The Seventh & Eighth Kirk Elbod Interviews:


P|       (It was early May when I next heard from Kirk. I 
Y|  began to wonder, since this was now the second time that 
R|  he had actually called me, whether these interviews were 
I|  more important to him than he let on. 
G|       So now at about 3 P.M. under a dark, threatening sky 
H|  and realizing that I never knew what to expect, I arrived 
T|  at the same house where I had been now twice before, but 
||  with the distinct feeling that its rambling rooms had 
1|  more to reveal. 
9|       And I was not disappointed. This time Kirk met me at 
8|  the door, poured me a glass of moderately decent cognac 
9|  and led me down the hall. We entered a room with subdued 
||  lighting. I could see a computer monitor glowing in the 
B|  corner. On the screen was a very symmetrical geometric 
Y|  shape of a tiny circle surrounded by a larger circle 
||  surrounded by another still larger circle and so on until 
R|  these repeating, concentric circles filled the screen. 
I|  Certainly this was not the reason he had called.
C|       He sat down at the computer and motioned me to a 
H|  chair next to him. The light of the screen shown on his 
A|  intense face and eyes, as he seemed to want to merge with 
R|  the work that he creating.)
D|       TALBOT: Surely this is not why you invited me here. 
||  To see this simple shape drawn on the terminal. (I asked 
d|  boldly, as much as if to prod him, as for any other 
e|  reason.)
G|       ELBOD: Well in fact it is, or at least to see its 
A|  cousins and its aunts (He said with a smile, recalling a 
R|  line from Gilbert and Sullivan. Then sounding like an 
I|  impresario he continued:) I will transform what you see 
S|  here into a very intricate, non-symmetrical, organic 
||  shape just by making copies of these routine circles and 
D|  overlaying them on themselves. 
O|       (He proceeded to do just that. He overlaid an exact 
B|  copy on top of the first set of circles, moving the 
L|  second copy slightly until it created a moire pattern. 
E|  Then he made a copy of that complete image and repeated 
||  this process for about half an hour. At the end of that 
A|  time I saw something similar to what I had seen in the 
L|  darkroom the session before. The pattern was varied, 
L|  organic, colorful, and like nothing I had ever seen.) 
||       ELBOD: (He turned to me as he printed out hard copy 
R|  very slowly on a color printer.) The equipment I'm using 
I|  costs about $800.00. Twenty-five years ago this same 
G|  equipment might have cost over a hundred thousand 
H|  dollars. It seems that the price of computers has been 
T|  coming down roughly a factor of two, every two years. At 
S|  the rate the technology is going some very powerful 
||  computers with huge memories will be quite affordable 
R|  within my life time.
E|       TALBOT: (So now we were going to talk about 
S|  computers. I hoped he was not another one of these hi-
E|  tech fanatics who believed that the computer was the end 
R|  all and be all of the modern age.) Do you really think 
V|  that the computer is that important? (I said 
E|  incredulously.)
D|       ELBOD: It is as important to civilization as the 
||  invention of movable type by Gutenberg or the steam 
||  engine by Watt. 
C|       However, it is a general machine meaning that it can 
O|  be used for a number of different purposes, for good as 
P|  well as for ill. Just like Gutenberg's press which 
Y|  printed up thousands of indulgences for the Pope and also 
R|  many copies of Luther's 95 Theses which objected to those 
I|  indulgences, the computer can be used for opposite 
G|  reasons. It could become a tool of the government to 
H|  create a 1984 type of Big Brother who monitors our 
T|  actions. But it could also be a powerful tool in the 
||  hands of individuals who want to resist large government 
1|  from controlling our lives.
9|       The reason I know the computer is powerful and will 
8|  change our way of living is that it's applications are so 
9|  vast. The mathematical fractals we talked about last time 
||  could not have been drawn, except in very crude detail, 
B|  without a computer because of the hundreds of thousands 
Y|  of calculations involved. So it has become an important 
||  tool for science. Computer assisted design (CAD) and 
R|  computer assisted manufacturing (CAM) are now major 
I|  applications in the industrial sector. Most traffic 
C|  lights in major cities are computer monitored and 
H|  controlled. The airplane reservation system (SABRE) can 
A|  reserve a ticket while the system is used simultaneously 
R|  by thousands of other people. The Europeans are 
D|  developing a new traffic control system, called 
||  "Prometheus" which will communicate with individual cars 
d|  to speed the flow of traffic so that governments won't 
e|  have to build new roads. Billions of dollars each day are 
G|  transferred electronically throughout the world, using 
A|  computers. Huge data bases, available by phone, allow 
R|  information searches that were unthinkable a few years 
I|  ago. And I can give you many more examples.
