Saturday, August 21, 2010

Working for Dead Time, A Cash Less Time

Working for Dead Time

I have not often dabbled in the intricacies of nuclear physics or the ramblings of prosaic philosophic dissertations, but as I sit here waiting for an electronic funds transfer of much-needed funds to make its way into my newly opened bank account, I have decided to plunge head-first into an ocean filled with floating neutrons, quarks, vertical blanking intervals, nano-seconds, electronic shenanigans and human moral values.

A simple question has sparked this venture. “Where the fuck is my money?”

My agent informs me that money for work done over a month ago was transferred, via the internet from her office computer, on Friday afternoon. It is now Monday morning and my account has still not been credited, yet her account has been debited.

I’m sure many of you, especially those of you that receive international electronic payment transfers, will have pondered on this question, as the delay in these transactions can be five to ten days, and sometimes even longer.

I have taken it upon myself to name this period of time when transferred money is neither in the sender’s account, or in the recipient’s account as “Dead Time”, and have discovered that this annoying entity does exist in the hallowed field of nuclear physics and is mentioned in many erudite philosophic works.

In the realms of physics, Dead Time is defined as “the time after an event during which a system is not able to record another event if it happens.”

Pretty apt, don’t you think?

In the world of armchair philosophy, an American minor-league baseball player for Kansas City Royals is quoted as saying, “Maybe there’s some dead-time that you have some time to talk about what just happened.” He is obviously referring to when the opposing team has hit a home run over the stadium’s wall and a replacement can not be found.

Well, just like the umpires in the games of cricket and baseball, that’s what I’m trying to do. They need to find a new ball. I would like to find this apparently non-existent dead-time-money, as in these times of the present economic downturn, I’m sure that all of us would prefer these missing funds to be in our accounts than have them floating in the electronic ether.

Another titbit of information that I have gleaned from some cursory research on the World Wide Web makes me realise that there is a definite connection between Dead Time, the electronic ether and money.

Unfortunately I am not the first person to discover this salient fact. Messers Heinla, Kasesalu and Tallin latched onto dead-time when they created the computer program we now know as Skype. This programme was turned into a multi-million-dollar business by Swedish born entrepreneur Niklas Zennstrom and the Dane Janus Friis when they founded “The Skype Group”.

But they were not the first to utilise electronic dead-time or passive-nothingness, as Aristotle called it in 400 BC.

In 1970 the clever old Beeb - the BBC - had a brainstorming session and came up with “Teletexting”. This is another brilliant use of electronic dead-time.

This method of data transmission is now used worldwide with a string of different names which either relate to the broadcast system used or the country in which the system operates. You can Teletext in the UK, Anitope in France, VPS in Germany, Telidon in Canada, or Electra in the USA. All these systems make use of dead-time by broadcasting the data in what is known as the vertical blanking interval.

In the UK 576 lines of resolution make up your TV picture, but your TV set actually receives 625 lines of information. So it is the 49 lines, the vertical blanking interval, in between frames (after the initial 576 lines have been shown as a picture, and before the next frame starts) that carry the Teletext information.

Talk about getting something for nothing!

So, where is my fucking money?

Obviously still floating in my aforementioned ocean, an ocean of crested waves that seem to defy another law of physics that states: The sine wave is the only wave that retains its wave-shape when added to another sine wave of the same frequency. It is the only periodic waveform that has this property. My ocean with its moon-guided periodic ebb and flow seems to swallow and devour any wave form that is cast into its dark depths, especially my electronically transferred money.

If I was still in my teenage years I would definitely confront my physics teacher with this startling revelation.

Mr Rambold was a small-framed wiry man who sported a GI crew cut, highly fashionable in the late forties and early fifties. He was young and good-looking, and had missed out on serving his country during the Second World War so, to bolster his macho image, he adopted the American army hairstyle. Perhaps he had observed the success the GIs had in pulling the young English girls and thought his new look would increase his chances.

Henry Rambold stalked the lab benches of his classroom with a military demeanour, eyes in the back of his head, and always carried a wooden ruler. This was his weapon of disciplinarian enforcement and was used with great regularity on my knuckles when he caught me trying to siphon the ethyl alcohol from the jar on the lab bench.

I take this short detour to extol the virtues of Mr Ruler Rambold as, without his forceful repetition of the fundamental laws of physics, I may never have made the decision to tread the boards. It was the rhythm of his ruler tapping on his desk with its metronomic beat that ingrained itself on my inner thought processes.

He used five or six basic iambic verse forms as he made us repeat out loud all the laws of physics. Boyle’s Law, Charles’ Law, Newton’s Laws and even the tenets of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity were drilled into us with the rhythmic tap of his ruler. A simple but down-to-earth method of indoctrination.

His own belief system was also pretty straightforward. If you didn’t know something, then you should be downgraded to the status of an idiot and be paraded as such in front of all your fellow scholars. This demeaning device worked well and the annual pass rate for O-level physics was always one hundred percent. As I had a particular aversion to being mocked and ridiculed, I quickly latched on to the fact that the laws of physics have a definite poetic nuance, particularly when they are repeated to the rhythmic bounce of Rambold’s ruler.

I soon began to understand that all prose, text, the written word – call it what you like – has an innate rhythmic flow. This knowledge certainly helped me when I had to commit massive chunks of boring dialogue to memory. My bruised pubescent knuckles offer a gracious “Thank you” to Mr Rambold.

He passed away in the mid-eighties and I was delighted to discover that his grandson became a celebrated rap-artist when this metronomic style of singing came into fashion.

You should now appreciate why I am trying to tackle the problem of “Dead Time” and expose the fact that this actual physical entity is being used with criminal intent by the world’s banking system.

“So where IS my fucking money?”

My employer hasn’t got it! I haven’t got it! So who the fuck has?

The obvious answer must be the banks. So we have to ask ourselves where they hide these missing funds. Do they have encrypted accounts floating in the electronic ether. Do they employ special undercover IT nerds who are empowered to snatch these floating millions from the oceanic ether, and with a click of a ravenous mouse secrete them away in a hidden vault in a fictitious land called the “Dead-Zone”?

The mind boggles.

To let them know that I’m now fully aware of their devious immoral actions I’ve composed a short poem set to a Mr Rambold standard ruler tap.

“Where is my fucking money?

You dead-time thieves ?

My agent ain’t got it!

I ain’t got it!

Someone must have it

And I know it’s you!”

Please memorise this refrain and next time you visit your bank and join the queue, voice this ditty with your fellow customers in Greek choral unison and let them know that you know just what the United States law enforcement agencies already know.

They are sounding the alarm about strong cryptography in general and untraceable digital cash in particular. Untraceable digital cash is here.

And it’s locked in “Dead-Time!”


Zak said...

Totally agree dad! Although they would argue it accumulates interest to cover admin expenses! Xx

Trevi said...

Oh dear - I fear I am now addicted to the Dairy of Sir Cess Poole.