(The Song of the Modern Expert)


If someone says they’ll do for me
What only I can do
I always say to them, “My friend –
You’ve thought your offer through?
That’s a lotta work to do for me
What you say you will,
But if you’re game
It’s all the same,
To me, so better still.”

“Oh no, I meant,” they often say
You’ll do all the work
I’m just here to show you how
So you won’t be a berk.”

“Oh, I see,” I say to them,
“Your expertise you sell –
And how did you a maven make
If you will say, pray tell?”

“Why, I learned by doing,
Work and toil, I often struggled long,
I gained my expertise because
I laboured all along.”

“Oh,” I say, “you expert are
Because you did the work
The efforts you made shaped yourself
You did not duty shirk.”

“Yes,” they say, “that’s what I mean
I worked to learn my trade,
Now if you’ll buy my expertise
I’ll do for you the same.”

“No thanks,” I say, “I like your way,
I’ll do it all myself,
And if I do one better, then
My book will be for sale.”

(At a discount of course.)

TINKER’S DAMN (an Inventor’s Poem)


Is anything worth doing?
I ask myself sometimes
One man’s act of genius
Is someone’s wasted prime
We all complain of nothing
When nothing much is done
When everything is not much more
The difference there is none
A thousand million billion times
The Earth around the sun
Happens every day I guess
We never have outrun
Our own orbit, come what may
Is much the same as last
The Future is if truth be told
So very like the past
I wish that I could be unique
But I am far too Wise
Men before I ever lived
Did whatever then applied
Countless reams of empty words
Countless rows of books
Senseless acts and acts redeemed
You see them if you look
Yet still our Age is empty now
Of what we’ve yet to do
It may not make a tinker’s damn
Yet still it’s up to you.


The trouble with technology is not just what it does
But what it doesn’t for us all when we forget what was
When it makes us more of us it does its function well
When it lessens (lessons) what we are it is a kind of hell

The greatness of the things we do when robots do them not
Is greater than all other things machines cannot allot
However if our sole (soul) device does make ourselves much more
What’s the harm in all of that, that’s nothing to abhor

Plant your skills and grow them tall so that they flourish high
If by doing it yourself then raise them to the sky
If by invention, will, or craft you use an artefact
Then employ it to improve yourself, not in the cold abstract

The trouble with technology is not the way it is
But in the things we make of it when little we intend
A tool’s a tool, a thing a thing, it never is the man
How we use it, or we don’t, lies open in your hand…