Monday, October 13, 2014
Carlos collapses in his desk exhausted. Bruised from confronting a male security guard for frisking a female student inappropriately. The only adults in the school are guards and janitors.
Reaching into his bag, Carlos pulls out his goggles so he can see the teacher. She appears in the front of the classroom and waves to him as he's automatically counted present.
Ms. Starbuck is a telework teacher. She worked from home, as all public school teachers do. This was the technical solution for the school system's budgetary shortfall. Only private schools have teachers in house, private schools and colleges.
She teaching a class on business ethics. Carlos doesn't understand how this will get him a job like his classmates, all of whom work. This is a night high school.
"Did everyone message me your homework last night? Let's see... Andrea, you and Carlos are the only missing assignments..." Starbuck turns floating pages in front of her swiping her finger in front of the her goggles.
Andrea, repositions her baby on her lap, so she can finger swap to find that missing assignment. She couldn't afford a babysitter tonight, so she brought the three month old with her to night school.
Ms. Starbuck continues teaching about the nobility of management, how companies are architecting a better society and jobs are citizenship...
Whack! whack! whack! A security guard bangs on the classroom doorframe. "Lunch time shit-heads! Sorry 'Buck, they'll be back in twenty minutes." The guard dons a helmet and visor, he see the teacher floating there, grimacing at him.
The students file into the hallway and are marched to the cafeteria. It's a cold, rectangular room, with metal tables and built in benches. Kids smoke in one corner. Andrea tries to breast feed her baby in another corner, her back to the lusty eyes of the guard. "Hey Andrea, you be sure to save me some. Don't want the baby get'n too fat!"
"Fuck you!" She responds. Carlos mumbles something below his breath.
While the students are on their lunch break, Starbuck reviews last nights home assignments. She has to give them multiple choice and true false assignments for ease of grading. She knows they're being cheated out an education, but what can one teacher do? The whole educational system is designed to produce fast food workers.
Starbuck sees students return to the classroom. One of them is bleeding from his forehead.
"Carlos, what happened to you?"
"He fell." Said the guard, wiping off his billy club. "Now go on and teach Starbuck, for all the good it'll do. I'll see'm on my day job at the prison sooner enough."
Carlos can only half of the teacher now, there's crack in his goggles. Andrea approaches him, once the guard walks away. "Por favor tomar mis gafas. I have to burp the baby."
Sunday, October 12, 2014
There were smoke signals on my phone. A brother, who became a chief, reached out to me from over the hill. He had heard about my troubles.
We talked over an electronic fire. He told me, we're connected by strings and when one person falls, all feel the pull. I said, I was still falling and was divining the reasons why.
"We've been telling you for months, the sparrow and I. You don't dream, you daydream. You could become a chief, if you would but apply yourself." No anger in the chief's voice, just empathy.
He told me stories of his battles, some won, others were lessons. Reminded me of a few battles we fought together. As he talked, I noticed by the light of the fire, silhouettes of disappointment perching on tree branches all around us.
"You gave me every opportunity to succeed in that role." I said, "The missteps were mine. The poor choices were mine, the wisdom to be gleaned is mine also. "
Are you sure you can't stay?
"The tribal elders have set their faces against it. I will go. I will go into the desert and become a medicine man."
Medicine? How will you feed yourself and your family?
"I don't know, but others have done it, so can I."
How will you make this transition?
"With as little pain as possible, I hope."
Just understand brother, you still have the heart of a chief, if you would just apply yourself. Don't give up, if not in this tribe, perhaps another. The fire burned out and I was alone with his words.
Putting those words in my satchel, I rose and faced the desert. If I could take this chief heart's into my medicine journey, it would be worth all the pain. I walked toward the horizon with a cautious smile.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
That’s why I never connected with her. She shares things around herself, but not her, in an essential manner. Maybe she’s trying to see if I’m worthy.
Every wine has pain in its past. She shares very little of that, which is all of her. Her pain, her adventures and joys. I guess I’m looking in a mirror, I don’t share that stuff either. I all want is to do sip and pain isn’t polite dinner conversation.
