Thursday, March 31, 2016

NIMRODS AND LIGHTENING RODS


Nimrod, a mythical Babylonian (Iraqi) king circa 2000 BCE, is said to have built the Tower (ziggurat) of Babel. Legends imply that Nimrod shot an arrow from the tower, which was designed to breach the distance between Earth and the heavens for Nimrod to depose god's dominion over men in favor of his own. In response, the offended god confounded the completion of the tower by removing the common language from the minds of its builders. Zap! Instant multiculturalism, compliments of the Supreme Leader. Sound familiar? Divide and dominate.

Today's nimrods are those who are building virtual platforms for international communication between thinking individuals of all nations. They are shooting arrows at the controlling forces of international media and government propaganda. Corporate forces in collusion with governments are gradually trying to confound the common access to free expression which this contemporary project threatens. Voting on line, for example, is castigated by government-funded academics in information technology (IT) . They raise the boogie man of the elusive election tamperer in established democracies of The West.

I have always been amused by Benjamin Franklin's pragmatic science. His lightening experiments led to some of the first American patents of lightening rods to prevent building fires caused by lightening strikes. He profited in latter life from this. Franklin took a force once considered the smiting of human endeavors by the gods and neutralized it. How symbolically appropriate for a democratic revolutionary of The Enlightenment, the dawn of Western science.

Today's hackers are nimrods, shooting virtual arrows at the controlling forces of the internet. Some of today's IT innovators are creating citizen-friendly apps for accessing government officials and government services from smartphones. They are like Franklin, working with a potentially lethal natural force to neutralize its devastation for the common good. Many of today's streaming media pundits are nimrods. YouTube and Twitter are  towers of Babel in construction still. Other pundits, like Bill Maher, are more like Franklin, neutralizing the force of propagandist media with thought-provoking satire. Evolving human societies benefit from both nimrods and lightening rods.

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