Five Random Thoughts on a November Afternoon

There wasn’t much to report on my current project, “Tom Swiftly”, so I decided to contemplate a few more ideas I’ve bounced around recently.

Lincoln Quotes

While Abraham Lincoln did contribute more than his share of important quotes to posterity, many quotes you see attributed to him on the Internet are simply made up. Often that is done with the intent of adding credibility to a questionable idea.

When I first noticed this tendency, I thought that the primary reason for misquotes was that people would remember a quote from someone is the 1800s, but forget who said it. Since Lincoln was someone they did remember, they would give him the credit. I thought of that as “The Lincoln effect” and I wondered if it was common with other famous people.

At one time I thought of using a made up Lincoln quote to promote my work. Something like: “James Morison is one of the most creative people on the Internet and you should support him with a donation.” I felt a bit guilty about making such a bold statement, so I decided to add in a qualifier: “Lincoln really did say this, albeit the words were not in the same order and he didn’t say them all at the same time.” I know that Internet  is a bit of stretch, but I’m sure he used both “inter” and “net”.

Thoughtless Tank

About six years ago I came across a number of small think tanks in the course of my work. In reality they were one person operations. I wouldn’t really consider a one person organization a think tank, but it made me wonder if I could set up my own think tank.

I never did, but the idea I developed was to create a “Thoughtless Tank”. It would be a satire of some of the low value think tanks that vie for our attention. I think there is a lot of very superficial work done by some of these think tanks. I never developed the concept any further than that. Maybe if I had come up with a good name for it, I would have moved forward.

I want peace, justice and prosperity for everyone in the world, but can’t find them anywhere on Amazon

I really mean this. If you can find them on Amazon, please let me know. I just hope they are cheap enough for my budget.

The secret cabal running the world isn’t doing a very good job. Maybe it is time that they step aside and let another secret cabal try.

Many conspiracy theories posit the existence of a secret group that runs the World’s affairs. What struck me about this theory is that if there is a secret group is running things, they don’t seem to be doing a very good job. Even if you assume they are totally in it for their own aggrandizement, they don’t seem to be doing that well for themselves.

Some people assume that the secret cabal is evil. I think Hanlon’s razor is a better explanation: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

If this secret cabal does exist, it should seriously consider turning things over to another secret cabal who can do a better job.

If aliens visited earth in ancient times, where are they now?

This is one of the things I’ve thought about the ancient astronaut theory. While it is a plausible hypothesis that alien beings visited Earth in the past, I haven’t heard of anything that doesn’t have a more plausible explanation. Namely, people in ancient times were just as smart as we are now.

I know some people will say that they are still here, but hiding. I suppose that is possible, but if that were the case, then why were they so open in ancient times?

Maybe this idea could be the basis for a story. These are some of the questions we could ask when we develop such a story:

  • Did they leave?
  • Why did they leave?
  • Where did they go?
  • When did they go?
  • How long did they stay?
  • Did they die out?
  • What killed them?
  • Did they hide?
  • Where did they hide?
  • Why did they hide?
  • Why did they come here in the first place?

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