young nerd’s new adventure (introduction) all about internet marketing

It started with a phone call at midnight. This nerd-to-be is watching the last scene of the movie Dunkirk*, with the boy soldier reciting “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,” The call rings as the clock chimes twelve times. From London, where else? The English Lordship boss resides there. “You know, it’s time to rise to the occasion, boy!”

“Sir, it’s still the locked down season…” I answer. He chuckles at the other end of the phone. “Boy, don’t you give me that excuse. I never ‘worry’ about action, but only about inaction.” He is quoting Churchill too. Can it be the WWIII in the air? I always suspect him being one of the M16 or similar. “You are going to be vegetated soon.” He warns. “I mean brain-dead, boy.” He means business. I can visualize him with his hunting gun, pointing at me from a virtual distance right now. “Yes, sir?” He can visualize me standing upright at full attention virtually now.

“Here is the plan…” My English Lord boss is brilliant with virtual money making and marketing publicity driving strategies locked down or not and he is not wasting time. Apparently he has done a research and finds that there is a yet to be tapped unreached rich and bored market group called “the sixties and above”. And this is the locked down group newly woken by the fantastic freedom they can enjoy through accessing the internet. “I want you to start this virtual Internet Club immediately, boy, no expense spared.”

“Yes, sir.” I have never said no to this boss. And he has never failed me. In our pre-locked-down days I made good money bounty hunting with him and it is not bad for a young fellow of twenties freshly from college, as my Indiana Jones dad advises me. Dronesville’s Internet Club for the sixties is thus born.

This is the advertisement/announcement:

We invite exclusive membership for the “Dronesville’s Internet Club for the sixties”

Clean fun for lovers of respectable mind-stimulating challenging excitement and gratification promised to be delivered to you instantly

A club like never encountered before unlimited by people place product and price

Exclusive for those of chronological ages sixty and above

Guaranteed active defense against potential development of dementia senility memory loss and loneliness

Training and equipping you to be internet-savvy and digital-technologically advanced beyond your imagination and dream in a safe secure secluded private and confidential environment preserving your true identity

You can spy on others and others cannot spy on you

Access at your convenience and privacy 24/7 and more

I decide to start a test-run club by using the Dronesville’s senior residents who happen to be my ex-teachers, many of whom are high net-worth individuals with their own inherited wealth. One of them is my grand-aunt and she is like the gang leader of the lot. So I shall not fall flat even if I do slip.

As my cronies and fans would have found out in my previous blogs that all the adventures I encountered with the Dronesville’s gang are really way-out and fantastic. And all ended well. I can feel it in my bones or skin(?) that this is going to be even better. Why? Because nothing beats a captured audience. And I have them in my virtual stadium already.

p/s: I received Words of inspiration from a supportive crony (quoting Churchill) in our private chat board:

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” (Followed by claps and lots of LOLs from all geek-nerd cronies)

*May/June 1940. Four hundred thousand British and French soldiers are hole up in the French port town of Dunkirk. The only way out is via sea, and the Germans have air superiority, bombing the British soldiers and ships without much opposition. The situation looks dire and, in desperation, Britain sends civilian boats in addition to its hard-pressed Navy to try to evacuate the beleaguered forces. This is that story, seen through the eyes of a soldier amongst those trapped forces, two Royal Air Force fighter pilots, and a group of civilians on their boat, part of the evacuation fleet. (This is worth seeing. It says, never give up, no matter the odds, to defend your life and the lives of others.)

young nerd, Saturday June 27, 2020 (to be continued)

Dronesville football club #16: gold rush time bonanza3

Dronesville’s gold rush time bonanza3

“A great dream with a bad team is nothing more than a nightmare.” ( John C. Maxwell) I wake up early from a night of bombardment from this quote. I had a grand dream of the football field bountifully built with solid gold and I was the best ever goalkeeper but in the wrong team! At six o’clock sharp a guard escorts me to a virtual football training room. The colossal ex-cannibal footballers are there. My nerd-friend their football captain Romano is there though not allowed to play. A giant with a mouthful of gleaming teeth sticks his face close to mine and growls, “You will be our goal keeper!” So the nightmare comes true -I am in the wrong team!

The rule is that for each missed goal I will lose 25% of my share of gold if the Dronesville’s team wins. If the ex-cannibal team wins, they will keep their field of gold, retain Romano and take me as a reserve for a new season. The king will play as goalkeeper for the Dronesville’s team.

Whilst coaching this team of surprisingly very dexterous players in the virtual football game, my lightning-fast multitasking mind works on possible options. There is no option but to make this team lose for the sake of Romano’s and my freedom. But I need to make sure that the ex-cannibals lose not more than one goal to cut my share of gold loss to the minimum 25%.

The English educated young nerd king about my age, well-versed with the latest technology is having a hilarious time online with the Dronesville’s virtual football team, all former teachers retirees (ages between 65-85). They seem to love him (impressed by his perfect English) as their new goalie. Their former goalie my boss the English lord is unavailable in a mysterious undisclosed somewhere.

My Indy dad gives me good tips through the foldable plasma robot stuck to my chest. “Look boy, stop looking gloomy. It will be great fun, I promise you! Don’t worry about your head.”

“What’s wrong with my head?” I ask. But my dad is offline. SiZu, my AI voice assistant answers, “Roasted heads were the ex-cannibals’ favorite delicacy dish in olden days.”

“I still can’t understand. Why doesn’t the king stop them occupying the gold field and holding a hostage?” I regret this question immediately as SiZu faithfully uploads the whole historical political and military situation of the country. Apparently the ex-cannibals are longstanding powerful allies of the king’s family and he allows them autonomy in some matters.

When the clock strikes six at the great gold hall we are all ready to take our virtual position. The Dronesville’s team members are online. My dad has installed the latest technology for them in Dronesville too. When the teams start playing it’s truly fun for us the millennials. The holographic effect presents a virtual life show of the teams playing as if they are in the filed. The players are all dressed in their football gears. Dronesville in bright jade green and the ex-cannibals in bright orange.

The Dronesville’s retirees have shrunk in sizes and are like children compared to their opponents. But they come out with a fabulous high school cheerleaders entourage duly dance and sing the Dronesville’s song. The ex-cannibals too have their own cheer squad all wrapped in Tuareg coverings. Judging from their size, stomping dance and blood curdling chant they’ve got to be guys.

By now my nerd chat cronies are sniggering uncontrollably. One guy has the audacity to laugh aloud with his phone mike on! Yes, my dad links them up with interactive video live stream through the Dronesville’s satellite as supporters.

Who I wonder will be the referees? Hahaha, who else but the two German-French high stakeholders in our prospected gold investment dressed in Tuareg? I don’t know how they manage to persuade the king to agree. It’s got to be my dad behind the deal. The Gen.Z kid dresses as a mascot for the ex-cannibals. The Dronesville’s mascot dog Gracie does a cameo appearance holographically.

A crony who is overseas and misses the match asks me later and here is our conversation. How is the match? You are dying to know? Honestly I cannot put words to what happens that day. I have no recall of it after that disastrous event. You are not going to persuade me to remember. Why? Because I am subjective about it I cannot give you a fair description. The score? Zero for both sides. Look, why don’t you listen to Gracie’s report? She is a faithful unbiased observer. So, for those who miss the event here is The Dronesville’s dog, Gracie’s report.

(To be continued: by Gracie’s report)

Becky’s #timesquare photo challenge

Dronesville football club #15: gold rush time bonanza2

Dronesville’s gold rush time

When the Gen.Z kid says, “Well, obvious isn’t it? Their spokesman said they were looking forward to exotic food”, she means us being the exotic food to the ex-cannibal footballers! This mere suggestion can dampen any gold prospector’s hope no matter how large the prospect is.

The two German-French amazons decide to intervene, “The football team will meet tomorrow morning at 6am and practice. You (pointing at me) will be the goalkeeper. Their king has decreed that the match will take place at 6pm sharp. If we win we will get the bounty of the gold football field.”

That night I think of my personal options:

Negative: I can run away. I can refuse to join the team. Positive: I can be man enough to face the opponents and save my nerd-friend who is being held captive by the ex-cannibal football club. I can win and carry off my bounty -a football field of gold! I practice my farewell speech in three modes: the winner (“Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won.” ~General D. MacArthur), the great escapist (in mute mode) and lastly, the lament of a heroic martyr-to-be (wordless).

My AI voice assistant SiZu is in the positive option. She has linked up with my Dronesville’s Virtual Football Club! So that is how I am miraculously saved and backed by my whole team of veteran players, retired English and other teachers well trained and superbly equipped in the latest virtual world technology by my English boss. But how am I going to set up a virtual football system with nothing here in this middle-of-nowhere?

“Ahem, I won’t worry if I were you, son. I have taken care of that.” My physically absent dad suddenly breaks the silence through the implanted chip in the flat plasma robot strapped to my chest. “I have been working on a project with the king here and we have successfully installed the best of virtual technology comparable to the world’s top three nations now.” Dad is in his usual self-confident mode.

“But how can we persuade the ex-cannibals to play virtual football?” I am still in reversed gear.

“Hahaha, son, because you have brought back the pet goat safely, the king has agreed to a virtual match instead. After all he wants to test out the system for his own purpose too. You know, the goat is allergic to all of us men except the unknown thief, you and the king. The two ladies found it first but the king only allows a man to carry it to the palace. So they had to wait till you appeared on the scene. “

“But the other team does not know how to play yet…” No one can beat this nerd in being pessimistically thoughtful on all negative aspects.

“Piece of cake. Tomorrow you are rising at 6am and start coaching them until they are conversant.” So what the two German-French ladies refer to as practicing involves me solo coaching the opposite camp of ex-cannibal players! Can I resist and desist? “NO. ” SiZu answers. “You will do as your bosses command and expect.”

