It’s the end of the year. So I look to the miracle workers: the popes, the priests, the rabbis, the imams.
(Note: neither I, nor anyone else I know, count the pushy entrepreneurial elites of Silicon Valley or Big Pharma as joining this crowd of miraclists – sisters of mercy, pounders of swords into plowshears, the answerers of our prayers.)
I ask why humans who communicate so directly with the deities never insure we get the answers we universally pray for? Even more obvious, given their eternal connectivity, why don’t they think to ask for things we have not thought of, things that could serve as a substitute given that our dreams will not be fulfilled. Not that I am a believer. But certainly those high and mighty clergy must know the miracles we pray for, the outcomes we desire.
We boomers lived our dreams in the sixties, watched as our dreams were distilled into the sour mash of recipes of drinks, drugs, and delectations. Now it is time to take lessons from the youngsters among us: the lettered generations. It is the X’s, Y’s and Z’s that must now lead. Enter the opposites of the angels – the pushy bastards of enterprise. At the head of that parade appears Mark, or Mr. Zuckerberg as you may know him.
Santa Zuckerberg stuffed my stocking this year, as – according to the Washington Post – he has so many of the Boomers. But the Post identified his gift being that of connectivity of the aged with our distant friends, our lost children, and our never to be found grandchildren. This isn’t his main gift. That was the great gift of instant history that he gave each of us.
Zuckerberg the great historian is writing more history every day than the entire tribe of academic historians has written since the time of the first agrarian settlements. How does he accomplish this great power to redefine our days? How has he indirectly coronated himself ‘Historian in Chief?’ It’s all done via hidden algorithms (i.e., a secret step by step recipe).
Where does all this history get written? If it’s Dr. Z, it must to be on your Facebook page. But isn’t everything there written by you and your friends – not by Mr. Z? Not quite.
The great historian Zuckerberg gives you your history that is just a click away. His option is “Seeing Your 2013 Year in Review.” This review is derived via some algorithm that seems to harness Dale Carnegie’s idea To Win Friends Is to Earn Profits and to Influence People. The algorithm appears to be informed by Norman Vincent Peale’s notion that one gets power from ‘thinking positively.’
Or was it just my experience that clicking on the damn big and bold 2013 generated my year devoid of all the doldrums I experienced during the last 12 months?
And, “Is that bad?” I ask myself. This is my official history, the one that I, and my friends and children, will go back to over and over again. Doesn’t that make this history the right one? The one I prayed for? No illness. No death.
Yes, the Zuckerbergs of industry have listened to us and delivered - answering our prayers. They couldn’t rid us of the wars, the poverty, the injustices. But they could edit it out. Which leads me to my wish for you, my friends: may your actual New Year reflect that great dream you had for justice, health, wealth, peace and love. May the algorithms of happiness have nothing to edit out when they summarize your experiences next December!
Which leads me to my end of the year blues. My cynicism leads me to forecast that we will have at least as many problems at the end of next year as we do now. But may I be proven wrong - forever wrong. If I am unfortunately not wrong, may the algorithm that Dr. Z uses continue to edit away the wrinkles and warts that the new year may come to hold so we may look back at next year with the rose colored lenses that he gives us.