I just came from the computer lab, where I tried to load the dvorak keyboard into one of the Pentium machines. The dvorak file was not installed in the machine, and when it said, 'Put the Windows95 CD in and ....', I went to the help desk and asked for it. They just said to move to another machine (They thought that the reason I was asking was because there was a bug in the machine). A few minutes later, a tech guy, Mr Peryear, or something, came up to see what the problem was. I asked for the Windows disk and he said he does not have it. "Who's got it?" I asked. He wanted to know why I wanted it. I explained and he refused, saying that if he installs it then he will have to un-install it each time. I said no, that you could just go back to control panel and select the standard... He asked me if I was a student, I told him I was, and he wanted to see my ID. I asked him, 'Oh, you're checking IDs now?' 'I can,' he said. 'So, because I asked for a dvorak keyboard map, you are asking me for my ID?' 'You can either show me your ID, or I can call the police over here and you can show them.'
"CALL THE POLICE! I'M ASKING FOR A DVORAK
KEYBOARD MAP!", I said, loud enough for all to here. He told me he
would give me five minutes to get out or he would call the police, and he
went away. Hey, I don't WANT to stay in that QWERTY dungeon.
There were merchants in the central square. One sold posters, and prints
of famous paintings. For 50 minutes of offering handbills to students at
the University Center entrance across campus, the entrepreneur would give
six dollars worth of merchandise. I took him up on it.
By 12:50, I had completed my half of the contract and was ready to go to class when a University police officer approched to inquire whether my leaflets were approved for distribution and whether I had an ID. He called, or had the dispatcher call, to the Campus Activities Board, who was identified in the handout as the sponsoring entity. He also asked for a check on my SSN, as I did not have my ID. The dispatcher came back with the message that the contact was an answering machine, and to stand by for the ID number check.
I let the officer, (C. Fuentes, if memory serves), know that my class
would be starting shortly and that I needed to leave. He was very
concerned, I think, that I might have been illegally distributing leaflets
about a poster sale under the Sombrilla. But when I offered to give him
my leaflets in order to assure him that I would cease, he declined to take
them. When I protested that I had somewhere to be, and that, unless I was
under arrest, I would be going, he said that I could either wait right
here or in the cage. I thought this was a bit heavy-handed.
When I was taking a Political Economy class, I had in the back of my mind the section in the book that dealt with the problem of pollution and use of natural resources, particularly the few paragraphs that discussed the concept of fees based on free-market forces. The strengths of this method were its efficiency and fairness. I had also been reading a book called "Modeling Brain Function: The World of Attractor Neural Networks", by Daniel J. Amit. Well, I was reading the text between the highly mathematical lines, which I did not fully comprehend.
One day, as I walked in a very quiet hall, quiet as a Friday afternoon at this commuter school after almost everyone had fled, I realized all at once what it has taken me several years since to articulate in some detail. By adopting this system that appears both fair and efficient, we would create a complex system that would reproduce the functions of a biological organism. The pollution fees would create a sensory nervous system for Earth. We would transform ourserves from a cancer-like presence on earth to a healthy member of a global community.
This felt like a 'Eurika!' of epic proportions. Emotions are essential to learning. My brain, under the influence of changes associated with this highly emotional state, grew new, permanent connections among many attractors that had previously not been strongly connected, at least not on a conscious level. The human animal that survives today descends from animals who, when they experienced a 'Eurika' that gave them insights into an alternative paradigm that allowed them to more effectively respond to a new or changed environment, would feel compelled to share their insights with the rest of their community. By talking about it, they would re-inforce the changes that had taken place in their own heads, and they would explore how the idea transfers or translates to someone else's consciousness. Feedback helps to shape and refine the idea. And if a large enough fraction of the populace embraces the new paradigm, it would cause a shift in the larger society, a parallel but larger scale version of the change that takes place in the individual at the moment of insight, and that took place in my mind at that moment of sudden clarity. "Ah ha! Eurika! Translating all peoples' preferences, feelings, desires about what kind of impact we ought to allow the human economy to have on the earth, and communicating these feelings among all through free market interactions will produce a sensory nervous system for the earth. A seemingly intelligent, brain-like function which acts to promote health, or balance among many interacting systems"
© 1996 firstname.lastname@example.org
Walter Cronkite for President!
Back to the center of the Gaia Brain / Walter Cronkite Draft page.
Go to the Athens Geopage