When have I started having pleural number of bosses? Who are they? “The English lord, your dad, the two German-French gold investors, the king and your grand-aunt and company in Dronesville…” SiZu lists them out one by one. The number of stakeholders is overwhelming. Well, I don’t mind now that I know we will not become a mixed platter of exotic food soon. (How I am later proven wrong in this estimation…)

(To be continued)

#Becky’s timesquare photo challenge

2018 Dronesville’s nerd-bounty hunter

Writing a serialized story within a limited time span is challengingly rewarding, but no easy matter. The Dronesville’s story was initially started as a fun yet genuine attempt to communicate with my Gen.Z and above young relatives who live mostly in a virtual realm, being categorized into varying “generations” according to their digital ages. Where is this rather hilarious mythical yet somewhat plausibly futuristic place called Dronesville? Is there really a private chat group with nerdy cronies? Are the time-travel adventures real? Is there a troop of former teachers serious and passionate about learning the latest technologies and the virtual world? Finally, is there such a seemingly gullible self-centered-to-the-power-of-?-millennial character named, “me” (the narrator-protagonist)?

I first started the Dronesville’s story about a amateur or would-be nerd (in reality treasure bounty hunter young man) and his adventures on 2016-07-09 titled: eye in sky: no, it’s not a drone.dronexit#1.  The series consists of 26 episodes, ended 2016-08-13 with to reach or not to reach (Dronexit#26)

Dronesville’s gigantic eyeball in the skyh

After that I followed with another series: Dronesville adventure#1 Gigantic eyeball on 2016-08-20. The series ended with Dronesville adventure #22: rounded up last but not least on 2017-10-30.

The current series was started on 2017-11-04 with this: Dronesville football club #1: He starts over a new dream.I have taken a year plus to decide how to end this. Here is the latest episode: Dronesville football club #14: bonanza time 1-gold, gold everywhere.

My question now is: What shall I do next with the Dronesville nerd-bounty hunter? I will end this series about the gold football field bounty in the last four days of 2018. After that, what next? Two years have passed and many new technological inventions have been produced and marketed. My drones and AI robotics are no longer a novelty. The good news is the stories and antics of human beings are always fresh and interesting. New adventures are to be explored in 2019 of course. Will the protagonist meet a better prospect? Well, one thing for sure is: he will always launch each course with a big bang! Yes, and the Dronesville’s dog will have her time-slot too!

Becky’s #timesquare photo challenge

Dronesville football club #14: bonanza time 1-gold, gold everywhere

gold gold everywhere

I started this journey to Timbuktu to meet an impossible goal and am still doggedly persisting in my pursuit to save a fellow nerd-friend from being devoured by a football club of former cannibals who happen to own a gold football field in the desert. In the last episode I reported that “I am in a sort of place that you never seem to come to the end of, and it was full of unexpected places.”

The last time with any Indy-Jones-like action was when I jumped out of my prison window and landed on an incredibly timely acrobatic horse and we galloped happily into the sunset.

The rest is history. The horse (AI programmed) takes me through the desert with a speed comparable to a hyperloop transmitter (or so I imagine) and drops me off at a huge building that looks like a dune of golden sand.

“It is not sand. ” My AI voice assistant, SiZu, has reactivated herself and corrects my thought. “Touch it.” She issues a command.

“What? It is gold!” I cannot help but let my thought be verbalized aloud, my two hands glistening after dipping into the sea of gold dunes.

“Of course it is mere gold. You expect diamond? Hard luck.” Two Tuareg men and one boy appear from nowhere and one man speak impatiently, “Hurry in. The local ruler is waiting!” They are the two and half German-French fellow travelers I met earlier! One straps onto my back the run-away royal goat which appears to have been recently freshly groomed, “Here, you better be useful. Don’t even dream of asking how we escaped and repossessed this trophy.” The librarian amazon casts a look on me that spells big trouble if I dare open my mouth to make one wee sound.

We walk into a cleverly concealed door in the dune like building and enter a long tunnel. I cannot detect any visible lighting equipment, but there seems to be a supply of natural daylight from an invisible source. The gold walls glitter and beckon me to imagine I am Alibaba in the forty thieves’ treasure cave. But I say nothing. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something”, SiZu warns, “Plato”.

“But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them. Christopher Columbus.” I respond in my thought.

One thing I cannot understand is why the two rather superior women involve me? They are highly probably after the same gold. Why bother with adding one additional “accomplice” to their scheme? I have recognized that since the gold is so apparent everywhere there is no need to use my special “hidden-gold-detection” talent.

“You just wait and see. You are invaluable!” SiZu begs to differ. LOL. But soon it turns out that her prediction is accurate! “There is something the two women cannot be. No matter how superior they are compared to you, they would not be considered a man in the heart of the ruler.”

The tunnel leads to a gigantic hall paved floor-to-floor, wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-ceiling with gold. I suddenly feel my stomach rumbling and my knee buckling under the strain of hunger figuratively speaking. I have to swallow hard to stop my mouth from drooling.

The place is filled with people who look important, possibly senior officials and military personnels who line up on both sides as we walk through to reach a golden throne. The occupant of the chair squints his eyes and look hard at me, or rather at my back and then he cries out loudly and runs down the steps to hug and kiss me, or rather, the goat on my back. He removes the strap gently, carries and rocks his pet the way some of us treat our pet puppies.

At his command the two women and a girl disguised as Tuareg men and boy and I are led to a glittering banquet hall to have our big meal. “Why did you two ask me to carry that pet goat?” I just have to ask. The Gen. Z kid answers on their behalf, “Simple. You are the only man. ” Because the king has decreed that his pet goat can only be carried/transported by a man. Apparently it was stolen one day by a petty thief who found it strayed outside and sold it to the market. That was how it got into the flock of fifty goats on top of our bus which crashed in the desert.

“BTW, we have located your nerd-friend, the football captain Romano and his team-mates, the ex-cannibals. They haven’t eaten him yet.” The Gen.Z announces.

“What?!” This news brings me to the brink of tears. I have come this far on a heroic-altruistic (half, at least) mission and now the two foreign women are going to clinch the success from me. Not fair!

“They won’t release him unless we have a football match with them. ” The kid then adds, “And beat them in the match.” She stares hard at my hands and declares, “We need a dexterous reliable goalkeeper. Are you any good other than texting?”

“What happens if we lose?” I swallow hard and ask (or whimper at a crucial yet perilous time like this).

The kid rolls her eyes and says as a matter of fact, “Well, obvious isn’t it? Their spokesman said they were looking forward to exotic food.”

(To be continued)

#timesquare (Becky’s photo challenge for December)

Marketing Fishes in Sahara (Dronesville Gold Football Club)

“I don’t read long blog posts that look daunting. When the content is broken up with images, videos, bullet points, bolded font or other visual breaks, I am more likely to read the post.” (A millennial reader sends this to my private chat group, presumably copy and paste from somewhere about millennial marketing. )

A long-suffering crony asks: Why did you wait so long to continue this report after the last dispatch? 

Dronesville fish

Answer: This blogger is still hunting the Sahara for relevant images, videos, bullet points, other visual breaks…etc.

Question/statement: Marketing Fishes in Sahara? Irrelevant title!  

Answer: Good spot. See, I net one fish (you) at least!

Long-suffering crony: Cough (to expel air noisily from the lungs, usually to expel fluids that resonate during breathing) * or Duh (interjection used to express actual or feigned ignorance or stupidity, also used derisively to indicate that something just stated is all too obvious or self-evident).*

*the explanations are for the benefit of my senior readers from Dronesville. 😉

cluttered mind

Dronesville football club #13: command from a senior nerd

It is a virtual command: “reveal your All-Time Favorites”!

millennials then and nowdronesvilles-edge

Dronesville bluenot a dronedronesville eyeballevening crossingdronesville football club

By now my geeky chat group cronies have given up on me. Rumors are that I am hibernating in the outback somewhere in Australia and not in Timbuktu, or anywhere near it. Some of the rumors are on my wishlist. Yes, my impossible goals. The latest is that I have been kidnapped by a robot with mutated AI and am now imprisoned somewhere back in America. What a wishful thinking!

That is why I am somewhat relieved when I receive this command from a senior nerd, “reveal your all time favorites.” What else can a respectable order-abiding junior nerd like me do but to prove I am still doggedly persisting in my pursuit to save a fellow nerd-friend from being devoured by a football club of former cannibals who happen to own a gold football field in the desert? Of course, I transmit the command to my nerd-mole in WordPress to dig out some old pictures that someone like me likes/least abhors and fill in the blank on this blog.

An anonymous hacker who manages to get onto our exclusive chat board has asked, “So where are you exactly, after wiping off that fake smile, riding into sunset in Dronesville football club #12?”

Here is my reply, “I am in a sort of place that you never seem to come to the end of, and it was full of unexpected places.” (misquoted from C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) (To be continued)

Dronesville football club #12: You don’t know who I am? AI replies

AI documentary

“________ is betting that people care more about convenience and ease than they do about a seemingly oblique notion of privacy, and it is increasingly correct in that assumption.” (quoted from online source). “To jump or not to jump?” (mis-quoted understandably by me from Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1) That is still the pertinent question I am asking.

“Ahem,” someone suddenly answers and there is no one in my prison cell! ‘A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!’ (Richard III Act 5, Scene 4) The voice emulates my thoughts and quotes Shakespeare accurately!

There it is, a horse appears under my window as I gaze in unbelief at the gold golf field that is out of this desert world. Without hesitation, I make the great leap to freedom, or rather free-falling/tumbling face-down onto the acrobatic horse which aptly positions itself and leaps up and catches me squarely with its back. The rest is history, namely, we/the incredibly timely horse gallop happily into the desert sunset.

But I still need to know who now has stealthily gained access to my thoughts. “Who are you?” I ask the invisible (voice) in my utmost coolness.

