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The responsibility of nerds

“If there is anything to this survival-after-death business, I am going to look up the man who invented the bow and arrow and take him apart with my bare hands.”
    ~ Robert A. Heinlein, “Solution Unsatisfactory” (1941)

Their brains are fine as any this old mudball’s ever had,
Their pat assumptions unexplored, their neighbors presumed bad,
Their wagons circled blocking any quality comrade,
Their fear not folks of fraud, abuse or charm,

But rather those who choose to question whether they’re correct
Who’ve heard their said conditions and not shown enough respect
And sought instead to clarify, improve or, worse, correct
The way things are, yet not intending harm,

Who made them think to ask for new devices that could kill,
For new ways to escape, new kinds of jagged little pill,
For more contraptions that pollute, more junk & more landfill,
A handful of us nerds who’ve dared to dream

That they would use our constructs with responsibility;
That those who mind the store that calls itself society
Would guide the promised benefits of rich technology
As if the human race was one great team.

Well, Chomsky shows this mudball’s ruled with greed & arrogance,
And says we’re made responsible by our intelligence;
That freedom, justice, mercy, peace & such nice sentiments
Should factor — if we’re brave — as our concerns,

Yet what’s our big concern if lots of groovers get their pay
For using our ideas although they hate us anyway
In fear & death by any means we dish out as we play
Pursuing, blind, technology’s returns

On our investment of our lives of lonely bit & byte:
We dream a bulb and watch as all the world is filled with light,
Display a moving picture and watch all become less bright,
Develop bigger bombs until we always live in fright,
Invent an engine and the moon’s dark side shows up toward night
Because the planet’s oxygen’s consumed in drive & flight,
As if the very folks who disrespect us earned the right
To choke us all as well as make us hot —

What’s more than clear? Our brains are fine as anyone has had,
Our pat assumptions unaffordable, as we’ve proved bad
The sharing of responsibility for ideas. Add,
There’s one idea to share: to share them not,

For brains, above all weapons, must be used responsibly
For aims, if ever shared, shared ever confidentially,
For none but us, our own, or maybe schools of mystery,
But never for designs that can be bought.

    October 2017

Thanks always returns

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