S|       TALBOT: Please don't. I get the idea. But all this 
||  seems to leave the individual in the dust. Just more 
D|  technology which he or she cannot relate to. More 
O|  alienation, as you said last time, where we feel removed 
B|  from the things we must use everyday. Removed because 
L|  they have become so technical that we cannot possibly 
E|  understand them.
||       ELBOD: (He raised an eyebrow. I could not tell if it 
A|  was in humor or disdain. But I feared the worse.) You 
L|  anticipate another topic that I want to explore at some 
L|  point, but for the sake of argument I grant your point. 
||  Yes, we have become extremely technological. And the 
R|  average person cannot understand many of the everyday 
I|  products that he or she uses. But computers may be part 
G|  of the solution rather than the problem.
H|       TALBOT: How so?
T|       ELBOD: Do you feel intimidated by the telephone?
S|       TALBOT: No, I feel comfortable with it.
||       ELBOD: Exactly. The telephone is very sophisticated 
R|  and yet most of us feel that we more or less understand 
E|  it. The phone system combines fiber optics, satellites, 
S|  computers, etc. The point is that most of this technology 
E|  is hidden from us. It is simple to use; deliberately 
R|  designed that way by the phone company to make it easy to 
V|  "reach out and touch someone" so that the phone company 
E|  can make money. But nevertheless it is an everyday 
D|  example of a good design which uses high technology.
||       TALBOT: So where do computers come in.
||       ELBOD: I believe that computers can be designed so 
C|  that many high tech devices will "seem" (he emphasized 
O|  the word) to be simple. In fact the computer will be 
P|  doing the work. A well designed computer "interface" - 
Y|  God how I hate that word- will be transparent to the 
R|  user, to use computer lingo. (He laughed.) Norman makes 
I|  this point in the book "The Psychology of Everyday 
G|  Design." And one of the very powerful aspects of 
H|  computers is that they can be added onto many existing 
T|  machines, piggy backed as it were. So the potential is 
||  there to create this computer "link" between man and 
1|  machine, to make the modern world seem less intimidating.
9|       TALBOT: Isn't this just as illusion?
8|       ELBOD: In a sense. But the feeling of being in 
9|  touch, not to mention being able to use something more 
||  easily, quickly, effectively, is worth while and the 
B|  power gained by the user is not an illusion.
Y|       For example, satellite and computer technology may 
||  be very important to underdeveloped countries. In short 
R|  the computer will help gain them power over their lives. 
I|  Indonesia has linked its three thousand islands by radio 
C|  and telephone via it own satellite system. This modern 
H|  technology provided a cheap and efficient way to tie 
A|  together a far-flung country, which would not have been 
R|  possible in an earlier age.
D|       (Just then we heard a crack of thunder. A storm was 
||  moving in. Kirk turned off the computer. I watched this 
d|  marvelous image that he had created, fade from the 
e|  screen.)
G|       Here's another example, although not a computer one: 
A|  The birth control pill has empowered women. It has given 
R|  them much more control over their bodies. I doubt if many 
I|  people fully understand the biology of the pill, but that 
S|  does not necessarily prevent women from using it 
||  intelligently. They can still learn about its risks, 
D|  advantages, consequences.
O|       One of the major problems facing the world is 
B|  overpopulation. Feminist groups have realized that women 
L|  world-wide will need to learn to use this or another 
E|  birth control technology. By so doing, women will have 
||  gained more control over their own lives and the world 
A|  more control over its destiny.
L|       But back to the subject at hand, the computers. I 
L|  want to talk about it from a different angle. It seems to 
||  me that the world is facing a number of serious problems, 
R|  like overpopulation, which must be solved relatively 
I|  quickly or we will be in big trouble.
G|       TALBOT: Such as?
H|       ELBOD: The environment for one. To quote Rachel 
T|  Carson: "Only within the moment of time represented by 
S|  the present century has one species - man- acquired 
||  significant power to alter the nature of his world." 
