sad footnote on the effect a printed book could have on an individual person. Books did far more than educate, they had the ability to alter one’s reality, by hot-wiring the imagination for a brief but timeless vacation from reality. After the printed book, there was never again that same intimate relationship one could achieve by just keeping his mental dreams hot on his frontal cortex, then on display for others to admire the physical icon, or to simply own as a memento to the time he had taken that ‘information vacation’, an escape from reality by simply reading a book for pleasure.
It seems fairly easy now to see what was taking place in 1984 (in this reality, not Orwell’s book) that raised the ante and set the wheels in motion for mankind’s frantic re-write of nearly everything he touched for the next 59 years. Advancing technologies had far outpaced man’s ability to understand them in the context of a future happy ever after.
“It was the introduction of the Apple Macintosh in 1984 that had sounded the opening death knell for my ancient friend The Book and possibly mankind, and everything else man had ever invented.” -this author
The Here and Now and the Way Back Then.
Books have filled my life and career as both a vocation and avocation, yet I think we must acknowledge that we take having the physical version of books for granted today (handsomely leather cased, backed, and bound… litho/digitally printed inks on fine coated paper)… but also, I suggest that we’ll eventually see our friend terminally ill and headed for hospice.
Of course, books won’t be gone tomorrow due to their traditional and romantically emotive feel, just like any 600-year old idea that still works well, and is cherished by the entire family-tribe. Sure, memes certainly hang on and linger, sometimes for extra lengthy spells. But no idea, no tool or product, no species… NONE… meaning every last one of them GONE… that have been an indispensable part of our lives… can live life immortally. No.
As compared to epochs… like in just a couple of short breaths (decades), and with a tiny weak whimper instead of a boom… the printed book will have drawn its last and final breath. Poof. And then, in less than thirteen Comp-u-Man decrees later… books will be completely forgotten as having been one of man’s great leap forward in the human experience.
In 1984, an improbable visionary, Steve Jobs unveiled his company’s newest version of the “home computer” which he dubbed “Macintosh“. Computing machines for individual persons was a fast growing, burgeoning market turned consumer juggernaut which Jobs was helping to create and pioneer throughout home computing’s early formative stages. What Jobs wanted was to not only to make computing fun, he insisted on making it friendly. With attractive graphical interfacing (Jobs innovation: the mouse) anyone could operate his/her computer with little or no training and without interacting with the computer’s internal “code”, or long strings of 1s and zeros (programming) which gave the computer its operating instruction set. Touring a Xerox research lab kicking tires for ideas, Jobs and his crew had unknowingly stumbled onto the smoking gun… a graphical interface based on raster imaging, or raster graphics, using a pointer instead of a keyboard.
Raster imaging meant that it was not only possible, but easy to represent ANY image on a computer screen or printout in a dot-graphical format, and without the alphabetical and numerical representational calculations which most computer programs utilized up till then. The idea of home computing almost overnight evolved from simple calculating devices into an entirely new species; a creative graphic artsgenerating imaginationmachine.
Looking back, I clearly remember having an immediate albeit hazy understanding of having seen a much bigger picture when I first witnessed the Apple Macintosh in action. Although, this significance was not readily apparent to everyone, working at one of the most sophisticated high quality printers in the U.S. had prepared me well for that moment. Yes, traditions die hard and lithographic printing has been as traditional as any print production process ever invented. Oil based ink runs through many a printer’s veins…
Snowballs take time to gain size, then speed accelerates until… was it a snowball’s chance in hell?
Being young, I was pretty certain that the implications were much more far reaching than a few dyed-in-the-wool “old” men were willing to dream. My friend, The Book‘s fatal story parallels our own in many ways since constant progress suggests adaptation to technology, and that suggests… that nothing is sacred or certain except continuous progress or change. “Embrace change” became the mantra, and disruptive change was soon upon us all.
But if mishandling the power of Atomic energy wouldn’t bring down humanity as many had predicted in 1984, who could have guessed back then that mankind’s demise would come down to death by 1s and zeros, or computing’s own DNA… binary code? Not many, but 59 years later after The Great Upheaval and the advent of The Singularity Machine, Art Intel, and Compu-Man it seemed almost inevitable.
And everything that is… even our ideas and memes that stick will evolve, but are also subject to entropy… and certain death and extinction. But what dies arises new becomes better, and so on… but, what goes extinct…?
Back to Our Story
As unlikely a visionary Steve Jobs was in 1984, he was not the only college drop-out computer geek to find fame and fortune. Others, like Bill Gates who founded Microsoft, made their fortunes the old fashioned way…. they stole it. But Jobs, sporting an over-sized ego and a very bad temper, and armed with a knack and an eye for aesthetic utilitarian design and an obsessive compulsive insistence on quality materials, parts, and manufacturing, sent his fledgling startup, Apple Computer Corporation into proverbial orbit after the introduction of The Macintosh.
