Friday, June 26, 2009

Greek Mythology

:: python for teachers, slide 34 ::

Given our transparently big investment in Polyhedra as connotative of both civilization and rational thought, you might assume we're an Apollonian enterprise, whereas the idea of a "philosophy bar" (aka salon) sounds rather Dionysian and therefore oxymoronic.

How will our customers stay focused and rational if they're becoming intoxicated on adult beverages (e.g. Jack Daniels) or whatever?

Before answering that directly, let's remember that Apollonian intelligence was preceded by the older Delphian network, for whom the snake was an emblem. These oracles were rumored to get high (intoxicated) on fumes emanating from the rock itself (or from some tripod). In other words, this was an ancient shamanistic cult of medicine women, spearheaded by Athena.

When Apollo decided a hostile takeover was in order, or at least a rebranding, he chased the "dragon" out of town, killed it or whatever (accounts vary), and later Athenians got used to the idea of this more policed way of life (Apollo was more fascist in some ways, although not exactly another Mars, like in Sparta).

This so-called "she dragon" (a spirit) was named Python and so these good Delphian priestesses were likewise known as Pythians (like Pythonistas). The word "python" traces to the verb "to rot" i.e. the fumes might've been sulfurous or at least nasty-smelling ("a witches brew").

No one ever suggested these were unintelligent or unprofessional women, even though use of intoxicants was a part of their job description. They just weren't Apollonian in outlook, at least at first, so in hindsight it's understandable why the uninitiated might assume a purely Dionysian operation. Hephaestus was more Vulcan though, an engineer really -- talking about Python's dad.

Answering more directly: it's not a given that any particular customer will remain in a proper frame of mind for whatever business is at hand, nor is it the responsibility of poor slobs in management to carefully monitor everyone's intake.

Whereas the entwined snakes of Hermes, or mono snake of Aesculapius, suggest a "heal thyself" philosophy (akin to the Socratic "know thyself" maxim), this is a commitment for each individual customer to undertake, not a job for some Big Brother on steroids, not a job description for some psychiatric nurse Ratched ala One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.

Of course we'll do a lot with the LCDs around these themes, including in our own commercials, but let's not overlook the fun of having real, palpable mythology books on the shelves, so-called "coffee table" tomes (more expensive), along with childrens books, scholarly hardcovers, Marvel comics or whatever.