Monday, July 10, 2017

Feedback Days - No. 1


What do you do at work? Young Jack asks Mr Sinclair, across the street neighbor.

Turned out he was an engineer. "I make sure the  stop lights work at the proper intervals."

Dont recall the exact lineage. But I wondered about the pneumatic hose they sometimes ran across the street. Ask Mr Sinclair, dad might have said.

"They count the cars as they pass over."

While playing ball and playing war were probably my greatest joy, I also liked staying in and watching TV in this childhood house (insert 801 Melvin pic). Very vivid recollection of waking up on Saturday morning, before anyone in house, and turning on TV, say, before 7 am, and encountering the Test signal (see above). Waiting for The Big Picture, Eddie Arnold, Gene Autry, and so on.. and instead looking out the window.

While they sorted out their signal - looking out the window at the cars very few going the magic hour, the street lights turning off for day.

I pictured a man in a control center down in the City Hall, pushing the button. Why? It was a wonder. I recall Mr Sinclair, who lived across the street. The first engineer I met.

From wonder then to fascination. A proxy of what I was seeing in the St John Nepomuk's Bohemian Catholic Church. Control of systems on earth as it is in heaven.

These ruminants were brought on as I read last week a story in the Boston Globe about traffic systems, congestion, wave propagation, machine learning. Also read about Bill Gates' firsts company- Traf-o-Data.

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