Wednesday, August 24, 2005

For The Time Capsule

About twenty years ago, didn't the U.S. send a probe into deep space carrying a collection of symbols of our civilization such as a Beethoven recording, eating utensils, etc? Sometimes I'll read a news report and immediately think that it belongs in a time capsule. Some stories are such perfect microcosms of the political, economic and social issues of our time that it's easy to imagine people in fifty or a hundred years looking back either in delight or "what the hell were they thinking" disgust. As I come across these types of stories, I'm going to post them under the header "For The Time Capsule." Feel free to send me any that you think fit the bill.

Let's start with this recent report from the AP (full story and photos at the link):
RICHMOND, Va. - A rush to purchase $50 used laptops turned into a violent stampede Tuesday, with people getting thrown to the pavement, beaten with a folding chair and nearly driven over. One woman went so far as to wet herself rather than surrender her place in line.

An estimated 5,500 people turned out at the Richmond International Raceway in hopes of getting their hands on one of the 4-year-old Apple iBooks.

Officials opened the gates at 7 a.m., but some already had been waiting since 1:30 a.m. When the gates opened, it became a terrifying mob scene.

People threw themselves forward, screaming and pushing each other. A little girl's stroller was crushed in the stampede. Witnesses said an elderly man was thrown to the pavement, and someone in a car tried to drive his way through the crowd.

Seventeen people suffered minor injuries, with four requiring hospital treatment, Henrico County Battalion Chief Steve Wood said. There were no arrests and the iBooks sold out by 1 p.m.

Blandine Alexander, 33, said one woman standing in front of her was so desperate to retain her place in line that she urinated on herself.
Monkey see, monkey do? WFB writes about the example set by our alleged leaders at the top of the corporate ladder.

As we continue on our "great noble mission" to spread democracy and capitalism around the world, can we really blame "less advanced" countries---particularly those with unique cultures, and perhaps where people urinate outdoors and not on themselves---if they look at us and decide that our way of life isn't exactly for them?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly what I've been thinking for a while now. Thank you.

8/24/2005 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bet they're not peeing on themselves in Tehran. :)

8/24/2005 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see an American actually being genuinely reflective about their country, some its problems, and how these might be perceived in the rest of the world. We need more of this rather than the jingoism of the Bushies or the reflexive anti-Americanism of the Chomskyites.

An Aussie reader.

8/24/2005 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently they were all going to put the $50 on their credit cards as well

8/25/2005 10:47 AM  
Blogger Roy said...

While I am a staunch capitalist I must agree that the side effects it can have on culture can be quite disturbing. That being said I'll take the wackos pissing on themselves and my indoor plumbing over someone elses unique pissing outdoor culture.

8/25/2005 11:33 AM  
Blogger David the Gyromancer said...

Not really a response to the point of the piece, but nonetheless: Pioneer had a little metal plate with the locations of nearby pulsars encoded on it, I guess so whatever evil Aliens found the probe could locate Earth and destroy it more easily...hmm, well perhaps that wasn't the nerdic motivation. Voyager (I believe all of them) had disks sort of like a long playing records, intended to be easily decoded, with binary encoded information including speech, some literary stuff, music, images, etc. and some info. intended to aid in decipherment. These gestures were more symbolic than anything else. Space is so vast that if you scaled the sun down to the size of a basketball, the next nearest star would be in France. A human built space probe creeping thru that vast space takes 40,000 years to travel that distance, but it isn't aimed at anyplace in particular, so the chance that any of these "time capsules" will ever be found by anyone intelligent is pretty negligible.

8/25/2005 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The surest sign that there's intelligent life out there is the fact that they haven't tried to contact us yet...

Calvin, to his pet tiger Hobbes.

8/25/2005 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that the story was very sad. I scraped together everything I had to get my daughter a computer for college because she had worked hard and deserved one. This was a reminder that there are other parents out there with even less resources than me, driven to do something that demeaning and desperate. Easy for us to sit at our keyboards and forget what its like to be really poor. These are harsh times - only someone who has never been in those circumstances would think it was funny.

8/25/2005 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the previous poster:

"Poor?" This occurred in Richmond, VA. Not Compton. Not rural Mississippi. The people in the photo look solidly middle-class, and quite well-fed. They lusted after a high-tech toy, not a lottery ticket or a pack of cigarettes.

Poverty had nothing at all to do with it.

8/25/2005 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree with post immediately before mine, good point.

8/25/2005 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

calvin and hobbs had it right.

8/26/2005 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1/09/2006 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi :)

You have a great blog! I'll make sure to visit regularly. Keep blogging!

I have a website on Website Traffic which you might be interested in. Please check it out if you get some time :)

1/10/2006 12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you please expand on that man?
Hey bud

1/30/2006 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Organizing with feng shui elements can make the difference in your life ...Have you ever asked yourself...Why do I feel crappy, sad, disorganized and just palin out of control. How can I fix myself without spending a fortune. I meet people allthe time that wonder why I am Happy and Have a Successful Life... Have You ever heard of using " feng shui elements "..If you truly seek a life of complete wellness then try using feng shui. Learn from the Masters..

2/06/2006 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was looking for information on , trying to find information
in reguards to the new bankruptcy laws and read your site. Although
not exactly what I needed it caught my attention. Many people get into trouble
with and the new laws may not help them the way they expect. Anyway
thanks for the read.

2/07/2006 6:23 AM  
Blogger Sonny L. said...

Hey - Cool blog, nice layout! Checkout my google people find blog if you can.

2/07/2006 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi #NAME#. Just found your site via glasses. Although I was looking for glasses I was glad i came upon your site. Thanks for the read!

2/08/2006 4:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there :)

I just came accross a new seo tool, SEO Elite and I thought that you might want to check it out. It's awesome and has worked very well for me.

2/15/2006 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking for more blogs like this. I don't think they are too many though. But I will continue looking. Bye - Susan - feng shui fountain

3/04/2006 8:03 PM  
Blogger answer-man said...

Hello just stopped by to view your blog and to let all interested know I am offering free plumbing repair information and safety tips for California residents and all others interested. If you are not interested then please excuse us and please disregard this comment.

For Plumbing Press Release and Free Plumbing Repair Information please feel free and stop by and read and take advantage of our blog info or viist **A-Affordableplumbing.Com** Thank you and have a great day.

3/16/2006 6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been following a site now for almost 2 years and I have found it to be both reliable and profitable. They post daily and their stock trades have been beating
the indexes easily.

Take a look at


3/29/2006 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Thank you for having this info on the web. I enjoyed your post. If you may have any interest in
debt consolidation
then I know where you may get your solution. For your comfort, I have enclosed the link, so if needed you can visit the site. Thanks again for your lovely blog. credit

4/02/2006 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here it is... FREE advertising, FREE download. No cost to you! Get your FREE download NOW! Make money and get FREE advertising! This is a great program for you to take advantage of... Check this out now for FREE!

To find out more visit: internet money making idea site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering traffic and internet money making idea related stuff. Don't forget, FREE, FREE, FREE!!!

8/24/2006 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it ross dress for less logo bulk email karen miller evening dresses Oxycontin dalotin Merchant account services internet merchant account visa Taos cooking school Oxycontin weight gain seat covers rvs Salmon house manga dress up swf Burton ak 2l jacket .ca Fishing lure samples gallery indianapolis mattress Bontril pills free online consultation Free+teen+webcam+chats super size spring dresses for women Armoire computer desk plans Women27s long down winter coats

2/03/2007 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it Angelfire com ns quote zocor Cage bdsm

4/25/2007 7:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home