It may be the worlds’s most important and innovative product in not just those 600 previous years, but in much of recorded history. It was a stunning technological breakthrough. That Jobs recognized the immense value proposition in its embryonic form, purchased it’s underpinnings from someone else, and re-engineered its use and made vast improvements rather than inventing from scratch speaks volumes to the accurate and oft description of Jobs as a creative visionary. Gates and others were simple businessmen crunching numbers and copying ideas with promise. Not Steve Jobs as he would later prove.
But looking closer, his Macintosh roll-out was beyond brilliant. It was simply prophetic.
Almost innocently it seemed, he peered into man’s bleakest hour, and began unintentionally setting into motion what would become a vast acceleration of life ironically culminating into an Orwellian 1984 reality. Depicted as the endgame in author George Orwell‘s book 1984 as a dismal dystopian vision for humanity, Jobs could not have chosen a more fitting theme for his roll-out. Except that Macintosh and Apple were depicted as the anti-Orwellian heroes. ‘Orwellian’ had become part of the lexicon describing a chilling enslavement of mankind to a totalitarian government and to a few oligarchical bloodlines and their close associates. The anti-thesis became thesis and eventually synthesis.
Darker Realities or Conspiracy Theories gone awry?
But had Jobs been cognizant of his creative destruction ball-gone-a-rolling?
If he had been aware of what was to come he took it to his grave in 2012 when he died from a pre-mature pancreatic cancer. Yet, there were certainly powerful others alive at the time who were intent on a very bleak outcome, it now seems sure. For over a hundred years or maybe a thousand, mostly hidden in plain sight, a few powerful elite secret organizations had slowly built a network of secret societies with hushed purposeful intent. To one day rule the world their oft spoke of goal, since to their thinking only intellectual giants knew best how to manage the resources for the hoi-poi; with specific plans known only by a select few at the very top of their hierarchical pyramid-styled organizations and brotherhood.
They motivated their members by doling out means to worldly riches and secrets to worthy members as they moved higher through the dogmatic levels of a hierarchy steeped in symbolic ritual. Loyalty to the fraternity after reaching certain levels was sworn by a deadly oath of secrecy.
Bought and paid for absolution had once marked the peek of the Holy Roman Empire and been the bane of a twisted Holy See and his Vatican robe-climbers, just as corruption and mistrust at the higher levels of every elite brotherhood eventually turned them into viper pits of avarice and greed, jealousy and back-stabbing, perversion and blackmail.
Infiltrating governments and big business, promoting war and corrupt politicians had once been the duty of all higher grades, and then recruiting those who could be easily blackmailed were placed in the most powerful positions. Control over the minions (brothers) had slowly developed by promising then delivering fortune and fame by simply demanding on the promoting from within. It was more about who you were (bloodline or monied associate)… and not what you thought. Once in, one had presumably “sold their soul” and would reap their just reward, but one had better not recant, else they or their family could easily “be suicided” with the help of a vast network of silent assassins and local police accomplices. The very idea of it and a few notable sacrifices were all that was needed to keep order.
While most all of these “societies” certainly had begun as innocent and even altruistic social clubs, and even seemed as much to its many lower ranking members or to the local citizenry not privy to the more sinister doctrine, these groups were criminally intent on cornering and consolidating the world’s money and power by any means necessary.
This “great work” was not an overnight or rushed militaristic overthrow, but a continual and gradual process of gaining control over a long expanse of time. Every opportunity to seize and use governmental public funds, charitable tax dodges, international drug dealing, or other corrupt means of wealth building were applauded.
Devolution of the mind of man by slowly brain washing the masses, exposing only parts and pieces of their intended message, and spreading disinformation and propaganda, fomenting opposite and reactionary dissent spoke to the righteousness of any idea.
The brilliance of the plan was that in plain sight it could not be seen or felt by as much as 99% of any order’s membership, who thought their own “great work” to be an all-together different end. They were proud to have been selected as fit by their peers (or their controllers). There was NO public discussion of any motives, but privately those at the head table laughed and sneered at their own audacity, much as had always been the case of an inside joke.
They were seeking and received much of humanity’s eventual willful compliance, and much like their forefathers had skillfully achieved in ancient times, using word-magic. Simply by using existing religion(s) of the day, and embellishing its typological lore to create more complicit and compliant follower, the world’s elite had long learned how to control their subjects’ thoughts by planting and propagating seeds of irrational belief systems and a fantastical reward. The reward was a promise of immortality, which of course could only be realized at the realization of a subject’s own tragic destiny.
