The first episode of my new podcast about Netrunner!

Indie Rock: To Build A Better Mousetrap

I used to believe we’d live in a world where automation would bring about a lack of necessity that we all work for a living. It had to, right? Why would we need to work if the machines can do it? That’s likely the same vision of a lot of people my age. We saw computers show up in our houses and they were good and eventually you could order things right off them without any need to go to a store. So there’d be no need for stores. And then the stores started shutting.

I’m 6 years old and have heard of the titanic but I don’t know what it is. What is it?

I hate to do this, sport, but some really bad information is about to come your way. Have you ever been on a ship before? Or, like, do you know someone with a boat? You do? Great! Imagine if that boat crashed into something and sank. That’d suck, right? You wouldn’t be able to ride on the boat anymore because it’d be underwater. Yes, you could totally still hang out on the boat if it was also a submarine but I’m just talking about a normal boat here. Pay attention.

Now The Titanic is like if you imagine that instead of a little dingy the boat is probably about a thousand times bigger and when it sinks people can’t get to land. Since conditions are so terrible the passengers don’t even drown when submerged in water, the frigid abyss of the open sea will slowly cause them to freeze until they agonisingly die. Around two thousand people did, actually.

Oh, you haven’t had death explained to you yet? I… gosh… you’ve opened up a can of worms, kid. Immediately after we’re done I’m recommending your parents book you in to a couple sessions of counselling. The worst thing that could happen is that you get a little afraid of the sea. You shouldn’t, The Titanic was a bit rare in that safety checks that are standard today weren’t considered as necessary. They didn’t test the ship out a lot before taking on passengers and there weren’t nearly enough lifeboats. If anything you should be more scared about lazy health and safety officials or a lack of stringent regulations; someone not doing their job properly in that profession could kill you every day.

No, gosh, stop crying, you’ll be alright. I mean, you like fish, right? They come from the sea! Have you had fish fingers? Yeah? You know, Captain Birdseye? No, Captain Birdseye wasn’t the Captain of The Titanic; that was Captain Edward Smith. Where’s he now? Well… Uh, we don’t know, actually. His body was never recovered.

You know, you’re asking some really difficult questions here.

It’d be easy for me to disregard everything you’re saying and sugar-coat the answers, but the story of the titanic is truly depressing and grandly important. It’s about not overextending your reach and being careful to consider every possibility or else something could go horribly wrong. To try and protect you from the reality of this tale is to do you a disservice and it’s important to be aware of humanity’s past mistakes so that as a species we know better than to screw up if we’re in a position of responsibility.

You don’t want a job with responsibility? I can understand that. I recommend spending a few years as a student.

“It’s not that I hate the idea of a man shielding himself from a torrent of white powder with an umbrella, it’s that we’ve been using the same idea to sell dandruff shampoo for over 30 years, where’s your sense of passion for your work? Where’s that same glisten in your eye from your first day pitching jingles for botted water?

“The ad is completely different, now, terry”

“It’s not completely different, the only change is that last time it wasn’t an umbrella he was protecting himself with, he was using a bouquet of flowers to symbolise the new spring fragrance collection and the time before that he was literally shielding himself with a suit of armour and a massive shield”

“Say what you want about that ad campaign, but you can’t deny the sales boost we saw on St.George’s day, anyway, if you can come up with a way to signify that you can protect yourself from dandruff using our shampoo without combining the overwrought metaphor of an avalanche and a man avoiding being encased in a coffin of snow by dispatching it with any method of easily explainable and obvious choice of item, then be my guest, pitch it and we’ll do that instead”

 Terry picked up the phone and scheduled a delivery of fake snow and umbrellas for next week.