Archive for June 27th, 2007

BUGS: A Twenty-First Century Location

My cell phone store is less than a block from the church where my parents were buried, in 1958 and 1961 respectively. As I was looking at the graves and the house my father built in memory of my mother for the church, I thought abut the cell phone on my belt.

As I walked out of the store with the cell phone on my belt, I remembered very well when my parents and I saw a real technological advance in personal communication: WE went from an eight-party line to a private line.

I remember that we couldn’t use the phone if any of the other seven parties were on the line. I remember that, in order to call anyone ELSE on the party line, and everyone else was at least a mile away, you dialed 1191and hung up the phone. It rang for all seven others and you waited until the ringing stopped and got on the line and you might have four different people who had answered. You talked to the one you were calling and the others hung up.

So the private line was quite an advance.

In a huge house there would be ONE telephone, as you can see in all the old movies. A separate phone meant a separate line, and that was an extravagance even the rich didn’t consider worth having.

I then went by the church to check on the graves and look at the building my father built in memory of my mother, which is now the Boy Scout meeting place. It looks better and will last longer than the ten-year old new church building and will be fifty years old next year. But the brick and the brick work is, needless to say, the best there is.

As for the graves, I had stood in the same spot for two funerals in a time I remember so well and that everyone else has forgotten. Practically nothing that people said in 1959 and 1961 is remembered today. But practically everything that we take for granted today is based on that FORGOTTEN thinking.

But for now let’s stick with the contrast between my cell phone and the modern 1950s miracle of private lines out in Pontiac, SC.

I was just watching a modern version of the old scifi show “The Outer Limits” on the Sci-Fi Channel This 1980s version still has, “We are in control of your television set. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical.”

I have a disk of “The Simpson’s Halloween Special” that has the same take-off with the same words in one episode, “Do not adjust your television….We control the vertical. We control the Horizontal.”

The obvious question to anyone born after 1960 would, “What the HELL is the horizontal and the vertical?” People know abut THAT, but they don’t remember any of the thinking of that same period.
Do you remember that the old “Police Squad” movies starring Leslie Nielsen had OJ Simpson as his sidekick Nordberg? When it was on television about 1980, “Police Squad” had, as a joke, the words, “Police Squad — IN COLOR!” A quarter century after my parents were buried this was still familiar enough to be joke, since by then all shows had long since been in color. But neither of my parents ever saw a color TV show.

When my parents were buried, you could not take your driver’s license exam in a car that had an automatic shift. You had to bring a car that had the “real” three forward gears on the steering wheel.

Eight years before my parents died, you could not drive anywhere without knowing exactly where Charlotte, North Carolina was. It had the only television station anyone could get from Columbia until after 1950 and you had to have a tower on top of your house to get it. On top of everything from mansions to shacks there was a metal tower aimed straight at Charlotte.

About the time our eight-party line became private all three networks set up stations in Columbia.

In 1953 I acquired my first amateur radio license. I had a hundred-foot wire antenna stretched and I could, using Morse Code, converse with other people, all by myself, in Tennessee and North Carolina with ease. But that took LOTS of work to get a special license and you built the station yourself. But at that time, I was one of the few people in my area who knew ham radio existed, much less having a license.

Today I am one of less than half a dozen people in South Carolina who has an Alcor bracelet on my am to be frozen at death. The idea of being “brought back” today from freezing is less absurd than a heart transplant when I buried my father, who died of a heart attack that would make him an outpatient today.

The idea of a WhitakerOnline where I cannot tell what CONTINENT a person is writing contrasts with my very advanced hundred-foot antenna.

So Whitaker Online is written in terms of a century when a modular man will be routine, a human being who will simply replace ANYTHING that wears out.

I remember that, into the middle 1950s, my father would sometimes say to me, “Bobby, go over to the Rosses and tell them …” and my mother would always remind him, “Whit, we have a PHONE for that.”

The Rosses lived exactly 1.1 miles away.

My parents are buried at that Methodist Church because that was their community. It was and had been for a thousand years the only place where adults CAME TOGETHER every week for anything but work.

I will not be buried. I come together with those who share my beliefs DAILY. And this is just the beginning.

If you think you can conduct politics or religion or anything else the same way now as you did then, maybe you need a long rest.




Real economics:

You can buy a Krupp.

You can’t buy a Hitler.

Put another way:

An expert postulates the existance of “A.”
This expert builds a machine to sense “A.”
The machine dutifully senses “A.”
The expert wins public accolade because he has proven the existance of “A.”

The above is the template for most modern science of any sort.
Political, social, biological, whatever.

A recap…

Lots of people know who Hitler is.
How many recognize Krupp?


1 Comment


Anyone with real skills in science and research is unlikely to succumb to any type of bullying.

Political Correctness is a brand of bullying, that’s all it is.

There are two types of bullies. The first type is narcissistic. These are essentially juveniles (regardless of age) who are easy to defeat. This is because they don’t even know where power begins and are never realistic about what is actually going on.

The second type of bully is a realist. They are several orders harder to deal with. They are absolutely cynical and hard headed in everything they do. These are the true promoters of Political Correctness and any form of “correctness” will do for them.

The “Greatest Generation” had no street smarts, was favored by an affluence that was not of their doing, and accordingly was easy prey for the second type of bully. If life were harsher for them, they would have been more prone to stand up to the second type of bully.

I think one of the greatest mistakes that revolutionaries continually make is failure to accurately identify the second type of bully for attacks.

A policy of attacking only the truly guilty is critical and tragically almost always ignored.