Two Fingers Tapping

MattIf I was a Native American, instead of a descendant of immigrants, that would be my name: Two Fingers Tapping.

That’s because I never learned what we used to call “touch typing”.  Now it’s called “keyboarding” and is a required subject in good schools.  But I went to school back in the Dark Ages, when dinosaurs walked the Earth and “typing” and “home economics” (i.e., cooking) were courses that only girls took.  So I never learned to type.  Took wood shop instead. Big mistake.

My father never did either.  He used a keyboard the same way I do, with only a few fingers.  It didn’t stop him from having a career and earning advanced degrees like his Master’s in Nuclear Engineering from MIT.  It didn’t stop him from programming on the Whirlwind I – the first computer with video display terminals that ran in real time.

I’ll never be half the man he was, but like him, I don’t let my primitive keyboarding stop me.  So far I’ve written three unpublished novels, all around 100,000 words, and am now working on the fourth, the conclusion to my Gamers and Gods series.

I’m not certain what I’ll write next.  Those of you who have seen my main website know that I have unfinished business with hypercube loudspeakers.  I need to get out a nonfiction book about that, but I’ve been a bit shy about approaching agents with a book proposal about that.  It’s because I’ve spent a significant part of my life as a voice crying in the wilderness trying to drag humanity kicking and screaming into the Hyperspace Age.

patent drawingAt first this was because we had a patent on the technology (U.S. Patent #4,231,446 granted Nov 4, 1980) and I thought it was going to make us rich. Well, it didn’t; I profoundly underestimated the extent to which credibility depends upon credentials. You see, I hadn’t even graduated from college yet. Imagine, if you will, a college dropout trying to tell NASA he can make a better rocket fuel.  It was kind of like that.  I literally presented to men with PhDs in Audio Engineering — you can imagine the looks on their faces when I tried to push what they considered science fiction at them.

Tom and I tried to promote the technology for years.  We knew darn well that a geometry that affects one kind of wave will affect many others.  For example, parabolic dishes are used to focus sound waves, radio waves, and microwaves.  So the remarkable behavior of sound in our shape (well, Nature’s shape, but like Kepler, we re-discovered it) was something that we knew could transform a lot of devices and industries.  So we tried.  And tried.  We exhausted ourselves and our personal finances trying to get the word out.

We didn’t get rich, of course.  And now the patent is PUBLIC DOMAIN. Can anybody out there hear me?  You can all use it for FREE.  You don’t have to pay us for discovering it.

Eventually I gave up, temporarily, and went back to college and got my Bachelor’s degree in Physics and began a career in computer programming. (It seems I always find myself following in my father’s footsteps in some ways.)  But when the Internet appeared I taught myself HTML and created my website to keep getting the message out.

I’m not finished yet.  I’ve been reading Science Fiction since I was in fourth grade.  Maybe that’s why I tested at the 14th grade reading level when I was in 9th grade.  In any event, it helped prepare me for this weird life of mine.  I have no regrets about it; I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s.  I have been uniquely privileged to see she shape of the future.

Now if only it gets here while I am still alive.

— MRK

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