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I Was Robot by Ernest Mann – 2. Waste Burner Waste

2. Waste Burner Waste

A Basic Government Rule: “Don’t get rid of the problem — ADD TO


For example: Build an expensive waste burner plant.

Instead of; putting a ban on all disposable containers. (This solution

wouldn’t cost the taxpayers

anything — so naturally, it won’t be considered.)

Instead of; creating an economic system that wouldn’t require

advertising. (Like the Priceless Economic System.)

Just think of the percentage of the contents in your garbage can

or dumpster that is just advertising. Think how thin the newspapers and

magazines would be without advertising.

Just look at the Profit the Industrialists will make when they

sell the waste burner plant to the government and how much more they

will make every year from its maintenance.

Profiteers Promote Waste!

The Little Free Press newsletter has been pointing out for years,

that people are just spinning their wheels trying to stop a bad

situation by working against the symptoms of the problem.

They will build that burner plant some place, no matter how many

people demonstrate against it!

So, why not use our time and energy to help set up a system in

which no one can Profit from doing bad and wasteful things to our

planet and its people?


The Hennepin County Government is building a multimillion dollar

incinerator in downtown Minneapolis. This huge incinerator is the first

of its kind and has never been tested, according to the “Stop the

Incinerator Coalition.” It is starting to draw many opponents. Most

people would rather they pollute the air 50 miles out of town, but not

right here where we can see it coming out of the stacks. Do these

people think that the air stands still out in the country? Do they not

care that it will pollute our food source area? It takes a few years to

discover the poisons that eventually find their way into our food.

Some of the opponents say we should expand our recycling plants

and try to reclaim more of the trash. Of course this is more sensible

than the burning, but it’s still avoiding the basic cause of the

problem, so, instead of stopping the drilling in the bottom of our boat

it merely deals with plugging up the holes in a less destructive


Why do we always just deal with the immediate problem? When will

we “wise up” and build a system which will not include the “basic

cause” of our problems? Let’s eliminate the reason why we drill holes

in the bottom of our boat! Then we won’t have to continuously plug


Straw man?

Is this garbage incinerator just another straw man set up to burn

the awakening people’s energy? When was the last straw man set up for

the Minneapolis radicals? Was it the domed stadium near our downtown?

Did people burn up lots of energy; thinking, arguing and demonstrating

against it?

This is surely a “Straw man” set-up. Any city planner could have

told them of the impossibility of the loop location from a traffic

situation alone. (you know of the traffic jams we already have in the

loop) What will it be like with the hundreds of garbage trucks from

the city and county converging in the loop all day and night long

lining up to unload! This alone makes the loop placement impossible,

but it is very impressive, and will anger more people to burn up their

energy in tearing down this elaborate straw man. In the end the Elite

will probably compromise by building four plants. One on each corner of

the county.

Would the “Elite” rather see the “thinking” people spend their biocomputer

(mind) time fighting another straw man, or have them use that

time to discover the fact that they are “wage slaves” and that they

don’t really have to put up with this shit any more?

It seems to me, the radicals are taking the bait; hook, line and

sinker. They are throwing up another defensive action to stop the

masters from whipping us. (Undoubtedly with the aid of some highly paid

government or corporate agent provocateurs.)

Seems to me we would get more progress in the direction of our own

liberation by taking an offensive action. It is not possible to gain

ground by defensive actions. Gaining ground only follows offensive


Let’s begin this action by pointing out the “basic cause” of the

pollution. Let’s examine the rubbish cans and dumpsters and see what’s

in them. Besides the disposable containers, you will find products

which were made for PROFIT, i.e., not to last. Things which were made

with built-in planned deterioration and planned obsolescence. Why were

they built that way? To make more PROFIT! If the objects were well

designed and constructed many of them would last a 100 years instead of

one or ten. We all know this! But we don’t do anything about it. We

think that this creates more jobs so we are quiet.

We don’t stop to study the fact that if we were using a People

oriented system instead of the Profit oriented system we would strive

to eliminate work by building only beautiful long lasting things which

were easy to repair with universal parts. People who enjoy tinkering

with these things would be happy to do the repairing. In a sane system

we would not use these “things” as status symbols. We would not think

it necessary to throw away our old and replace it with whatever is now

in style.

In a priceless system, I think, we would try to create shorter

working shifts for the essential jobs, then more people would get a

chance at playing with the wonderful fun machines that we invent for

production, but no one would have to work very long hours. In our

present Profit motivated system we can’t have much fun running these

machines when some slave driver boss is constantly causing stress as

he/she attempts to make more Profit.

Before this Incinerator Straw man is disposed of in one way or the

other, it is my guess that many thousands of good intelligent people

will add their energy (and money) to this drama, on one side or the

other. It is also my guess that if just 10% of these thinking people

would put their creative energies behind an offensive action directed

at creating a Profitless Society, they would succeed. Once we are

operating a priceless economy there would no longer be a “reason” to do

destructive things like; polluting, waring, starving or stealing. We

will eliminate most of the world’s present major problems with a

priceless economic system. So why not put some energy behind creating



Teach an old dog new tricks?

You can! I just taught this 61 year old dog to run a computer. I

had forgotten how much fun it is to learn something new. (I have had

many great highs in teaching myself to run this IBM clone that I have.)

They say the Macintosh is easier to learn on, but it costs about twice

as much. My clone has a 640K RAM and a 30 meg. HD and a 5 1/4″ floppy

drive. The Epson LQ850 24 pin printer is fun too. I started with the

Ability software program but that just wouldn’t do what I needed so I

got the Microsoft Word, Windows and Aldus Pagemaker. I don’t know which

was greater, the joy or the agony in learning these programs.

If I hadn’t thought I had a great use for the computer I might

have chucked it all. As it was, the computer outfit cost about the same

as the typesetting would have for my book. And now I’ll have the

computer to use for the word processing of my future writing and my

newsletter. It also feels like I am joining the great leap forward in

progress that the world is now taking. I can understand and use some of

its new technology. Wow! The jump forward is far greater than the leap

from the quill to the typewriter, but I’m still glad I learned to type

back in ’43.

I think we will never get senile in our old age if we keep adding

interesting new input into our minds.

March 20, 1988 Ernest Mann


[For people interested in doing their own book – – I did the

typesetting on this book with my IBM XT clone computer with the

“Microsoft Word” word processing program and my Epson LQ850 24 pin dot

matrix printer. I used a Sans Serif proportional spacing 12 point font

(which actually measured only 10 pt.) (sans serif fonts stay clear even

after several generations of copying). Finally, the printing company

reduced it to 78%, which makes it 8 pt.]

“An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.”