Friday, March 02, 2012

The Feast Day of Subsidiarity

Yes! March 2 is the feast day of Subsidiarity...

For it was 12 years ago today that our system for local ad insertion for cable television went live - a system that played over 200,000,000 commercials in those 5.5 years from 3/2/2000 to 8/31/2005. And why should that matter to such a complex and abstract philosophical term as "Subsidiarity"? What could MPEG and file tranasport - and that BIG DISH - have to do with papal encyclicals and one of the fundamental ideas in Catholic Social Teachings - an idea which goes back through many great philosophers and scholars all the way to Moses and his father-in-law!

Well.. I wrote a book about it, and there you'll find out how the encyclicals called Rerum Novarum and Centesimus Annus helped me design the program called "PUMP" which did the file transport for our system. Yes; there are not many pieces of software out there which cite Popes and encyclicals, but the idea persists even if the software is no longer in use.

It was a great day - and we still commemorate it. And sooner or later I will tell you the amazing fact about our starting, and how fitting it was that we began on March 2. None of us knew it then; I only learned about it later.

I also take this opportunity to again express my thanks to Traffic, Field Services, Operations, and especially Diane and Joe and Joe... You know that I don't forget, and I will always be grateful even when all the headends have been long forgotten. Sooner or later we'll have another cake, too.

P.S. If you are wondering about that book, all I can tell you is that it's ready, but there are no publishing houses with sufficient Fortitude to deal with something that is simultaneously very serious Catholic and very serious Tech... and I may be forced to do as the famous old "Little Red Hen" and do it myself. I'm much nearer doing the same thing with The Wreck of the "Phosploion", so stay tuned - and keep praying!


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