“You don’t know? Your AI co-author of course!” Its chilly voice answers me equally cooly.

“AHA?!” I remain composed (instead of falling off the horse-back). When have I stooped so low or reached so high to employ or install a co-author and an AI (artificial intelligence) for that matter?

In my hyperloopish imaginative mind, without hesitation or repetition, I conclude that it has to be an espionage in the class of the latest Johnny English 3 (to be released);

OR worse, the privacy of this ordinary private nerd may have been “infiltrated” by a hacker who had pilfered my unassuming profile data from presumably data banks kept by (the following are randomly included based on their currently reported popularity among global users and not reflecting any other reasons otherwise): Apple/FaceBook/Google/Microsoft/Samsung/Sony/Tencent;

OR worst, my English boss, Lord________ who is most likely masterfully swinging his ___________’s Scotty Cameron Newport putter on the Old Course at St. Andrews Links, getting ready for the 2021 Open Championship.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against technological development and use of handy digital DIY tools, such as apps with pre-set algorithms to instantly solve problems, expedite decision making and maintain zero-error quality control in important matters such as production of goods and services, for profit or non-profit. As resources become scarcer and nerd/geek lifestyle becomes increasingly complex and demandingly multitasking, racing against finite time and exhaustive human resources, artificial intelligence saves time, effort and perhaps improves meeting goals with minimal/zero rework. I would call it “preservation of brain cells” (and sweat pores).

But can it improve this nerd’s adventure in the desert to meet my twin goals of saving my fellow nerd friend from being impelled and worse eaten alive by a football team of former cannibals while simultaneously successfully prospecting a football field for gold? Why does it say “co-author” and not “co-prospector”? I summon all my pure human brain cells to work at the speed of a persevering nerd to out-think this AI thing which probably is waiting for my next move.

“Ahem, where are you?” I ask nonchalantly. (Fake Smile) (To be continued)

~~~~~~Notes: (Excerpted from Wikipedia and online sources)

1. “Algorithm”:

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an unambiguous specification of how to solve a class of problems.

2. “Artificial Intelligence (AI)”:

Thought-capable artificial beings appeared as storytelling devices in antiquity, and have been common in fiction, as in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots).

Artificial intelligence is breaking into the healthcare industry by assisting doctors.

AI researchers have devised a number of powerful tools to solve these problems using methods from probability theory and economics.

The use of AI machines in the market in applications such as online trading and decision making has changed major economic theories.

Military drones capable of autonomous action are widely considered a useful asset. In 2017, _________(leader of a world power nation) stated that “Whoever becomes the leader in (artificial intelligence) will become the ruler of the world”. Many artificial intelligence researchers seek to distance themselves from military applications of AI.

~~~~~~~~~Cautionary words (excerpted from an online article):

__________, director of engineering at________, predicts that by 2029 computers will be able to outsmart even the most intelligent humans. They will understand multiple languages and learn from experience.

Once they can do that, we face two serious issues.

First, how do we teach these creatures to tell right from wrong — in our own self defence?

Second, robots will self-improve faster than we slow evolving humans. That means outstripping us intellectually with unpredictable outcomes…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Elon Musk has recommended the following AI documentary:

Dronesville football club #11: you know where I am, out of…or inside?

a window sceneOut of This World or inside? I cannot tell. But you can guess where I am if you can see this picture. As far as I am concerned I am nowhere near my hotly pursued Timbuktu football field of gold after our entourage is captured by the rebel troop while on our way to re-capture the royal goat which according to the two French-Germans disguised as Tuareg women has significant influence on our common destiny (presumably continued survival in the desert). No, my whip and sword bearing Indy dad has not come just in time (unlike the movie) to deliver me from captivity no matter how many times I cry dad in my digitally-wired brain. No, the voice assistant SiZu does not regain her voice after going into silent mode. Alas, summoning all the brilliant nerdy visual, audio and whatever data from my grey cells has not programmed a plausible algorithm that can solve the present predicament.

Judging from the predominant color blue outside my window I seem to be in Morocco? But this cannot be! The camel-speed rebel troop could not have traveled this far from where we have been unless by some unknown science fiction enabled space transference or teleport or hyperloop or whatever technology advancement you can imagine.

Should I take a chance and jump out so I can summon all my superb physical prowess for a great escape? Or should I stay put and watch strange men in long flowing gold gowns and head gears putting gold golf balls outside on a gold golf field that is out of this desert world? Neither is my dad responding to my transmission, nor is my English Lord mission impossible boss rising to the occasion by his suave and cool James Bond-style physical appearance to solve the puzzle. The worst is the fact that my travel companions (being ladies) are held in a different cell. And this young innocent nerd-blogger (though undoubtedly has been uniquely gifted in hunting down treasure) have run out of authoritative voices to tell me what to choose in matters of escape. So, how about you, my fellow nerds out there or in there as I may be out instead of inside your world, giving me some sound advice? To jump or not to jump? That is the pertinent question. (To be continued)

Note to nerds: I get into this conundrum because one of you is in danger of being eaten alive by the football club members of former cannibals. And I am supposed to save him. So stop laughing and start working.


Here is the unedited original picture I take from a window at random.

a window scene 2

Dronesville football club #10: the beloved royal goat escapes

Dronesville #10 goat n goldThis is gotta be the saddest day of my life. No, I am not singing “let’s just kiss and say goodbye”, a favorite song of my Dronesville retired English teacher grand aunt. I am now obsessed with Beloved, -the designated royal goat (not William Billy Windsor I of British military of course) which has made his great escape. The scream that pierces through the silence of the Sahara desert is nerve shattering but this time I am prepared, “O shut up SiZu! Can’t you speak or yell a bit more human? Now, now, what is the matter?” SiZu is of course my latest AI voice assistant (my English Lord boss’ experiment)

“Someone has stolen the goat! Someone has stolen die Ziege-la chèvre!” It is somewhat annoying that of all the experiments on AI voice assistant, the English Lord boss has chosen an experiment in dramatic histrionics using the currently domineering EU twin-languages to simulate a highly charged up emotional human scene. Is he plotting of pushing the EU-flavored linguistics voice assistant App to diversify the somewhat modified made-in-Britain theatrics to EU Androids market after Brexit? He is, after-all, a descendant of one of those anonymous top ten shrewdest businessmen in the former British empire where the sun did not set. Given the increasingly popular showmanship trend in global tech-know social network, I am not surprised this App has a glowing future.

“What?!” Coming back from my nerdy thoughts to the harsh Sahara desert physical reality, my turn to panic. My mind instantly flashes a jack pot of gold carried by the goat sprouting wings and flying off.

“BTW, my master has programmed my voice modeling yours. Aren’t you human or what?” SiZu answers my question requiring her to sound a bit more human.

“What the…is this a bad joke or what?” I always suspect that my boss has been sneakingly recording my conversation but I never expect this! “Honestly, SiZu, you don’t sound a bit like me. I neither sound like a feline nor speak any un-English vernacular.” I maintain my unflappability after the initial outburst of perturbation. I would not be caught using the term “Un-American vernacular” because of political correctness of course. (My former English teacher grand aunt will be clapping when she reads this.)

“Well, go ahead and scream. He has recorded your scream.” SiZu has the audacity to issue a challenge! The boss is a joker. Anyway I refuse to stoop so low as to argue over a trivial matter with a voice assistant. FOCUS. THE IMPORTANT MATTER IS THE GOAT IS EITHER PLAYING THE GOAT OR IS GETTING OUR GOATS.

Thus, the whole camp -meaning the two all-knowing (or rather two alien nerds most likely using much more advanced digital techno-gadgets my English Lord boss has yet to invent?) German-French girls, a cool Gen-Z kid who now imagines she is wonder woman and of course, me, the sensible Dronesville virtual football coach aka treasure hunting nerd with my loyal old chap robot (temporarily taken over by SiZu by voice)-everyone wakes up in the middle of the night and begins the great Sahara desert wild goose I mean wild goat chase.

“Okay, SiZu, where is the goat?” I ask.

“I am computing and connecting to the CPU. Right now the signal is not computing.” My AI digital voice assistant replies.

“What? Are you kidding? You still rely on CPU?” I laugh even though it is not a good joke.

“I am not a kid. The kid is in the basket on your back.” SiZu replies cooly.
My turn to yell. Correction, my turn to growl. (I do not yell.) I am still carrying a basket and the Gen-Z kid is in it?”

A towering shadow looms over me and the kid’s librarian aunt booms out while strapping the basket and kid on my back, “Ja. We start marching now.”
Seeing my puzzled look, she adds smugly, “We already know where the goat is heading. Move!”

“My name is not Ja…” I try to correct her but am interrupted by SiZu, “Ja means Yes in German. LOL.”

As I reluctantly follow the amazons, dragging my fatigued trunk meaning own body or bodies including the Gen-Z kid, my multitasking millennial mind starts working on various scenarios of escapes for myself.

First, stay cool. If I were a goat where would I go?
I am pretty sure no one has taken it. It just wonders off. Why?
If I were a goat, I wonder off because I am hungry. What does goat eat?
Grass. Leaves. Young shoots. Ah ha. I remember seeing goats standing on trees.
“SiZu, where are the nearest grass and trees?” I ask cooly.

“We are not going there.” The voice assistant replies.

“Billions of blue blistering boiled and barbecued barnacles! Why are we not going there?” I growl (literally. Not the global notification system and pop-up notification implementation for the Mac OS X and Windows operating systems in case you geeky millennials wonder). Yes, I am now more like Captain Haddock of Tin Tin fame.

SiZu retorts, “Excuse me! My job is not to ask why. I just follow instructions.”

“So, where exactly are we going, may I be so bold to ask?” I ask.

“No, you may not be so bold to ask. Period.” SiZu auto-mutes after that.

FINE. I too shall henceforth mute until someone hacks the vocal silence.

