December 5th, 2008

On the lone and level sands

I recently changed my title in the company directory to "prototype mentat".

Any such change is subject to managerial approval, and my superlative manager replied to the automated message "You'll have to work on your Zensunni meditations".

In short, a perfect answer.

It's not something I claim lightly. I like the idea of mentats even as I make my living on the thinking machines.

Of course, I know that Herbert was writing fiction. I've stood on the shifting sand dunes of Oregon that were the original inspiration of Dune. It was inspired fiction, ruined in latter incarnations.

Still, I like the mentat concept. I've always been the one people ask anything factual or consult for tactical measures. Mentats are allowed failings, personal, as long as their professional judgment remains intact.

In years past they called us demons. Today the DSM-IV calls it "Axis II" with "magical thinking".

But I'm still here, and I make things happen.