austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I saw a great big wooden box a-floatin' in the bay

I've been reading Kenneth Bilby's biography of David Sarnoff, the pioneer in organizing multinational corporations to enthusiastically crush inventors who foolishly develop critical radio and television technologies, and came across one of those passages in Chapter 7 (``Chapter Seven'') that just captivates a mind like mine:

The tools that [ Sarnoff ] proposed for winning [ the Cold War ] were electronic, to be made available at cost by American manufacturing concerns, led by RCA. Tiny record players, costing less than $1 to manufacture, would be parachuted in clusters inside Russia along with small vinyl records. The recorded messages in Russian would tell the populace that America was their friend and call upon them to overthrow their Marxist masters. [ ... ] The idea of parachuted phonographs was dropped as too hazardous, and thus possibly counterproductive.

And what I built out of this is over at my humor blog. Other stuff has run there since last week and the discussion In Which I Do Not, Repeat Do Not, Poison Our Pet Rabbit who is much more popular than I am, including:

Trivia: The earliest form of the word ``hodgepodge'' traces to 1292 as a term in Anglo-French law, ``hochepot'', meaning, the gathering of properties in order to divide them equally among heirs. Source: Semantic Antics: How And Why Words Change Meaning, Sol Steinmetz.

Currently Reading: Historical Origins of the Concept of Neurosis, José M Lopéz Piñero.

Tags: humor

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