The Tru(mp)man Show

I often turn to Star Trek for inspiration and guidance because in this world of human future Gene Roddenberry envisioned us maturing past the infantile state we are in today. 
Looking at the latest development in politics across the pond I remember one episode from Star Trek we might want to take a page from.

In order to save themselves from a troublesome adversary, they created a holographic container for this person to roam free within. This allowed the crew to get rid of the problem while tricking the nuisance into believing it was unchallenged to take on the world. More or less, and there a few variations of this theme around.

Considering how distant the current far-too-white house madministration seem to be from anything outside their small sphere of puppets and puppeteers it shouldn’t be too difficult to take a page from the world of the future.

Simply construct a large set replica of the White House and hire actors to provide the inhabitants with a constant flow of real fake news and reactions to keep them happy and engaged (read: Happily enraged).

It could be like a 4-year 24/7 reality show and social experiment. I’m sure it would generate interest from many parties and it could, potentially, serve as a research project for political science in order to overcome our apparent shortcomings and to strengthen democracy.

It would, most likely, also make for an interesting testing ground for computer science fields such as VR, AR, and AI.

Consider it a mix between Big Brother, the Truman Show, and a large scale Monopoly game. The sponsorship deals alone could finance the entire enterprise. Not to mention the money saved by sand-boxing the related issues into this political zoo.

“But wouldn’t people want to get outside sometimes?” you ask.

Sure, but considering how much effort goes into every excursion already and how little they actually interact with the everyday-person I don’t think it would be very difficult to orchestrate. It would probably be an easy thing to let them think that the world is as hopelessly dangerous as they believe. We could feed them stories like Cuba annexing Florida and introducing universal healthcare and social tax reforms to keep them away from Mar-a-Lago and such places. They probably half believe that’s what’s going on as it is.

Anyway. Think of all the possibilities, not to mention the good it would do for peace and stability in the world.

I think it could be an international hit. All we have to do in order to pitch it to the networks is to come up with a catchy name.

Any suggestions?


A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine, who is a vegan, pointed out that the term “vegetarian” in its modern context is somewhat ill-fitting as it quite literally means “from vegetable origin” and that’s not really what people usually mean today.
Granted that the meaning of words and terms shifts over time we both agreed that a word of such obvious origin was less than illustrative of what a modern vegetarian is.

In its origin the word “Vegetarian” simply meant that something was food from vegetable origin or someone who eats food from vegetable origin. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the term Vegetarian first appeared in 1839. The first offshoot, if I may call it that, was “Fruitarians” that appeared as a term in 1893. It weren’t until 1944 that there were a distinction between vegetarian and vegan as it were this year the term “Vegan” were introduced.
Nowadays “Vegetarian” usually means “Vegetarian who also eat dairy and egg derivatives”. The full and more correct, albeit convoluted, term would be Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian but who have time to say all that when you’re hungry.

Solely based on whispers of a memory from ages past I remember something about the term “Vegan” at the term of its conception meant something like “Strict vegetarian (i.e. ortodox) with a political component in lifestyle choices” in order to distinct itself from the liberalisation of “Vegetarians” that we continue to see today.

Today, in Spain where I’m currently living, I still have to specify what I mean by “vegetarian”. Anyway. Back to semantics.

So today Vegan means old-school vegetarian and vegetarian means as-long-as-you-didn’t-kill-the-animal-omnivore (with many variants). There are even modern anything-but-red-meat-vegetarians, and fish-is-hardly-an-animal-vegetarians today, but I don’t want to go too deep into the rabbit hole of semantics at this time.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Being fans of words we agreed that the situation in total was far from ideal and after some thinking I suggested we make a new word to cover the group of semi-strict-liberal-vegetarian (As long as there’s no dead animal parts omnivore) I myself belong to.
After some more thinking, and possibly and injection of caffeine I suggested the therm “Carnivalarian”.

At first it was a kind of shooting-from-the-hip-silliness but as I thought more about it and explained the reasoning to my friend I became more and more convinced it was a good word.

As the mildly observant reader might already have guessed its based on the word Carnival. But as you might understand it has nothing to do with parades in Rio or any kind of party as such.

To explain, but without going into religious practices. The base of the word Carnival is the latin words “Carne” which means “flesh/meat” and “levare” which means “to remove”. So carnival literally means removal of meat. Hence the word carnivalarian which means “Omnivore who doesn’t eat parts of animals” or “Slightly liberal vegan” or just “Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian”.

One might argue against the introduction of yet another term to define diet preferences, but I find it reintroduces clear semantic to a confusing situation.

And it also sounds festive. 🙂