Sam Aurelius Milam III
In a recent Progressive insurance commercial, a young man named Daniel walked into his kitchen and said, "Computer, order pizza."
The computer replied, "Of course, Daniel."
Next, Daniel said, "Fridge, weather."
The refrigerator showed the weather summary on it's TV screen and said, "Clear skies and 75."
Daniel said, "Trash can, turn on the TV."
The trash can flashed all 5 of its indicator lights and said, "My pleasure."
A small drone flew into the scene, carrying a parcel the pizza.
Daniel continued, "Ice dispenser. Find me a dog sitter."
The ice dispenser said, "Oooookaaaay."
Daniel added, "And make ice."
The drone dropped its parcel on the floor, having missed the table, and blew the napkins off of the countertop. It announced, "Pizza delivered."
Daniel put on his VR head-mounted display and began to wave his hands in front of him.
Daniel's father, watching from the kitchen table, asked Flo, "What's happened to my son?"
Flo, sitting with him, said, "I think that's just what people are like now. I mean, with Progressive, you can quote your insurance on just about any device, even on social media. He'll be fine."
Daniel continued to wave his hands in front of him, and chortled at something in his virtual reality scenario. The drone continued to circle nearby.
Daniel's father asked, "Will he?"
Flo replied, "I don't know."
The remarkable thing about the commercial is that only 4 seconds out of 30 have anything at all to do with selling insurance. Most of it is a spoof of our growing obsession with and dependence on our gadgets, capped by Flo's dubious assurance that Daniel will be fine.
Why would an insurance company make a commercial that has almost nothing to do with selling insurance? Maybe somebody's actually concerned about our future. Maybe they're trying to warn us about the possible consequences of our ill-considered and growing infatuation with our gadgets. Maybe they're using a spoof, so as to avoid bringing down upon themselves the wrath of the other marketers. Whatever the reason, they're using a method that will probably reach more people than all other methods combined: TV commercials.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
There are nearly 8 billion people in the world today, and we keep finding ways to minimize any need for them. Little Caesars has a new way to reduce the need for people during the sale of its pizza. It's their new pizza portal, touted in one of their recent commercials.
In that commercial, a man ordered his pizza, and paid for it, via his telephone, using the Little Caesars app. He didn't have to interact with another person at all. He didn't even have to make a voice call on his telephone. Then, he went to the store, typed his access code into a keypad, and retrieved the pizza from a drawer in the wall. He completely bypassed the people at the counter. He didn't have to deal with another person at all. It was entirely a transaction between one man and some technology.
In stores that provide self-checkout facilities, I try not to use them. I prefer to go through a checkout line with a cash register that's attended by an actual person. I'm trying to preserve her job. However, unemployment might not continue to be the real issue. The real issue might eventually be survival, that is, who will survive and who won't. How's that?
What's the likely result of nearly 8 billion people in the world, with nothing for most of them to do, and with all of them clamoring for attention? I can speculate that maybe the people who're in positions of power and affluence might get tired of the noise and commotion and conclude that they'd be better off without all of that surplus population. What might they decide to do about it?
|Letters to the Editor
Hello, my friend. This letter might take some space so I will cut to the chase.
Last night, Sunday, about 7:30 PM, I saw the freakiest shit in the night sky, along side a hundred of my peers. I saw a shot of light fire into the sky. When it got to a high altitude, the white shot of light turned to yellow and stopped, sort of hovering. Then, a bright light showed from above, shining down. It was like a flashlight was being shined through some portal in space. It was like when (during the day) an opening appears in the clouds and rays of sunshine appear, but at night. Then streaks of light shot from below. After that there was a big explosion like cloud, like something entering our atmosphere, and we (earth) were shooting something out of the sky. It all lasted about ten minutes, before everything disappeared.
Myself and everyone else were all standing in wonder, asking "what the fuck was that!?"
On the news we were told that SpaceX was launching a satellite into orbit and the delivery rocket separated and then landed back on earth. All this apparently took place @ Vandenberg AFB & the Santa Barbara, Ca area.
Sam, I have seen many rocket launches, and this was no rocket launch. Especially with shots of "light" from the heavens, and explosion cloud puffs.
Tonight, 18 hours later, the news reports that the Navy was shooting some test rockets from the ocean. I am in the Fresno area and this was south. The ocean is west. But, even more curious, why the change in story? When this happens, they always alert the public, in advance, to prevent panic.
Several of us have talked and compared opinions. One guy thinks another country was firing some weapon at us and we, the U.S., intercepted it, destroying it.
Another guy thinks it was some UFO entering our atmosphere through some "portal" and our military was shooting it out of the sky. If this is the case, then our government possesses some technology they're not telling us about. I can't imagine what it'd take to shoot a UFO, or if it is possible. The portal looked like some black-hole shit, seriously.
Could this be some Roswell shit?
So, Sam, I'm writing to you asking for your thoughts. It seems to me that if anyone would know about stuff like this, it'd be you.
Do you think our govt. might not be being straight with us?
Peace, my friend.
Sticky, of San Diego
The U.S. government has a long and deplorable history of disparaging legitimate sightings, and of trying to discredit or embarrass reliable witnesses. In his book Flying Saucers Serious Business, Some Classic Cases, published in 1966, Frank Edwards commented, "Some very competent witnesses had certainly seen a very strange sight almost as strange as the official explanations." The sightings continue and the U.S. government continues to provide explanations that are even more strange than the sightings. I don't know if changing the explanations, as the government often does, indicates a strategy or if it's just bumbling incompetence. That's a mystery to me.
