Meandering Monday About Paradigms

So this dinosaur walks into a bar (don’t worry – it’s a clean bar.)

“Hey Rex, what’ll you have?” Bronto the barkeep asks.

“Make it just two yards of stout,” Rex says. “I’m trying to watch my figure.“

“Coming up,” Bronto says.

While Rex is waiting, he notices some movement in the mirror. He looks behind the bar and sees something scurrying around Bronto’s feet.

“What the La Brea is that?” Rex asks.

“That’s just Harry,” Bronto says as he sets Rex’s stout on the bar.

“You must mean ‘hairy’,” Rex says.

“It is that. Trice calls it a mammal.”

“A what?”

“A mammal.”

“Doesn’t look like more than a morsel – not worth chasing at all,” Rex says. “What’s it do?”

“Nothin’ much – just scurries around and reproduces. And you know what? Trice says it’s warm-blooded.”

“You’re kidding me. There can’t be any future in something like that.”

This is why their called dinosaurs; history is littered with the remains of those who didn’t see any sense in changing because they were at the top of the food chain.

Who didn’t sense the shift in time

To jump to a different paradigm.

Eventually these kinds of things catch up with you – whether you’re an individual, or a group, or species; a company or industry (which is a species of companies, isn’t it?). The Swiss watch makers who dominated timepieces for… TIME immemorial, who saw digital watches as a cute but doomed fad, the camera makers who thought film was everything. Television, music and movies all in upheaval over streaming.

In my life, film, tape, Beta, VHS, DVD, download, streaming.

In the related worlds of publishing and news, the advent of the internet has turned things upside down. Traditional publishers are losing their grip on the reading market to faster, cheaper models and indie. The major media outlets have lost their monopoly on news and information and are struggling to keep up. At least those who haven’t given up.

Being at the top can be a dangerous thing – sometimes it’s hard to see what’s going on under your own feet.

This is NOT a political posting, but what’s happening on the political scene got me to thinking of it. There’s an entrenched ruling class that has had things its own way for years, and have developed a set of rules for how you stay on top. Except that the ground beneath their feet has been undermined, by an “underclass” becoming more and more empowered by information, with a memory boosted by technology that makes it harder to rewrite history ala 1984.

The Democrats maintain their iron-fisted rule over their side so far – their Super Delegates will make sure the PARTY APARATUS will decide who their candidate is, even if she’s a remote, corrupt, untrustworthy felon. Their leadership may still be overtaken by how damaged she is, but they’ll still choose her successor (Joe Biden on a white horse, anyone?)

On the other side, the Republican establishment has lost the reins. They still hold to their CONVENTIONAL WISDOM of how you keep power, even as the field of potential nominees continues to be dominated by ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT candidates. And riding the wave of revolt comes Trump, who has helped change the game into something more like reality TV than standard politics. (He didn’t do this by himself – I remember the EXPERTS bemoaning the notion that THE PEOPLE are more interested in voting for American Idol than the American President – I guess instead of complaining about the electorate, the EXPERTS should have learned how to take advantage of it as Trump has.)

The ability to change is what results in survival and can lead to dominance. You can’t rest on your laurels – except in peace.

Just saying…


PurrMissionCoverSeriesThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for “Purr Mission”:

Major Tom’s dander is up. His cub is dying of the Morient Virus, and he knows their sworn enemies are responsible (the Baastards!), but bureaucats order him not to go to their planet to recover the antidote. Well, it’s easier to beg forgiveness than to ask purrmission.

“Purr Mission” is the first story of my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series, and is also available in the collection Cats of War I . Use coupon code UJ36J to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s 99-cents – such a deal!). Here’s the link:

This coupon will be good until March 5th.


PipesCoverThe preorder campaign continues for my speculative short story “The Pipes”:

Sometimes it’s the little things… An unexpected extraterrestrial visitation has an adverse effect on a Texas farmer’s well. Think twice before you drink the water – there’s something in the pipes.

Release date is March 11th, but you can preorder now at a reduced promotional price at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):




William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “Ultimate Awareness”, can be found in many places, including:


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