Some months ago I came upon a great game of imagination in the French magazine 'Philosophie'. A dozen philosophers were asked to let their imagination free and answer some crazy questions. What would happen if......: - there was eternal peace; - a feminist revolution happened in the Muslim world; - teleportation was possible; - sexuality was finally free etc.
Tonight I decided to ask myself a question. What if technological revolution happened in some lopsided and erratic way?
Sometimes I have dreamt that photography and moving pictures were invented some 2000 years ago as I wanted to see pictures or videos of my family through the centuries. Imagine opening some video files of your ancestors in the middle ages in some strange middle age video format recorded on potatoes for example. Well, potatoes is not such a good idea not because they would smell a little bit but because my potato reader just broke. Maybe it should be electronic chips or.....
Who knows, isn't it possible that technological revolution was much faster in the Balkans and somehow strangely isolated? And while Vikings were cutting the heads of the non-Vikings and of other Vikings as well, while Spanish were chasing Muslims away and Jews too, while all these strange things were happening, in a small town at the skirts of the Balkan mountain, people were calmly assembling their PCs while listening to their peach-pods.
Peach pods are devices made from the stones of peaches. They were invented by an Ottoman shepherd (MA in agriculture from the University of Izmir) while he was bored one day. The day was sunny, no wolves were attacking his sheep and he was reading the letter of his daughter -Angie - who left a year ago by rickshaw to Baghdad to study political studies in the local university. So this shepherd started playing his wooden flute and had the idea to record the music on the stone of the peach he had just eaten.
Later a decree was passed in the local parliament (shepherds had just won the elections against barbers by a narrow margin) that one has to put the peach stones in one's ears and the music starts playing - the link between politics and science was much closer then than now. In fact...it was not music. Maybe people just wanted to listen to the silence being emitted by the peach-pods.
Then there was this blacksmith who discovered that silence is different while it is caused by different lack of noises. He discovered that silence when he was not hitting his hammer was different from silence when dogs are not barking. This blacksmith took the scientific prize of the year which, to his surprise, was missing because he was the inventor of the lack of things. He really appreciated this and didn't say thank you at all and didn't say 'I owe everything to my family' either. He just said 'Amen'.
And, by the way, the daughter of the shepherd had just started dating a date-grower on the precise date of the end of Ramadan in 1333. They had really good time together listening to the Rolling Stones while kicking camel dung in the dusty streets of unconquered Baghdad. There was a local madman who discovered a device for downloading music from the future directly into the heads of those who believed strongly. The madman was offered a scholarship in the Madrasa of Isfahan at the amount of five whips per day. At that time, people really liked pain because after pain there is no pain and that's what they liked but to get to this point they had to go through some pain.
By the way, a dog is barking, I am really thirsty from the Chinese soup I ate by the opera at its 125 anniversary so maybe it is time to go and eat some grapes before reading Misha Gleny's McMafia.
on the young side of the old people now
13 hours ago