"The spells don’t work on minor wizards"
how long it would take to produce believable weekly SciFi when Star Trek launched in 1966 on NBC. Toward the middle of the first season, he found himself writing the tenth episode with Ricky Ricardo pacing the floor wanting to see shootable pages. Ricky and Lucy worried that Gene would be unable to deliver the next episode to film, edit, and fly to NBC in New York in time to fulfill Desilu’s promises to sponsors.
More importantly for Roddenberry, he needed a signature tale to show the night when Star Trek would air in prime time on Thanksgiving.
He did have one ace up his sleeve—an unaired pilot episode from 1965 called “The Cage.” If he re-edited The Cage into a cliffhanger, he thought, it could be episode 11 and the solution would be Thanksgiving’s episode 12.
It is 2267. Enterprise answers a distress call from the former Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike and arrives at Starbase 11. Sound like the Kobayashi Maru test? It's close. Pike communicates to Spock they need to go to the planet Talos IV. Enterprise’s current Captain, James T. Kirk, refuses because the Federation has placed Talos off-limits. Spock and Pike, under a hypnotic spell cast by the Talosians, hijack the Enterprise. Kirk is briefly marooned at the starbase, but he gives chase in a shuttlecraft and eventually takes back his ship from the mutineers while warding off a Talosian attempt to hack his mind.
At Spock’s court-martial, the ship’s log reveals that in 2254 Pike was abducted by the Talosians, who have the power to create reality distortion fields.
You can see where I am going with this, right? No?
Take your pick: Steve Jobs' charisma and its effects on the developers working on the Macintosh in 1984. Tucker Carlson cherry-picking 30 seconds of footage of the January 6 Capitol riot to show that the rioters were as harmless as weekend tourists. Donald Trump insisting that the election was rigged and he is still legally President. Vladimir Putin claiming that he is liberating Kyiv from Nazis. Bill Gates forecasting in 2020 that Small Modular Reactors will power rural homes by 2024. The AMA claiming long covid doesn’t exist. The State Department saying the Havana Syndrome is all your mind.
Oh wait, those last two were gaslighting. Let’s not get confused. Reality distortion is when the illusion is so powerful you actually believe it. Gaslighting is making you think you’re crazy when you’re not.
The RDF was said by Andy Hertzfeld to be Steve Jobs' ability to convince himself, and others around him, to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, charisma, bravado, hyperbole, marketing, appeasement and persistence. It was said to distort his co-workers' sense of proportion and scales of difficulties and to make them believe that whatever impossible task he had at hand was possible. Jobs could also use the reality distortion field to appropriate others' ideas as his own, sometimes proposing an idea back to its originator, only a week after dismissing it.
During development of the Macintosh computer in 1984, Jobs asked Larry Kenyon, an engineer, to reduce the Mac boot time by 10 seconds. When Kenyon replied that it was not possible to reduce the time, Jobs asked him, "If it would save a person's life, could you find a way to shave 10 seconds off the boot time?" Kenyon said that he could. Jobs went to a whiteboard and pointed out that if 5 million people wasted an additional 10 seconds booting the computer, the sum time of all users would be equivalent to 100 human lifetimes every year. A few weeks later Kenyon returned with rewritten code that booted 28 seconds faster than before.
In an interview, Gates said he considered himself immune to Jobs's reality distortion field, saying, “…he would be casting spells, and I would see people mesmerized, but because I'm a minor wizard, the spells don't work on me.”
In 2267, the court-martial is interrupted by a message from Starfleet Command, revealing that the Enterprise log images they have been viewing are being transmitted from Talos IV.
So what is it? Real or fiction? Is the reality distortion field the court has been viewing something they need to understand about the Talosians, or is it what the Talosians want them to think? That is the cliffhanger on which Roddenberry closes episode 11. Space music outro. To be continued.
At 7:30 pm Thanksgiving evening, November 24, 1966, episode 12 came on with its famous theme song and hardly anyone watched. It was across from the 4th quarter of the Browns-Cowboys game on CBS and Dating Game on ABC, followed by the number-one-rated Bewitched. Very few viewers saw Kirk beam Pike down to the planet to inseminate the Talosian’s non-illusory women and reboot a dying race. Star Fleet Prime Directive be damned, Kirk had prevented Talosian extinction. Space music outro. Curtain.