Sculpture is a few steps closer to the sun. Her figure is young, so are her ideas. She’s one of the few glasses that sing when I pluck it. I’m not aggressive because I’m unsure of myself, not my intentions, they very clear. Don’t know if she wants my lips all around her. Does she want to spill herself all over me?
Then there is her mind. We could talk about the world that is and the world that wants to be. Its just so much sweat, so much delayed gratification involved. Are we, our generation, equal to the task? Should I build house or a boat with so much blood on the horizon?
Our suns are nights and days, our personal hells and heavens. Our hands still have their scent, every success and every failure some how qualifies everything we do. There are no saviors, just nails and judges. Everyone that has risen up, is hammered down or incarcerated. There are flowers in the concrete... maybe the city is the problem.
I will have Sculpture soon. Hope she’ll enjoy it as much as she does in my day-dreams. Hope her sun will over come all the demons of the underworld, hope he learns that Set has a purpose.
Friday, October 10, 2014
The apartment I stay in looks like my mind, cluttered and unfinished. I step over litter. This litter is connected by cords to my brain. I get caught in these intersecting lines, making hard to finish uninteresting tasks.
There's the upright futon I sleep in, half covered by a blanket. At night, my whole night universe is under my pillow. The other place, of noise, cars, jobs and women makes no sense to me. The night never lasts long enough. I'm forever unfinished, like my apartment.
It takes ages for me to get up and dressed. Don't want to go out in the maelstrom. Call it what ever you want, but I'm a citizen of the maladjusted and I'll always reminded of that by some authority figure.
My most precious things are in my messenger bag. It carries books where I trace the shadow of memories. Words are just shadows. I trace them in my note books. Memories like what characters tell me as I write in a story or when kiss my children's hands or watching a lover touch this body I carry around. These shadows scribbled in notebooks or on my iPad have strings too. My whole life is a web that I'm constantly mending.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Monday, September 22, 2014
There was a time when I took lots of pictures, at those times I wanted to remember things. That time is not now. Many of the things I'm experiencing, I don't want to relive in a photo.
We create so many of our own problems, stresses and hells. The most difficult thing is really learning from these experiences so we don't repeat. If I could capture that in a photo… if I could take a picture of me smiling and thinking "Glad I learned that lesson" that would be a photo worth saving.
A picture says a lot, so does my reflection in the mirror this morning. It says, I ate too much salt last night and I really am under tremendous stress. No photos please, but… if I had that other camera. The one that could take the "after" picture, where I learned from my mistake and everything worked out. I would carry that picture in my wallet forever.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
There an old saying about taking a page out of someone's book, to become more successful. As a new manager, there are a couple of books I'd like to rob.
One book is called, Living a Lifetime Every Weekend. There's this manager who always has a great stories to tell, seems he doesn't really think about work on his weekends or vacations and come in on Mondays ready to seize the day. For me, Sunday is Monday Eve. I gotta take a page out of Rocket Man's book.
There a book which is more like an address book, has tons of people in it, all friends, all with great stories. These friends, mostly girls, are sounding boards for difficult decisions regarding work. Women are generally smarter than men and this book is like a think tank. I mostly have guy friends and we all think the same way. I really need to take a page out of Officer Friendly's book.
One last tome. This book is full of green leaves, maybe a billion. It details the story of how a fortune was made and possibly some good things happened because of it. I'm sure some bad things happened (lessons learned), but maybe I could side steps those. There are a couple pages I'd like to take from this book, not because of their currency, but because of positive influence they could have on a generation. Would love a few pages from Big Pimp'n's book.
Of these are metaphors for people I've encountered in my professional life, hopefully I can learn from them, be a better me. People are books after all.
There is a concept called necessary evil. I didn't understand this as a young Christian. Now as an agnostic and a new manager, it's crystal clear.
