The fiftieth anniversary of “Star Trek” is upon us.[Link] As is the fiftieth anniversary of my being a college freshman.
Start Trek was one of two television programs my “band” watched each week. Calling it a “band” was optimistic because we seldom numbered ten, much less twenty-five. But we were a group of nerds and geeks beset by a Greek EXTRO society and instrumentality so the bonds were fairly tight.
Mostly we were entering freshmen and majoring in STEM stuffs. And a few chose not to default to the ground state of residing in dorm. SO twice a week we formed up after third meal (which was often only second for several of us who were late sleepers or had stiff schedules,) and walked off campus to two of our number’s apartment to watch, respectively, “Start Trek” and “Laugh In”. Both of these had great impact on me over the years. I still find almost no humor comparable to R&M – sometimes Monty Python – and all the later Treks are inferior to the original.
And that has nothing to do with the captain character.
What Laugh In taught me was to be critical and cynical and disrespectful of the establishment.
What Star Trek taught me was to strive for the unattainable. Star Trek was about making the universe fit for everyone, not just the wealthy and powerful and beautiful. Equity, not Evolution. And definitely not government.
But organization was necessary despite its evils.
But only worthy of loyalty when it was not being evil. This was the Vietnam era after all.
We are further than ever from that ideal. The amazing thing is that it could be thought of and a television program made about it.
It’s one of the things that make me glad to be ORF.
The young today are pretty sure they’re serfs. And not doing very much about it. So Star Trek stays a fantasy.
One Day. And the anniversary of the public release of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. After they had two days to get over the panic that British storm troopers or Gestapo would fall upon them with instruments of torture and pain.Organizations do not take kindly to people who try to usurp their stolen control.
So today is a holiday, which is just such an instrument of control.
We dress it up in all sorts of noble diversions such as guilt and gluttony but it is still a matter of control.
That I am not all that sure I like the way corporate organizations are flaunting such. I noticed last week that several businesses in Huntsville were open this day. This is worrisome as it indicates a competition between government and organized greed for money that I am not sure is to our betterment. Yes, both need to be controlled but this offers them both a way to harm the citizenry.
Which they do with no compunction or remorse.
Perhaps even deliberate action?
Obviously a day for hiding.
Two Day. Sparser in gym. Same stand-in. Podcast the usual. The only intriguing bits was a segment on workplace friendships.
It was seriously flawed. The analysis was way off. It basically dealt with the aspects that workplace friendship can increase satisfaction and thereby productivity but the interactions of friendship made for more interruptions and less creativity.
Most workplaces do not value or encourage creativity.
What was missed was the effect of a dissolved friendship. It’s catastrophic. Almost as bad as a workplace romance that failed. And that’s a lot worse on everything since the folks in the workplace are almost forced to choose sides. So it’s not the positive side of workplace friendships that is important, it’s the negative.
And these schmucks missed it.
Speaking of which I saw a new weight bouncer, a slab schmuck. Never looked up from his slablet. A real slave of his eye friend.
On which azimuth, I note that the old men in robes have naysayed the Texican oppression of women’s rights to determine reproduction. Sadly, no politicians will be put in front of firing parties. And they will try again. The forces of evil do not die, they just slink away and plot more evil.
Manwhile there is much gnashing of teeth in Muntgum among the Christerrorists in the council of thieves. And throughout the state. It is also their evil that has been momentarily thwarted. I expect a couple of suicide bombings when the clinics reopen.
Two Day. Passable in gym. Sparse. Semi-diverting podcasts. Science and Technology day. Except for a couple on breast cancer not infuriating. The maddening bit was an equation
Diagnosis of Disease = Disease.
This is the veriest of rot. The trivial demonstration of this is that the disease existed prior to the diagnosis. In fact, the diagnosis is predicated on the disease. Of course a false diagnosis is possible in absence of the disease but this also demonstrates the rot.
Another example of why contemporary journalism is, itself, rot. And on a good day, rubbish.
I did run across this cartoon: [Link]
Monday is the best day of the work week. It offer five days to accomplish something.
And if one can’t accomplish anything for the organization’s benefit, at least much of the organization assigned stercus tauri can be cleared while the bogs are in Monday Shock. And if one can dismiss the useless organizational plaque then one can work on one’s own projects and thus do something of merit and value.
Mundane day. Soggy. Not too bad at gym although the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” about “Just War” was disappointingly trite. The narrator and interviewees covered the usual history and ethical quandaries but they never got to the meat of the matter of whether Justice has any objective meaning.