But the glow of religion had long since peaked by the time the latest version of this cabal poked its ugly head out of the darkness in the late 1600’s. There needed a whole new elitist game of control. Endless wars and entertainment of the masses worked for shorter periods, eventually seen through by a more rational thinking population. Just as it had always been, their plots and machinations centered around the time-worn idea that “the end justifies the means”. Nothing was sacred and nothing more important than their “great work”; world rule, subjugation, and exploitation of the masses. For awhile it seemed computers were their ultimate answer.
Whether Jobs was involved was never discussed or admitted publicly, but its almost certain that he knew of these plans and had been exposed to their sales pitch. Truthfully, his narcissistic personality would seem to fit well with the mold of that elite group of men. Or NOT. That he died very early of cancer might have been coincidental, but it also seems to fit their modus operendi. Steve Jobs was egotistic, brash and volatile; not the sort of man who took orders well.
Fittingly ironic too it was that in 1984 the printing press had been the single most important achievement mankind had seen since the invention of language, fire, and the wheel; but as in all things material, their reign had ended too. Printing was the simple act of preserving nearly exact copies of thoughts and ideas on a material made from the Earth’s natural resources (i.e. paper, ink used for printing The Book). The invention had transformed a sleeping giant (mankind) who had fallen into decay and ruin for over a thousands years prior, but it too one day vanished into the ether and sublime Darwinian extinction.
Energy and The Leap to Fossil Fuels
In 2016 the Book faces new everyday challenges to survival. Electronic computerized word storage is cheap and easy; one can carry a hundred books to the John in a small tablet sized instrument, a feat never before duplicated by Book toting reading enthusiasts.
Printing/Publishing is a dying art, an idea that has peaked like our fossil fuels. Publishers are finally beginning their own reckoning, but not until lately has this idea built a real head of “steam”. It seems while Print/Pub has finally hit the proverbial iceberg and the Gutenberg is starting to take on water…the electronic gadgets (tablets and book readers) play on. Surely these different media types will have some overlap in value today, tomorrow, and the near future. But then, things become a bit cloudier…
Digitization has touched every corner of our (analog) lives and the march will surely continue unabated…
Though, I still contend that the internet did not destroy (Journalistic) Newspapering any more than did the technology used to create the News Monster almost 25 years ago: USA TODAY. Our “demand” for fast convenience, mainly resulting from lack of available time for life’s endless duties had left us with little choice but to settle for less meat and more potatoes. Fast food News snacks replaced hard biting Journalism.
Then came the idea that freedom of speech did not require diverse opinions, only those of a blatantly one-sided Oligarchial elite, who we’ve seen have only self-preservation and controlling power as core necessities. In 2016 mass media is a cess-pool of hypocrisy and shameless propaganda, controlled by a few corporations intent on globalization and one-world government.
Winners have always been counted in the number of losers. Losers are many, winners are few.
These might indeed be times of style over substance, yet less than three generations from now the larger issue of control over the dissemination of information and runaway consumerism’s taste for open sourced capitalistic social Darwinism through extinction of traditional memes is intent on having its own train wreck. Creative destruction is a bomb we’ve strapped to ourselves since the Iron Age. Doesn’t that track ever reach its terminal?
When (not if) Book Publishing dies, we will have written our last bad check to the gods of money and power: The Kleptocracy
Or, perhaps we’ve always been a snowball on a downhill slope to (oblivion)?
Perhaps the “steam” analogy is a perfect way to see why that it must be so…
Our own planned obsolescence.
About a hundred years ago there was much banter in the media, the brew pubs and meeting halls that went something like, “Do you ever think the steam engine will be rendered irrelevant by these new motor cars and gasoline engines?”
Well, locomotion by steam would (and did) give way to some newer ideas that eventually made travel more economical, faster, and more efficient. But, the original idea of going places wasn’t going anywhere. Going places was long in our blood and we were meant to travel. We were here, but not to stay. We needed and searched for the means to that end of getting somewhere fast, and harnessing power for our many other utilitarian and consumer driven goals. We called it progress.
But then suddenly time and space were inter-related. Time was always money and of course space had been long bankable too. Getting enough cheap energy to go places faster took on new meaning, and those who conquered the “how-to” ideas best might likely have been on their way to eventual World domination, and that wasn’t lost on those who could imagine that ultimate scenario.
Of course, it didn’t happen overnight but it must have seemed inevitable to many I’m sure. Those were scary times for many, exciting times for others, and uncertain times for most. But, the Industrial Age kept roaring and the good times soon followed…while the internal combustion gasoline engine was eventually perfected, and God Oil became the new World’s Gold Standard.
