Thursday, January 19, 2012

Games: Obama for the Block

The movie is pure fiction, but one worth watching. In 1983, David Lightman, looking to download a game, hacks into a Supercomputer, and innocently sets off a chain of events which almost set off a global thermonuclear war. The machine, as it turns out, does not know the difference between a simulation and the real thing. The movie is called WarGames. 

This was brought to mind the other day when I was arguing with a troll from the CATO Institute on Twitter. His take is that government is bad, capitalism is good, and he will succeed even if all others fail. It is all a game anyway, and he will win. Nothing else matters as long as he wins. The troll is the offspring of a School Teacher in Minnesota who has raised him under the protection of the Civil Servant’s system and Union Representation, but he is anti-government, anti-union, and anti-Obama. He is also a rabid supporter of Ron Paul. Like many he embraces the lawlessness of the Libertarian ideal until it bumps up against some cherished institution; repealing farm subsidies being one of them.

During this conversation, I was informed that it is all a game; nothing but a game with deep implications. And a game he was going to win. 

I use the personal pronoun there because that was the core of his argument. Nothing else mattered as long as he won in life. With a world view like that, we see the core of the 1%ers. He will probably win, and the remaining 308,745,537 U.S. Citizens can go to hell. That was the gist of the budding Gekko-ish “Greed is Good” argument. He is not alone. This is the argument behind Janie Johnson’s “Don't Take My Lemonade Stand – An American Philosophy,” and the ramblings of John Stossel, and George Will. 

That brings me back to WarGames: an unwinnable game. If you have not seen the movie this is going to be a spoiler (I figure that talking about the end of a 29 year old movie is not a gross offense of public civility). In WarGames, to stop the WOPR (the supercomputer) from launching its missiles at the Soviet Union, they had it play Tic-Tac-Toe as it frantically sought the launch codes. Computer multitasking, along with Artificial Intelligence which could learn from experience, was a Si-Fi dream in Hollywood in 1983. The WOPR decided, based on Tic-Tac-Toe, that thermonuclear was a pointless, no win game. It did not launch.
Right now, politically, we are pretty much in the same boat. 1%ers, and those who aspire to be 1%ers, think this is all a game. As such they are doing all they can to block the progress of the nation. One might be so bold as to call that a class version of Global Thermonuclear War. However, it is a no win game. If 400 win at the expense of 308,745,137 citizens, that is not a win. 

Using the Tic-Tac-Toe, no win, analogy all we can do is block the elite who are bent on destroying the US for the sake of their dream of domination. View it as a political version of Hollywood Squares. If that is the case, we have one choice this coming November (if we stay within the current rules of society).

I choose, Obama for the block.

Your move now ….