I live in the high desert of southern Arizona, with my one cat two ducks, and two imaginary friends Theodore Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi, talk about polar opposites. Life with neither is easy. Theodore is so rambunctious, I had to build him a play-fort to keep him busy.
I've left no spawn, no great works of art, nor writing, but I do edit Wikipedia, in the hope that I might leave something behind that is of utility.
Morlock eat Eloi
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who put people into two categories and those who don't. I fall into the first category. That having been said, I will continue by stating: there are two kinds of Wikipedians; there are the Morlock and there are the Eloi.
As you probably know from the H. G. Wells story “The Time Machine”, the Morlock were the brutal, rough people who labored in the harsh underground conditions of a distant future for the purpose of supplying the Eloi. The recipients of the Morlock labor, the Eloi, on the other hand, were gentle, insipid folk who lived an easy, carefree life above ground in the sweet light of day, supported by the labor of the Morlock. Unfortunately for the Eloi, Morlock eat Eloi.
I will expand. There are two kinds of Wikipedians: there are the Morlock and there are the Eloi. The Morlock of Wikipedia I characterize as rude, vain, arrogant, conceited, territorial, thick-skinned, tough, and very, very tenacious. The Eloi are, for the most part, the polar opposite with a touch of naiveté. Once again, unfortunately for the Eloi, Morlock eat Eloi. Slowly but surely, over the years, the Morlock have “eaten”, chased off, or discouraged the Eloi of Wikipedia and as a result the Morlock are over represented.
I've heard the lament that there are not enough women editors of Wikipedia. I'm sure that that's true and it would be unfortunate if such an important venue of knowledge and a possible shaper of the public's perspective on the truth should be dominated by a narrow group, to the exclusion of many others. But, the focus on the lack of women editors is too narrow. The problem, I suspect, is that women are a large part of the kinder, gentler folk I've humorously described as Eloi, being driven from Wikipedia. Among the kinder, gentler people, are are a wide variety, with valuable skills, and perspectives, some of whom happen to be women. I will reiterate, Morlock eat Eloi.
Years ago I read, on someone's personal page, a lament to the effect that the rougher people of Wikipedia were driving off a great many good people. I now appreciate what that person was saying and believe it to be true. On the other hand, it might be possible that my perspective is warped by early, nasty experiences. One of the Morlock, a person well known as irascible, aggressive, and tenacious, and with whom I had personally sparred, recently “retired.” He is gone and I remain; the fact of which gives me worry that I am among those I condemn. On the other hand, it just might be confirmation the happy truth that progress is made, one death at a time.
On my passage through life, I've concluded that the thing of our most unctuous need, but of shortest supply is genuine leadership. A lack of good leadership seems to be a constant thread through the story of humankind and is central to most of our greatest mutual disasters. For what it is worth, what follows is a bit of condensed product from my passage through life.
The world, and on a smaller scale, the companies for which I have worked, are desperate for leadership. And, in their desperate need, they will latch on to anyone who exudes some semblance of leadership. The sad fact of the matter is, some have leadership qualifications, others don't. It is upon the lathe of life that we determine whether a person is true or false, good or bad, a leader or a counterfeit thereof.
There is a hierarchy of leadership. You might imagine a pyramid that represents the mass of people in some position of leadership. At the very pinnacle of the leadership pyramid are what I call the "genuine leaders". Beneath those are a body that might be called "managers." And finally, beneath those are a large and base group I call the "clerks."
The leaders, occupying the top most of the pyramid, seem formed from an early age for their assignment. They are bright, they are intensely interested in their field of endeavor, and they show great merit. Unfortunately, they might constitute at best 10% of the leadership hierarchy.
Beneath the true leaders are a body I call the managers. These are people who might rise to the highest level of leadership, if they work hard, are groomed by the company, and have some natural talents. I think of managers as "mass-manufactured-leadership", as this cadre seem to be suited to a time fifty or more years prior when the repetitive operations required by the conditions of mass-manufacturing suited their rise. The managers might constitute 40% of the leadership hierarchy. They are very valuable.
At the bottom of the leadership pyramid are the base group I call the "clerks." Although they occupy the lowest portion of the talent pyramid, they are unfortunately very numerous, and constitute as much as half of the leadership cadre. They have little talent, and they know it; they desire security first and foremost; they will follow whatever path to the security goal that might be laid out, regardless of its consequences for the company and the others that they mislead along the way. Some are are nice, kind people, as I have met many, but they have little talent.
The top 10% are hard-pressed by their workload, responsibilities, and duty, but are very valuable. The 40% are useful and might be able to dance in the same manner as the best, and the bottom 50% are "trouble-makers". I don't mean to suggest that they, the clerks, should be on the short list of those who must go. I mean to suggest that the companies that employ them should first recognize their limited talent and work to replace them with something better as the rest of us deserve better.
While these are observations of some guy who passed through a number of engineering companies and whose observations might be dismissed as specific for those circumstances, I beg to differ. The history of humanity and the long string of disasters that have befallen us are often the product of the lack of competent leadership. True leadership is rare, pseudo-leadership is common, and phony leadership is dangerous. We all need to learn to discern between the types.
I will end with a few characteristics you will find in true leaders.
A working definition of a true leader is, someone who is capable of hitching almost anybody up to the plow and getting work out of them. They do not resort to threats, cajolery, or intimidation. They do not gather about them a group of sycophants, although those people might be drawn to them. They reject praise...they are, quite simply put, philosophers.
Good luck, and more to come...
Why I should be President of the United States of America
The planks of my platform follow.
1) No more of this "Chicken in every pot" and "Car in every garage" nonsense. Under my administration, the Federal government shall supply every home with a free raccoon. Why a raccoon you ask? Because, they are just so darn cute. If you don't want your raccoon, the gov't will take it away for a nominal fee and by that means we will fund 10% of gov't activities.
