I never finish

It is sometimes difficult to know where to start, how to stop, and most of all how to send it.

I have discovered that I have at least three customers who are collecting the unveiling story of the presidency of Mr Trump in the US, but are putting it on printed sheets of paper, rather than holding their work on digital technology, for fear of their arrest if digital technology is used.

I guess a lot of people have known that in both the UK and US national security is taken very seriously, and so every email and every stored set of data on a hard drive is constantly open to government inspection.

For this reason, it is suggested in some contemporary spy movies, spies have reverted to sending secret messages by Royal Mail because no one has time to intercept letters any more, since they are all too busy reading emails.

This in turn causes a problem because Royal Mail is, in fact, ROYAL Mail and so by carrying spying messages Her Majesty is implicated in treason against, well, herself.

It seems that this matter started to hot up a little when the USA national security adviser Michael Flynn, resigned after just 24 days on the job.  As part of his speech of resignation Mr Flynn said that he wasn’t aware that his phone calls with Russia would have been recorded.

Now this has caused quite a bit of debate among those people who follow such matters not so much because the national security adviser didn’t know that the Americans tapped phone calls emails to and from Russia, but rather that he hasn’t watched any James Bond movies, or indeed any of the Bourne films, where they do this sort of thing all the time as a matter of course.

Of course, the formal story is that the administration of Mr Trump has made a wonderful start and the revolution that he promised is going very well.

And that really is the trouble, because to say this on an email is potentially very dangerous, since it will be copied and seen and could be interpreted as, well, anything.  As a result my customers are using manual typewriters and storing their notes with Admiral.

But that now raises another problem: it is getting rather hard to find manual typewriters.

And that is before we consider a further particular problem with what is going on here, because no one can quite decide if this story (that the national security adviser didn’t know that the Americans tap Russian emails and phone calls when everyone else does) is funny or, on the other hand, grounds for arresting the man for treason (which giving away state secrets on the phone to a member of Russian intelligence actually is).

Now without knowing that, how does one actually know anything?  Is my writing this to you an attempt at a little bit of humour and a way to encourage you to use Admiral, or is it treason that could get me and, come to that, you (because you have read it this far) shot.

Fortunately, at the moment neither Mr Trump nor his entourage nor his allies have done very much about any of this information sharing malarky.

But I am told by those who study such matters that what the President has started to engage in is what is known in the study of linguistic mathematics as “fractal talking” and this is making our job of following his intentions more difficult.

Fractal talking occurs when a person starts talking about one subject (say world peace or international trade) and then chooses one element of that subject (say building a wall to keep your neighbours out) and then goes into a lot of detail about that element.  Then the speaker, rather than going back to the central subject (world peace or international trade) goes into more detail about the wall, such as what it will be made of (for example, bricks and cement).  Then instead of going back to the subject of the wall (or come to that international trade) he/she starts talking about the constituent elements of cement.  Then…  well you get the idea.

Now there is a point in all this which links the leader of the free world in the White House with fractal talking. Because the more fractal talking that one does the more it deflects from anything else. Everything becomes a muddle, nothing gets done, and, in the end, business as normal.

Commenting on the phenomena of Fractal Talking recently, New Scientist magazine noted that reading a transcript of Mr Trump’s speeches is like “unpacking a bewildering series of Matryoshka dolls.  Now a Matryoshka doll is a Russian “nesting” doll, and Russia is a country that may or may not record everyone’s emails and…

There is apparently a point to all this, in that a President is a busy man and finishing sentences is a time-consuming activity.  Indeed why should anyone waste time finishing one sentence when that time could be better spent starting another?

It was out of this thought that I hear that the US administration has now ruled that full-stops are Un-American and should be replaced by semi-colons;   Or as the popular t-shirt says “I never finish anythi”