Jonathan ROBIN (22 September / London)
Seven Stages of Singularity Man after William Shakespeare
All our worlds wars wage,
rewarding winners, sinners are rejected
as flotsam under notice, straws neglected
lost in a hurly-burly turbulence, at sea
where few may float to coat card destiny
I.D. with Saville Row, where herring bone none flee.
All wordlywise to yoke are paid or payers:
folks’ taxes sure, with little trust in pensions
thus each man lives by stars or concrete facts,
his acts spanning seven stages.
First the infant, genome boosted, hormone instilled,
his sex well willed from cryo chilled to artificial womb,
no tomb need know, as all impressions shall fall in escrow,
held against accident and the passing years.
The sighs, the why’s the very tears embedded
in external disk hard against the day
when use thereof is made by maid or may
be transferred or transcripted for re-use
by hook, by crook, by chip which steers the future’s flow.
Though planned career, here scholar’s way is seen
I.Q. high, by rote no time to waste
unwillingly at school, when distance learning,
ubiquity and spelling correctors, counter haste
to set the scene for greater meaning held
by generations passed so fast, trod down
in all senses of the term, their term soon past.
Here screening, streaming finds at last its place
to weed from need and greed each shining face
as progress turns to better bland replace
with plastic minds and spirits wi-max linking
and chips sub-cutaneous to help with thinking
while inklings bi-directional may bait
the watchers’ curiosity, translate
into advancement through the stream of thought
whose gist no longer may for gold be bought,
irrespective of parental yearning.
Then freshman turns towards the graduate,
“knowledge enormous makes a God” of each,
as who is taught, and who advanced to teach,
on what wire taut some walk, while others reach
a plateau which no chateau guarantees.
Some play the teasers, others stay the tease,
sighing in earnest, with a hopeful ear
bent to employer’s ballad, which one year
will offer - contract limited to goal win/win,
as margin thin for error is advanced.
Strategic choices, chance,
here strive both to unite and to prepare
further growth. Uniqueness everywhere,
though some be more unique than others
thanks to foresight, fathers, mothers,
may compensate for past delay
investing time where counterparts at play
fail to distinguish their priorities.
Hard lessons learned here.
Tearful pleas attend the second rate on bended knees
who seek to leapfrog into jobs which may
provide security and ample pay
to compensate long term uncertainties.
Here starts cognizance of the challenges
a century before were unimagined, even by
free-thinkers – though their thoughts reached bye and bye
to sky, to space, to stars and still beyond.
Here starts the game of singularity
where online multitask may supercede
the student, or the businessman whose greed
fails to factor possibilities
outside his ken when inputs such as these
are absent from the past’s pen and when need
is noticed not, or but perceived
through a glass darkly as each fate is weaved
through contradictions to a semblant light,
refracted, and distracted terabyte
of information processed.
From freshman through the system will proceed
each cyphered soul whose whole and sum are called
towards the common weal – or else blackballed
be those who chose to stand and wait, sans speed.
Then the careerist, full of strange ideas and innovative strategies,
jealous of advancement, avoiding open quarrel, seeking swift promotions,
out-thinking colleagues’ schemes.
By Nature well or whether poor endowed
bellwether reputations well sustained
must keep their end up, rumour’s buzz maintained
by Cialis, Viagra, compensation which from Vagina dildo dispensation
anticipates complaint as faint heart’s compensation.
Careers upon the home front lean for force
to counter opposition in due course
from bootblack’s Waterloo, Penn Central station,
to recognition from a grateful nation.
Careers aren’t what they were with Pension Schemes
more schemes than pensions, meat for mirage dreams,
for who meets mete rewards well merited
when corporation hopping drives ahead
the game of fame pr fortune well intended,
with one mistake THE one which can’t be mended!
So rules are bent none else see their bended,
with savvy sense and luck fortuitous blended.
Careers aren’t what they were with competition
from “yellow peril” compromising mission,
when global village information flows
short circuit secrets - half-lives decompose
at rate no Fate before could presuppose.
When “Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Right or Left, as strikes the Player goes.”
Yet “He that toss'd Man down into the Field,
He knows about it all, HE knows HE knows! ”
But “Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all careerist’s wisdom, Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all his Tears wash out a Word of it.'
Then the Director, in fair round belly best scotch salmon lined,
full of turncoat schemes, intrigues and net investments,
and so he plays his part. A part responsibility
would have no part of if its choice were free,
but 'Times they are a-changing” and the tune
squares, spares shareholders susceptibility
reporting rising profits quaterly.
Stock options open source manipulation
to closed shop club with rubber stamp equation.
The sixth age shifts into the lean and slippered pensioner,
with spectacles on nose, few pounds beside.
his will, once strong, tottering towards the inertia
of oblivion, and his once manly voice
turning again towards childish trebles,
pipes and whistles in his sound.
Illness and loneliness take toll
till toll takes what is left, while jokes once droll
pinpoint isolation from the whole in corporate,
which loses sight of goal.
Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history,
is second cycling, no amnesia, no Alzheimer to fear,
no loss of trace,
no care, no wear, no old age and no seizure.
Emotions stored or slotted into place
within the space of nanny nano interface perpetuates the human race
for access on demand, or re-emergence,
depending on technology’s convergence
and aptitudes stochastic which may be
exploited by society as input options offered for the game
warm life may play with life inanimate,
the same these both may seem entwined,
as fate prepares recycled change appropriate,
shifts paradigm too few appreciate.
Yet fate is blind behind dual Janus jaw,
and singularity demands much more
than just blind chance unjust, uncharted trip
whereon although some sinners meditate
none can with truth predestinate
rhyme Time with Time which time itself needs track
back to black drawing board with cards unstacked.
Thus singularity, by most so prized,
sees efforts all too often compromised
by time and tide are quickly circumsized
as risk/reward equation is denied
solution’s resolution. Humbled pride
remains our lot, forgotten is our ride.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
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