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Stony Brook Innovation Center Blog

Every Man A King

Jan 19 2015

The most helpful topic for an Innovation Center blog would seem to be examining whether innovativeness can be instilled in people the way installing computer programs enables us to do different things, and if so, how is it downloaded, or learned?  Is there a single Skill Set underpinning all the other attributes that are identifiable in the majority of innovators, short of the few savants floating around, and even there?  Do innovations like the light bulb and Internet arise out of nowhere, or evolve as species do: putting similar things together again and again, and how is that done? 

 

 

Isn’t this a time!

Isn’t this a time!
A time to try the soul of man,
Isn’t this a terrible time?

Our faith cries out we have no fear
We dare to reach our hand
To other neighbors far and near
To friends in every land.

Isn’t this a time!
Isn’t this a time!
A time to free the soul of man!
Isn’t this a wonderful time!

                        “Wasn’t That A Time,” Words and Music by Lee Hays and Walter Lowenfels

                                                                                           
I have a dream … that billions of people are dreaming the same dream that I am with me all the time, that the dream becomes only more fervent for them every day, as it does for me, and will continue to.  I have a dream.

I have a dream … that each and every person on earth knows that this dream can come true, even though it never has, and also knows why it hasn’t.  I have a dream.

I have a dream … not that my children will one day know the true meaning of liberty and justice, but that we will all wake up tomorrow with it being fulfilled then and there, plain as day, right before our very eyes.  I have a dream.

I have a dream … that everyone will read this, get off their stick, and do what is necessary to shake this sleeping world awake and make things right, just as Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to do, whose life and assassination we remember today.  I have a dream.

I have a dream … that everyone will finally understand fully, deeply, vividly, and clearly that it isn’t just a poetic image of Shakespeare’s, nor a philosophical idea of Plato’s that the lives they walk, talk, drive, and survive around in all day and night actually is a dream, too, no more real or less fictitious than this one when they dream it, and this dream of the world as everyone knows it should be is no less real than the roads and pathwalks in front of them.  I have a dream.

I have a dream … that everyone already doing something to solve some part of the problem will unite, instead of coddling their Pet Rock, as I thought Common Cause was intended to be.  I have a dream.

I have a dream … that everyone will finally be paid according to the quality of their work, without prejudice towards their vulnerability in the workplace due to circumstances beyond their control.  I have a dream.

I have a dream …that every person, who ripped someone off or influenced politicians so that they or someone else could, pays them (or their descendants) what they owe them and wears a Scarlet Letter “R” for as long as they ripped them off and until the debt is paid in full, will have their eyelids pinned back, if need be, like the chap in A Clockwork Orange, and made to watch Shane and the many TV Western episodes about some bully, who took over a valley or town, and made The Little People cow-tow to them, perhaps with clips, during what would be commercials, of people living cheek by jowl with rats, if they even have a roof over their heads.  I have a dream.

I have a dream … that, Gee Willickers, somewhere among the 2,000 or 3,000 some-odd institutions of higher learning just here, a Chair will be established, like I keep seeing scholars having in the name of some personage—say, the Jane and John Doe Chair—devoted to Reaching Every American Please to Straighten Out the World, if not a whole institute, perhaps referred to by the acronym of REAP/SOW, if everyone doesn’t think that any Elementary School or First Grade class, for that matter, couldn’t do the job.  The September 18th post, “History: The Final Innovation,” intimated a sneaking suspicion that there already are a whole bunch of people like that, who know what’s what and what to do about it, but don’t have the nerve to speak up, but may-hay-hay-be giving one a Chair or the whole lot of them a Think Tank for putting their shoulder to the grindstone will do the trick.  I have a dream.

I have a dream … that instead of a nauseating stream of expert economists, sociologists, and the like (whose institutes and associations are well-funded) wringing their hands on Public Television talk shows like Bill Moyers and Charlie Rose about how awful things are because the rich keep getting even more outlandishly rich than they already are, someone will lean forward someday soon, folding their hands on those huge desks the hosts use, and mutter, practically in a whisper, “Isn’t it amazing?  It took 5000 years to get up the gumption, and the whole thing got worked out in a single day!”  I have a dream.

I have a dream … that the Founding Fathers came back, are horrified with what goes on, proclaim that we can do better without the United States of America ruling us, and the rest of the world gets it.  We’re already more connected on the internet than the polls!  Bills will be indexed by topic and assigned to people according to their interests, one workday a week.  Children suffer as much or more than adults.  Everyone who can read and recite The Declaration of Independence clearly, add and multiply, can vote.  Let’s see what the availability is of Peace, for a change, cancel the Defense Order, ship the soldiers home, and check out!  Dollars to donuts, the terrorists will buy in.  Nobody wants to die, who has something better to bargain for.  Let the ninnies in Washington and every state capitol keep whining and dining—on their own tab!  Ignore them like an unruly child.  There’s got to be a more perfect union—a lot more perfect—than this one.  I have a dream.

I have a dream … that the ridiculous hearsay taken as gospel—according to which people of color remain downtrodden all too more often than their brethren of European descent because their forebears were slaves in our land, implying that the mentality of slavehood got passed down from generation to generation and makes them incapable of taking the reins of the freedom handed to them in the Emancipation Proclamation; not the ongoing Exploitation Proclamation that is supply and demand, whose noose grows tighter with every recession, while profits continue to soar, regardless—be stricken from every pylon, every book, every monument.  I have a dream.

I have a dream; call this one a hunch … that everyone who has mastered what I’ve been calling The Uniform Structure of Information is already Fixing A Hole, as The Beatles put it, and everyone who learns to do so will, as well.  Somewhat the way vampires can’t resist tipping their hand before long, there are tell-tale signs that someone is disingenuously peppering their bait with illustrative anecdotes and analogies, such as frequent use of “Alright?” “Y’ know what I mean?” and “Okay?” or stock phrases like “At the end of the day …” or speaking more quickly than the matter calls for.  They aren’t really thinking about what their interlocutors may ask.  They already know what to say that circumvents it, but far too many victims are still taken in.  Alas, beneficence often cloaks the fangs that built the castles where it resides.  I have a dream.

I trust that no one will think ill of the allusion in this post’s title to an affiliation between Huey Long, who made the phrase famous, and Dr. King.  According to Dr. Glen Jeansonne, Professor of History at University of Wisconsin, “He was unbiased in his personal relationships, equalitarian by temperament, color-blind by inclination.” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association Vol. 33, No. 3 (Summer, 1992), pp. 265-282



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