People, including myself, are motivated by necessity and incentive. When I say motivated, I mean breaking out of their inertia (usual routines) and become more productive. I thought just showing respect, providing more resources and showing that I care about them as people was enough to get folks to be productive. It's not. Seems to do the opposite, if it's not balanced with clearly defined expectations and consequences if those expectations are not met. I'm working on that part, the consequences.
Years ago I was a young art director. I had an enviable position at a young, forward thinking magazine. I was able to hire, as a freelancer, an older graphic designer I met. He had been in the magazine layout game a long time and was familiar production. Gave him a small layout job which he turned in at the last minute and the work was crap. That was the first time I ever raised my voice and fired a freelancer.
Looking back, I should have been keeping tabs on him and the rest tof the freelancers. Should have had a clearly laid out production milestones and penalties if you were late. Penalties for missing deadlines are evil, but necessary.
Evil, in this context, is the unpleasant action taken against a staffer, who refuses to improve when coaching and incentives fail. I wish it wasn't necessary, but I'd be lying if I said wasn't motivated by same factors. I know the root though.... it's the Ego.
Freeing ourselves of ego would also free us from the carrot and stick cycle (employee karma)... of course if all of us left off the ego tomorrow, there would be lots of career changes would there?
Yes, there would.
Everybody has those moments of doubt. I had one this morning. Usually I just let the feeling pass, this time I challenged it. In the last ten years, I went from a cashier in a coffee house to a manager at top notch company. I've created and hosted three different podcasts, one episode got 5,000 listens. I've written four different blogs, several short stories and one unpublished novel. I haven't been sitting on my hands this last decade, not exactly.
I've been given the opportunity to manage a talented group of people in a high stress and rewarding environment. My team all know their jobs, but some folks don't always put forth that extra effort.
I've managed before, as an art director. It's was a little different than this gig. Models, photogs and illustrators are doing what they love, good at taking direction and (this is key) will go the extra mile to do a great job. In my current position, I feel like I'm paddling harder than some of my direct reports.
I have great management above, great colleagues beside. It's just a matter of learning fast, then implementing what I've learned faster. My only real "enemy" in this scenario is time.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
Johnathan Soul Interviews Rob Bell, Hip Hop DJ & Clinical Social Worker - rap battles and social battles
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Friday, May 2, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Went to local Target and Best Buy, neither sell camera film. One red shirted youth in Target looked at me as if I asked for a saddle for a horse. "I don't think THEY make film anymore."
"But your photo department downstairs?"
It only developes digital photos.
"Ain't that 'bout a bitch!?" I thought, descending on the escalator. I've lived long enough to see my fancy tech become artifacts. I know I can get film from CVS or another chain pharmacy, but the idea of my beautiful Nikon FM2 becoming a relic... So this is what forty feels like.
Funny as hell to think that just a few months back I wished I had one of those old school twin lens reflex cameras, the ones that you hold waist high and look down into the view finder. I was feeling nostalgic for a time I never lived in. Didn't know while I as surfing lomography sites that I had some ancient tech in my closet already. Ancient photographic technology from nineteen hundred and eighty-seven!
Funnier still, when you snap a picture with this camara, it sounds just like an iPhone when it locks. The sound engineers at Apple must be in their forties too.
|My beloved NIKON FM2 taken w/iPad Mini|
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Daddy what's that noise.
Seeing my little one bopping to Wes Montgomery's BUMPIN' album feels like Spring. In a world where Hip Hop is a minstrel show and pop music all sounds like... wait, I haven't listen to the radio in so long...
Wes Montgomery's Bumpin' album was recorded in 1965, yet this dub step teen can dig it. How fun it was to show her how to put the needle on the record.
It would be low hanging fruit to compare iTunes to my record player, but it's just a different sound, different experience. Every generation thinks it's youth was the golden era.
No comparison of iTunes and records here, both are time machines.
Wes Montgomery / Bumpin' album / Bumpin' / Verve records / recorded in May 1965
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Daddy, what are those sparkly wheels in the sky.
"What did they tell you in school?"