Note I am NOT talking about the legal system. That is a semi-objective system for implementing the enforcement of utterly subjective rules and the subjective penalties therein. Justice is one of those social things that may – barely – make sense in the context of a hunter-gatherer band’s internal matters but nothing any larger. Beyond that size domain Justice is increasingly a fiction for a control mechanism to operate.
Not coincidentally, war is the play toy of organizations or those individuals who suppress their humanity to act like an organization. So any war that advances or maintains the survival of the organization is going to be just so far as the organization is concerned.
Related to this, I find, is an article [Link] I recently ran across. It (poorly – contemporary journalism) relates some work done by some Massachusetts academics. At its simplest it demonstrates something we INTROs have always known:
Collaboration inhibits Creativity.
That doesn’t mean that collaboration is useless, but it does mean that it needs to be limited to efforts that require NO creativity. Say a latrine party, for example.
The problem is that a lot of bad managers have gotten indoctrinated that meetings and working parties are good ways to arrive at creative solutions. They aren’t. Meetings are basically a way of diffusing guilt and working parties are a means to obtain self-regulated labor (or self-rejection of labor.)
But for creativity, one person is still the best size for a group. The logic of this is simple. Creativity is rare. Maybe 0.1 of humanity (at most) can be creative. SO if you stick ten people together in a group perhaps one is creative and the rest are anti-creative. See. The creativity gets buried in the social EXTRO stercus tauri.
So if you are creative, protect your individuality of work environment.
Privacy makes Progress.
Again not pleasant. And darker, for some reason. But I walked and I suppose that is goodness in and of itself. After all, we humans have to struggle so to walk.
But I do dislike summer (and winter.) I was reminded of this anew this morning as I went to download podcast episodes for the week and half were unavailable because the production folks had gone on holiday. Mostly European but a few Canadian. And what there is, is often repeats that I have heard before and have learned not to be entrapped into listening to a second time as it is a waste.
I also ran across an article [Link] about food trucks on Redstone Arsenal. Typical contemporary newspaper article. More advertisement than reporting. Bubbly and vacuous. Overpriced grease.
But I was reminded that when I went to work on Redstone in 1972 there were food trucks. They were called Roach Coaches and they came about twice a day, offering first breakfast and then lunch foodstuffs. Also greasy and seemingly past edibility.
I tried once or twice and ceased. Got into a mode where I ate breakfast in cafeteria. Why food truck when building has cafeteria? Logic escapes. Cooked to order versus hours (days?) old? Skipped lunch. Too busy. Ate supper before or after class depending on day-of-week and term schedule. Maybe a snack after I left computer center somewhere around midnight.
So I can’t claim to be enthusiastic about Roach Coaches. But I do have an inkling. I found out years ago that the folks who most often patronized the Roach Coaches were the ones most dissatisfied with their work. So organizations with shitty work and incompetent managers mobbed the trucks.
Must still be that way. Despite its claims the Army has never been able to manage well.
Fifth day again. No gym. Off to park for constitutional. Air almost pleasant. Podcast diverting a bit from the aches and pains of walking but not really engaging nor memorable. Only staunch negative was a couple of people who drove in and left their lamps engaged so that high intensity photon streams were periodically flooding my peripheral vision. A bit of laser reply reminded them of their manners.
The calm (otherwise) and the photon streams gave me occasion to consider a topic I mentioned earlier in the week, of whether there is some competition between science and religion. I stated at that time that I didn’t see much between personal religion and science but there might be between organized religion and science. I have formulated a preliminary observational conjecture since.
Organized religion is characterized by the organization espousing a collection of doctrine and dogma that transcends the individual. Even denominations that claim to encourage individuality tend to have some organizational rules. In some cases, especially in the old Confederacy, there are denominations whose doctrine/dogma express daily life/experience in mystical terms characterized by continual interventions by the deity to take action directly beneficial to the good/worthy denomination adherents.
I find myself exposed to this daily, usually in one of two forms. One is people who babble about this, talking about how they survived a shopping trip to the MalWart as a direct intervention of the deity. The other is television news whose coverage often takes the form of some obese, neotenous Southron, hair in foam rollers if female, unbarbered but hacked if male, who babble similarly, usually associated with some phenomenon of Nature.
In all the cases I have considered, the survival can be adequately explained by simple science, probability theory, and statistics. No physical laws are violated in the creation of this imagined (?) miracle. Of course, if the deity is devious and cany then there would not be but this still raises the question of the perception. I have learned not to discuss this with the claimant because the vast majority have closed, violent minds.
This is where, I conjecture, there is actual competition between (organized) religion and science. It is related to religion only in its prescription (and wrangling?) by the organization. The doctrine/dogma espoused also denigrates science and establishes an inimical dichotomy.
Further cogitation and observation is indicated.