Thursday, November 30, 2006

Plus ça change…

Tremendous excitement among the dusty ranks of Britain’s archaeologists, as new studies unveil the intricate complexities of an Ancient Greek supercomputer.

This amazing artifact, constructed almost two centuries before the birth of Christ and lost at sea around 65BC, was apparently used to calculate eclipses, solstices, and planetary motions with uncanny accuracy, marking a level of technological advance not to be seen again until the late Middle Ages.

It’s a sad reflection on human nature that this fantastic fruit of ancient scientific skill, far from inspiring further feats and “putting a man on the Moon by 300AD”, was instead carted around by some shyster to predict “omens” and cast horoscopes. Thank God we live in a more rational age, where men no longer pervert Progress to fleece the greedy and the gullible.

In other news, I receive the following in my inbox this morning…

Date: Mon, 4th December 2006 08:58:18 -0700 (PDT)
From: Moses Odiaka []

My name is Mr.Moses Odiaka.I work in the credit and accounts department of Union Bank of NigeriaPlc,Lagos, Nigeria. I write you in respect of a foreign customer with a Domicilliary account. His name is Engineer Manfred Becker. He was among those who died in a plane crash here in Nigeria during the reign of late General Sani Abacha.

He had only $18.5mllion in his a/c and the a/c is coded. It is only an insider that could produce the code or password of the deposit particulars. Based on the reason that nobody has come forward to claim the deposit as next of kin, I hereby ask for your co operation in using your name as the next of kin to the deceased to send these funds out to a foreign offshore bank a/c for mutual sharing between myself and you. I will need your full name and address telephone/fax umber,company or residential, also your bank name and account,where the money will be transfer into.

Trusting to hear from you,

I remain Respectfully yours,

Mr Moses Odiaka.

Cool! Man, I’m so totally going to cash in on this…

The Ancient Greek Supercomputer, yesterday. Not much to look at, but still more reliable than Windows.


incessant_din said...

I'll bet that the anti-virus cartel sabotaged the vessel carrying the computer, in a move similar to the Allies sinking the German heavy water supply in WWII.

With no changeable program, the Greek computer was hacker-proof, and therefore a dead end for anti-virus marketing. I don't blame them, even programmers need to eat. Jolt cola and M&Ms weren't free, even then.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Tarot cards are much prettier than that contraption, as was Jane Seymour, who used them in Live and Let Die. Note that they always gave Miss Solitaire the right answer, even predicting that Bond would deflower her. Interesting that movies tend to support the supernatural. What does Desargues have to say about that?

Desargues said...

Heh. So now I'm the in-house culture critic around here. Much obliged, GB, much obliged. Of course, the charitable interpretation is that, in a world disenchanted by an ever-advancing modern science, with its prosaic explanations, and numbed by the routine of life in post-industrial societies, modern man's last refuge for a bit of magic and unfettered imagination is the supernatural.

A more cynical take is that everyone is piggy-backing on the obsolete success of the 'X-Files,' which seem to have rendered the supernatural acceptable again. If it's commercially packaged in a sufficiently appealing way, people will swallow no matter what superstitions and nonsense -- and media corporations are all too happy to cash in on our collective thirst for the provisionally inexplicable.

An ever harsher reading of the p[henomenon is that many script writers are just lazy, and when they don't know how to move the plot along in an artistically skillful way, they resort to the cheap tricks of the supernatural. In olden tymes, such sleights of hand were called a Deus ex machina.

Ivan, they way I deal with these fake Nigerians is this: I compiled a list of their emails in a Word document, then I forwarded every such email I got to every other scammer (took me a couple of hours, but it was worth the trouble). Let them deal with each other, if they wanna make a quick buck. I'd love to catch a glimpse of Mother Mary Something-or-other, who has cancer and wants to bequeath me her 20 million dollars, trying to scam Barrister Olusegun Obasanjo or whatever the hell their names are.

BTW, I can email you guys that list of emails, if you want. Spam the scammer, I say. Poetic online justice, you may call it.

PI said...

Mr Moses and his ilk have beeen plaguing us Brits for yonks. Some greedy idiots actually fell for it. One bright spark made a career out of double conning the conner to earn a few death threats. They are obviously hoping for richer pickings from ? more gullible Americans?

Cantemir said...


I believe you mean Oginga Odinga.

Thomas Pauli said...

Rational age? Hordes of people love to throw away rational thought and scientific knowledge in favor of some kitchen psychology and witchcraft!
It is so natural and, by the way, easier!

Desargues said...

That's cool, Cantemir, but I had in mind something along these lines. Feel free to browse the photo archive at your leisure, there's some side-splitting specimens in there.

Maybe Ivan could make it Site of the Week at some point. It's veridical evidence that the forces of darkness haven't yet gotten the upper hand on us.