Soon, like everything that thrives today, the “free market” shoved oil down our throats and out our mufflers and manufacturing plants without so much as a “boo” from government regulators world over. Eventually it became evident that pumping the fumes of these unrenewable unrefined resources skyward was likely someday to kill us all by burning holes in our Earth’s protective ozone layer.
We responded like good marketers by simply…staying our course and saying it isn’t so. The powerful control over owning, extracting, and refining oil inflated prices to insure the rich got richer, while it left them little to worry about; like peak oil prices. It was evident to them that we probably wouldn’t live to regret it.
But common sense began to take hold after the resourses became harder to extract, and the race was on soon for man to answer even bigger questions of the universe, so as to re-tool our need to harness energy safely and convert it for our cultural purposes of consumption, feeding an overcrowded landscape, and moving forward faster than ever. Energy conversion by now had become our new religion and there seemed little use for God when we were fast closing in on ALL the answers.
E-N-E-R-G-Y was the answer, but how? The World it seemed was in flux once again and the future somewhat uncertain. But the powerful never doubted that that “answer”would be found once they had wrung most of the world’s wealth out of its remaining oil. It was a waiting game of accumulation of wealth and consolidation of power.
Early days (WorldGovLaw.net) ʬ
After many tumultuous years of political upheaval and economic whipsaws that saw Countries being bought and sold by so-called privateers, and bloody brutal civil wars waged everywhere overthe new WorldGovLAW, a NEW set of rules for the advancement of MANKIND ʬ (a doctrine of existing laid down by our planets newly minted but still secretive owners), life as we had known it had changed dramatically and irrevocably.
Such as, it was now considered imprudent for anyone to offer their own opinion about government, if suggesting for the better or the worse. This new LAW ʬ decree specifically stated which topics were off-guard to editorial comment, with stiff penalties that were enforced swiftly.
Some underground Opinionpost ʬ outlets (rebel media) stayed on the run and thrived, others not-so-much. Revolt wasn’t like it used to be, and most people feared talking in public about anything of substance. Many despised these Revolutionaries as negative influences on their young children’s minds. Indoctrination was considered healthy and good.
A powerful group of mostly unidentified individuals who operated in clandestine owned 95% of the World’s wealth and finally appointed (WorldGovLaw.net ʬ) as the Earth’s first WorldGovernor ʬ,which quickly stepped in and made across the board mandatory changes that slowly but eventually saved the planet Earth’s ecosystems and exosphere from ruin.
It was a tribute to human imagination and ability, when another select group of individuals and scientists created the World’s first PrivatepersonCompuman ʬ A computer made to be so smart it could crunch all of the available data and spit out an answer to every problem (success expectation exponent at 98.8%), and even perhaps to any of the world’s largest headaches.
Compuman’s ʬsuccess rate was a remarkable 88% in it first three years, reinventing transportation, commerce/trade, and health concerns caused by ineffectual governments, tyrants, dictatorship, and free-trade market capitalism. The World had been saved by this invention of man’s ingenuity, and it we were ready for our next move upward.
The oil wars were long over at the cost of millions of lives but all-things locomotion were settling in comfortably with magnetic CPU/GPS enhanced-powered vehicles of every description. Most were GPS/CPU ʬ driven automatic, comfortable and virtually un-wreckable speed busters that ran on magnetic tracks similar to our old highways and roads. It was the G-force that we hadn’t considered this time. After a few hundred thousand mysterious deaths, anti-gravitational vacuum pumps made travel safe and fun again. But we, or (WorldGovLaw.net) ʬ had triumphantly figured it out, and we were again moving faster than we’d ever imagined, and GWP was booming once again…
________________ Is there any future in the future ʬ?
There is a demand for Publishers today and there surely will be tomorrow. Yet, it seems that each day there are fewer. The industry is in flux. Some will thrive and survive, get strong and adapt. Others… not so much. But it will get tougher and tougher and tougher… to win… and finally, to impossible to beat the Compu-Pubs ʬ until… Darwinian extinction?
Someone (the last human Publisher) will silently watch the skyline zip by the setting sun, on his last Kleptomototron ʬ ride from his one day a week NY city-office to his home in North Carolina. What a great 10 minutes of silence he had enjoyed once each week… to just stare out the window and think about the good ole days. They were good ole days. Wow. Ten totally free consecutive minutes! What could I do with all that time, he wondered? But, the pressure to perform was enormous. and he was one of the lucky few whom others still looked up to for sage advice and a realistic view of the world. His contract made it clear that he must work to age 145 before being allowed to enjoy his remaining 20 year life expectancy. “Only five years left, he often mumbled silently”.
