Major Tom to course control, I’m floating in a most peculiar way

 

 Ed White Gemini 4 1965       NASA


Ed White Gemini 4 1965 NASA 

quote 1….THE real threat to the survival of universities is not deregulation or funding issues, but the virtual campus with lecturers sitting at ground control and students getting lost in cyber space.

It’s 1969. I’m studying science-engineering at Melbourne University on a campus electrified by radicalised politics. The student union quadrangle has the excitement and clutter of an exotic bizarre awash with Hare Krishnas, rock bands, flute playing hippies,

badge wearing Trotskyites and more.

With 38 contact hours, I was blessed to attend university, despite being the only girl in my course (thus unable to skip too many classes), at a time when campus life was rich and academic standards demanding.

Fast forward 40 plus years, I’m walking across the university campus on my way to the Faculty of Engineering alumni dinner. A few students, talking on mobile phones and wearing shoulder bags, rush past me toward the street. It’s early evening and tumbleweeds could roll through the union building quadrangle. The union looks like any other cafe in Melbourne at that hour. Floors are being swept. Chairs stacked. It’s closing down. I can hear football players shouting as they train on the university oval, but otherwise the student union is dead.
quote 2

You can read more of this Edited Extract from MeLand: 10 Ways Self-Obsession Makes You Stupid, by Kerry Cue, Connor Court, $24.95, 2013 here:

The Australian

The Australian 31 Jul 2013,
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Where do cyber soldiers go when they die?

cyber soldier

When my nephew was 14 years old, he developed Xbox thumb, with blisters on each thumb, playing Call of Duty: Black Ops. Would he be honoured with a virtual silver star for courage under fire? I mean, his mum was yelling at him. Would he get a gamer’s Purple Heart for being wounded in the call of duty? So I started wondering, ”Where exactly do cyber soldiers go when they die?”

Do they zip cyber soldiers into cold body bags?

Do their coffins get draped in neat virtual flags?

Do they carry them home in a bare cargo hold?

Do they fire a salute like soldiers of old?

Do you hear the slow beat of the old muffled drum?

Do they carry the squad flag?

Do his soldier mates come to the funeral? *

Do virtual wives cry when they play the Last Post?

Do folk say they died doing what they liked doing most?

Can you pay your respects where the digital dead lie?

Do people look at the headstones and ask ”Why did they die?”

At the close of the day or the rise of the sun, is this a war that can never be won?

Are cyber soldiers just the tin ducks of men?

You gun them all down then – Click! – they pop up again!

Read more @ The Canberra Times 2 Oct 2012: Where do cyber soldiers go when they die?
*My editor decided to go for clarity over rhythm. Who said poetry is dead? They were probably right.