Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The spirit summoner needs help

One of my engineering subjects involves a sub-subject called “Professional Practice”. Part of it entails participation in debates.

Unlike certain parliaments, the debates do not involve any fist fights nor chair throwing stunts. Neither have I heard of participants shedding tears during a session.


The night was silent. Silent, by his definition, was an absence of people sounds. The complex was silent- no intrusive footsteps along galvanised steel walkways, no chatting plant engineers, no annoying nasal sniffles.

The whining of electric motors, rumbling of drive belts, periodic chattering of worn bearings, continuous whoosh of exhaust fans, and interminable roar of turbulence in pipes did nothing to detract from the silence of the night.

The fact that the area is continuously lit by the harsh glow energy saving tubes regardless of day or night, and the fact that it has never seen natural light for 25 years anyway, did not detract from the nightliness of the moment.

It was a silent night. He treaded mindfully, careful not to break the silence with the sounds of his contaminating footsteps. Arriving at a secluded area between two grinding mills, he prepared the scene. It was time to summon the spirits.

From his breast pocket, he extracted a pair of pink coloured candles. Standing them on the floor, he lit one of them. The each of the candles represented one of the Holy Cardinal Numbers of Deterministic Computing: One and Zero. The lit candle, with its flickering flame of carbon yellow, was One. The unlit candle and its pristine wick was the incarnation of Zero.

His fetishes set up, he then proceeded to boot up his notebook computer and connected to the plant’s wireless network. With that done, he chanted the following verses, his rich tenor voice overlaid by the grinding mill’s granulated song.

“By the power vested in me by the ADSL connection, I summon the sentient spirits of the blogosphere to come to my aid.”

He always felt a tinge of stupidity at that ADSL bit, in an era where asymmetric digital subscriber lines are mere playthings of juveniles and college students. This was the age of the fibre optic connection. Still, traditions remain, and ADSL is the phrase to use.

“Spirits of the blogosphere, come forth. Come forth, I implore you, to improve the overall lead time of my task. With your noble aid, the efficiency of completing this task would be improved dramatically. Spirits of the blogosphere, come forth!”

At the end of the proceedings, he was standing between the binary candles, hands high up in the air, reaching for the spirits.


Sorry I got a bit distracted. Anyone can help add to the following half-list of arguments? Thanks.

[A small country] should just make a few things well and import the rest.

The local industry will have lots of people experienced in the relevant areas
Improve efficiency- all parties involved are well versed in the tasks involved
Reduce cost- juicier profit margin for the workers and local economy

Not all citizens share the passion for work in the specialised fields
Overly dependent on external factors
Local industry inexperienced in other areas