Tag Archives: William Shakespeare

The stage is the play

Famous words given to us by William Shakespeare, but are they actually true? I am not debating the insight or wisdom in this, but in a stage with Alien life, how far does it apply?

I have been working on Keno Diastima again and a few things were bothering me, well bothering is not really the right word, or the right sentiment. The stage became debatable, or perhaps shallow was the better definition. I needed a larger stage and the stage became the play. SO I decided to look back at some of the earliest original writings. There was Sun Tsu (the art of war) at 490 BC and the two works by Julius Caesar at 60BC, they are important because there was pretty much nothing of that calibre before that in their fields and their dome of influence. For me I focussed on Bellum Gallicum and on Bellum Civile. I wanted to avoid an intersection of ‘oriental thinking’. They are original as they were all ahead of their time and they set a stage that is still used today, the works were that good. It was an important stage because in any alien encounter we need to know where THEY are at and it is not some kind of wisdom puzzle, when we get visitors from the Sombrero galaxy it is not for mere tea and crumpets, there is a larger stage and that is what I needed to focus on.

I will not divulge too much, or set the stage too open, because it might still be a work of art to some stage (book, movie, TV series, etc), as such I cannot reveal my entire hand, but consider the use of Caesar, the fact that he wrote the two books in an age where writings were utterly rare and the idea that he was heading the battle in Thessalia, in a stage where the cavalry of Pompeii vastly outnumbered the one Julius Caesar had, all whilst the infantries were close to equally matched, still Pompeii missed out and lost that decisive battle, numbers matter, especially in a stage where two generals are grounded experienced veterans, in a stage when communication between parties was set in hours, not minutes or seconds. That part matters too, even as we look at our not so smart phones and forget that part altogether. 

My mind remained in brooding mode and I was starting to think things through, I was aware of the reasoning of the other side (trust me, you do not want to go there), but how and why are we reacting? Is it wishful thinking that they like tea and crumpets? It is not completely unrelated though, especially when you consider the building that once was in a place now known as Islam Abad (Iran) I think, if the right satellite looks in a proper way, they would see something that is odd, the evidence should still be there, even now 5500 years later, the evidence is still there, and I am covering that in something else, but that I keep under wraps for now, when I realised what I had found, when my mind perceived a stage that is almost undeniable I started to work on one part and in the back of my mind, my brain started to work on Keno Diastima, even the Greek part has meaning in ways that boggles the mind (well, at least to some degree). 

So as we consider the stage, the stage we are shown, what happens when it all goes topsy turvy? What happens when we become (have been for a long time) our own worst enemy, how will others react? How can we see the failings of us when we ignore what was in front of us the entire time? That is the stage I am digging through, because in all that mud a few nuggets can be found and I want to find them, they need not be there, but the mind can create them and as they are close enough to some presumptive truth, I am on the right track to create actual nuggets, not chicken, or pyrite, but golden nuggets, hoping that I can turn them to platinum bars (complete with a coca cola on the rocks), I an not driving a vehicle, as such I can have my coke on the rocks, so there!

Yet in the back of the mind, the two stations are more and more complete and soon there is a line between us and the Sombrero galaxy. Bioware, eat your heart out! What was once written can be written again in different ways, so as we see “The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look”, as well as “Experience is the teacher of all things”, two truths that have been out there for well over 2000 years and now I am trying to set an entirely new stage to part of that, or basically, I am incorporating the stage for 16 people on a space station, and in all that, what happens when we become our own worst enemy? 

The University of Melbourne published Farrago, there we see “The space that fills the gap between us and those stars, is perceived by us to be empty. From a conceptual standpoint, this is a perfectly valid definition, yet from a scientific perspective we can do better”, they are correct in more ways then one, they cannot see beyond a certain spectral point and the equipment that we design has similar limitations, we see in frequencies, yet an event 5500 years ago showed us at one point that we are limited by ourselves, and we forgot what we experienced, so at that point, what are we not seeing? We merely observe the parts we can see or measure, yet what happens when we mis out because we are focussing on a ruler, all whilst we need to use a version of a spatial Inclinometer, one that also measures spatial radiation, we never did that, did we, because we were never there, but evidence of that still exists, yet as we reach the limit of our expanded imagination, we forgot to push those boundaries and that in part made us our own worst enemy, a stage where the play is us, the stage was not the play, it was to show us the boundaries of the play of us. 