The teacher said they were spy satellites.
"We gotta get you out of Thompson's class."
"You're right. They are sparkly wheels. See, the Earth spins a thousand miles an hour, thats a lot of energy being expressed. These 'sparkly wheels' help capture that energy.
"These energy wheels are huge, as large as the moon, but have very little mass. They function like gears and touch the Earth just enough to spin, capturing the thousand mile an hour rotational energy.
"When I was young, this new power infrastructure was used to power homes, hospitals and emergency services only. Later it was expanded to power projects like water desalinization in the Middle East, climate control in Africa and destroying nuclear weapons in the West.
"No more paying for electricity. The wheel powered everything at no cost."
"Then scientists at Howard University in DC theorized that a series of wheels could be used to power space travel. It was dubbed the Mothership project.
"The Mothership works like this: create wheels for the inner planets in the solar system. Each wheel carries a charge. When at least four planets are aligned and the wheels engaged, they could function as a railgun for a spaceship. Noted science bloggers rallied the public to fund the Mothership project. They were successful. Energy wheels for Mercury, Venus and Mars were built two years ago.
"The interplanetary railgun and could fire a spaceship at above lightspeeds. The first flight is scheduled for next year.
"On the ship, along with the astronauts, there will be technology to create other wheels. The idea is to create a network of wheel jump points across the Milky Way. It's an exciting time to live in. You know..."
"Oh you fell asleep, Pretty? Guess Daddy went into too much detail. So much has been achieved in our lifetimes. Sometimes I wonder, what is there left to dream about.."
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
\\ Mechanical shop engineers message each other on encrypted channel. Mr. Watson is at the door talking a truant officer and a teenage boy. The engineers are each huddled into one side of a cubicle. The bearded engineer, Eric. The tall slangy one named Terry and the short stocky engineer known as Malcolm.
Eric is anxious ["Gamification works well in test environment. I think it's ready for alpha testers."]
Terry unconsciously nodded, [We got fifty people who want in on the game. Everybody sworn to secrecy. Most friends and some family.]
["Good. Keep circle small. Have to build slowly. Have to get to critical mass of devotees, so when we're discovered, they can't shut us down so easily."]
Malcolm chimes in [You know, they didn't want the kids to be exposed to violence in the game. Said nothing about adults, seems kinda silly we hiding like this. What makes you think the general assembly would shut us adults down?]
["Because crowds are dumb. Individuals are smart. The G.A. is a crowd where only the lowest common denominator gets passed. Nothing new was ever invented by a crowd. We are creating something, filling a need. We can give life to the mundane existence we all experience on this rusty rock."] The bearded engineer is surprised by a tap on his shoulder by Mr. Watson.
Eric, take this young man, December, under your wing. Explain to him the importance of contributing here in the Shop. He just wants to hang out with his friends while others do all the work.
"Sit down kid."
\\ December feels like he's a prisoner. Trying to figure out how to distract himself for the next three hours.
"I'm not going to lecture you, kid. You won't listen anyway, what I will say is that I have had my run-ins with the truant officers when I was your age. It got so bad, they waited outside our house every morning to take me to this very mechanical shop. If you're just hanging out, then get used to the truant officers and the sanitation plant. If you want the society to change, learn how to build something, then you can change things. Now get us some coffee. I'll take mine black."
Cream, three sugars.
Espresso, two shots.
Martian Moons Transit the SunThe upper-left of these images shows the passing, or transit, of the Martian moon Deimos across the sun. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen from Earth in which our moon crosses in front of the sun.The bottom three images show Phobos, Mars's other moon, transiting the sun. The potato-shaped Phobos is roughly 15 miles across, about twice the size of Deimos. Deimos appears so much smaller because it is also a bit more than twice as far away from Mars as Phobos is.The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took images of both moons on different days in March 2004.Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
Friday, March 7, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
The teens descend cold rusty stone stairs toward the airlock. They can see the Martian sky reflected in the glass window just before the door slides open. Once everyone is inside, the door closes, the light, temperature and oxygen are adjusted. Now they see a reflection in the city facing window, a truant officer.