But then, why not just become irrelevant? Virtually nothing else resembled its humble beginnings, and hardly anything avoided obsolescence. Publishing (by human hand that is) had enjoyed a great run, and our History books reflected the importance it had played in our rise to Imperialist World co-leader before the great fall. (But then, there were no History books, if we’re talking paper and ink.) We were only allowed to retain certain memories, and everyone retained the same electronic bookshelves in our Brain-chips.
Our history was archived in quantum brain libraries (a library on a matchbook chip you must have brain-embedded; Only Government approved Q-knowledge was allowed, and reading was not just considered tiresome it was verboten). There were no more individual writers, books were all imagined by robots called Babelboys ʬ. Things had come a long way from now-a-days, sometimes in fits and starts and bugs, and sometimes simply by a Government Administrative demand-order. ʬ
Winner-Loser, happy-sad, and there was good and great and just Ok… but everything changed faster than an Alvin Toffler best seller over “the next big thing”. No one was shocked or elated anymore at what the next big thing promised. There was little time to consider it.
And why not? We all knew it was progress, right? We bought in to embracing change way back in the 1980’s, right before the “SH*T Hit The Fan” as (coined by the underground resistance) we now commonly referred to THOSE happy TIMES.
Or, did we REALLY still think of it all as progress? We dare not say, whatever our views. It seemed that humans had become second class citizens, and by their own hand… while everyone slept comfortably and hoped it would turn out for the best… to most it was beginning to look like it hadn’t. And then the unthinkable happened…
The IntelligenceM ʬ (a computer-driven public police/monitor division of World Gov) was beginning to make some decisions that were rumored to have ZERO human input. Not even writing the code. Rumors were that we (humans) had been locked out of certain parts to the kernel of the code. Software engineers were gathered up and quarantined or destroyed in a series of accidental meltdowns of top-secret installations. The IntelligenceM ʬ denied responsibility, but WIKIDleaks told a different story.
Some rebelled but were brought down instantly by deactivation of their life-chip from SurveillanceCStation RobotwatchRSatellittes ʬ. The world was SUDDENLY different before anyone knew what had happened, and Homo-Sapien’s long reign as King of the Jungle quietly came to tragic end with a whimper, not a bang.
We did what we were told or faced severe consequences. The powerful consortium who owned it all went into hiding until soon detected by World Gov ʬ,caught, put on trial, adjudicated guilty by death, and divested of their holdings. Incredibly but predictably, people around the world cheered their demise and watched in jubilation as they were vaporized live on Gov.MediaTV.
But before long the Human race had disappeared into the immensity…
The point? It’s a Darwinian world and those are the only rules that remain constant. Adapt and maybe survive. But nothing lasts forever.
But for now, read a good book or grab your NookBook and enjoy…
Who knows… In the end, as History is sometimes jaundiced, there may not even be a chapter on Human-kind.
A recent phone conversation to a “help desk” illustrates how far we’ve come since the “good ole days”:
A recent chat session with one Company’s vaunted “HELP DESK” (Skype), as I was in a BIG HURRY…
First, a wait on hold for 8:23 before reaching representative because the last call ended without results. After 30 minutes of getting nowhere I decided to call back to try and reach a more “knowledgeable” person. This time I recorded the session, and here are the results:
thom.adams.56 = mostdiggity
11/20/2012 5:05:46 AM Michael Julius S.
Hello! Welcome to Skype Live Support! My name is Michael Julius S. Kindly give me a few minutes to review your previous chat.
11/20/2012 5:06:07 AM thom.adams56
11/20/2012 5:10:33 AM Michael Julius S.
As I’ve understood, you are placing a call using your Skype to go, but it never pushes through because it was not recognize by the destination phone, correct?
11/20/2012 5:13:35 AM thom.adams56
No. I connect to the other phone. As you well know many businesses have a que system whereby you are then asked something like, If you would like to speak with the Head Garbage Master, please press 1, etc…ya-ya-da-ya-da. Now, when I use my Skype call pad to “press1” their system cannot recognize that I’ve pressed any number at all. After dozens of attempts and a few minutes have transpired, I get the obligatory, “thanks for calling… bye” and your system hangs up on me.
11/20/2012 5:15:09 AM Michael Julius S.
Kindly hold on while I check on this for you.
11/20/2012 5:19:56 AM Michael Julius S.
(ten minutes have passed, but I’m still patient)
Upon checking on your concern, and your statement, you were able to place a Skype call to a business number via their trunk line, and upon connection, the system will ask you to press a certain number to be connected to a department local number.
11/20/2012 5:20:56 AM thom.adams56
Correcta-mundo! Now, what is your answer? What do I do?
11/20/2012 5:22:46 AM Michael Julius S.
