Friday, July 12, 2013

WE Energies

A little hokey, I realize. His name is "Reddy Kilowatt."
Once upon a time, there was a company called "Wisconsin Electric Company." Then, it changed its name to "WE Energies."

I really shouldn't be as upset about this as I am, but I am. Perhaps most people seeing the original name would think "Oh, how quaint! They consider their Wisconsin identity something important." Or perhaps some might say, "An Electric Company? Reminds me of Monopoly."

Well, it reminds me of Monopoly too, which was invented at a time when there were no buzz words, no corporate-babble, no couching what you did in fancy obscure sounding names in order for you to trick people into thinking you were the most advanced. Back then, you have names like "Dodge Manufacturing Company" and "Bryant Electric Company."

I guess it's kind of a huge deal to have a company not just named for a person (Such as Allen-Bradley or Allis-Chalmers) but for a whole state. Wisconsin Electric is OUR electric company. It shows that our industry, as a state, is thriving. Wisconsinites have something to be proud of alongside our dairy farms and sausages. (An aside: I love cheese.)

But then, some big-shot who probably grew up in the 70s, moved to India, experimented with pot, became addle-brained and then went on to get a degree in business decided to change the name to "Wisconsin Energy Corporation," which makes it sound like they care more about getting money to fly their corporate jet than giving you an electrical system that works. Then, because this sounded lame, they cam up with "WE Energies" which is nothing else but the initials of Wisconsin Electric/Energy with the broader, less pin-downable word "Energies," which is either redundant or close to redundant. They might have thought "Oh, WE are working together to make Energies more available to the world," or something. But HE forgets one thing: When it was "Wisconsin Electric," the people of Wisconsin could truly say, "this is OUR company," whereas now, the only people who can claim it as their company are the owners, since the "WE" loses its symbolic all-encompassing meaning.

If I want someone to manufacture my motors, or install my electrical system, I don't want companies with names like "Advanced Technological Solutions" or "WE Energies." I want a name that connects me to the people doing it and that makes it clear what they are doing.

Typewriters

Apparently the Russians are returning to typewriters to keep their documents safe from cyber-spying.

This is notable because it is a very clear "step backwards" in the technology circles, rejecting new-fangled equipment because it is less secure. A recent facebook conversation revolved around the fact that ipods, facebook, and even Blogger have not even been around for more than 15 years, and yet we are so used to them all. Try to imagine if you couldn't use Blogger, or Facebook, or Youtube, or iPods, or Smartphones, or anything of that nature. It would feel like you were back in the dark ages before Tesla invented the light bulb.

Well, it would certainly shut down this blog. I would have to go back to writing all my thoughts by hand or typing them up on a typewriter (or a computer and printing them out) and nailing them to church doors. How very Lutheran. Positively medieval.

But in a sense, this would be a vast improvement. I can pontificate from my computer through my internet, posting it for millions of people to see without having to face my readers for anything I say. I have no interaction with them, not in any full sense, at least.

If I typed out my blogposts (or hand-wrote them), I guarantee you my work would be better thought out, possibly my handwriting would improve and I would have to interact with the community in a much fuller sense. It would also help to not have to scare at a screen all day.

Of course I might get excommunicated for it, but I doubt it since that doesn't happen that often any more.

So I might just have to get myself a typewriter. Maybe a nice classic one. Any suggestions?

ROYAL BABY WATCH

As many of you know, I really like these people:

Except I'm not a huge fan of:
Ha.
So imagine my delight when I heard that the latest and greatest royal couple were expecting a baby back in November. Well, now is the month we've all been waiting for. Sources tell us that the baby is due in mid-July. This is the first of the direct royal line of Great Britain that will be born while I am alive. I have only ever known Elisabeth II as monarch of England (may she live long and prosper), and William will, I assume make a great king. (What's that, Charles? Who's that?) This child is the product of a marriage that has brought great joy to many people and as such is a popular baby in the old sense. I don't know how Prince William was welcomed when he was born, but I predict there will be more publicity and happiness for this birth than there has been since the birth of this boy:
Edward VI, son of that great Divider of a Nation and a Church
I will of course keep you all updated on the Birth.

May William and Catherine of Cambridge prosper for many long years.