\\ The city facing airlock door slides open. Six teenagers step out with the surface suit helmets still on.
You already know what this is, remove your helmets so I can scan your faces.
\\ A blue vertical line slides across every scared young face the officer grimaces at. His smart glasses pulls data on each child.
Ok, you kids know that going to the surface without an adult is forbidden. All of you are well under eighteen. And you, December Jones, you were due to report to the mechanical shop a full two hours ago. What's your excuse this time? All your vitals are healthy.
"I just don't want to go. I don't like it there. I wanna hangout with my friends."
\\ The other five teenagers braced themselves for a confrontation. This truant officer isn't known for for his patience.
December, you're an idiot and I'll tell your parent so when I take you home. And you kids are idiots for hanging around him. You guys have no clue what's going on do you? You think I wanna be out here chasing kids? Huh?!
You know what us truint officers used to do when we first migrated to this planet? We used to hunt for creatures that might harm humans. We were the first and only security force established here. We never found anything other than frozen microbes. Thats right, there weren't always truant officers. It was only in the last thirty years that society realized that it was our wayward children that are the biggest threat to life on Mars. You lot are killing our culture.
You eat the food, drink the water, you breathe the air, but don't want to contribute anything to the effort make them. You do realized Mars has none of these things - Right?! We had to create all of it from scratch. We can't afford to have a generation of consumers that don't produce what they consume. This is NOT Earth, we don't have the resources, we can't afford it!
\\ The teens whince at this last rant, fear in their faces. The officer sees this and stops himself. May have let some misplaced anger out on these kids. Touches one of the boys shoulder reassuringly
You five, get back to your homes. If I see you loitering again, you'll do a month in the sanitation plant. December, you come with me.
Electra Relay Radio on MAVEN Mission to Mars. NASA's Mars-bound MAVEN spacecraft (for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) carries this relay radio transmitter and receiver to be used for UHF (ultra-high frequency) communication with robots on the surface of Mars. It is MAVEN's Electra UHF Transceiver, which passed an in-flight checkout on the spacecraft on Feb. 19, 2014. - Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Sunday, February 2, 2014
"Are you going with us to the surface Saturday?"
\\ Tommy looked indecisive, but his girlfriend Mara nudged him to say yes.
Yeah, sure we'll go.
\\ a group of six teenagers, couples conspire to hang out on a Saturday morning on the surface of Mars. Taking to the surface without a medical droid is unlawful.
Thaddeus was the ringleader of the group, "if we can time it right, we'll be able to see the Earth through our telescope."
Yeah, but don't you have to be at the machine shop Saturday morning? Ol' man Watson is gonna notice you're AWOL.
"It's volunteer, Tommy. Vol-lun-teer, that's what everybody forgets. I don't have to do nothing. Volunteer isn't mandatory."
Jeremy, the third boy in the group blurted out, "it's not really mandatory if everybody is doing it. Everybody has been under this system for couple hundred years, really since we migrated from earth. So technically it's volunteer, but really my dude. You gonna get in trouble with Mr. Watson if you miss Saturday. Why don't we hang out Monday after...
"It's voluntary. That's the rule."
Yeah, Ok. It's voluntary, Tommy broke in, but if everybody stopped we'd be screwed.
The girls, started looking at each other and nodding.
Jeremy noticed this. Bruh, I don't want you to get in trouble, especially with Watson. He's the guy spearheading that program, that gaming program. Trying to motivate more kids to do their hours.
"That will never fly. If I don't want work on a particular day, then why should I? My machines don't need repair. I don't even like robotics, I like art. There's no are program for art. You have to do that on your own. I just work because there nothing else to do around this rusty rock. So naw, I'm not going to the machine shop Saturday. When there's a art factory, I'll be there every day!"
\\ Twilight on the Martian surface, here is what the kids see...
