Our scary science-fiction present-day

Do androids dream of electric sheep, as Philip K. Dick asked? Do smartphones dream at all? How do they know what we’ve been talking about so they can show us relevant ads? Oh, we know the answer to that, but we don’t face the implications. We’re entertained by the pretty FBI agents on TV stalkingContinue reading “Our scary science-fiction present-day”

I’ve got a bell and a song to sing

“In the folk classic ‘If I Had A Hammer,’ the hammer represents justice, one of these freedom.” The answer to the Jeopardy! question was a no-brainer. “Bell,” I said to the air. “The bell of freedom.” Next question.  But wait, the three contestants — none of whom looked old enough to have been alive inContinue reading “I’ve got a bell and a song to sing”

What should have been

In an alternate universe, March 2020. “No.” “I beg your pardon?” “No. I’m opening my restaurant tomorrow morning, same as always, and I’m coming to work and serving whoever shows up to buy a cup of coffee, two eggs, bacon and hash browns or whatever.” “But the bug —“ “If we all catch the bugContinue reading “What should have been”

The state and the individual

Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatestContinue reading “The state and the individual”

Ebeneezer Scrooge as role model

As I come within spitting distance of my 70th birthday, now 13 months away, I increasingly am convinced that the ruling class of this world, like all sociopathic criminals, is always looking for ways to decrease the surplus population. The phrase is from Ebeneezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Representatives of a charityContinue reading “Ebeneezer Scrooge as role model”

Permission to repeat myself

Writing with a pen in a journal is a different exercise from writing at a keyboard — this almost silent scratching out of words in the old way, as Hawthorne and Emerson must have done, the words forming letter by letter from my hands — but I repeat myself. Of course, if I write everyContinue reading “Permission to repeat myself”