Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Eleven Years Ago

About 11:30 in the morning on Thursday March 2, 2000, two of our headends in "A Certain Town In Central Pennsylvania" went live, playing local spots on cable networks for "A Certain Big Cable Company". The 30-second commercials were stored as MPEG-2 files, each taking about 20 megabytes of storage. They were delivered by satellite from our headquarters in a suburb of "A Certain Town in Southeastern Pennsylvania", using software which was designed according to Chestertonian techniques, and based on the dogmatic methods of the Thirteenth Century: in particular on recent papal encyclicals such as Centesimus Annus by John Paul II which was cited in the source code for PUMP, the main spot transport program. This method became known to everyone there, to account reps and to Field Techs and, yes, even to Upper Management, as "Subsidiarity" - and people used to stand at the huge glass windows and watch the WATCHERS as PUMP did its work...

For five and a half years, that machinery ran, delivering and playing an astronomical number of TV commercials and quite efficiently too, and keeping everyone aware of what was happening as it happened. It was exciting while it lasted...

Even now, the satellite dish that we used

is still there, behind the building where our headquarters used to be, though that software and the machinery and so much of that advanced technology is gone...

But the memory of the successful workings of those five-and-a-half years shall last: much as the Trees of Valinor, in dying it has given rise to fruits of light: to both fiction and nonfiction. I told you Subsidiarity is dramatic; what did you expect - a poem?

Moreover, the Feast Day of Subsidiarity on March 2 shall endure, since the concept is embedded in Scripture, and His words shall never pass away:

"I am the vine; you are the branches... apart from Me you can do nothing." [See John 15:5]

And though it does not beam out into space as the cues and the schedules and the logs and the spots and the CUSTOS packets once did, I send my thanks to those who worked with me to make it happen... that gratitude also endures.


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