...Everyone Will Have a Saved Memory

Okay, I am an old man. While I do not have Alzheimer's, I do not remember all the details of everything that I see or do. During my 71-years here on earth, one thing has radically changed the world order...the computer.

The Colossus

The Colossus

The Eniac computer

The Eniac computer

The nativity of the computer as well as my own occurred in 1943. The Colossus and the Eniac both saw the light of day within a couple of days of when I did also. The Colossus and Eniac both became functional during the time in which I could merely craw around during my first year. When Colossus and Eniac became fully functional, they both contained thousands of vacuum tubes. Hence, the light of the vacuum tubes drew moths. Therefore, someone had to clean up the computer of the unwanted moths. That process soon became what we call today debugging.

Once the computers got on line and branched out from the military to regular people, the Internet soon emerged for common use. Therefore, what people wrote or said was saved forever out there in cyberspace. In addition, YouTube started in 2005 in which you can often see what a person said in his or her words. This is a cautionary warning: Be careful about what you write or say; it may come back to haunt you.

While writing an article about Myanmar, I happened across two quotes from Martin Luther King. "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." The other was, "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent." While these were written by King and were within the context of the American civil rights movement, they apply to Myanmar also.

As for the first quote about taking a step, even though one cannot see the entire staircase, is precisely where the people of Myanmar are today. They cannot see into the distant future or probably in the near future, but they still walk toward a brighter and more democratic time for them and for the next generation.

They could stop, complain, and get mad. After all, they have not been dealt a fair hand by life. Many have been killed, imprisoned, beaten, and suffered a great deal. Nonetheless, they continue go forward even though the future journey to a better life is not clear to anyone. The act of taking the first step does take guts and determination. I saw both while in Myanmar. The other statement about change occurs while facing a struggle. King is telling us and the people of Myanmar to stand up and move ahead in spite of it all.

Granted, not all people in America or in Myanmar are on the same page as Dr. King, Min Ko Naing, or Aung San Suu Kyi...but we have their words. Those words are with us...forever.

However, we also have some other haunting words...that are negative. Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, wrote, "I worked night and day for twelve years to prevent the war, but I could not. The North was mad and blind, would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came." Really?

A century later one of Davis' devout followers, George Wallace, said, "I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." Really? Forrest Gump would have said, "Stupid is as stupid does."

King also spoke at the March on Washington where he gave his "I Have a Dream" speech...

 Martin Luther King's speech at the March on Washington.

Martin Luther King's speech at the March on Washington.

Here is video of a part of that speech:

Dr. Marchand, my cardiologist, told me about my heart and how to deal with it. Some little white pill, exercise, and a correct diet will resolve the problem. However, Dr. Marchand was also concern about me and my life...beyond that little white pill.

Then after I emailed him that article, he called me around noon. He did not ask about that little white pill, whether I was exercising, or whether I was eating probably. My cardiologist wanted to talk to me about dreaming and moving ahead to that dream. If I were Dr. Marchand, I would be happy that I listened to him and that his advice is shared with anyone who reads this essay due to computer, the Internet, and cyberspace.

Interestingly, Norbert Wiener first used the term cybernetics, which is the parent term for cyberspace. Cybernetics comes from the Greek term, κυβερνήτης, which can be translated as the person who steers a ship. This is a cautionary warning: Be careful about the way you steer our ship. This applies to the people in Myanmar, the people of America, and the people in the rest of the world. The choice is yours to make.

For his entire speech:

Burma flag

Burmese independence flag

Visit the Burma Independence page to read more about this topic.

On Seeing the Light

On Seeing the Light

Visit the On Seeing the Light page to read more about this topic.

An old man and his grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson

Visit The Mentors and Me page to read more about this topic.

Forrest Gump Film Poster

Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Visit the Stupid is As Stupid Does page to read more about this topic.