Berg's Words

Blooming Of A Corporate Cog

Software and the people that make it


Weebee weebee weebee. Chick chick. Tweet brrrr tweet tweet brrrr.

None happier than the bird. Tweets and chirps, bleeps and brrrs cut the crisp April stillness. The humans have disappeared, their noxious noises of progress gone with them. What remains is the greenest—deepest green you’ve ever seen—grass, the high-contrast yellow of forsythia overlaid on pen and ink branches, bare just budding maple right beyond the green shoot, trimmed last fall 10’ dogwood.

Birds never improved their species, their tweets can’t spell OKR. Yet while the humans hide away in warm homes, speaking to each other through panels of glass as though that were their only route to salvation—talk or die! Stand held accountable by “the leads,” “the boss,” the modern-palatable, devoid of hierarchical class privilege, “manager,” just another role—the birds carry on. They sing and call in joy, mating with strangers, viruses be damned. Nest making, frivolous, effervescent life. Blissful pursuit of instinct if only pursuit didn’t imply the bullshit motivation we assign it. Blissful being of instinct, more like. Desire, do. Desire, do. From whence desire? Who cares! What next desire? No matter! Every moment brings desire anew and every desire the last and the only. Whim. Want. Never yearn. Yearnings don’t happen now but later and who’s to know later?

This moment is and alone is. So compelling an existence! Ignorant of future, past subsumed in present state and the concept gone, to do what you want right now and always. That’s the Omar Khayyam, Wolf Larsen, quit and go surfing dream. It exists. I hear it right now.

Life in the moment implies adversity. It necessitates narrow buffers between is and isn’t. Catastrophe looms but in the future, if only a moment away. Causality runs forward, not back, so fuck it.

The bird is here and then goes there. Simple. No boundaries of mine and yours, no need for limits, just varying comfort with distance and how far down the predator-prey ladder. I’m interrupted by the talking panel—“IMPORTANT! We’re moving this mission to the other office and one of your good guys is going with it and this other team is yours now, have them do this or figure out something else and it’s going to be announced Thursday and no, no one will be fired for the major failure this is acquiescing to and no, no one will admit that in the alternate reality where we did what you said and prepared and worked for the future we might be worth 5x what we are now and billions are at stake and we’re one of the few ways most people can figure out how to eat now. Trying to understand why you let these two humans—thinking, wondering, curious—let them go and make a thing that we might not use right now and I want this and not that and faster!”

Humans are not birds.

Humans are not corporate cogs.

Humans are integrant, emergent wholes, irreducible not bundles. Now is essential. So is later. Play matters. Whim and whimsy. But play and discovery and serendipity reign high over time. These are the wheels of progress. Freedom to be yields freedom from need.

I want to build. Not a nest for a year but an engine, piecewise improvable, mine forever, making the world and the beings in it now and those I know will come because I am not an in-the-moment bird better. What better? What I say is better. They’ll use it if they agree. If not, they can let me be.

But in the moment now, playing, being, discovering, wondering and then a spark of connect this to that and wouldn’t that be cool? Not planned and this and that under no common umbrella, within no common boundary. Cool as in beautiful, elegant. A new concept in a relation. A concept eventually embodied but who cares?! A concept fulfilling on its own.

Maybe some birds don’t tweet chirp bweep as spontaneously. Maybe some never travel far from the nest. Maybe some humans desire to throw away their lives, hand their leash to another. A simple, safe, shiny cage. In blissful ignorance, perhaps their platonic cave offers the same fulfillment and joy as the open wide world. I’ll take the open wide world.

Cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep tweet breep monetization, ownership, accountability, no more! Bleep burrrp tweet.