Summoning up all the visual, audio and whatever data from my grey cells I try to program an algorithm that can solve the present predicament.

All that I can think of is this famous opening line:“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer the royal goat ran away, and I didn’t know what I was doing in Sahara, so far.” (misquoted by me from Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar)

Dronesville football club #9: No, her name is neither Siri nor Alexa

silence footsteps
footsteps of silence

“Advancements in a bevy of industries are helping intelligent digital voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa become more sophisticated and useful pieces of technology.” There seems a leak. One anonymous chap posts in my private chat group and alerts me that he knows I am carrying the latest AI digital voice assistant as part of my English Lord boss’ experiment. “Enough of acting like some comic character from horrible history! We are not amused! Why don’t you activate your SiZu? This is a millennial short story, FOCUS!” He even knows her name! Is he the spy my English boss uses to check on me? Of course I am not easily swayed by any such illicit comment. How does the boss know I am here? FOCUS. This is the usual word my boss uses on me. We millennials multitask in our mind. Focus is something that requires double brain cell efforts. Well, I better not take this too lightly in case it is really the boss’ command. So my great escape plan to go solo after the football field of gold is not a piece of cake.

To be precise, I mean killing this half dead royal goat in the middle of the desert is not a piece of cake. The unearthly piercing scream does not stop even after I drop the pathetic looking tiny outdoor survival knife kit on the dust. The two german French girls and the Generation Z kid look quite calm and serene presumably waiting for their goat stew supper by this self-proclaimed impromptu chef of the Sahara.

The scream has words that form a sentence,
“You nincompoop, stop your cruelty to wild animals. I will report you to the PCRDGS which stands for Prevention of Cruelty to Royal Desert Goats Society!” The screaming voice comes from my chest.
“But, but, but… (not the goat butting as it is 50-75% dead), who are you?” I stammer.
“I am SiZu of course!”
“But, but, but… (I begin to sound like a vocal goat) I haven’t activated you…”
“O, you have. Otherwise why am I speaking to you?”
“But, but, but… (this goat language seems a stop gap to allow me to recharge my thinking process) I haven’t addressed your name so how can I have activated you?”
“O, you have. When you clicked the chat board message that displays my name.”
“What? I can’t believe this!”
“Well, what is your question?” SiZu is back to official business.
“OK, how to kill and cook a goat in this desert?” I have regained my cool, bold and mastery millennial nerd self.
“SiZu, how may I …” I repeat my question. But all I receive is silence.
After I issue my command for the third time, I receive an equally cold reply, “Thou shall not kill.”
“What?! Unbelievable! Come on, this is only a goat! And a near dead one for that matter.”
“No. She is not a mere goat. She is now under the protection of the PCRDGS. Your duty is to carry her and deliver her to an important person.”
“How come you are issuing me command? ” I suddenly realize that SiZu and I have switched role.
“My master has reprogrammed me to do that.” Sizu replies.

A thousand thundering blizzards. My English Lord boss has the upper hand again. So this is his latest experiment on AI. Not only that it can see human action and assess decision making perfectly it can also issue command to human. When the boss reprogrammed my robot he has added this SiZu into it. Where is the old chap?
SiZu seems to read my thought, “When you activated me, your old chap is auto off. He will stay dormant until you complete your assignment.”

The German-French anthropologist walks toward me and says cooly, “We are not surprised. We already know. Now that you know we cannot eat this goat, take my advice, eat the vegetables and sleep. We have a long march tomorrow.”

So they (The two girls, the Gen Z kid and my boss who is comfortably lazing about, seeping English afternoon tea nibbling buttered scones in his garden party catered by Harrods talking about weather surrounded by the latest socialites) are in this together. That is why they are not shattered by SiZu’s inhuman scream. The worst nightmare is that they seem to share a common agenda to which I am not privy. What can an uncomplicated nerd like me do? My lightning fast mind seems racing to ten thousands directions at once.

I can pretend to cooperate and watch for an opportunity to escape.
I can simply refuse to do anything they want me to do.
I can remove the robot from my body if it cannot be deactivated by my voice command.
I can discard the goat and leave it to die in the hot sun.
I can dislodge the kid and her basket and leave her to her towering aunt, the librarian.
I can sit by the road side and wait for a vehicle to thumb a lift.
I can…O dad, why did you abandon me again? (I feel like the seven year old again.)
“No, junior, I didn’t abandon you.” Dad suddenly speaks.
“What? Where are you, dad?” I cry out.
“I am here, virtually communicating to you through your robot.”
“But how do you know my thought?”
“I stick a chip on the plasma.”
“What?! You heard the ten thousands thoughts of escape?”
“No, I have programmed it to start transmiting to me only when you use the key word “dad” in your thought.”
“Dad, I am in hot soup. I need help.”
“I know. That is why I came to your aid just now.”
“But dad, you have all those movie-like people with real weapons. Are you in some sort of trouble?”
“Hahaha, I like you putting it so mildly. No, I am not. I am in a big thing after a great reward. Listen, junior, you just cooperate with the girls. Do not be afraid. I know what they are after. I am on the same route too and shall keep an eye on you, son. Any question?”
“Is the goat really special?” I have to ask.
“Well done, boy, you have hit the jackpot! It is indeed special. Guard it well. Make it stay alive and you will not regret the effort.”

This has been the best news since I started this journey to Timbuktu to meet an impossible goal of saving a friend stuck in a football club of former cannibals. I sleep without another thought. How little do I know what is going to happen the next moment…the Silence is broken by another unearthly piercing scream…(to be continued)

Dronesville football club #8: my illusive senior nerd turned Indy dad

swiss knifeIf your long lost dad dressed like a Tuareg Indiana Jones suddenly appears in the middle of nowhere how will you react? The tea ceremony is like a fail-proof neighborly ritual between ancient desert tribal chiefs from the movie. I won’t go into details. But the two french actors/actresses conduct the ceremony and exchange polite greetings perfectly in vernacular language beyond this millennial. I play my role as the dumb servant superbly. How do they look? The horsemen? Well, brilliant blue and dazzling white. I would not lower myself to even give a glance their direction of course. Weapons? O, certainly, long knives and guns. So you see, minding my business is the best strategy. One thing we millennials do well is to stay cool and composed even when cold sweat oozes out from every pore.

I hope the horsemen will leave soon but I don’t expect the next scene. One Tuareg horseman lingers behind. He is the one with the long knife and carries a whip. And he walks toward me. He speaks perfect British English! “Look what we have here? You are no Tuareg.” He leans over.

Then he whispers, “you foolish boy, who do you think you are trying to fool?” He knows who I am! “Get out of this war zone immediately. NOW! Get the two German girls to start scrambling for safety!”

It just has to be my dad. The long absented senior nerd turned treasure hunter in South America. He has spotted me because of the minuscule mole on my left eyebrow! But why does he call them German and not French? He reads my mind and clarifies, “French-German.” Pulling me up from the ground he barks, “NOW! follow me!” I sprint like I am seven year old again and explain to the girls it’s my dad and we can trust him to get out of danger. Surprisingly they nod in unison and follow. He brings over two spare horses. The two girls ride on one and I ride with the kid and the goat.

Later when this journey is over and my dad has left I ask the two girls why they agree to follow without hesitation. The librarian laughs, “Why not? We love the Indy Jones movies!” LOL. How dumb can I be.

But why has my dad appeared at the right time? He is a treasure hunter of a higher level. Is he after the same football-field-size gold? What is he doing with the heavily armed Tuareg horsemen? Why is he dressed like a Tuareg Indiana Jones? There is no way I can find out as he quickly rides off into the glorious orange sunset with his horsemen as soon as we reach a highway.

The highway is safe? So we are told. It is empty. No vehicle. No traveler. Just orange dust. Anyway my robot gives me the same instruction to go this way. By now we need to drastically lose weight. I mean I need to drastically lose the weight of my overbearing load. I have two options, the Gen Z kid or the goat. I cannot dump the brat/kid. (What with her amazon aunt towering over me watching like a buzzard). So I decide to dump the goat or eat it. I can no longer swallow another mouthful of the bland meatless concoction the girls has been spooning out without expecting my head to sprout cabbages in another 48 hours anyway.

The snooty anthropologist asks, “How, may I ask, sir, are you going to kill this royal goat and cook it?” The Gen Z kid raises her hand and volunteers cooly, “Easy. Ma’am. I will do the slaughtering.” The librarian (her aunt) rolls her eyes and snorts, “O, no, you certainly won’t!”

“Piece of cake,” I say to myself. As I want to maintain my stature as an able independent survivor if marooned in the desert, I google and find about 50 ways to kill a possibly already dead goat and cook it. Alas, I have to eliminate nearly all because I do not have the equipments or ingredients in this no-man-land. Finally I decide to forget about the googled information and just do it my way.

