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Church Of The
Swimming Elephant

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Story behind the name

The name is strange enough to have you believe that there is some exotic reasoning or vision behind it. Unfortunately that is not the case. It actually involves an IRC discussion, a religious debate, and a Discovery channel special.

I was hacking away on my home network, watching Discovery on my tv tuner card, and occasionally commenting in an irc window, when the irc debate turned religious. The fear of god, fire and brimstone, religions founded on fear. That type of thing. I don't know why, but this got me thinking, and off went my mind on one of it's wild thought chases.

For some reason I decided to analyze current society and determine what people feared the most. Because if the best religions are founded on fear, a new successful one will have to target today's biggest fear. If any of you have ever worked on a help desk, or in any way come in contact with the average user, you know exactly what conclusion I came too, technology.

People fear technology. Heck, my grandmother has a button in her Toyota labeled "Power". She has it taped over with a big note saying "Don't press". All it does is set the transmission to shift sooner for better mileage or later for more acceleration. I think she thinks it will shut off the car. People definitely do fear technology. I then thought, hrmmm, if that's the case, we need a cult of technology. I was off. Well a cult of technology needs an exceptional name. Thinking of a name that will stand out is tough, but the Discovery channel decided to help me.

There was this great special on about these elephants that swam back and forth to an island each day to go to work. First I thought, cool, elephants can swim. I don't know, I guess before I just assumed that they walked on the bottom and stuck their trunks out to breath, or something. I never really thought about it. Being in a somewhat philosophic mood, I quickly made the connection that those elephants were no different than me. I swim to work every day. I swim through Boston traffic. I am a swimming elephant. So are you. Brilliant. We have a name, The Cult of the Swimming Elephant. Err, no, that doesn't fit right.

Society connects cults with crackpots, and though someone who wants to start a "Cult of the Swimming Elephant" may fit that bill, I didn't want to demean that faithful swimming elephant (besides I don't think they make Nike's big enough to fit an elephant). So I figured we definitely weren't a cult. Instead were more like a religion.

We should create a church for that, yes, The church of the swimming elephant, that sounded much better. If it wasn't for that elephant swimming across to that island each day, the people on that island would be working far harder than they do. Ah yes, this is a good analogy. We are the swimming elephants. If we stopped swimming to work each day, business would stop. So fear technology and fear the swimming elephant! The church of the swimming elephant is born.


Steve (a.k.a. 574)

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The church of the swimming elephant
Born 03/25/1999
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