Falling Forward: A Guest Post From Joe Robinson

Today’s guest post is from my friend Joe Robinson. We’ve never met in real life, but we’ve talked on the phone 3 times. His voice is as soothing as white noise covered in clouds. Okay, not really. But here’s his guest post...

I’m a patriot. I love my country, and I want it to continue to be the greatest country on the planet. But looking at where things stand right now compared to where they’ve been, it can get me a little concerned:

  • Economy – Experts warn that, possibly within the next 3 years or so, the United States will be eclipsed by China and possibly India as the world’s largest economy.
  • Military – I’d still take our military toe to toe with anyone in the world. But we’re not the largest standing army in the world, and we’re stretched pretty thin right now between two unpopular wars.
  • Saturday Morning Cartoons – Have you seen these lately? My wife and I are stocking up on Looney Tunes DVDs in case things are still this bad when we have kids. Honestly, I’d take just about anything over Doodlebops, Turbo Dogs, or Babar.
  • Education – By most measures, we’re in the bottom half of the industrialized world.
  • Attention spans – Most people I know won’t watch a video on YouTube if it’s over 2 minutes. It makes me wonder how hour-long TV shows are even making it these days.
  • Diplomacy – Let’s face it, we’re just not the world’s problem solver anymore. We’ve lost some standing on the world diplomatic stage over the last decade or so.

Patriot or not, we have to face the facts – America is falling behind the world in some key areas. But I’ve got an idea about one area where America can get back to the front of the pack fairly quickly: space-time.

This weekend we will “spring forward” one hour, going on daylight savings time. In the fall, we would normally “fall back” one hour to compensate. But who cares about compensating the universe for moving ahead one hour? We’re America, man. We beat down the British Empire. We gave the world television. We made the moon our patsy. What if, instead of falling back, we fell forward another hour? Hear me out…

Due to the way the international dateline is drawn, the U.S. is towards the tail end of the day. In fact, pretty much after Alaska and Hawai’i, the calendar rolls over to the next day. So we’re automatically at a disadvantage to everyone else because the day comes our way last. But if we “spring forward” in the spring and “fall forward” each fall, then by autumn of 2019 we would officially pass the international dateline and be one day ahead of the rest of the world on the calendar. Then we would literally be first in everything because whatever the world did on Wednesday, we would have already done on Tuesday.

I know, it’s brilliant. I’ve already picked out a spot on the wall for the photo of me accepting the Nobel Prize for Awesome. They have one of those, right?

And if you think that’s ridiculous, just consider how ridiculous it is for us to put our faith, hope, value, and security into things that, like daylight savings time, are a temporary fix. It’s even dumber than “falling forward” with our clocks, and yet I do it all time.

The Bible says in Isaiah 40 that “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever”. I don’t know about you, but I need to remind myself of that every time I get too focused on the temporary things.

So let’s strive to make sure our self-worth isn’t based on how much money we make or how the economy is doing. Let’s remind ourselves that our security doesn’t come from an alarm system, an online backup, or even a strong military. Let’s keep faith that our country’s sense of humor is better than Saturday morning cartoons. Most importantly, let’s not place our faith in anything created by human hands… or by robotic hands that were, in turn, created by human hands.

Because if there’s one thing that TV and movies have taught us, it’s that as soon as you place your faith in the robots, they will rise up and try to overthrow humanity.

Speaking of TV and Nobel Prizes for Awesome, what was your favorite Saturday AM cartoon growing up?

(You better not say Babar, or I will fight you.)

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