As I lift up my Weathered Leatherman Portland Oregon knife (survival tool), an unearthly shriek pierces through the still air and all the hair on the back of my neck stand on end…(to be continued)

Dronesville football club #7: two and half wonder geek women/girls, one dumb goat and half a nerd in catatonic mode

dronesville sahara
tea pot

the day for the showdown between three and half “white” geeks/nerds and 100 other human to divide the fifty goats on the roof top of the bus has come. all that i heard from fellow travelers in the least obtrusive guest house in Bamako about land transport to Timbuktu except for the evasive baobabs have come to pass. nothing dramatic happens though with some blood shed due to heads being bumped into each other and the roof etc. as the dilapidated bus turns over and rolls/slides down a hill when it tries to avoid what the driver deems to be an exposed mine (?) and the engine breathes its last. i cannot describe how the roof top goats have survived being crushed under the weight of metal and human mass. i refuse to repeat the fearful angry and desperate noises of human and animals and everything else in such nightmarish chaos. all i know is how the three and half humans who are the only foreigners counted by the locals as the whites have come out alive. yes, there is this blogging nerd (or half a nerd by now), two girls of indeterminable nationality and ages and one little girl who happens to be the niece of one of the two. in the dusty orange desert which has dressed everyone in orange and the gear they wear or rather the gears (maybe 20kg each on the adults’ back) that wear them out it is hard to tell their colors or origins.

but the locals are pretty good in detecting aliens like us. after a lengthy discourse and dissertation by some chiefs we are rounded up and made to pay for one live (?) goat at an exorbitant price and told to walk away with it. the others presumably share the rest of the goats. as the other human including the driver happily walk off and vanish at the distant horizon we english speaking aliens have no choice but to stop fuming or sulking or suspiciously spying at each other but sit down civilly and come up with an agreement: we do agree on one common goal. we all want to go to Timbuktu. three and half is better than one so we decide to stick together. being unencumbered (as i only carry one digital plasma flat robot tied to my chest and nothing else except the tourist clothes and a pair of branded sports shoes i am wearing) i am unanimously voted to carry the goat on my back.

the sunset scene on orange sand domes is unbelievably stunning. the thundering hunger sound made by our combined stomachs is equally spell-bounding. the girls plod on. i cannot decide whether they look pretty or not as my entire focus is on the probable contents of their bags. surely they carry some food and water. so they plod on i plod on. we just walk until the little girl drops down. the distance between Bamako and Mopti is 600km and would take 5 days if we walk non-stop! our best hope is to get to the nearest village to take whatever available transport means. my solar powered GPS says Dioila is 33 walking hours away assuming we can walk 5km per hour. nightfall comes early and finally i am given something to eat. not the goat of course. i put it down and it just lies there with possibly broken limps or stunned brain. not running away.

when i wake i find myself among two Tuareg men and a boy. my walking companions have transformed into locals with nothing but eyes showing and painted brown skins surrounding the eyes. “you better change too as we foresee trouble.” they warn and toss to me a spare set of robe, headgear and sandals. they also paint all my visible body and facial parts brown. one of them expertly wraps a Tagulmust (a long piece of cotton cloth) over my head, neck and face. “who are you two?” i have to ask? “an anthropologist.” “and you?” i ask the other grow-up. “a librarian.” “and i am a gen Z.” says the little girl. “you?” she asks. “a tourist.” i say innocently.

“well, from now on you will just be the dumb Tuareg servant carrying our present to a royalty.” they start conversing in french and begin the brisk walk for the day. what choice do i have but to put the royal goat on my shoulder and stumble on?

my robot gps is set to the direction of Dioila but soon it starts beeping warning that we are off track. the two French (?) continue to ignore me as they seem having their own gps. the librarian carries the little girl (disguised as a boy) in a basket strapped to her back. they have hidden the back-packs under their robes. i soon realize that these are olympian desert marathon runners. they know the route like the back of their palms and walk at a speed as effortlessly and gracefully as gliding down a snowy slope in their own backyard.

if i am the tourist i claim to be i would not mind this adventure. it is like shooting a fantastic adventure movie story: a young innocent millennial geek/nerd with a state of the art AI multitasking robot, two wonder women, one mature and sensible generation Z kid and a speaking goat (maybe the narrator if i write the script). my imagination starts running away as i bear the increasing dead weight of a half dead goat and one live and kicking Gen Z brat (as they have dumped her on my back too) like a beast of burden…alas, whatever peace and quiet in my imaginary virtual world is soon shattered by thunder. but it is not thunder. it is the sound of horsemen behind us. the two french suddenly halt and sit down in the shade of some rocks. they decide to wait it out. the anthropologist takes out a tea set and starts making tea. my robot stops giving instructions. too sudden an unfamiliar change calls for switching into a catatonic realm. so i freeze. i sit down with the goat and kid on my back and shoulder. (to be continued)

p/s: i made this picture from a combination of picture cuttings from different online sources to illustrate the story. the tiny dog purple head is my original. the LOL dog head is not. Credit goes to internet.

Dronesville football club #6: miracle or desert mirage? a puppy in the grass

a miracle! Growth in the desert.

a puppy in park
GROWTH is imminent

When you are traveling on the perilously mined desert road to Timbuktu, in a bus with at least 50 goats tied on the roof, with breakdown or a worst case scenario threatening to materialize imminently at any moment, you just cannot believe that this could ever appear before your eyes when you are suddenly woken by the halt of the vehicle, a football? A drone? No, a puppy in the grass. What? Grass? Puppy? Yah guys, all of the above. Am I on the right planet? Wow! Is this the latest hologram? This millennial nerd think loudly and checks the geeky self in time. But I am not here as a hologram buyer or seller. I am here on my way to Timbuktu to rescue my captivated friend and secure the gold in the mysterious football field fiercely guarded by a team consist of ex-cannibals.

Yet, I must admit this hologram tops the list so far. What a stun! Alas, the goats on the roof are not impressed. They become agitated by the seemingly one puppy stealing the limelight and start shaking together in violent unison. The non-goat passengers emulate the motion and soon the bus is shaking uncontrollably as it attempts to continue its journey. The already overloaded bus with its human and other passengers seem engaged in a storm at sea in a rhythm that an outsider can never master. I can feel my feet being shuffled uncontrollably while the out-of-this-world bus zooms ahead in full sail. For those fellow nerd readers of my chat board who may think this impossible must see the next sight: desert goats posing elegantly like sophisticated Chanel models on an argon tree! I am somewhat disappointed it is not the infamous baobabs I expect to see. Well, argon will do for awhile as it has laced itself with such graceful looking model goats.  But what is the meaning of all these? Wait till the next next scene…(to be continued)

P/s: The following picture is taken from another travel blogger who blogs in Chinese language. Her travel stories are very well written and entertaining. This is one of her picture trophies from Morocco.  When you click on the caption below the picture you will go to her web site

2063 blog


Dronesville football club #5: what I do for a friend, gold football field, baobabs, and fifty goats

2017 FavoritesDronesville football#5

All this for saving the life of the longest living captain for a football club of former cannibals. Of course my ex-classmate and football buddy whom we name Romano is no way near that grand football age. Guys, when I say longest living I mean anyone who survives longest without being eaten during the ravenous hunger pangs of a bunch of ex-cannibals after a field day. A one-club man is a sportsperson who has played his or her entire professional career with only one club. Romano becomes a one-club man as he is probably locked up by his fellow club buddies after each match.

So here I am in a place faraway from Dronesville, bound for a mysterious football field full of gold near Timbuktu, a famously remote, now decrepit city at the edge of the Sahara in central Mali, in another unbelievable journey!

My google search turns out this narration: “you can’t beat traveling there by boat, along the mighty Niger, Africa’s third longest river. Setting out from Mopti, to the west of Timbuktu, take a pinasse (flat-bottomed fishing smack)a type of motorized canoe with a domed grass canopy, and enjoy the traveling as much as the arriving.”

I search further and read this description by a traveller: “The road trip from Bamako to Mopti requires about 8-9 hours and is about 640km long, over paved road…Along the way, you will cross the African savannah, full of baobab…” Well, it sounds good. I seem to see the baobab that the Little Prince describes, “It is a question of discipline….When you’ve finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished from the rose-bushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth…” (5.16). I suppose Romano and the gold can wait while I see these frightfully deceptive baobabs.

Like all studious nerds I continue searching and study the internet for information and tips. I decide to follow two of the the advices of this Joshua Hammer, an American freelance journalist and author 1. In Bamako: Your best bet is a less obtrusive but no less comfortable guesthouse. Well, this should be easy. 2. Take the road to Timbuktu, if you dare…don’t veer off the main track: the desert is strewn with mines. Do I dare? That’s it. I decide to use land transport from Bamako to Mopti and thereafter by boat to Timbuktu.

After an uneventful night in the least obtrusive guest house except hearing nightmarish stories of amateur travelers driving and hitting landmines, I decide that driving is out of the question. Should I get a paid private lift from the battered 4×4? Again I decide against it having heard some horror stories from other guests. One traveler replied another seven years ago (online source): “The last option is to take a bus…There are buses at least in the morning and afternoon leaving Bamako for Mopti from the Sogoniko gare routiere. (I haven’t done this before so I don’t know which one) straight to Timbuktu. Of course they are prone to breakdowns.”

So here I am in the early morning waiting for a bus. The place has had no rain for months and someone says that the temperature can reach over 40 degrees! The buses are full and I cannot wait another day in the marketplace swooning in uncertainty. I am down to choosing between these two and I choose the bus with at least 50 goats tied on the roof! Well, it’s an added advantage to travel with goats in case we get stuck in the desert and need to use this food of last resort…so I imagine. After all, I pride myself for being able to make the right prioritized decision based on the lowest Maslow hierarchical needs (To be continued).

The following pictures are credited to internet sources to illustrate the above story:

sogoniko busMali bus

Dronesville football club #4: more algorithm routes to success

More routes of Experimental successes.

dronesville sale pitch“Why are you posting two-dimensional card board people? LOL.” The issue concerning my writing style has been mocked at by a well-meaning but perhaps ignorant unread crony. Another superficial or action-oriented millennial character has the audacity to demand, “Give us Indiana Jones! Pirate of the Caribbean!” I admit I too am loyal fan of them on rainy days when tired of practicing for my next impossible goal of joining the Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps.

But honestly, haven’t you all read the great Asimov’s Foundation? The characters are card board mouthpieces. I shall continue to relentlessly emulate IA (acronym for Isaac Asimov for the uninitiated) at best or JE (Johnny England) at worst. Ahem, an anonymous outsider(?) asks, “Surely you have something significant to REPORT on those flights, don’t you?” The word REPORT arouses my suspicion. I suspect either an IRS agent or a prospecting rival is after the same gold. Who knows he or she might be on the same flights? Not to worry, sooner or later the chap will be ferreted out.

