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Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Challenge To Techies

Greg is optimistic about the possibilities of technology. He believes fervently that the internet and other developments offer chances for healing the world.

He argues persuasively, using a language I can barely discern. But his passion is unmistakable and it is mostly his passion that convinces.

So, okay, his generation will make strides for a better environment, better government, universal education, the arts, culture, medicine, understanding.

Great. But there are some problems left over that my generation never solved, well, really, ignored completely. I wonder what the techies of Greg's generation will do about such things.

For instance, what about the toilet? Yes, that's what I said. This system for waste disposal which has us flush our bodily waste into a bowl of water and then flush it into a community sewer system has been around for almost a century.

Can't we do better than that. Those who have addressed the issue have focused on saving some water,from putting a brick in the tank to vast treatment plants to recycle waste water.

But the concept hasn't had a re-think in many years. Isn't it time to apply some of the imagination that now goes into solving the nettlesome problem of how to download free music into this most crucial social concern.

I HAVE A DREAM, to coin a phrase. A world in which there are no toilets, no toilet paper, no need to pull down one's pants (or pantyhose) around one's knees and line a cold, dirty seat with sticky paper.

A world in which each human fuels his body so efficiently that no waste need be disposed of in this inelegant way. Through chemical intervention or surgical implant or genetic redesign we are freed from this daily slavery.

The gains to health, sanitation, environment would be incalculable, a true boon to mankind, an advancement of the species. No more constipation, diarrhea, 1 ply paper, tidy bowl, arguments between the sexes about "seat up" or "seat down".

Come on, techies, do something really useful... Please.


  1. You are such a purist, Mort:) it's beyond "dreaming" :)

    I've been reading your blog at random:)

    P.S. Wonder if you can see this comment.

  2. yes, Rina, I can see it ... I've been writing at random, as well. Purist? dunno 'boout that. ;-[0

  3. Purist in this particular post. Or, perhaps, this is not quite the word I was looking for:)

  4. Well, purist in this particular post:) Sayin' this in a jocose manner. Context-tied.