Attention Smart People

26 Jun

I think supercolliders are awesome. Sometimes I sit around for hours while Shawn attempts to explain to me what they do, and it’s got something to do with subatomic particles. Crashing them into each other. They can figure stuff out by doing that, and it’s pretty fascinating and mind-blowing stuff, even when you barely know what’s going on.

You folks in lab coats who work there, and come up with things to do with the supercollider, and then do them – I’ll bet you’re pretty smart. What I need you to do right now is turn off your super collider, or put it on pause or whatever, and get onto some airplanes, and fly out to the Gulf.

That goes for all of you smart people. You know who you are. Cure cancer later – the entire planet has a malignant tumor.

It’s actually more like the planet has been shot, and the wound is toxic. If this were happening in a movie, I wouldn’t be able to suspend my disbelief. I’d say, this movie is stupid.

I’m sorry smart people, but for some reason, it doesn’t sound like anyone consulted you before we started dropping wells a mile beneath the ocean. For some reason, this scenario wasn’t planned for.

I know. A gargantuan toilet flange at James Cameron depths, and no one thought, we’d better have a way to fix this here thing, in case it starts to leak.

It would appear that those of us outside the oil industry didn’t really pay much attention to what the oil companies were doing and how they were doing it. They had plenty of protesters, to be sure, but most of us just drove our cars without asking.

And then it looks like the people in the oil industry were just crossing their fingers, hoping none of these things would leak. Drill, baby, drill.

When you’re a kid and your mom leaves you and your brother home for the first time, you really don’t want to call her at the first sign of a problem, because if you do, it looks like you’re not responsible. You want her to let you and your brother stay home at watch television, eat garbage – not get towed through grocery stores and garden centers and weird, florescent-lit offices.

But sometimes that first problem rolls up into a catastrophe and then a series of catastrophes, and you wind up having to call her anyway, and then she’s really mad. Because it would have been a lot easier to deal with if it were just a problem.

That’s probably how you feel, smart people. I’m real sorry about that. But a catastrophe is a catastrophe. You’re going to have to yell at us later.

I’m talking to you, Stephen Hawking. Pack your things, not joking.

Just about everybody at NASA, too. You all need to stop what you are doing and put your brains on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. For you guys, it’s not even that far away. Everybody go out to your cars and drive to the coast and then either get on boats or swim out to the site of the leak, and take your giant rocket scientist brains with you.

A few of you need to stay at Cape Canaveral, answer the phones and stuff in case the rest of the smart people call and want you pointing a new satellite someplace.

But if we’re not calling you that doesn’t mean start screwing around – you need to be sitting there thinking about how to plug one mile-deep oil leaks. Get online and do your thing. You were driving robots around on Mars for what two years?

You got anymore of those robots and do they work underwater? I mean, has anybody even asked you that yet?

I like that drunk, British Atheist guy, who likes to go around picking fights and flipping people off. He’s on Bill Maher sometimes, and he’s a jerk but he seems pretty smart. He needs to get out there, too, even if it’s just to cleverly insult the people directly responsible for this mess.

Oprah Winfrey, you are obviously the smartest person on the planet, without hyperbole smarter than the rest of the human race put together. Get in your solar-powered hovercraft and buzz on down to the Gulf.

Just put your eyeballs on the problem for a day, Oprah, they’re probably missing something idiotically simple. It might take you an hour.

Bill and Melinda Gates – you guys are super smart and crazy loaded. You need to start up a new Foundation, and it’s going to be an environmental foundation which focuses on clean up and alternative energy sources. Just go ahead and start it up, and then wait right here.

A lot of you super smart people are attorneys. All I need you to do is either figure out a way to legally justify what I’m about to say, or to go and catch a movie, look the other way.

Because I think we should seize control of every offshore drilling platform on the planet, by military force if necessary. Call it in the interest of national security. Global security.