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Ever had to turn in a final paper at the last minute? Ever had to fight multiple people to the death, and break into a building in the process? No? Well this guy did! Watch as a college student risks everything, to save his GPA! Watch the academic life and death struggle of COLLEGE NINJAS!!!
- my son's movie. Watch out John Woo!
Sunday, January 12, 2014
The queen mother Nikki Giovanni basically explains why I don't watch certain "black" movies...
Pls hang in for about four minutes into the video...
Remembering Amiri Baraka Part 2 Featuring Sonia Sanchez, Felipe Luciano, Larry Hamm, Komozi Woodard
Watch this online-only extended interview on the life and legacy of Amiri Baraka, the poet, playwright and political organizer who died Thursday at the age of 79. We talk to four of his friends and play some more of Amiri Baraka in his own words.
Watch Part 1 of this interview: Amiri Baraka (1934-2014): Poet-Playwright-Activist Who Shaped Revolutionary Politics, Black Culture - from DemocracyNow.org
Saturday, January 11, 2014
A week after the death of Nelson Mandela, George and Gayatri look at the influence of a living legend and icon, the boxer Mohammed Ali. With a major exhibition of photographs and memorabilia scheduled to take place in Parliament early next year, Dutch photographer Christina Jansen comes into the Sputnik studio to talk about her work, which celebrates the man, his life achievements in sport and his humanitarian causes.
In part 2, the show looks back on the economic year and goes a few rounds with RT’s very own Stacy Herbert from the Keiser Report. Has the year been a knock-out, or did the economy take a dive?
The gloves are off as George and Gayatri come out fighting in Sputnik: Orbiting the World with George Galloway.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Arctic winds kill angels. I have no scripture, no faith to keep me warm. I stand on this platform shivering, feeling sorry for myself, then I noticed the angels.
I whispered prayer for them, which floats downward, along with all the others I said this season. When they pile up and cover the ground, they are shoveled away. That's alright. When the prayers melt, god will hear them, because god is under the ground, where it is warm.
|poor birds taken with my iPad mini (1st gen) w/on board camera app|
Monday, January 6, 2014
Sunday, January 5, 2014
|Avalanches on North Polar Scarps, Mars Feb 19 / NASA/JPL-Caltech/U of Az|
“I’m not giving up the warrior concept. Its too good of an idea. We got the broadcast method figured out. Those character designs are incredible. The soundscapes those hippies came up with are so immersive, its just… I feel like it would be a waste. We can repurpose this part of the application for our own... underground project.” Eric was passionate, didn’t seem like he was open to dissuasion.
Terry, a slim stoic programmer was cautious, Yeah, not arguing with you, just how you gonna explain not following orders of from the town hall?
“I'm not going to tell them. We’ll start our own club for people who want to live up their existence with this game overlay. We can build an alternate broadcast system, an encrypted signal for our members. We could add some other story arcs to cover all the mundane things we do. Instead of taking a shower in recycled water, we could be bathing a waterfall. Instead of riding these bland printed hoover-boards, we see ourselves on horseback. This could revolutionize the way we live. We are offering more choices. Live the lives we want to live.”
Ok, yeah. I get it. Who do we tell about this, just the three of us know now.
\\ A third engineer, quietly sipping his black coffee. Nods, then sips some more.
“What does that nod mean Malcolm? This is serious. Are you with us or should we look elsewhere?”
Malcolm holds up a finger requesting a chance to speak uninterrupted.
“Sure go right ahead..”
This is gonna work, Malcolm said confidently, quietly. Its gonna work. The demos were great, but we need buy-in for a large group of people or we’ll get shutdown when we're discovered. And trust me, we will get discovered. You gotta remember, the observatory at Planum Boreum. They’re always scanning different frequencies for signals from Earth or other planets. They’ll pick up our broadcasts eventually. Will take them awhile to decipher, but… if we have a large enough following, it will be integrated in the society, will become part of the norm.
“Well said, then we have a quorum. We’ll have to message our closet friends about this and see how best to organize the project. Of course we’ll have to continue to work with Watson or he’ll get suspicious.” Eric leaves the two engineers to finish their drinks.