R|       With 5 billion people on the Earth, and possibly 
E|  double that in a hundred years, we will contaminate 
S|  everything we depend on for life, if we don't start 
E|  planning for the future. Acid rain, greenhouse affect, 
R|  thinning ozone layer, toxic wastes, ocean dumping, mass 
V|  extinctions, disruption of the food chain will eventually 
E|  destroy us if we don't do something.
D|       Right now the technology is a major part of the 
||  problem. However, it could be otherwise. The difficulty 
||  is that technology seems to have a will of its own. If 
C|  something can be done we tend to do it, usually with no 
O|  thought to the consequences. But we must tame the 
P|  technology or it will destroy us.
Y|       However, I believe the answer is more technology not 
R|  less. We will need more technology to monitor the Earth 
I|  for example, because right now we don't know even basic 
G|  facts, such as how much rain falls on the planet every 
H|  year. In the mid--1990s a massive technological venture 
T|  is planned to change this situation. The Earth Observing 
||  System (EOS) will be a huge network of remote sensing 
1|  equipment to monitor the Earth's condition. It's cost 
9|  will be shared by Europe, Japan and the U.S. It will be 
8|  in operation for fifteen years. The data it produces will 
9|  be stored in a form easily accessible to computers. So 
||  EOS is an example of high-technology being part of the 
B|  the solution not part of the problem.
Y|       And certainly new consumer technologies and new 
||  industrial technologies can be developed. But they must 
R|  be the right kind of technology which has minimal impact 
I|  on the environment. 
C|       The original purpose of technology, when 
H|  civilization began, was to combat and control the forces 
A|  of nature. Humans merely wanted to survive. No one ever 
R|  dreamed we would be so successful and the human race 
D|  would grow so large, that people and their technology 
||  would threaten the planet. But this is what has happened.
d|       So the question comes down to this: Are we masters 
e|  or slaves to the technology? Can we make the technology 
G|  bend to our needs? 
A|       Many people say that the genie cannot be put back 
R|  into the bottle, but this idea poses a lot of questions. 
I|  First of all the notion of genie and bottle is a non-
S|  scientific image that is held out as some kind of truth. 
||  We may need another image to combat that notion. The 
D|  obvious place to look is in history. Are there examples 
O|  of mature technologies that have been deliberately 
B|  retired, that is not used by nations?
L|       Three examples come to mind. First: the Japanese 
E|  decided in the 17th century to do away with firearms and 
||  go back to the sword as the weapon of choice. And so they 
A|  did. They gradually phased out guns and the manufacture 
L|  of guns, until forced by the West in the 19th century, to 
L|  take up guns again. Second: Although chemicals weapons 
||  existed, none were used in World War Two even though the 
R|  conflict was very bloody. Three: We are now in the 
I|  process of phasing out CFC chemicals because of their 
G|  damage to the ozone layer. And though this may take 
H|  longer than we like, there still is a world-wide 
T|  agreement on this matter.
S|       So it is possible to put the genie back into the 
||  bottle, under certain circumstances. But the problem 
R|  today is that we are not talking about one technology, 
E|  but rather a whole host of technologies which must be 
S|  abandoned, curtailed, or modified
E|       And we need to integrate any existing or new 
R|  technology with the world's ecosystem. This is a mammoth 
V|  task. But the computer may be the primary tool to do just 
E|  that.
D|       It can help design new products, new materials, new 
||  ways of dealing with waste, more efficient ways of using 
||  fuel. The environmental consequences can be included in 
C|  the planning process from the beginning. Plus a slew of 
O|  other things which I will talk about next time I see you.
P|       TALBOT: I can't decide if you are optimistic or 
Y|  pessimistic.
R|       ELBOD: Neither can I. But it does seem that at the 
I|  very moment in time we have the capacity to foul the 
G|  nest, we also have the necessary new tools to keep us 
H|  from doing just that. But the problem is really a 
T|  question of will as much as anything else. Do we have the 
||  will to make the necessary wrenching changes?
1|       In the 70s people started saying "If we can put a 
9|  man on the moon then why can't we do a certain thing?" It 
8|  became a cliche. But there was a kernel of truth to it. 
9|  In the early 60s President Kennedy had committed the U.S. 
||  to putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It 
B|  was a decision by the country to allocate money, 
Y|  research, technology, and talent. The national will, the 
||  crucial element, had been galvanized toward that end. And 
R|  the country succeeded.