2) I will wrestle Putin. I much prefer to wrestle women, but I'll make an exception.
3) Every day of my administration will be Sadie Hawkins Day. Think of the benefits. Men will not be allowed to approach nor to even speak to women unless spoken to first. That means no cat-calling of women, no strutting your stuff in front of women, no stalking of women. Hence, men will need to learn to stand up straight, lift their knuckles off the ground, speak in complete and coherent sentences, groom themselves, hold down a job, lose some weight, and gain some muscle, all in an effort to attract a women. Women for their part will need to stiffen their spines and assert themselves to approach men. But, that is a plus as it will embolden them so that when it comes time to request a raise it will be a cake-walk, and by that means the gender pay-gap will be eliminated.
4) I will be your Tolerance President; tolerance is a good thing. Otherwise I would have to punch out half the people in the United States.
- a) There is not enough time
- b) That would really hurt; I mean, my knuckles would really, really hurt.
5) I will appeal to people all over the globe to make more cute cat, dog, and baby videos and mount them online as there are simply too few. If you have any photos and such of marmosets, definitely put those online. A recent study of people viewing images of marmosets, showed a substantial increase in their happiness.
6) We will have a National Pet Day for every day of the week. As cats are number one, they will be worshiped on Sunday (really, all they want is to be worshiped, so submit). Dogs will be appreciated on Monday as they are what is needed to get us over the Monday Blues. Tuesday will be for the birds. Wednesday is hump day, which brings to mind camels, which brings to mind ungulates. Odd-ball creatures will be appreciated on Thursday. Friday is for weasels and ferrets, for obvious reasons. And fish will be appreciated on Saturday.
7) The third Thursday of November will be National Dingbat Day in honor of all the dingbats such as myself who mistakenly believe it is Thanksgiving Day, who don't show up for work and begin cooking a turkey.
8) All my proposed legislation shall be entitled: "Let's Not Take Food Out of the Mouths of Tiny Little Babies Act", or the "God, Mom, Apple-Pie, and All That is Goodness Bill," or the "We Shall Not Eat Cute Kittens or Puppies Resolution." That would guarantee the passage of all my propositions. Who would dare vote against such things?
9) I will make Rudi Guillani my "Foot-In-Mouth" Spokesperson, whether he wants the title or not
10) There shall be no pardoning of any Thanksgiving turkeys as I like meat.
11) In an effort to jam the gear-works of the Federal Government, I will introduce the 2 and 2/3 dollar bill with the proviso that there shall be neither rounding nor truncation of any amount.
12) I will interrogate Doris Kearns Goodwin in the Lincoln Bedroom. Don't worry, the cameras will be rolling and the result will be mounted online for all the world to enjoy.
13) There shall be a themed party in the White House every month. Please help me burn down the house. The first theme shall be "Dance like Navin R. Johnson."
14) Senator Elizabeth "Goody-Goody Two Shoes" Warren will be my Vice.
15) I will take the Executive branch on the road. We shall remain in place no more than 90 days. First stop, East St. Louis.
16) I will order a drone strike on The Kardashians.
17) If you decide you don't want me as your President, you may send me on a one-way, solo trip to Mars.
A prayer to the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster
(to be shouted at the top of one's lungs)
Oh great Flying Spaghetti Monster!!!
Smite our enemies with massive tonnage of TNT,
but grant us health and wealth,
preferably wealth in the form of some highly fungible,
not too volatile asset!!!
You might consider gold!!!
Thank you very much!!!
Toward a common English
To be read in the nasally voice of Ross Perot: Listen up folks! It should be obvious to all concerned, that the English language as used by the many around our globe needs to be straightened out and protected from any further degradation. More particularly, we need to pull you people across the pond into alignment with the use of what should now be called the American language, as there are more of us than there is of you. You lima bean eaters need to git with the program and learn proper American pronounciation and spell'n. It's pronounced "Obama" not "Obamer"; take note of the "a" at the end of his name. Where the dickens did you ever git an "er" from that? While we're at it, it's "Korea" not "Kore-er". I could go on and on and I just might. Furthermore, words that are pronounced with "z's" should be spelled with "z's"; so, it's "analyze", not "analyse", it's "fertilize", not "fertilise". I'll give you your "humour", but we insist on "center" not "centre", otherwise you should be expected to pronounce it like them Frog Eaters do; do you want to be know as French or something? Do you?!! Heaven forbid! So, let's git with it!!
Furthermore to you Canukes up north, take you hands off of yer beavers and place them on the keyboard where we can see them, otherwise we might see it as a threat and have to invade you. And I mean right now!! Don't make me draw on you!
Not sure what to do with you Ozlanders or Kiwis. You can just go off by yourselves and do your own thing, my main problem is with the Brits.
Waiting for E-Cat
Some years ago, the "news" of the advent of a over-unity energy production device called the E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) burst upon the Blogosphere, causing me intrigue and puzzlement. After spending too many hours talking, waiting in anticipation for the latest development of that device, and arguing with Wikipedians about the writing of the Energy Catalyzer article, this play burst forth from me. The play was a reaction to the state of extreme tension that had built up within, but it gave me, and I hope others, a chuckle. I suspect that it would make little sense to all but a tiny fraction of the general public and only a small fraction of partizans both pro and con have thrown in about the Energy Catalyzer. Here is a link to that play: http://coldfusionnow.org/gallery/zed-short/waiting-for-e-cat-a-comedy-in-two-acts/. In the play the characters Zed (a.k.a. Slowboat) and Spam (Spamuel) together are a composite of myself.