If you were to have entered that room you would certainly have been taken aback. In fact, it was much less a room, more a cavernous space. Within, there was an unfathomable number of little beings rushing around, busily engaged in various tasks. They – the beings – were odd-looking. All were naked, although the concept meant less to them as they didn’t have any private parts to hide or expose. Their skin was a pleasant grey-brown colour and their heads were small and oval (wider than they were high). A pair of attractive almond eyes – like a cat’s – were set in each head.
The frenetic activity was taking place on a dizzying variety of horizontal levels in the space. The majority of the creatures were working at floor level, but there were also others who were busy on multiple mezzanine levels. Some were even suspended in mid-air from harnesses, gliding like trapeeze artists between levels and workstations. Lights, dials and screens entirely covered the walls and desks and this equipment was the focus of the beings’ attention. The centrepiece of everything was an enormous table set on the ground floor, upon which was a miniature landscape. The model was covered in thousands (or maybe, millions or billions) of small figures, which reminded me of plastic toy soldiers. A cluster of the alien beings surrounded the table and were engaged in what seemed like heated discussion.
I couldn’t understand their burbling, high-pitched language, however I later learned what they were talking about. Apparently, it was along the lines of the following. Continue reading →
I grew from babe to child in the second half of that decade, and matured into a teenager during the colourful and spectacular nineteen-seventies. I consider this timing to be fortunate because it seemed to me then – and still does – to be a time in which the populace were not afraid to experiment. My impression is that the middle years of the twentieth century were alive with new ideas as well as the motivation to live them. Most importantly (and especially so from the perspective of today), denizens of that time seemed prepared, if the ideas they wished to live required it, to go against the accepted grain.
A new industrial revolution powered by silicon electronic technology, binary arithmetic and computer science.
I’m one of the worker bees of this epoch. You’ll find me buried deep within the hierarchy of corporations composing symphonia of code on the plastic piano, or perhaps helping those already dependent on technology to cope when a malfunction occurs.
I’ve been working in Manchester of late, doing the seven-fifteen shuffle across the peak district – it is so dispiriting sometimes that it has been known to inspire poetry!
There must be something about commuting at this time of year that leads to polemics. Last year I wrote a fairly heartfelt post railing against the commercialisation of Christmas. And while this year the corporate feeding frenzy seems to have been toned down a bit, you can bet your penultimate pound that they are working hard to manipulate us in a myriad of subtle ways.
Anyway to revolutions, beds and the like. Stumbling off my commuter carriage into the murk of Manchester Piccadilly station, I was struck by the multitude of ‘revenue protection agents’. In an instant, modern society seemed clear to me. All this effort goes into protecting revenue – not a man shall cross the threshold between platform and concourse without their purchase credentials being checked. Continue reading →