I|       So the question comes back again to haunt us, "If we 
C|  can put a man on the moon, then why can't we exert out 
H|  national or international will to create technologies 
A|  which do not destroy the Earth?"
R|       William Carlos Williams, the poet, said (to 
D|  paraphrase slightly): Now that we can realize our wishes, 
||  we must either change them or perish.
d|       (With that, looking a bit subdued, he handed me the 
e|  color printout. It was unusual, to say the least.
G|       He lead me out to the drive. He said that he had an 
A|  appointment in a few minutes and that I would need to 
R|  move my car so he could get out. He actually waved 
I|  goodbye as I backed out.
S|       He sat on the small deck of his back porch looking 
||  more pensive than I had ever seen him.) 
L|       (I had so many unanswered questions from our last 
L|  encounter that I called Kirk just a couple of weeks 
||  later, in late May. He seemed in an upbeat mood, inviting 
R|  me to come over the next afternoon. He requested that I 
I|  bring a windbreaker as we might be outside. 
G|       I arrived about 4 P.M. on a balmy somewhat humid 
H|  day. When I drove in the driveway, he was standing there 
T|  at the far end. He was outfitted in a heavy windbreaker 
S|  and heavy leather boots. Now what, I asked myself.
||       He motioned my car very far over to one side of the 
R|  drive. I barely left enough room for me to open my door.) 
E|       TALBOT: What?..(I began--But before I could say 
S|  anything I heard the unmistakable sound of a motorcycle 
E|  engine from inside the shed next to his house. He walked 
R|  the motorcycle through the narrow shed doorway and then 
V|  guided it down the drive. He waved to me to come closer. 
E|  When I did, he handed me a helmet and told me to get on. 
D|       I had never ridden a motorcycle before but, 
||  nevertheless, almost forgetting myself, I climbed on 
||  behind him. He checked to make sure my legs were on the 
C|  back foot pegs before he started up. Then suddenly we 
O|  were out the drive, down the highway and out into the 
P|  country before twenty minutes had gone by.
Y|       After another ten minutes I had begun to feel even a 
R|  bit comfortable. In fact, I almost had forgotten my fear 
I|  when he turned down a dirt road, stopping at a point 
G|  overlooking rolling hills. We got off. He leaned the 
H|  motorcycle on its kick stand and then sat down on a log 
T|  near by. I went over to join him.)
||       ELBOD: The motorcycle is such a marvelous device. 
1|  One of the few where human and machine seem to blend. A 
9|  car is like being in a living room, watching the world go 
8|  by without much connection, but a motorcycle allows you 
9|  to be in the same world the vehicle is moving through. 
||  You can smell the back yard barbecues, the garbage, feel 
B|  the cool rivers at the bottom of hills, and the flowering 
Y|  trees.
||       TALBOT: (I was a bit shaken from the ride and also 
R|  taken back by Kirk's rapturing on motorcycles -- maybe he 
I|  really was a romantic at heart.) I thought only romantics 
C|  and hooligans rode motorcycles. 
H|       ELBOD: Ha! (When he said that I knew he must be in a 
A|  good mood.) First of all the motorcycle uses fewer 
R|  materials than the car, less space, and is incredibly 
D|  fuel efficient.
||       Secondly, the motorcycle has been around as long as 
d|  the car. It's always been a vehicle on the road, but only 
e|  recently identified with ruffians. In fact they were both 
G|  invented about a hundred years ago along with a flood of 
A|  other technology, such as: the light bulb, the movies, 
R|  punch cards for automatic tabulating, the phonograph, the 
I|  cathode ray tube, dynamite, the Eiffel Tower, the 
S|  Brooklyn Bridge, and the automatic machine gun. And it 
||  was also about ninety years ago that Arrhenius of Sweden 
D|  and Chamberlin of the U.S. warned that the greenhouse 
O|  effect might be a consequence of this technology. 
B|       When I think about it it amazes me how old this 
L|  modern world really is. There is hardly anyone alive, 
E|  now, who remembers the world before these inventions, 
||  before technology was commonplace.
A|       I think now we are going through another modern 
L|  technological revolution. Every field of endeavor seems 
L|  to be exploding with new technology, whether its plumbing 
||  or welding, publishing or photography, medicine or 
R|  astronomy. It certainly is an exciting time to live in, 
I|  if not unsettling.