And then I think we should send a bunch of Marines into every BP office within our borders, and if the people inside don’t want to leave, then we should throw them into the street, exactly like hobos.

Hear me out, I’m about one third serious here. I think we should seize the entire monstrosity, assets and all. Use the trillions of dollars to build a fleet of solar and electric cars, and start passing them out.

It’s awful, it’s fascist, whatever. I don’t care. Look at them over there, eight guys scratching their butts and leaning on shovels, looking at a hole. They need kicked off the job.

And that means the whole job. They can’t go around running oil platforms and selling oil, if they are so clearly and demonstrably incompetent at handling the problems associated with it. If you’re a bar and you keep getting busted for serving underage drinkers, you lose your liquor license.

This is pretty serious. These people cannot be permitted to run a gargantuan oil company. It would appear that no one at any oil company can be permitted to run a gargantuan oil company, since no one anywhere else seems to have any idea what to do.

So what we do is, we take it, money and all. We even keep selling the oil – not all of their oil comes from sites like this one. So for as long as we actually need it, we’ll sell it.

All of the profit will then go into the Bill and Melinda Gates New Foundation, and they can have smart people help to design and build the new cars with it.

Think of BP as one of several thousand giant Decepticon robots stomping around the planet. We need to grab one and reprogram it to be good. Like the Terminator – you see what I’m saying?

Also we’ll run BP differently than a business. We’ll run it to shut down in ten years, and so we’ll sell the oil really low, drag down what other companies can charge. When the ten years is up and everyone is driving a solar-powered future car, the other oil companies will be able to charge even less.

So there you have it, smart people. On behalf of myself and all the rest of the People of Average Intelligence, I would like to apologize again for the mess. I don’t think we realized how closely people need to be watched, when there’s bunch of money involved.

What we’re going to do on our end, is try and think really hard. Is there anything else that we should be watching, besides entire financial systems and offshore drilling practices? Is there anything else that giant companies are doing which we don’t really understand?

When we think of them, we’re going to start asking a few questions of the people doing them. Just what exactly are you guys doing, and how are you doing it? Why are you doing it? And what are you going to do if it breaks?

Like giant hog farms. Did any of you smart people know about the literal lake of boiling pig crap that you can find on any industrial hog farm? I’m willing to eat less pork, if it means living in a world without bubbling lakes of pig crap, but I’m not particularly smart. Maybe lakes of pig crap are a circle of life kind of thing.

I don’t know, I just thought when you’re finished fixing the Gulf and seizing control of all of BP’s assets and using them to establish an environmental foundation which funds the production and low-cost distribution of millions of solar-powered future cars, that you might want to check on hog farms, too.

I’m trying to help you out, because if hog farms start erupting into actual shitstorms on a regular basis, you know we’re going to be calling you again. Might as well stay ahead of the game, you know?

Also, I know you’re busy and you’re eager to get back to your supercollider and all that cool, subatomic stuff stuff you do, but first, I wanted to ask you – and it’s really just a formality – are you sure you know what the hell you’re doing with that thing?
Not a Very Good Deal, Corporate Overlords


Posted by on June 26, 2010 in Future Tom Grab Bag, Uncategorized


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7 responses to “Attention Smart People

