MEETINGS: A HORRIFYING glimpse of eternity's downside!

In the fields of Astrophysics, Astronomy, and Cosmology, TIME is the result of an entropic process: the flow of energy from where there is more of it to where there is less of it. The process began with the Big Bang.

This gets complicated. I don’t want to talk about here because, as it does to me, it will only give you a headache.

However, another term we hear people speak of is ETERNITY. The God people tell us that if we live righteous lives, we’ll spend it in a place called Heaven basking in a state of absolute ecstasy with God.

In this case, eternity is probably a good thing, especially if there is free Internet access and unlimited cell phone minutes.

Those same people also tell us that if we don’t live righteous lives… you know, having too many “dirty” thoughts and such, we’ll spend eternity in a place called Hell, burning, under the supervision of a dude called the “devil,” in fires of unspeakable agony.

In this case, eternity is a BAD thing even with free Internet access and unlimited cell phone minutes.

Look, I’m a scientist. While either or both of these outomes may be true, I can’t find a anything in our legitimate, natural law-oriented scientific data banks to support the existence of either of them.

So, I’m not going to discount them out of hand. I’ll just leave it all for the philosophers to sort out. On the other hand, I think I have some absolute worldly proof that eternity IS real AND that we may NOT want to experience it.

While eternity, in the scientific sense, is a difficult concept to get our frail, human arms around, certain human endeavors bring its meaning into much clearer focus.

Watching Cricket matches, listening to boring speeches, and attending “business” meetings are examples of such endeavors. In addition to their seemingly endless nature, they also demonstrate the very essence of the concept of HELL!

I voluntarily sat through a Cricket match in England. Human society should reserve this kind of punishment for only the vilest of sociopaths. It would render the need for fire moot.

I once found myself trapped in a room with a former colleague. She was in the third hour of a five-minute “talk.” I couldn’t get out of the room—at least not inconspicuously.

She went on and on for another two hours about… something, but I’m not sure what it was. The fires of Hell would have been a welcomed reprieve.

Yes, even though these things, at least in my mind, give us a much more practical glimpse of “eternity” and what Hell must be like, nothing drives the point home like business MEETINGS.

I’ve attended many of them. I’m sure that some of them are still in progress. If it were not for pager and cell phone technology, I’d still be there, too.

In over forty-years of professional experience, I think I attended the absolute worst one two weeks ago in a Superior Court conference room in Maryland. It was horrible. Thoughts of suicide began to permeate my mind.

A young man from the Information Technology department conducted the meeting—let’s call him Satan’s Helper (SH for short). His business card showed a title of Security Supervisor.

He handed out a highly technical 4-page memo that he had written in which he described the IT group’s security concerns over public online access to criminal case disposition.

I’m no technical neophyte—especially when it comes to computer security. I’ve trained police agencies at the federal, state, and local levels in matters of computer security.

In fact, I’ve managed to get out of jury duty on a few occasions simply because some defense attorney thought I was too chummy with the cops. I’ve lost count of the number of courtroom sidebars in which I participated just to convince various presiding judges of my testimonial objectivity.

In addition to SH and me, five other people attended the meeting. I assure you that those five people were completely lost after the introductory paragraph of the memo.

Beginning with the second paragraph, SH used 19-acronyms, half of which I never heard before. I’m still researching some of them. I think he just made them up to impress the non-technical mortals in attendance.

Still, the technical stuff didn’t drain my enthusiasm for the stated purpose of the meeting; even though the others were sound asleep after the first 15-minutes of the meeting’s beginning.

To their credit, though, like all competent meeting attendee pros, their eyes remained open without the slightest hint of glaze-over, an essential survival skill in the business world.

However, the thing that intrigued me the most was how SH managed to remain a department supervisor. Technical savvy notwithstanding, the ability to write in complete, cohesive sentences using proper spelling and at least a modicum of syntactical mastery is also required. At least it used to be.

I counted twenty-three occurrences of the word, “their.” He spelled it incorrectly as “thier” each time. So, it was not a simple typo. I concluded that SH simply did not know how to spell “t-h-e-i-r.”

In the third paragraph, fourth sentence of the memo, SH wrote; “Each time that a computer tech sees unincripted personel information on the web, thier bloodpressure goes off the scale.”

These were SH’s words, exactly as written and in complete contextual perspective. With all due respect to SH’s technical expertise, the memo presented undeniable evidence of a serious affective shortfall.

Anyone having achieved 8th grade grammatical competency would be able to see that spelling is not SH’s only faux pas. Apparently, he was absent from school the day that a competent teacher covered pronoun/antecedent numerical agreement.

The litany of grammatical felonies made me wonder whether SH, himself, reported to an operational manager. If so, did the manager simply fail to read the memo or did the manager simply fail to recognize SH’s errors as such?

I’m still researching this. If it’s a case of the former, shame on the manager. If it’s a matter of the latter, however, it explains many of the problems with our criminal justice system.

Anyway, the meeting went on for two and a half hours without a single break. This comes to 150-minutes or 9,000 seconds. What did we accomplish after this “eternity-like” interval?

NOTHING! Unless, of course, you consider an agreement to “revisit” the matter in 30-days some sort of a positive outcome.

Here’s my take. On average, in the United States, we live about 78-years. Some live longer life spans and some live shorter ones—much shorter some of the time. But, I’m talking averages here.

If you get to live the entire average of 78-years, it breaks down to about 28,489 days, or 683,729 hours, or 41,023,756 minutes, or close to 2.5 BILLION seconds.

I’ve lived 66-years. If I make it to the average life span, I’m already down to my last 378,680,832 seconds and I am not going to waste a single one of them on any more of this kind of crap.

Have a great week. Stay safe unless, of course, you’d like to find out if “eternity,” good or bad, is all it’s cracked up to be. And, oh yes, God, if you’re out there, please don’t let the readers find too many grammatical screw-ups in this article.

Joe Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. You may comment on his column by clicking here.

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