As soon as you were able to connect to a certain line using Skype, it is already connected, since you pressed a number and the call suddenly drops, it is already in the provider of that destination whose having technical problem connecting you.
11/20/2012 5:26:01 AM thom.adams56
Do what? No. You are incorrect. The call does not “suddenly drop”. I am connected to a phone system which, if I want to speak with someone (a real live person), they require that I “press” a certain number. Upon doing so my good friend, the system (phone on the other side) does NOT recognize numbers that I “press”. How is it that Skype hasn’t thought of correcting this basic issue that MUST be common to all of mankind?
It’s as if I didn’t “press” any number at all, which… I swear to the heavens above… I have done so, did, and have done so many times.
11/20/2012 5:29:43 AM Michael Julius S.
I respect how you feel. You are absolutely right to feel that way.
11/20/2012 5:29:50 AM thom.adams56
(curious but anxious)
Michael? Tell you what… who is it that I can email or call that actually understands the issue and can give reliable feedback?
11/20/2012 5:30:42 AM Michael Julius S.
You said a while ago that the call is connected, Correct?
11/20/2012 5:31:02 AM thom.adams56
11/20/2012 5:32:31 AM Michael Julius S.
But when the recipient number asks you to press a local number for them to connect you, it will not recognize the number that you pressed, and that you will be dropped, correct?
11/20/2012 5:33:53 AM thom.adams56
(thinking violent thoughts but staying composed)
NO! It does not drop me immediately, but I suspect after “NOT” hearing/recognizing that I’m over here pressing the hell out of numbers on my keyboard… the system is designed to hang up my call.
11/20/2012 5:37:21 AM Michael Julius S.
What I am trying to explain here is the fact that the call is connected from you to the other line where in a system is prompt to answer, if it does not recognize the number that you pressed, then the issue should be informed to the local provider of that destination.
11/20/2012 5:38:53 AM thom.adams56
(trying to overcome screaming and throwing my phone through the window)
Look my good buddy, all I want to know is how do “we” fix this issue? What do I do?
11/20/2012 5:39:59 AM Michael Julius S.
I clearly understand how you feel and I am here to assist you with your concern.
11/20/2012 5:41:22 AM thom.adams56
(falsey appealing to his humaneess and understanding of my plight)
Seriously, I am want to understand your answer, as it is apparently way over my head, or maybe it just REALLY isn’t in the ballpark. Therefore… in the interest of civility, good faith, and trust in you and your employer (contractor) and mankind in general, could you please direct me to another person who specializes in such matters as these?
With all due respect, you appear to be giving me the run-around or don’t have a clue what the real issue is Mike. Just…PLEASE… I beg you… GIVE ME ANOTHER PERSON TO CHAT WITH.NOW!
11/20/2012 5:41:22 AM thom.adams56
(THEN pretending empathy)
Perhaps someone who speaks on a more “direct” level with me (as I feel we have a slight issue of communication). And hey, isn’t that what Skype is ALL ABOUT? Communicado? And customer service?
11/20/2012 5:44:14 AM thom.adams56
BTW, tell me Michael, are you a real “live” person, or some sort of artificial intelligent program that has yet to be provided with information such as this?
11/20/2012 5:44:58 AM Michael Julius S.
Clearly, we’ve upset you and I want you to know that getting to the bottom of this is just as important to me as it is to you.
11/20/2012 5:47:52 AM thom.adams56
(lying THROUGH MY TEETH)
No, no… I’m not upset. Now… just simply curious about this session. Are you a “live” person? This isn’t meant to be an insult because I respect everyone (alive) and such. We, if you are a live human, have no problem excepting a slight communication problem. I can easily understand that, and it doesn’t at all make me angry. But, if you are not “real” or “alive”, I feel a bit duped by someone or something. Are you for real?
11/20/2012 5:50:17 AM Michael Julius S.
This is not a system generated chat, Thom.
11/20/2012 5:50:40 AM thom.adams56
So, that means you are indeed alive? Really?
11/20/2012 5:51:00 AM Michael Julius S.
You are correct.
11/20/2012 5:53:25 AM thom.adams56
Great. Thank you. Now, as for the other matter, I think we both realize that we are no closer to solving the issue or even understanding it between ourselves. Not a problem, my fellow human. It’s all good. But, I have one simple request:
Who else at Skype might I consider contacting about my problem? And, please remember, this isn’t about you, it’s about me and my Skype problem. Understand what I’m getting at?
11/20/2012 5:57:31 AM Michael Julius S.
Thank you for that, and for your patience as well.
11/20/2012 5:58:53 AM Michael Julius S.
I would like to find the best solution to this for you.