And as we go forwards, there will be people stating the list of original writers, but that was never the issue, Thessalia was. It was the place where the play showed a shift of borders, you can read it in Bello Civili, the set stage we see is “The book was for a time lost, but was rediscovered in Italian city archives in the Middle Ages”, it was found, but parts were missing, the papal powers feared the missing passages, did no one ever wonder why? I cannot tell how much is missing, but a part was omitted and another side of Thessalia optionally shows that. It is speculation, but when we consider a commander like Pompeii, a person as veteran as Julius Gaius Caesar was, did you actually believe he had no records? A stage with two sides, two sides of coins, not the same coin, but the same currency and that is where we see the play, the stage of Keno Diastima, not one coin, not more coins, but two distinct currencies, and the second currency we forgot about, but it was here all along. You merely have to open all eyes, we need to focus not with one mind, but with at least two. 

The stage is not the play, it defines the edges of the play, it makes all the difference.

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In defiance of definition

I had to think things through yesterday (as well as get over a headache of titanic proportions). The Guardian gave us an interesting view on Friday with ‘loss of role model for boys‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/21/doctor-who-casting-peter-davison-laments-loss-of-role-model-for-boys). The entire issue is that the new Doctor, the 13th one will be a woman named Jodie Whittaker. It is a new step in refreshing the brand; it is equally an interesting step that forums have debated for the longest time. Two previous doctors have given their own view. First we see Peter Davison with “a former star of Doctor Who, has lamented the loss of a role model for boys after the part of the Doctor was given to a female actor for the first time“. It is an interesting premise. I am not sure I agree. Peter Davison who would be regarded as the Doctor by some and as Tristan Farnon by others has played the doctor, and as such has seen waves and waves of fans. The opposition, the side I tend to agree with states “absolute rubbish“, this is Colin Baker who played both the 6th Doctor and Paul Merroney, the cold hearted accountant in ‘The Brothers’. You see, I am not certain why the two sides exist (academically speaking). When we look at ‘role model’, we see ‘a person whose behaviour in a particular role is imitated by others’ (source Meriam-Webster), this came into official usage in 1947, the same year that the words ‘Chopped Liver’, ‘Bikini’, ‘Time Traveller’, ‘Workaholic’ and ‘Final Solution’ were added to the dictionary.

So when we consider that ‘the imitation of a particular role’ is generic, does it actually matter what the gender of the player is? How many people see Oprah Winfrey as their role model? How many are man? Even when we look online for some of the best talk show hosts ever, in one case she was seen below Marc Maron and Howard Stern, who the hell is Marc Maron? So as we see that a renowned talk show host, who was ranked in 2013 as the most influential woman in the world, she got to number 6? I think it is high time that more women become role models. In this we should take heed that Jodie also featured in St. Trinians, so the upcoming role model could be a chaos creator. Yet does that matter? You see in the end, are the younglings regardless of age following the image played, the portraying actor, or the writers who created the image? So are these boys and girls following the image of the Doctor, or the image as written by Steven Moffat, the man who also gave us Jekyll with James Nesbitt?

The definition gives us the character as played by Doctor who, yet in all this, does it matter whether the player is a he or a she? Well, there are a few issues as seen. One source gives us “The gender difference between role models and female students has shown to have no significant effect on student attitudes, whereas perceived dissimilarity with stereotypical role models showed a negative effect on self-confidence in pursuing STEM careers“, in this, STEM careers are the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematical . Yet, in this, as we consider the works of Friedrich Weyerhäuser and realising that he died when WW1 began, is there enough traction remaining to give that the highest levels of acceptance? I can understand part of his view and perhaps in those days of set premises on how the family was going to go, it made sense, yet after WW1, we got the great depression, WW2, the era of opportunity, the sexual revolution and higher education. When compared to then the average education now and then, the bulk of the 70% educated now are on par and surpassing the education of the top 90%, the highest 10% is reserved of the higher educated now, whilst 90% of the educated are far beyond the lower 30% of those days. If education is an essential side of acceptance, the premise given earlier should not just surpass the standard of the early 1900, we should see that when a talk show host, an African American woman is the most influential woman on the planet, we can see that it is not the gender of the role model, it is the quality of the model that sets the stance for whomever follows that example, regardless of gender.