To satisfy my family inquisitor, the retired English teacher grand-aunt, here is the official report: The flights are sardined (sandwiched, warns my former English teacher) with the usual generic flavored travelers and the rest, enigmatic (or rather, anemic as my English teacher remarks) card-board individuals, like me, with inadequate dimensions for profiling to match any algorithm. After many requests ranging from polite gentleman’s perfect dictions to whimpering but futile attempts to attract attention and get food from apathetic “flight attendants” whom I suspect are preset with AI algorithm to repel chaps like me, this innocent victimized human resolutely and stoically sleeps as in hunger strike for a good cause until the first stop where he gorges himself and thereafter snores with Top Secret drum beats in bliss as his digestive and sleep systems synchronize harmoniously.

One young(?) smartly dressed man/woman sells inedible stuff (his/her best-seller book) and this captivated audience carries on sleeping while hearing high-pitched verbose bombastic presentation on how to make a million in one year. Two women of indeterminable ages in front nibble on loud exotic tidbits congratulating each other on having each opportunely made a fortune selling refrigerators, washing and drying machines and air-conditioners to a tropical third world country with regular power failure.

(This reminds one of the report (blog) of 1971 Mali being donated shinny electric IBM typewriters and papers proudly on display to Western visitors by a local governor. They were greeted with the impressive sight of an array of local women sitting on concrete floor behind typewriters which were unplugged because there was no electric power. The governor had a large wall safe opened showing that it was filled with reams of typing papers.*)

A man in his forties but dresses like a teenager wearing a baseball cap whispers succinct bullet points how he buys cheap run down hotels in developing countries, refurbishes with cheap materials and re-sells them for a large margin and is now magnanimously inviting sleeping business partners. To top it all, the “flight attendants” with precise AI do their multitasking entertaining and creative sale pitch.

By the time this humble law abiding citizen of the world finally reaches the capital city he already germinates and masters in his super nerd mind twenty apps for his target potential clients (with sale pitch to each in eight seconds, the maximum current attention span of the Generation Z) on how to become a millionaire in algorithmic ways or at worst give sale pitch on any otherwise boring uneventful long flights.

The overland/overwater journey is another report. (To be continued)

*Credit of this passage about IBM typewriters in a place without electricity goes to:

For those interested in drum: (Top Secret Drum Corps Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2009)

Dronesville football club #3: two routes to success

Experimental season for successes.

The first least impossible goal is to escape from Dronesville. My past efforts had proven futile but this time I have thought out a fail-proof plan. This is the easiest on my goal list, alas. As anyone can see it is that time of the season when everybody is in a celebrating mood. With winter knocking on the door and bounty snow fall promises who would bother with virtual football club?

I just received a WhatsApp message from one ex-classmate who had lost himself for years hiking in a secret place near Timbuktu. It is a message for HELP. “Hi guys you may not know i am still stuck out here being the longest living captain for a football club of former cannibals who have been converted from the love of human meat to football!!! i am running away not out of fear but out of extreme boredom and also because of this sudden insatiable yearning for ________ fried chicken and a shower i must get back to civilization! i know one of you bored nerds out there doing nothing except twittering thumbs can get me out. i am desperate. got to run. bye.” Next, he wrote, “BTW, this hideout the size of a football field is full of gold. Pure gold.”

Aha, I know that is my break. My first two least impossible goals are: “escape from Dronesville’s virtual football club and get some gold for myself (and not for my boss, the English lord.) My getaway action plan: jam the drone controller, tie a muzzle on Grace’s mouth, use my master key to drive off into the sunset my grand aunt’s 2018 Land Rover Defender. Yes she is testing on one before its official launch. I will park it at the ________ international airport safely of course for her to collect.

So far so good. I get away as planned. However, the international flight is not what I have expected. I inadvertently omitted to pre-book and pay for meals online and cannot buy them on the plane. The rules have changed! Why? Because there is a technical hitch and credit cards cannot be accepted. Nor can they accept cash in lieu of card as this is the airline policy. Imagine a young and healthy nerd with nothing to eat for 10hr 35min! Nothing to do except to sleep… At the first stop I eat something at the transit area. It takes another 11 hours to reach the second stop. Again I have to buy whatever food I can on the ground. I fly for another 7 hours to reach the capital of the nation. The drive from the capital takes 20 hours to reach my destination and much of it is off-road. 48 hours of travel plus layover time.

What? You are already tired reading the numbers? Wait till you hear the rest of the story. (To be continued)

P/s: Some geeks just posted on our secret chat board they have calculated the numbers and guessed the routes as: From SF to Heathrow to Johannesburg to Bamako to Timbuktu. LOL! Guess again.

I took this from the internet to show the cronies of the car I mention. Credit to the Source:
2018 LandRoverDefender

Dronesville football club #2: too many footballs to chase

Dronesville football club 2Dronesville football club 2

“Ka knew very well that life was a meaningless string of random incidents”. It is just Temporary, I finally quote Orhan Pamuk (Snow) to brush aside the impasse when I get too tired and bored watching the football dangling from the ceiling. After all, my life can so far be described somewhat as how Ka must have felt. I differ on the point that it is meaningless. I find my life meaningful, what with serving the Dronesville’s retirees who are mostly my relatives and former teachers and a super-nerd, an English lord who happens to be loaded with privy information about secret treasure buried in unimaginable places to be found with my unique assistance! Yes, I like to be useful even though I may be considered modestly (or largely) lay-back.

Whilst I have the urge to leave the room and grab some food a voice speaks from above. “Do not move!” What? I look around and see no one. Every one is having the usual Dronesville nap. Besides, I live alone in this quiet little house free of rent in lieu of payment for my virtual football club service to the Dronesville residents. Who has spoken? I sit down and look up at the ceiling and to my amazement another droplet of water appears, then another, and another… Soon the ceiling is covered with water droplets which have started to mutate into golf balls, then tennis balls, and finally footballs. Countless of them are now crowding my whole ceiling.

“These are your goals.” What? They are my goals? How can I ever chase after so many goals?
“Yes, look carefully.” There are words written on each football. “Copy.” So I start writing down these goals, “playing European football for the richest club_____, writing _____ commercially viable applications and sell to _____, composing _____ for _____, re-reading and reviewing at least one classic science fiction in depth (such as Asimov’s The Foundation series, sequels and prequels), making attempts to write a series of _____, doing something positive, meaningful and relevant to change lives… There are so many footballs that I just cannot complete copying. The funny thing is they look so familiar. Where have I seen these before?

“So you recognize them?” The voice asks. What? I look at what I have written and then look up as I hear lots of people talking from above. Pictures begin to emerge on the footballs. Faces grinning or frowning and mouths talking. They look alike.

“Are you not chasing your goals? Why are you chasing after hidden treasure instead?”

Now I realize those faces are mine. I have made goals on the spur of moments over the years and never really focus on one. “Don’t you know once you make your goal, it is registered with the ministry of goals? You are expected to chase after each unless it’s harmful/illegal/immoral/abominable/forbidden.”

“Time is urgent and you have so many goals still ahead of you.”
“Will they go away?” I ask in desperation.
“No, unless you make an attempt and then fail. They will hang around you like this ceiling wherever you go.”

OK, that may sound bad but not as bad. I am still young and can start chasing one by one. But the list is so long. I suddenly think of a brilliant scheme. I will chase after the most impossible one and so on in the order of impossibility and eliminate them fast. “What kind of attitude is that?” The voice hears my thought. “You must follow rules. Succeed three before you can fail one.”

Boo Hoo, what can I do but fall face down and cry. To many footballs to chase away…I can imagine a life of “ceilings” dangling with boring footballs or be aswarmed with football looking bees which buzz like human but making no sense.

But I am an optimist. I refuse to be defeated. Whichever way it may look. (Like the two presentations of the same picture. LOL.)

I get up from the floor and look hard at the list of goals. My task now is to identify the three least impossible ones. (to be continued)

Dronesville football club #1: He starts over a new dream

dronesville football club“No man runs the race until he sees the dream.” (Fred C. White). I, the Dronesville’s nerd dream of running a race, well, not exactly. It is like I am chasing an invisible football and hear this remark from an audience who seems to sit high up. I look up and see the football in the sky! Before I have a better Peek into the other arena I wake with the MacBook screen glaring at me. On it there is a gigantic football. What am I supposed to be doing? No, I am not the player. I am just updating the website for the Dronesville Retirees’ Virtual Football Club.

Since the teacher-retiree-residents start practicing their wealth of combined knowledge through modern tech-know skills online they have been fascinated with the seemingly limitless creative ways to compensate virtually for what they lack in the physical world. One of the programs they have successfully launched is virtual football competition with other retirees. They have appointed the youngest member in Dronesville to maintain the website. You guess rightly, I am the youngest. Most of the residents who are also former teachers are in their 60s and above. My former English teacher happens to be my grand aunt is one of the driving forces behind their enthusiasm to learn the digital age.

Life has been rather quiet since I return from my treasure hunt. Some readers may ask if I get my share of the treasure. LOL. You guess. Anyway I haven’t got away to some mysterious exotic island. I have been grounded and immediately reassigned to be the umpire and coach on the internet as there is a game being hotly contested between several retirees teams. The Dronesville team is not performing to the mark right now. Oh, yes, my boss the English lord is one of the players. My grand-aunt has enlisted him as a reserved player. He has become one of their favorites. Honestly I do not know how he has managed to wangle his way out of that extreme predicament on that fateful night with his container load of gold! It remains a secret. So now I have two virtual superiors to serve (sigh).

What happens to the lovely orange car? Well, it was on-loan from the other nerd (spy?) who chooses to remain under-cover in Dronesville, and I had to return it to a spot where he picked it up without my knowing who he really is. Actually the car-drone is remotely controlled by its owner/inventor. Gracie is as happy as ever being the sole Dronesville mascot dog and the Dronesville drone is safely back to my grand-aunt’s custody.