I believe that extraterrestrials have been around for a long time. They might even have originally terraformed the planet. That might answer the speculations about the Moon being an artificial satellite.
I also believe that the U.S. government has a lot of technology of which we're unaware. Consider, for example, the famous, or infamous, NASA photo that shows the shadow of what appears to be a technician servicing the Mars Rover, on Mars.
I presented a few of my speculations about aliens and the U.S. government in my essay Born to Rave. It's available in Pharos.
Dear Mr. Milam:
It has been quite some time since I've written you directly. I'll take the liberty (no pun intended) to thank you for your continued generosity in forwarding your uncommonly enlightening and refreshing newsletter to me, which I have and continue to share, abundantly, with friends and acquaintances. Through dialogue and presentation of otherwise unprinted facts and explanations, many, like myself, have come to revisit previously held beliefs about people, places and many things. Thank you so much for your tenacity, candor and dedication. Please impart my greetings and best wishes to [name withheld, initials E. E.] at MCSP, he knows me as "woody". I owe him a large debt of gratitude for introducing me to you and your superb publication. My new address is printed below (outside of the usual letter format), as the heading on the envelope confounds and confuses mailroom personnel with frequency. Thank you once again for your time and efforts. I remain,
Been out on parole for one year and 3 days, and have lived in 4 sober living "homes" so far. None has been decent am on my 3rd pa-
|role officer "agent" and they are barely tolerable.
So, inside wasn't that bad after all, I see now. Everything is comparative.
The judge gave me 3 years on parole but CDCR wrote a reg to modify all paroles and my new parole date 2038 when I am 102. Calif. justice in action. The Calif. courts are in lock step with CDCR so nothing good can happen until our legal actions are heard in federal court. Without "jailhouse lawyers", most of us wouldn't have a chance. Sure, the quality varies from inmate to inmate, but there are some great people on the inside willing to spend hours trying to help inmates get even a little justice. Some inmates ridicule them all the time, but that's just their way to feel better about themselves by criticizing others. Human nature still sucks, in or out of prison.
For 3 years now your newsletter has come to me, no matter where I am. Every issue is always helpful. Enclosed are some stamps to help you mail out your many issues, again and again. You are so dedicated to spend hours and hours of your time and dollars and dollars on postage money. If only a handful of people would send you some postage stamps, your life would be so much easier. Pass the word along.
Take care, my friend,
Jim, Victorville, California
Blessings to you. I hope you are very well. Thanks for the Sept Frontiersman.
Yes, your work has made things better for many people [Some Good Ideas, September, page 1]. That's why we keep wanting to read what you write & publish. Yes, I do believe things would be worse if the world had been w/o your works. It's also more than merely possible that your works, insights & views will markedly increase in awakening people at large making a difference in the minds of many & the lives of many & their world.
So for the prisoner whose ltr you published in that same issue, from Corcoran, beginning on p1: If I could reach out to him, I'd like to relate the following: I've been to Corcoran level 4 prison 3 times on & off from 1997 to 2014, including in the worst hell hole SHU's there. No prisoner in Calif history was abused more than me, including there, though my actual conduct was exemplary even thru their nonstop gauntlets of horror. Most of the "Green Wall" gang guards went to Corcoran when the senate hearings on the Green Wall murders & abuses left here (SVSP) to there. Corcoran does have some of the most insane, including criminally insane and sadistic guards in CDC & on earth. I say that having been in the worst mainline Level 4 prisons for over 20 years & another 15 or more years in SNY & not for ratting anyone out nor gang drop-out status I've never been in one. And I've had over 50 retaliatory transfers often to set me up to be brutally murdered. I say these things only so you can know I've been where you are. Besides that, I'm innocent w/no crime history in my life; and I realize what's being done w/the phasing out of SNY status.
What I can offer is this; get yourself out of Corcoran. Listen to where most of the violence & abuses & worst guards are concentrated today (Corc, Donovan, IOP, High Desert, etc.) & avoid going to those places. There are presently a lot of CDC prisons where those worst horrors have been phased out for years. I thought I'd never see it occur; but in the past few years I have. I perceive you are buried so deep in the dark tunnel of CDC's nightmare prisoner treatment that you can't see there is light elsewhere. I write & urge you to get to one of these other places before the really depraved sadists at Corc. do so much damage to your status based on your jacket they fabricate that you can't get to a better place either for years, or ever.
Sam, even your jokes make a difference. I use some in our Toastmaster's Club
Thanks for publishing my ltr in that same issue....
a prisoner, Soledad, California
Thank you, for providing a voice to the voiceless, and reason to the less-reasoned.
a prisoner, Stockton, California
Keep up the good work.
Yes, you are right [editorial comment, October, pages 2 and 3]. The prison authorities definitely stir the pot by manipulating prisoners. And hey, Corcoran 4B, read the letter from Sticky of San Diego [October, page 3]. Now that's what I'm talking about. Hey Sticky, you write one hell of a positive message letter.
I've heard that Chowchilla is a great place to do time and I'm working my way there. And Corcoran 4B, I don't like child molesters, rapists or rats either, but you know what, they can do their own time, and I'll do mine, because like Sticky, I have my eye on the prize and I should be out somewhere in the 2030's. I hope you change your outlook Corcoran, prison is a suck ass place to grow old and die of old age. I wanna spend my few remaining years breathing free air. So if that means I gotta program, then I'm programming....
a prisoner, Soledad, California
My thanks to the following: El Dorado Bob; Betty; Robert, of Stockton, California; Jim, of Victorville, California; Eric, of Ione, California; and Sir Donald the Elusive.
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Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor