Tuesday, March 31, 2015


The day after a man lost his wife in a scuba diving accident, he was greeted by two grim-faced policemen at his door.
"We’re sorry to call on you at this hour, Mr. Wilkens, but we have some information about your wife."
"Well, tell me!" the man said.
The policeman said: "We have some bad news, some good news and some really great news. Which do you want to hear first?"
Fearing the worst, Mr. Wilkens said: "Give me the bad news first."
So the policeman said: "I’m sorry to tell you sir, but this morning we found your wife’s body in San Francisco Bay."
"Oh my god!," said Mr. Wilkens, overcome by emotion. Then, remembering what the policeman had said, he asked: "What’s the good news?"
"Well," said the policeman, "When we pulled her up she had two five-pound lobsters and a dozen good size Dungeness crab on her."
"If that’s the good news, then what’s the great news?" Mr. Wilkens demanded.

The policeman said: "We’re going to pull her up again tomorrow morning."

Way back before the Internet and video games, there was a time when technology was being built and improved upon, by an unlikely source, children! Yes, children from the ages of 8 to 18 were building their minds and hearts for bigger and better things for the future.

As I was driving in my neighborhood one day last week, I noticed something for the first time, there are no children either at play or building and modifying things like they did in the 50’s and 60’s.

On the streets of Brooklyn, we used to play out fantastic scenes, recreating events that were based on history, and imagined ourselves the hero, always triumphing and winning the day, even saving the girl. In our minds we were the Mickey Mantle’s and the Duke Snider’s in our fantasy world.

For lack of money we built things, like forts and scooters made from 2” x 4” lumber and wooden vegetable crates, with parts of an old roller skate. We would look to make them faster, cooler and painted them or give them our own sense of design.

As teenagers many of us took on modifying cars, especially old wrecks that were twenty years old or older, chopping and channeling, adding dual carburetors and skirts, reupholstering and finishing the interiors to a show room look.

As I look around today, I don’t see much of any of that anymore. Where has all the genius gone? Where are these kids: innovators, the future scientist and engineers, the designers and technicians of tomorrow hiding? What are they working on?

I guess they hide out in their homes, glued to a computer and developing new codes and electronic formula to accommodate the new world of tomorrow. But I don’t see it, at least if I do, I don’t seem to know about it.

I think we are standing in electronic quicksand, and the tiny electrodes of the world are creating a paralyzing force that will take over our thinking and ability to create someday, rendering us all into a robotic state both in mind and body.


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