Yet, we need to take a step back towards modern sociology. In this, we see that Robert K. Merton is seen by larger groups as is considered as a founding father of modern sociology. In this there might be a foundation to have a new Doctor as a woman. Let me try to reason this as follows. If we accept Robert Merton and his setting of the social strain theory, we should change the barriers. In the social strain we look at the discrepancies between culturally defined goals and the institutionalized means available to achieve these goals. If we accept that ‘success’ is a goal definition and institutionalised means are the setting, the properties to set to get there, we can argue that as it is mainly a man’s world, introducing a woman changes the premise of the path, or in equal measure we can argue that we criminalise the actions women will take to get there. The danger of a strain approach is that there tend to be two paths. If we accept the 5 paths of deviance namely, conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion, we might see gender as the overthrowing of conformity, ritualism and retreatism. Can any of this be proven? Well, in Chinese culture, most will remember Hua Mulan due to Disney exposure, yet there have been several more.

The question becomes, should it matter?

In my view a role model is a role model. It can be set on bravery like Florence Nightingale, set in science as Madame Curie, set towards engineering like Amelia Earhart (or Charles Lindbergh), we have seen that given the chance in getting toward the path of excellence, gender has never been the challenging factor. As we upped the deviance pressure towards certain paths, we get in equal measure the impact of the opposite direction like the cyclist Lance Armstrong and the fall from grace in 2012. So as stated, it can go in either direction, it is the drive, the realistic option of meeting a goal that has the larger impact.

In this, Colin Baker also stated “They’ve had 50 years of having a role model. So, sorry Peter, you’re talking rubbish there – absolute rubbish” he said. “You don’t have to be of a gender of someone to be a role model. Can’t you be a role model as a people?” This is a fair enough view. Yet in my view it is not merely the one playing the role, but in equal measure the quality of material handed to the layer, which gets us to Steven Moffat. I believe that one enables the other which gets us the result. For those in doubt, ask yourself, who remembers Charles Laughton, Domonic Rowan, Arthur Bouchier or Tony Church? They all played the same character! Now who remembers William Shakespeare who wrote the Henry VIII play?

It is not a fair comparison, but the comparison still matters, these players will be remembered by those who watched the play, probably for the rest of their lives, but the others? Even as TV reaches billions, we realise that our old idols like Gareth Thomas and Paul Darrow in Blake’s 7 were heroes to some, yet have we forgotten about Terry Nation, the man who did not merely created the Blake team, but also was responsible of creating the Daleks, an opposition who has been enthusiastically exterminating mankind since 1962?

When we realise the cogs in the clock that makes the setting for the heroes we have admired for the longest time of our life, is it not sad that those who actually created the wave of role models are too often forgotten? When we realise this, does it actually matter what the gender of the role model is?

It is just a thought that you should consider when you get some hatched job from the Sun or the Mail online, remember that when it comes to role models, they have never been one to follow any, their role model is greed and circulation, so as they give us “It is frankly nauseating that the [BBC] should now get on their sci-fi high horse and gallop into Right-Onsville to plonk a woman sheriff in town“, let us not forget that the people referred to are the same people who gave us “The captain of missing flight MH370 practised crashing into the Indian Ocean on a simulator weeks before his plane disappeared, confidential police documents reveal“, right after the entire Leveson inquiry and never showing ANY ACCEPTABLE level of evidence. It is even better seen in the Guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2012/nov/16/dailymail-leveson-inquiry), here we see “How is it defensible to talk of “freedom of the press” in the collective sense when a single man exercises so much power?” as well as “For a national paper to devote the best part of a dozen pages to an investigation so obviously based on prejudice against the Leveson inquiry is surely counter-productive”, this shows us that no matter how we see a role model, it is likely to be under non-stop attack by media publications that have merely the doctrine of greed via circulation in mind. So will Jodie become a new role model? Will we see Paul Dacre in a straightjacket? Would it not be great if we got both? We get two role models, Jodie to tell us how we move forward and Paul to show us how being backward tends to be a self-destructive path. All options in the innovation path, none of them gender based, merely two examples on how we should and could see innovation move.

So in defiance of the definition is not entirely in play. Gender was never a given, it was what others made those role models to be in the end, I will leave it to you to follow whomever moves you forward; it does not matter if that person is a he or a she, does it?



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