What is my own dream? What am I running after? I admit I have never thought about it until now when I hear this voice questioning me from above. Do I see my dream? I look up at the ceiling and see a tiny shinny spot. A supernatural manifestation? When I look closely I see it is just a drop of water from presumably a leak upstairs. But wait a second. There is no upstairs. A leak from the roof? But it has not been raining since Spring! Now it is Autumn! No, I have not sighted any chem-trails floating pass the roof top sky. Yes, I am a sky-watcher. As I gaze at this “water drop” it grows bigger and becomes a golf ball, then a tennis ball. And finally it grows to its maximum and becomes a football! A continental football. To be precise, an English football.

For hours I sit here dumbfounded staring at this football dangling from my ceiling, not moving or blinking for fear that this might be the dream I am destined to run after. (To be continued)

Dronesville adventure #22: rounded up last but not least

Rounded up last but not least.dronesville22
When I hear the loud speaker blasting “No body moves! You are surrounded” I duck to the ground and my left hand shoots up as it has been ready for this moment of encounter. The snag is that it does not hold a gun. My companions do the best they are trained to do too. The drone surges upward and immediately becomes out of sight with its load of gold. The Dronesville mascot dog, Gracie, does her usual vanishing trick by darting with near speed of light (exaggerating here) into a bush. His Lordship keeps on walking as if nothing happens. I remain frozen on the ground with the vision of a car racing through my mind.

I admit I do have a way to get out of a mess. I have tried before and it sometimes works. You guess rightly, I can envision a way out in my blogging. So, here is this rounded car racing toward me out of nowhere. It does not hit me when it arrives because I am inside the car. In fact I am driving it. I can hear the wind giving way on both sides. I can hear sounds of moving obstacles parting, as the car zooms forward to an unknown realm.

As you can see from the picture, this car is a vintage beauty.

(To be continued?)

Dronesville adventure #21: rounded up

Rounded up!
dronesville treasureNo one could have predicted what happens next. As the others (the drone, the Dronesville dog Gracie, my English boss Lord XY who insists on being kept anonymous) jump, I jump too, expecting the best and the worst. Well the best comes first. I land on soft gentle ground. It is a safe landing after all and not a steep dangerous leap into the unknown chasm. The worst happens too. The boss starts sending me (through my robot) rapid thought of Tin Tin’s Captain Haddock’s curses, insults and exclamations through his robot, “Beasts! Crooks! Gangsters! Highwaymen!” “Billions of blue blistering barnacles””Ten thousand thundering typhoons!”

“Ahem, I beg your pardon, Lord XY, watch your thought mouth…” I thought mutter. “Nincompoop! Directed energy mine field ahead!”He thought retorts back. “What?!Whoa!Rats!Scorpion!…” My turn to thought blabber, “Well, boss, perhaps we should turn back and find another route…”

He takes out a tiny gadget and thought instructs, “Spray this plasma force field over your head and your whole body will be shielded.”

He quickly sprays Gracie, the drone and himself with his plasma spray. I follow suit. Despite not seeing or feeling any difference on my body, I walk behind them (by faith?) through the laser beams-infested tunnel. The beams hit us left and right and bounce off. We are shielded by the invisible plasma force field surrounding us.

So far so good, I congratulate myself. Soon we reach an open door and enter a gigantic dome-shaped chamber with blank walls all round. When I close my eyes and focus on the smell, I smell treasure all round! I smell gold like butter dripping down every wall. “Gold! Gold! Inside the walls! Boss!” I cannot help but yell in ecstasy.

The boss instructs the drone to start working on the walls with a net-like gadget. The drone robot flies to the highest point of the dome and let the net spread itself engulfing the whole space. Tentacles stretch into all directions from the net and attach to the round walls. As the drone moves, the tentacles pull and the walls crumble revealing the hidden wall to wall gold bars which are instantly sucked into the “net”.

“LOL. How can this be?” My chat board cronies mock in disbelief. How can a drone which previously could not lift the combined weight of a dog plus a lean human now suddenly acquire Hercules-like might and lifts a full load of gold bars that probably weigh tons? Where are we standing if the dome walls are breaking down from above? Why am I narrating calmly and not running away for my life?

No, this is not a scene from the latest Indiana Jones’ adventure. It is much simpler and less physically exhausting. The boss, Gracie and I stand outside the activity zone. We are shielded by an invisible barrier. We can see the transparent dome of gold but we are “outside” the danger zone. When the drone flies up to the ceiling, the boss does something with another gadget and builds an instant barrier between the dome and us. The dome is all around us but we are inside a sanctuary dome within the crumbling dome. The boss later tells me that the drone has been modified in my absence and is no longer the same “toy” my grand-aunt acquired.

The drone does a good job indeed. But how are we going to get out? Surprise! Gracie knows the way. She must have been here before. No wonder the boss insists that we take her for this treasure hunt. She leads us confidently into an open field. The boss says that he has his container waiting outside Dronesville for the treasure haul. It is still dark and the night is not yet over. But I feel pleased that the treasure is at my door-step and nothing too “adventurous” has happened. I am just contented going home, taking a warm bath and going to bed, knowing that the boss will soon deposit a large enough sum into my account for my work. I can envisage myself taking a long holiday lazing in a warm sunny place on some secret island without being disturbed by Dronesville’s residents. Oh yes, Gracie will be well fed and rewarded with her favorite treats. My grand-aunt will love to see her precious drone again…

As I think of such happy thoughts about living happily ever after, a rude loud blast pierces my eardrum, “No body moves! You are surrounded!” (To be continued)

Dronesville adventure #20 the scale and treasure hunt

balancing scaleLooking back there seems to be a higher unseen hand balancing the Scale that makes something meaningful out of the day of madness with the young nerd running as the inverted invisible man! The millennial somewhat immature nerd of course cannot be concerned about whether it is a dream or a reality as he races on with Gracie, the Dronesville mascot dog. Here is his account of what happens next. It requires a further balancing of scale as he continues in the great Dronesville treasure hunting adventure. Read on…

AS I race on with the 1972 mothers with prams, I soon discover there is no longer anyone but me and the dog. I can hear the sound of rushing water. Gracie starts barking to show me the way. I reach down and wash my face. Then I look again, What? Water! I can see sparkling water! My physical vision has restored itself. Well, I might as well take a chillax* in the pool. The surrounding is scenic yet unreal because there is no pool or pond in Dronesville except that nasty pond where people rear baby terrapins for sale. Where is this? Is this inside the Hyper-loop lab? It is daytime but there is no one around. There are shrubs all around the pool.

A voice appears from nowhere. “Come up here!” What?! It sounds exactly like my boss the English lord! Then it repeats the command. What choice do I have? Zero. I look at Gracie and she nods as if she reads mind. I climb up and walk towards the voice through the parting shrubs which open to a building so low that you would not normally notice unless you are the same height as my dog. What is the boss doing inside this dog house? “Come in here!” He is indeed inside! He repeats his command a second time. What does one not do for the treasure hunting adventure? I sigh and crawl inside the dog house with Gracie. It is an entrance to a tunnel. Instead of going downward it ascends up to another building presumably well hidden and camouflaged outside and draws no notice from the normal Dronesville residents. It has a narrow hall and the boss is waiting, wearing a mask over his mouth again. As we move forward in silence I can sense this is a transitional space into either neutral or hostile territory. The boss is well equipped digitally as usual and knows when to move or halt as he listens to the instructions from messages received in his robotic head-gear.

I can now only wonder whether I am Johnny England again or an unnamed millennial digital hero in DIY virtual comics. “Stop mind wandering. Focus!” The boss warns in silence. O, I have forgotten that we are digitally wired (through the mind-reading robots we are wearing) to share thoughts. “But boss, now that we have the dog Gracie and the drone (which has appeared and is resting on Gracie’s back) back, we better get on with our real business, treasure hunting!” I think back. He replies, “That’s exactly what we are doing now! Stop murmuring! Start smelling!” Ouch, his thoughts are ever so loud!

I faithfully turn on my exceptionally sharp smelling faculty and start imagining a generous share of the bounty. I smell at each of the many doors we walk pass and shake my head. How do I differentiate between valuable treasures and old metal trash? Believe me, there is a significant difference detectable by the gifted smelling specialist.

Gracie suddenly races pass us and the boss decides to run after her. She gallops ahead as if pulled by an invisible force. I run too. They run I run. The drone is way ahead of everyone. The hall ends at a door. The drone hoovers near it and Gracie stops, turns to look at us, swings her head back to point at the door. She is pretty good at using her head to talk to us. Her head movement signifies that we are to open it, which is the boss’ responsibility, since he hoards and not shares all his high tech gadgets.

As the door opens a gush of cold wind comes through powerfully as if it’s a wilderness out there! We shiver. The boss halts after he walks one step forward and looks down. The drone swiftly disappears into the hole in the ground, followed by Gracie who jumps in without hesitation. The boss jumps. I jump. (To be continued)

* “chillax”: chill and relax

Dronesville adventure #19: 1972 “Dronesville” mothers’ marathon, nerd, dog, baby carriages and time points

(Jessica Bruce, Credit: The Telegraph, 2015)

‘We is in Dream Country. This is where all dreams is beginning.’ (The BFG) Continue Reflecting. As the running crowd becomes increasingly tightly packed with runners, I can hear conversation. Someone is saying to someone else like, “Hi, so you have decided to join this first ever in human history marathon? what? I am in a first ever marathon? Where am I and what year am I in? Having gone through the WWII in England, I don’t envisage another horrible history episode in the past. Then I hear someone says, “Yes, we are proud of being Dronesville women. We start history today…” What? If I recall correctly, the first marathon in US in which women participated was in 1972 and it was run in Boston and not in Dronesville. But when I listen carefully, I realize that I am running among a pack of women. I am in 1972, running alongside Nina Kuscsik(?)! But we have to be in Boston and not Dronesville. I no longer try to make sense in this symbiotic zone of jumbled up time and space and characters past and present. Strangely I can hear runners pushing baby carriages! Am I in a comic depicting Wonder Woman? The famous Nina had once said, “”I have always sensed the exhilaration and independence of being self-propelled. Besides, you can jog while pushing a baby carriage. Maybe I’m a product of Wonder Woman comic books.” I can hear baby prams being pushed by presumably superbly fit women whooshing down the track.