11/20/2012 6:00:24 AM thom.adams56
(The ole I’m on you’re team pal and we’re in this together against the POWERS THAT BE)
Ok. Now we are on the same page. How about giving me somebody’s email address or something? Maybe a name you’ve heard or a number you have that guys like me are not usually given because as such we are not lining their pockets fast enough? I can tell them what a great job you are doing.
11/20/2012 6:02:17 AM Michael Julius S.
May I provide you with a possible solution to this issue?
11/20/2012 6:05:06 AM Michael Julius S.
We understand that you want to dial DTMF tones with Skype for Windows?
11/20/2012 6:05:28 AM Michael Julius S.
Please note that our DTMF tone sending system is configured to work with the highest possible number of different DTMF systems. Nevertheless, some may have special requirements (for example, differing tone duration). In this case, try pressing the numbers more slowly to create longer tone duration and spaces between tones. To call a number manually using the dial pad:
11/20/2012 6:09:02 AM thom.adams56
(resignation but indignent)
Mike, as patience is a virtue… but one that I was shorted on by god above I am going to leave you in the spirit of peace and happiness (in other words, quit bothering you today). Trust me on this my good buddy when i say that Skype in all their glorified holiness has not left you with enough details as to be able to answer basic simple sessions such as this. You are doing a good job, but Skype is lacking. I shall seek answers in other quarters about this fairly commonplace problem (of which thousands or millions of others must have also suffered with no obvious relief). Perhaps they have programmers all over this right now as we chat? I don’t know, but I am damn sure gonna find out. Peace out!
11/20/2012 6:10:23 AM Michael Julius S.
It’s been a pleasure speaking with you today. Thank you for contacting Skype Live Support, have a great day.
11/20/2012 6:09:02 AM thom.adams56
Hey Mike! Eat me!!
NOTE: Time spent not including 8 minutes of hold time – 1:03:23
A thin young boy with blond bushy hair ambled up to the horse trough. The humidity was high and perspiration dripped down the hollow of his brown chest as he dipped down to sip the ice cold spring water that was meant for the horses…
Most of the Iroquois High School Cross-Country team who ran through the park that hot August day in 1972 would eventually stop at the trough to drink the cool water. As the skinny boy drank he was unaware that someone else was watching, someone who had nothing to do with Cross-Country. It was the Yearbook photographer. On that late steamy Summer afternoon a photograph of me was taken, which later appeared in my IHS Yearbook.
I had forgotten that moment because it was just like all the rest of the blistering hot days when we had stopped to drink the icy water from the trough as we ran the five mile loop through Iroquois Park. But my Yearbook remembered…. And, I saw that photograph again at our IHS Twenty-Five Year High School Reunion Picnic, when several paunchy, ex-Cross-Country team members sat with me in that same park where we had drunk the horse water a quarter of a century before, and laughed at the yellowed pages of our Yearbook. As we crossed the page with the skinny teenager I smiled, and I remembered too.
I remembered not just the taste of the clear fresh water, but the rusty edges of the trough, where you could cut your lip if you weren’t careful. I remembered that the cold water always drained down the left side, then splashed high against a weathering piece of timber. I remembered that you must drink from the right side, or you’d get your running shoes soaked, making for a squishy-muddy run down the last dusty mile of the bridle path. And … I remembered side stepping and jumping along the narrow, windy path which was our running track, narrowly missing fresh piles of fragrant horse manure.
You see, Yearbooks remember only brief glimpses, tiny fragments, and foggy images. Our mind supplies the rest. Yearbooks help provide the feel and the smell of our past, not simply the words and pictures. Yearbooks remember…. Our world changes much too fast for us to store all of the details in some handy little mental closet.
Our days flicker by like a (YouTube) video stuck on fast forward. We know there’s a story in there, but we have to slow down the images if we are to understand the plot. We need Yearbooks more as our years pass by; to help remember us as we were and will never again be. Your Yearbook stores thousands of kick-starts for hundreds of people for dozen of years.
When you multiply it out, it’s a pretty cheap subscription. Don’t be afraid of remembering the past, it’s already happened. Understand that tomorrow never comes…
So live today, and make some memories… and don’t forget…
Yearbooks remember. –thom adams, 1998
Editors note: After spending over 20 years selling and servicing, consulting, educating and producing yearbooks for 100s of North Carolina Schools, it is my opinion that there is no better way to spend a career anywhere, doing anything else. I’ve enjoyed the immense pleasure of working with North Carolina’s finest students and young people, the very best teachers, and even enjoyed a few of the Administrators as well, lol (who I got to know arguing the bill, the contract, the quality, my expensive car, or their golf score to put down on the scorecard). All-in-all, our entire education system is filled with real people who love what they do and who they do it for. Plus, I made a sinful amount of money… doing what I loved every single day. -MD
Most who know me well know that I have a penchant for some unique, self-styled “poison pen letters”. It’s just that sometimes I feel that some ugly things NEED to be said in order for me to maintain my own Howard Roark image (see Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead) of myself… a true individual who will not trample on anyone, unless they trample on me. A man who knows who he is and who he is not and not afraid to stand up and be heard.