The master negatives of Episode 11, “The Cage,” and Episode 12, ”The Menagerie,” together produced in just one week, were flown to New York for broadcast. In 1967, The Cage won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. In 2017, Space.com ranked The Menagerie the 3rd best episode of all Star Trek television. Some repertory movie theaters in North America showed the two classic episodes as a 110-minute feature film in the 1970s. Meanwhile, the Cowboys beat the Browns 24-14, Bewitched retained its number one spot in ratings and Desilu sold Roddenberry’s folly to Paramount after its first season. NBC canceled Star Trek after three seasons in 1969.
And there the Reality Distortion Field might have ended, but for a young Australian newspaperman who resurrected it to create the modern tabloid. Around the same time Star Trek was being canceled, Rupert Murdoch, then in his thirties, refined a formula for weaponizing outrage to capture eyeballs. He manufactured scandals out of thin air. Eventually, his success playing to neurobiological instincts and dopamine cravings allowed him to buy Australia’s largest newspapers and color them yellow.
in London (turning it into pulp fiction and gaining 10 million readers), The Times and Sunday Times, Sky-TV, New York Post, South China Morning Post, 20th Century Fox, DirecTV, Dow Jones & Company, The Wall Street Journal, Barron's Magazine, Star India, the Far Eastern Economic Review (based in Hong Kong) and SmartMoney. Like a Gitmo or Bagram 100 Db torture cell, Fox News monopolized bars, airports, hotel lobbies and dental exam rooms worldwide, indoctrinating billions of Manchurian Candidates. It begat entire Congressional Districts, such as The Villages in Florida. It be-knighted Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump.
No one knows exactly where it came from, although there's a theory someone bought it at a market in China and then spread it around the world. To be honest it's a scandal it was even on sale in the first place. MyMetPoll says the virus is spread by a new 5G phone signal but the mainstream media is trying to cover that up just because it isn't true. Phone companies say 5G is safe but they can't know because 5G is totally unlike anything we've seen before, apart from 4G and 3G and 2G, 1G which I think was called WAP, probably to put us off the scent. Anyway, Paul sent me this really interesting video:
David Icke: “I managed to get the message out that if they start firing out 5G at 60 gigahertz they're gonna have a lot of people who are gonna keel over because they can’t absorb oxygen.”
I thought he was talking out of his ass but then Paul explained how the phone companies use a Jewish computer to replace everything David Icke says with absolute bullshit in a bid to discredit him. As soon as he said that, the way David Icke doesn't make sense suddenly made sense.
— Theory Liker and Non-Epidemiologist Philomena Cunk explains Coronavirus
Is it just me, or does Rupert Murdoch bear an uncanny resemblance to the Talosians? Is this our payback for having rescued their race from extinction?
Meanwhile, let’s end this war. Towns, villages, and cities in Ukraine are being bombed every day. Ecovillages and permaculture farms have organized something like an underground railroad to shelter families fleeing the cities, either on a long-term basis or temporarily, as people wait for the best moments to cross the border to a safer place, or to return to their homes if that becomes possible. There are still 70 sites in Ukraine and 300 around the region. They are calling their project “The Green Road.”
The Green Road is helping these places grow their own food, and raising money to acquire farm machinery and seed, and to erect greenhouses. The opportunity, however, is larger than that. The majority of the migrants are children. This will be the first experience in ecovillage living for most. They will directly experience its wonders, skills, and safety. They may never want to go back. Those that do will carry the seeds within them of the better world they glimpsed through the eyes of a child.
Those wishing to make a tax-deductible gift can do so through Global Village Institute by going to http://PayPal.me/greenroad2022 or by directing donations to email@example.com.
There is more info on the Global Village Institute website at https://www.gvix.org/greenroad and read this new article in Mother Jones.
The COVID-19 pandemic destroyed lives, livelihoods, and economies. But it has not slowed climate change, a juggernaut threat to all life, humans included. We had a trial run at emergency problem-solving on a global scale with COVID — and we failed. 6.8 million people, and counting, have died. We ignored well-laid plans to isolate and contact trace early cases; overloaded our ICUs; parked morgue trucks on the streets; incinerated bodies until the smoke obscured our cities as much as the raging wildfires. The modern world took a masterclass in how abysmally, unbelievably, shockingly bad we could fail, despite our amazing science, vast wealth, and singular talents as a species.
Having failed so dramatically, so convincingly, with such breathtaking ineptitude, do we imagine we will now do better with climate? Having demonstrated such extreme disorientation in the face of a few simple strands of RNA, do we imagine we can call upon some magic power that will change all that for planetary-ecosystem-destroying climate change?
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