There are moments in the long history of humankind that simply leap out of the darkness and the mists of our shared journey through the ages, moments that declare for all time the brilliance, the creative genius of our species. The pyramids of Egypt, the wheel, the Parthenon, the great cathedrals of Europe, the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, the works of Shakespeare, the music of Beethoven, manned missions to the moon. Nearly all of these wonders were accomplished with either no technology or minimal technological assistance, dependent upon what was available at the time.
Imagine now, if you will, a world in which the pyramids would simply vanish irretrievably and instantaneously just as they were each completed. Where would we be in our modern world if the first wheel was simply erased forever as soon as the unknown inventor perfected it? We would be a world of pedestrians. The Parthenon in Athens, Greece, has been called the world’s most perfect building. The years—and warring humans—have not been kind to the Parthenon, but its original magnificence is obvious even in its current state of ruin. Imagine the loss we would have suffered without even knowing it, had the technology existed to simply delete it as soon as it was finished. My own favorite place in the world—at least in the parts of the world I’ve visited—is Salisbury Cathedral in England. It’s hard to conceive of the kind of brilliance and faith that it took to create such an awe-inspiring edifice during a time when nearly every other building in the realm–or at least every other building that was not a religious center—was only a single story in height. What if a medieval gamer had used a nefarious super power to blow the entire building to dust?
Imagine Michelangelo looking on as his four year long master work in the Sistine Chapel quietly and all at once simply vanished before his horrified, uncomprehending gaze…the Bard of Avon’s plays and sonnets gone in a gentle puff of smoke, not one sentence preserved. How much poorer would the world be if every shred of evidence that Beethoven ever composed a single note, let alone nine symphonies and countless other breathtakingly beautiful musical pieces, just vanished without a trace?
“That’s one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.” The end result of millions of hours of work by thousands of people all over the country, against all odds, culminated in humankind’s greatest adventure…but what if a keystroke on a computer could have not only scrubbed the accomplishment itself, but the world’s memory of it as well?
I’ve gone through this whole long spew just to lead you to this: circle Monday, June 10th, 2019 on your calendar. It was a night that will live in infamy. It was a night when yours truly achieved absolute perfection in written expression. Quite possibly the most brilliant bit of writing ever put to pen or keyboard simply flowed from these now-devastated fingers. Moments of cosmic insight such as channeled themselves through this humble mind can’t possibly take place more than once in a millennium…and now the moment is gone.
Yes, my friends, thanks to the vagaries of modern technology, we are deprived of the opportunity to revel in the ElderSpew of the ages (wink wink!) Two hours of word-smithery that likely will never be recalled fell victim to the erratic madness of a dinosaur computer which chose to dig in its heels and send the message that the “program is not responding.” This happened about one short paragraph from the conclusion of the writing effort. I felt the life being sucked from my soul as the computer refused to let me save the brilliance I had already committed to the page, and there was equally no chance of tacking on the greatest ending in the history of the written word.
This was my moment. This was the literary giant of the twenty-first century. And all I could do was watch as this infernal wretch of a computer conspired to foil my efforts to bring you along on the printed manifestation of all we as humans can achieve. I am distraught, bereft. I am left with nothing but the memory of the title of the work that would have changed the world. Had modern technology not been involved, I might have stood, shoulder to shoulder in the pantheon of history’s greats…but no. Relegated to my usual sad little spot at the end of the bench, next to the waterboy. Here then is the title of my magnum opus…you will be able at a glance to envision the greatness that has been lost:
Imagine how the world could have been changed forever…
Contact Lloyd Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org