Malcolm speaks up, You really surprised me Terry. You are always so thoughtful, not like you to join something this scandalous so quickly.
“Yeah, I know. I just want some excitement. We’re stuck here you know. We living underground on this rusty planet. Don’t have the tech to live on the surface, don't have enough fuel to leave. Need a powerful distraction.”
What happen to that little soylent technician you were dating? The one from district three.
“We… I’m not seeing her anymore.”
My man, you done rebounded from a relationship into a conspiracy. Well done, Terry, well done.
\\ The two just people-watch from the back of the coffeehouse a while…
Saturday, January 4, 2014
|Yellowknife Bay Formation on Mars Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS|
\\ Weeks of research yielded two character themes for the game project: wizards and warriors. The goal of the game is to achieve certain levels of mastery in their character class. These levels corresponded to the seven skill sets needed in the Works (tool making, soylent and water production). A series of badges, magic powers and weapons were awarded when the student mastered a skill.
\\ A tight knit group contributed labor to the project. Artists created graphics. Musicians wrote scores. Engineers tested image projection methods into the brain using sound waves. Writers worked on story arcs.
\\ Mr. Watson gave progress reports at the weekly town hall meetings. This particular week, a soft-spoken elder named Jennifer, interrupted Mr. Watson's address and asked for a debate on the merits of the warrior character in the game. He thought it would be dangerous for impressionable youths to imagine themselves as warriors in a peaceful culture.
Elder Watson was gracious "Mr. Jennifer, let me understand your concerns. We have no wars in real life and having a teenager fantasize about being a warrior may tempt him or her to create conflicts offline."
Precisely, Mr. Watson, precisely. Might we substitute the warrior for an explorer character instead? Think about this. This underground city of ours is slowly filling up. Another few years and we'll be living on top of one other. We need a new generation of explorers. We need other canyons located and fortified for the next cities on Mars. One day, when the technology is sufficient, we will live on the surface. Let's take advantage of your game to prepare their minds to become the next city founders.
\\ A noticible sigh escaped the lips of some mothers in the audience. They were dreading the already troublesome youths fancying themselves soldiers. What if they choose to print real weapons instead of machine parts? What if online fights spilled outside the game? An explorer character seemed a better idea. Folks repeatedly affirmed this alteration in the project.
"Then its settled. No warriors, just explorers. We'll make the changes right away!"
\\ The volunteers back at the machine shop were viewing Mr. Watson's personal live video stream. Mr. Jennifer's change sparked of small debate back at the machine shop.
He has a point, said one musician, the last thing we want in our peaceful culture is warriors with no wars to fight. If they started acting out outside of the game, they'll be worst off than they were before.
"You are talking about a game." replied a bearded engineer. "Look, its just a game. A game they can only place once a day for three hours. A game that is supposed use repeative tasks to teach the kids skills needed in the plants. It's not like the video games back on Earth where you just kill for points. If they are so weak minded that a game will alter their view of reality, then.. well.. I'm sorry. It's the parents' fault! Its just poor parenting."
The musician shrugs and sighs, That's the elephant in the room isn't it? We're trying to compensate for bad parenting with a game. That's really what this is all about. I agree with you. That being said, since we are creating a parenting aide, we can't make it a bad one. I'm Ok with the warrior character being replaced...
They didn't notice Mr. Watson entering the shop,"I see there's some disagreement with the decision of the town hall today?"
The bearded engineer spoke up, Sir, we just spend so much time on the warrior concept, we feel like all that work would go to waste. Also, can't there be a warrior without a war? What about a martial artist theme? I remember reading about a class of monks back on Earth...
"Young man, this is why you must come to the town hall meetings in person, so you can give air to these concerns amongst the other families. We will abide by the ruling on the people until such time as it changes. Are you amenable to that, Eric?"
\\ Eric the bearded engineer nodded in agreement and continued to work. In a few hours, he and the other volunteers started filing out of the shop one by one.