JG Ballard Proved Right

In the 80’s J.G. Ballard wrote a short story The Secret History of World War 3. Central to the story was the increasingly senile president Ronald Reagan. (Not to be confused with a much earlier and more anarchic Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan).

In the story President Reagan was so beloved by his people that he was apportioned a third term. Sadly his brain completely collapsed, such that his speeches were made by hidden speakers. But as the presidential mind rotted, his body remained good enough for an elderly man and soon his doctors were providing weekly, then daily updates as to the president’s health. As his health stayed good, so did the economy. Soon the president’s health was shown as a series of tickers along the bottom of news screens, his pulse, breathing, EKG broadcast live. It replaced all other news. Even an abortive World War 3 went unnoticed.

An assasination one day caused mass panic, a gunman shoots the president fair and square on live TV. The president’s heart stops… but is restored on screen 10 minutes later. The president is alive forever and the world sighs and goes back to money making.

It’s an amusing piece of science fiction but like all good SF it predicts the future.

Announcing iSteve.

  • Continuous monitoring of Steve’s heart rate, pulse, breathing, EKG on your Mac or iPhone screen!
  • APPL stock ticker
  • Urine and Stool samples updated via RSS each midnight
  • Buy optional liver biopsy upgrades
  • Comes with a Best Of Steve’s Motions DVD
  • Accelerated display on Snow Leopard
  • STEVE’S NOT DEAD sticker

Ballard was right, although not in the expected venue. The health of this great leader is the most important thing in the organisation he heads, excluding all other news and directing the wealth of the investors. That this great leader has been a Wizard of OZ since the start, claiming credit for other’s work, has brought this situation and the comedy is most entertaining. I am waiting to see what a flatline will do.

Pirate Raids On The Increase

In other news just off the wire:

“The European Commission has opened a new front in its epic antitrust battle with Microsoft, hitting the US software giant with fresh charges of unfairly squashing competition.

In a move that could lead to huge new fines, Europe’s top protect racket accused Microsoft of crushing rivals by bundling a font into its ubiquitous Windows operating system.

”Microsoft’s supply of Times New Roman font undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice,” Europe’s top antitrust watchdog said in a statement on Friday.

`The commission is concerned that including fonts within the operating system is detrimental to the pace of product innovation and to the quality of products which consumers ultimately obtain,” it said.

Microsoft has eight weeks to respond to the charges and can request an oral hearing to state its defence. However a spokesperson for the EU has stated, ‘We got those mofos in the bag again man! In the bag!'”