G|       (Kirk pulled out a thermos from the 'cycle and 
H|  poured us both a cup of coffee.)
T|       TALBOT: I believe the Chinese have a curse "May you 
S|  live in interesting times"
||       ELBOD: (laughed) Yes I had heard that. And they 
R|  would be right.
E|       The point is major, massive, pervasive technology 
S|  has been around more than a hundred years. In that time 
E|  we as humans have gained the power to change the Earth. 
R|  We are a force, on this Earth, to be reckoned with.
V|       Some people want to do away with technology. Go back 
E|  to the good old days, whenever that was. However, as I 
D|  said last time we will need more technology in the future 
||  not less. But it must be the right kind, in the right 
||  way, because there is no longer room for massive 
C|  technologies that destroy the environment. For example, 
O|  it seems incredible what we have done to the ozone layer 
P|  in such a short amount of time with CFCs. 
Y|       But there is hope. During the last fifteen years, 
R|  for example, the industrial production of the U.S. has 
I|  increased significantly while industrial consumption of 
G|  energy has remained flat. So technology is learning to do 
H|  more with less.
T|       TALBOT: Can this continue? Isn't there a point when 
||  factories will be as efficient as possible, and there 
1|  will be no new ways to to do more with less.
9|       ELBOD: I'm glad you brought that up. The natural gas 
8|  companies have a slogan: the future belongs to the 
9|  efficient. They have hit the nail on the head. 
||       Efficiency is a tremendous opportunity and market 
B|  for new inventions. In fact it is a huge market, which is 
Y|  a point that many people in business don't understand. 
||  And we have a sophisticated technology, so why not 
R|  concentrate its powers on becoming efficient? I don't see 
I|  any limits.
C|       TALBOT: At a certain point we will have reached 
H|  maximal use . There will be no further to go.
A|       ELBOD: I doubt that. But at the very least it will 
R|  take us hundreds of years to reach that goal. And new 
D|  energy sources may be in use by then, such as solar which 
||  are renewable and don't pollute.
d|       If I look at the future optimistically, I see a 
e|  chance that we could enter a new way of using technology, 
G|  which I would call the "Age of Design."
A|       By this I mean modern technology has the power to 
R|  create new products, materials, energy sources, services, 
I|  regulations etc. with a complete idea of all aspects of 
S|  design and the consequences.
||       A product, for example, could be designed so that it 
D|  was cheap, efficient, and easy to make, so that there 
O|  were no toxic by-products from the manufacture, or at 
B|  least the by-products could be neutralized. The consumer 
L|  would find it simple to use, safe, easy to repair, cheap 
E|  to operate. It will need to be easy to ship, display in 
||  stores, and recyclable when it no longer be used. In 
A|  short all aspects of the design from manufacture, to 
L|  sales, to consumer use, to disposal would have been 
L|  thought of from the beginning.
||       TALBOT: Aren't you being a bit overly optimistic? A 
R|  bit pie in the sky?
I|       ELBOD: Business Week magazine said much the same 
G|  thing in a lead story last year. The article stated that 
H|  good design was at the heart of the current manufacturing 
T|  and marketing process. they said, "A good design appeals 
S|  to the eye, but it must also be reliable, easy and 
||  economical to operate and service. It should also be 
R|  simple to manufacture. The sum, in short, adds up to 
E|  quality."
S|       Now mind you I have thrown in a few more pieces of 
E|  the puzzle, namely environmental considerations, that 
R|  will have to be solved at the same time. But the basis 
V|  for thinking in terms of total design exists.
E|       But this also applies to government regulations or 
D|  new materials. Some people refer to certain regulations 
||  as "social engineering", which shows how close the legal 
||  and technical professions really are. Regulations always 
C|  have unwanted side affects which need to be foreseen. A 
O|  good design could accomplish this.
P|       New materials need to be created with their 
Y|  environmental impact as part of the design process. It is 
R|  possible, for example, that in fifty years solid waste 
I|  could be sorted and recycled easily, if materials were 
G|  designed with the sorting and recycling process in mind. 
H|  Today this is virtually impossible. New Jersey, for 
T|  example, requires that people sort their trash, which is 
||  good, but a cumbersome way to attack the problem. New 
1|  technology might make this simpler and more effective.