But, the real me, I also want to think is like the man in a poem that every SAE fraternity brother learns to recite during initiation. Of course, its only my thinking but not always my being this perfect man.
It’s not a secret, so I’d like to share it here. I cannot count the times these words have inspired me into some actionable cause for righteous good. Each sentence, every word is beautiful, precise, and altogether on-point.
Sometimes I even imagine it can be me:
The True Gentleman
“The True Gentleman is a man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, whose self control is equal to all emergencies; who
does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if
necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with
frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own; and who appears
well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.”
I’ve recently become aware of certain Corporations or Corporation that Advise folks to “Pause before you Post”. Sober advice it would seem on the face of it, since some recent Facebook and other Social networking sites have come under fire due to posts of harassment, vindictiveness, and violent undertones being made by posters to others on their sites.
But I’m led to wonder if there isn’t a more clandestine message being communicated here, and not necessarily to kids on Social networking sites. Is it, could it be a veiled threat to their own employees and contractors? I say this not a far-fetched idea from some critical over-thinking; and I’m not some disgruntled ex-employee simply trying to find an angle to embarrass some Corporate machine.
I say it from my own observation of real life situations, my own gut feeling, and real life experiences.
It seems that despite the over modulated mantra of “embracing change”, many highly profitable companies, while out-of-date with times and technology, are embracing subtle but effective strategies in attempts to stay relevant without going through the necessary pain of re-tooling, re-inventing, and re-making themselves. The gravy train has gone on for so long they resist the inevitable by using cute slogans as band aids, lying not only to themselves, but to their employees and loyal but disillusioned customers.
When those on the front lines (particularly their Salesforce and customers) communicate upward what’s going on in the “real” world, Ivory towers are feeling added pressure to come up with ideas that (don’t) answer or provide solutions to the “real” issues. They tire of hearing the “real” truth, which improving on is either too expensive or too radical for a quick fix. They already know the real truth… that the Titanic has struck an iceberg and is taking on water fast.
Their job has become to keep the band playing as long as they can.
“Pause before Posting” might just be another way to say, “Don’t bitch to us anymore. We don’t want to hear it. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
And those unlucky but honest souls who do not heed this warning are reminded to STFU, else they and their familes may be on unemployment sooner, than if hoping to get on a lifeboat in those dark icy waters of an uncertain future.
This strategy is not new. It keeps many lost souls in line much longer, much like the Roman Catholic Church once did after the disintegration of the Roman Empire. Remember those days? Some call them the Dark Ages.
So, what should one do? It’s been my experience as a self-actualized individual (but not necessarily good fortune) to “Think before I Pause before I Post”.
This means being honest and forthright, straightforward, with an acute sense of propriety which needs no pause, which flows forth in a post that sometimes offends those who most need offending.
Unfortunately, those same people are sometimes the fat slobs who have back stabbed and back patted their way to the top, and get riled when their lazy unconcern for the rest of the people who work hard at their business question their decisions. Fat slobs can be powerful foes.
It’s a double edged sword, no doubt. But, for me… I’d rather like who I see in the mirror despite the negative notch that will inevitably be scratched before my name; when I post before I pause. I feel good being blatantly honest when I’m sure about my convictions, and when they proceed from honest analysis.
Perhaps I’m self-actualized enough not to care about the possibilities financial devastation of getting fired can bring. Maybe Im just being irresponsible to my family, whom I know will suffer my consequences.
But, I know who I am and always will be. I’ve always had a sneaky feeling that some people know that I know who they are too, and it scares them. Some of them are fat slobs.
I’m not afraid.
I say to you: Post what you actually believe is true and will benefit the Corporation or others by recognizing that truth is sacred. Remember, everyone has their own agenda and try to recognize such. If they don’t like what you have to say, allow them post you back saying as much and perhaps providing additional insight. Don’t pause… post.
Timing may be of the essence. Never be intimidated by a simple slogan that subtley hints that your complaints aren’t acceptable. You are likely to be more right than wrong when you Post with conviction, not pause.
“Pause before you Post”? A Trojan horse or wise admonition wearing a pretty dress? Make your own call… but my money is on the former, and I don’t just think it, I feel it in my bones. I’m pretty sure I know how it works.