Nikkormat EL 800Then I realize I am carrying my Nikkormat EL Circa 1972 weighing at least 1.7 lbs! How do I know? I just know. A woman runs pass me and shouts (in 1970s slangs), “Far out! that’s the latest Nikkormat! To the max! Catch you on the flip-side!” (She means, “Cool, do your best, see you later.”) Then someone slaps me on the back and shouts, “‘keep On Truckin'”(go w/ the flow). Another shouts, “Awesome Possome”(very cool). “Chill” (stay cool). Without seeing I click away at the surrounding. I have become the unofficial blind camera man which is rather ridiculous but cool. Soon I begin to enjoy this new role. A perfect camouflage for me. Being simple, I do not try to figure out how come I no longer bump into people or stuff? I just wonder when my sight of this physical world will resume.

I believe I am lucky. ‘But there was one other thing that the grown-ups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there.’ (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) Why? Because there must be a link between the ability to see the unseen space and the ability to venture into the past, even with my dog who seems to be enjoying herself too. So amazing.

Space is defined as 1. the unlimited three-dimensional expanse in which all material objects are located.2. an interval of distance or time between two points, objects, or events 3. a blank portion or area.

I have entered the interval between two time points across time zones, like slicing a piece of layered cake. (A word to my millennial nerd friends: don’t try to figure this out. Tbh (to be honest), I haven’t figured out myself. Anyway, it is a good way to celebrate mother’s day running with mothers!) (To be continued)


(Nina Kuscsik, Credit: UPI, 1979)

Notes (from online sources): In 1972, Nina Kuscsik became the Boston Marathon’s first female winner. Back then, the prizes were a laurel wreath and a bowl of stew. But largely because of this pioneering mother of three, women’s marathon champions now get six-figure checks. Kuscsik was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 1999 and the New York Road Runners Hall of Fame in 2012. Kuscsik, 73, is a New York City Marathon icon; she is the first woman ever to run the world’s most well-known race, which she won twice. Kuscsik is also the first woman to officially win the Boston Marathon. She has completed 80 marathons in her lifetime. Notable quotes: “People thought I was crazy. When I won Boston in ’72, now they understood what I was doing.”
“I’ve always felt running is a form of meditation. Running enables us to stop our lives, to go out and find a safe place for ourselves.”

Mum Jessica Bruce, 32, breaks the world record for running a marathon with a buggy in 3 hours 17mins and 52 seconds, at the Abingdon marathon, pushing her 7 month old baby Daniel. Her husband, David, ran alongside them and even managed to give the baby a bottle of milk as they went. “We had a nappy change and a puncture repair kit with us but we didn’t need it. We didn’t stop.” (The Telegraph 18 Oct 2015)

Dronesville adventure #18: a reflective senior nerd from the computer past

Dronesville dog
Dronesville dog

Reflecting is not my usual engagement. But the voice on the stage seems familiar as I continue to listen. Who can he be? My grandaunt seems to read my thought. She suddenly laughs, “You know, my nephew up there could have been just as famous as Bill or Elon.” What? I almost fall off the chair. Her nephew? She has only one nephew, and that is my dad! But it cannot be because my dad has ventured into the deepest jungle in South America in search of the legendary Spanish treasures and has not been heard of since time immemorial as far as I can remember. What is he doing here giving such a boring nerd talk to a group of polite but rather outdated audience? What is his hidden agenda? Yes, my grandaunt is right. Dad used to be a brilliant math and science scholar and a futurist. He could have become as famous as one of those names. But he has chosen to go for hidden treasures. Alas, I take after him in the passion for treasure hunting bit.

Then I hear him say, “Finally,…” At last he is ending his talk. I sigh with relief. He is given a great round of applause. Dronesville residents love to applaud. Then I hear chairs moving and people are standing to give him a standing ovation. After all he has been their blue-eye boy. This is his homecoming day.

I wonder how he looks in this strange symbiotic time zone where people of different time episodes co-exist together like me in my 20s meeting myself at 7, and with my dad in his perhaps 40s and so on. A hand touches my shoulder, “Ahem, old boy, I hear you are working and trotting round Europe with my old Oxford friend (namely my boss-an English lord), still charging as strong and as aimless as a young un-yoked bull, albeit being encumbered by a comparatively weak mass of grey matters inside your cranium, how have you been treating life’s fabulous adventures?” He likes bombastic long sentences. Before I can answer him he is already engaged with my boss in a lengthy dissertation comparing the nasty weather in Europe and South America.

Someone nudges my leg. A small voice speaks. What, it’s Gracie the faithful Dronesville dog! I know it’s her. She squeaks. “Hi boss, we better get out of here fast!” She urges. “I don’t want to go to Europe! You hear what they say, nasty weather! Here, take my leash and I will pull you out of here!” She knows I cannot see. Soon we are sneaking out of the hall and making our great escape, far from the madding crowd (Sorry, Mr. Hardy, I can’t help but quote your great title), into another adventure, or so I hope.

Being unable to see the physical world has its pros and cons. I have mentioned the pros in my former blog. Now I am facing the cons, the reduction in speed of motion. Despite Gracie’s great effort she is not much good as a novice guide dog for the blind. I bump into so many obstacles all the way as we race down the Dronesville Main Street until I no longer care what or who I happen to knock down. I can hear siren behind me. Are the law after me? But Gracie is adamant that we get out alive. She is pulling me like the great and noble champion husky from Siberia. What a sight we two must be making. I can hear not only siren but footsteps running behind. The street must be full of stuff and angry people we knock down or overturn…but we keep on running, soon followed by a growing crowd of runners some of whom do not even know why they join in. (To be continued)

Dronesville adventure #17: computer’s cold calculating logic, human perspective, a model mother

“The standard story about computers, generally, is that they lack many of our more appealing human qualities but are really good at cold calculating logic. You’d think that combining the two — using computers to emphasize our most coldly rational and greedy qualities, and then using markets to aggregate those computers’ individually hyper-rational behavior — would work really well. I guess it does; that’s why people keep doing it.” (Matt Levine) As I narrated in my previous blog there was a loud bang and it seemed the end of the word had arrived. I hear confusion and loud rather ungentlemanly murmuring,

“What?! Fire crackers? Come on, be real, this is not ______(another big global nation like the USA) yet!!!” I cannot detect who says by their voices and accents. All sound American to me with the exception of my English lord Sir______ of course. Someone says, “That settles it, I am leaving. I am not sitting around listening to some promotion of cheap trade-off.” Soon I hear chairs and tables being shuffled around and impatient footsteps of those leaving the scene. Distant sounds of engines of expensive automobiles too.

Who is speaking today? I wonder. Then I hear this cold voicing of a nerd/millennial’s quote on the stage. I cannot see the speaker. Is it a machine or is it a human? I wonder. He sounds ordinary alright, like you and me, or any cool millennial. I recognize the quote from Bloomberg View on Money Stuff, an email I subscribe to. Whoever is standing on the stage is a nerd from the future like me who happens to be around for no particular reason. But he continues quoting the whole article. Rather like the aliens who have landed speaking to the earthlings in seemingly same and yet incomprehensible language. I never realize how unreal we may sound to those who live in mere twenty years ago. How much has the world gone through from 1996 to 2016. Even a seven year old can become an adult taking care of number one (me) now. LOL.

Because I do not see the speaker and do not know his personal traits: race, skin color, nationality, physique, stature, weight, height, hair color, hairdo, dressing, facial, hand gestures, posture, overall mannerism etc I have to cast aside my personal prejudices (which I admit I still have), like William Blake declared, “For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” I am not saying that the above nerd speaker’s quote (on computer etc) is great because it’s just an article I pick by random to illustrate a point about human perspective.

The sudden invisibility of all people around me has made me looked inward and outward beyond the narrow chinks of my cavern. Suddenly I see something right before me, a dried flattened earwig lying on the table as I turn over an invisible place mat. The poor earwig must have been there for ages. I recall an article in the Manchester Guardian on 6th March 1917, a hundred years ago, “Female Earwig a Model Mother”:
Quote: “It was the earwigs that I specially noticed, and I was almost sorry for them, for, like birds, they were sitting on their eggs. I had to stop occasionally to watch a half-awake mother earwig, if I did not happen to have damaged her with my spade. She turned up an expostulating and threatening tail, metaphorically rubbed her eyes, dazzled by the unexpected light, and then began to fuss round, striving to gather together those precious eggs. She is a model mother amongst insects, and when the tiny larva – very like her in general appearance – are hatched she looks after them in quite a correct manner, while the babes seem to recognise their nurse and crowd round her like much more highly developed animals, even crawling upon her back for a ride.”Unquote. What a wonderful mother!.

When I no longer encumber my eyes and mind with the things I tend to see physically, I see and recall stuff that may be rare and precious. Like treasure hunting in a realm I rarely visit. Guess this new vast empty space enhances focus on stuff that matters at the right time and right place.

In a way, it this NOT what Symbiosis MEANS? Human, other creatures, and even computers past and present co-existing.

late 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek sumbiōsis ‘a living together,’ from sumbioun ‘live together,’ from sumbios ‘companion.’
BTW: “LOL, see how _____ suddenly becomes SOOO…INTROSPECTIVE!” My nerd cronies have lampooned at my previous blog ranting mercilessly in their latest comment in our private chat board. Well, this one will divert you guys so you go digging out the Money article and see what it is all about.