  1. shawn

    June 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Yeah, crazy thing, both are pretty simple ideas…dig hole in earth to get to oil…smash particles into each other at incredibly high speeds to see what they’re made of (among other things).
    Simple. Dig. Smash.
    Sounds like child’s play, doesn’t it? But man-oh-man! Gettin to those points sounds incredibly complicated. Drill into the bottom of the ocean, a place we probably know less about than the surface of Mars? crazy remote! Accelerate particles through a 17 mile long collider and smack these inconceivably small things head-on, simulating the energies released less than a second after the Big Bang (that’d be some 12 billion years ago, give or take a few billion years-crazy scientists are always tweaking numbers, or maybe some would prefer some 6 thousand years ago, but i doubt many of those folk care much for particle colliders…but i seriously digress)? well all that? that’s just fucking insane!
    Please pardon the vulgarity. i get a little excited about physics. Blame it on Dr. Julius Sumner Miller. Physics was his business.
    All that stuff? Crazy difficult to pull off. Gotta admire us plucky humans. Not much we won’t try to do.
    And to be honest with ourselves, the Large Hadron Collider is a little bit more complicated than drillin into the ocean floor, right? Hell, we’ve been drillin fools for a long time. Who even knows how many holes we’ve put into this blue marble…we’ve certainly exceeded the Albert Hall’s capacity. But we’ve only got a handful of super colliders. And the LHC is the Super-World-Series-Cup-Bowl-Championship-Grandaddy of ’em all.
    Here’s the real big difference though. Shortly after firing up the LHC, the boys n girls noticed something wasn’t quite right. There was a major problem with the superconducting magnets, and they shut the mother down. A billion dollar machine that 10,000 scientists (and probably more) had waited a decade to see in action…shut down for a year. After all that time and money, something wasn’t quite right, and it would have been irresponsible to continue.
    Not so for the oil industry. Didn’t even occur to them they’d need to shut the thing off, REALLY shut it off. And yes, i know, they did because there was a “blow-out preventor” doohickey or some such thing that was there to prevent this. Well, obviously it didn’t. Time to scratch your head. “Huh? Whadya know? The Guganator Valve didn’t work. Now what are we gonna do?” We all know the rest…excepting, of course, the story hasn’t ended yet.
    The externailties (thanks “11th Hour” expert) of the oil industry, which turns out to be the spill in this case, stuff that doesn’t directly enter into their continued business-as-usual practice, the continuation of the status quo, these things don’t even faze the Big Oil Boys, or BOB-which is what i’ll call them from now on. Let’s just keep drillin! “It would be irresponsible to not continue to keep things the way they are.”
    My words obviously, but would it be too far of a stretch to hear it out of one of the BOB reps? Would you really be shocked? Hell, am pretty sure there is shrimp from places other than Louisiana, right? Am i right, boys?
    Well, never fear, Kevin Costner’s got this. He’s got the oil/water centrifuge machine that’ll help save the day…well, make a little less oily. And it won’t cost too much. You do want cleaner oceans? If only we had listened to Kevin Costner when this whole thing first went down. Hey, where was he when this whole thing went down?
    So, yeah, TC, we need those scientists to bum rush this show. They are some serious folk. I mean they built a machine to look for the “God Particle,” for chrissakes. What could possibly go wrong there?!
    Anyways, nothing new here, obviously. Not tellin ya anything ya don’t already know. Just biding my time before ComFest…and by the way, Happy ComFest to all!

    • thomaschalfant

      June 30, 2010 at 11:54 am

      I’ll be back soon with an article about the time-traveling bird that shut down the Hadron collider.

  2. Gregory Wilcox

    June 26, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    i’m just a peon up here at the super collider place but i tried to tell them to stop making anti-matter because we don’t know how to contain it and they keep blowing things up. did you see that ginormous sinkhole they tried to blame on heavy rain . . . anti-matter accident/ government cover-up! but you didn’t hear that from me.

  3. ecossie possie

    June 27, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Compressed air is the way to power cars.Its cheap an plentyfull .An it does not poullute.Thease cars already exsist.

  4. ecossie possie

    June 27, 2010 at 2:45 am

    The super collider they built to try an find the Higgs particle at C E R N is broke an will never be able to run at the capacity needed to verify there theory.Last I heard it was out of commision because someone had droped a bit of croissant pastry into it. Hey super smart people have to eat to.

    • thomaschalfant

      June 30, 2010 at 11:55 am

      I’m serious, I thnk it was a bit of bread, and I’ve got an article I read about a guy who thinks the universe itself is preventing the experiment. Got to go but I’ll be back later with the article.

  5. Bill V

    June 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Excellent Plan!


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