9|       Super computers, that is very large and very fast 
8|  computers, are well suited for this kind of problem 
9|  solving. In essence the computer would be asked to find a 
||  single solution to a number of competing, seemingly 
B|  conflicting aspects of design creation. I believe the 
Y|  computer could be programmed for such a complex job of 
||  problem solving.
R|       Of course, as in everything in life, there is a flip 
I|  side to knowing how to create good design. Once mastered, 
C|  total design could be used for malevolent purposes, such 
H|  as government monitoring and control of citizens. But the 
A|  negative is always present in any technology. We just 
R|  need to be aware of it, and guard against it. 
D|       TALBOT: A lot of what you are saying may require 
||  government intervention. Will it be possible to enact 
d|  such legislation when powerful interests are opposed.
e|       ELBOD: Well again today I'm going to be optimistic. 
G|  Tomorrow I'll be pessimistic.
A|       Buckminster Fuller said that he thought politicians 
R|  would start to defer difficult decisions to computer 
I|  models. This would get them off the hook from having to 
S|  choose between competing interest groups.
||       TALBOT: Are you proposing government by computer?
D|       ELBOD:: Not exactly. Pilots of airplanes let the 
O|  computer take over control of the plane, because they 
B|  trust the computer. Why couldn't politicians do the same 
L|  in difficult and complicated matters.
E|       Now the assumption is that the computer can be 
||  programmed to come up with a fair, realistic model of a 
A|  problem needing a solution and will be impartial in its 
L|  suggestions. Certainly it could be programmed to be 
L|  biased to one side of a question or another. But assuming 
||  the models are realistic, then the computer could make 
R|  suggestions about governmental policy and cut through 
I|  many competing influences of different groups.
G|       TALBOT: I don't think it is possible.
H|       ELBOD: It's not only possible, it is already 
T|  happening. 
S|       The Federal Reserve Board, known as the FED, uses a 
||  computer model to determine money supply and interest 
R|  rates. Now, nothing is more political than these two 
E|  things. The FED has removed them from the political arena 
S|  by deferring to the computer model. And by doing so they 
E|  have also given business a sense of security because it 
R|  now knows the standards that the FED uses and can make 
V|  plans accordingly.
E|       But let me talk about the problem from a slightly 
D|  different perspective.
||       I am suggesting that civilization step back and 
||  consider the consequences of its designs. It then can 
C|  create and program machines to design products which will 
O|  fit into the Earth's ecosystem. In essence: design a 
P|  machine to design a machine.
Y|       TALBOT: You almost lost me. 
R|       ELBOD: I call this kind of thinking, when you step 
I|  back one step, "meta-thinking." And large computers have 
G|  the capability of becoming "meta-tools."
H|       TALBOT: Isn't this a bit fanciful?
T|       ELBOD: Not a bit. Mary Leakey, of the famous Leakey 
||  family who discovered numerous bones of early man, is an 
1|  expert on the tools of early man. She feels that humans 
9|  became modern, and advanced from their ape past, when 
8|  they learned to make the tools to make tools. She said, 
9|  "Finally, one tool was used to make another... This, for 
||  me, is the stage to which we can apply the term Homo." In 
B|  short these early humans were really starting to think 
Y|  when they made specific tools to help in the manufacture 
||  their everyday tools. So this stepping back and looking 
R|  at the problem from a slightly broader perspective goes 
I|  way back, it may even be what makes us human.
C|       I understand that this seems like an odd or abstract 
H|  notion, but we do it everyday. Take money, for example. 
A|  Money is an artificial commodity invented by humans. It 
R|  is, in a sense, a meta-commodity. It is one step removed 
D|  from life's necessities. Without money we would be 
||  limited by the barter system. But because of money we 
d|  have a common currency that all of us accept. So the 
e|  wheels of commerce turn much more quickly.
G|       I have a word for this aspect of human beings. I 
A|  call it the "meta-factor". 
R|       (With that Kirk put on his helmet. I put on mine, 
I|  and got back on the motorcycle. We cut through the air, 
S|  up and down hills. I now smelled various fragrances from 
||  the different neighborhoods we passed through. He was 
D|  right, the motorcycle was a different kind of machine. 
O|       When we arrived at the house, he parked the 
B|  motorcycle. Then he invited me to sit outside and watch 
L|  the light fade. In silence, we sat in his back yard, 
E|  listening to birds finding places to settle for the 
||  night. Yes, today was a good day to think optimistically, 
A|  we could be pessimistic tomorrow.)

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