Sunday, July 01, 2012

Updated Elevator Technology

I had an eventful weekend.

- Wed night I went to an engagement party.

- Thursday I had a day off, since my company moved buildings (one over to the left).

- Thursday morning: chores, haircut, pick up three pairs of pants I had patched up. When I paid the bill, I pointed out to the store that they misspelled their service as "Swing Services" in English, instead of "Sewing Services" on their card. The owner was shocked. "I just ordered 40,000 more cards today!"

- Thursday noon I attended the funeral of a lovely 52 year old man who died after a long illness. The funeral was at the cemetery outside of Beit Shemesh. The chevra kadisha performed some odd kabbalistic (and undoubtedly idolatrous) ritual of holding hands and walking around the body some number of times chanting verses and waving their hands to ward off spirits (I'm guessing Lilith). Less and less like Judaism and more and more like idol worship. Please don't let anyone do that over my body when I'm dead.

- I spent the rest of Thursday working on my book at a restaurant in Beit Shemesh. I've started an Excel sheet to track all of the articles and books I've now read as research for the book. Lots and lots about the "magic circle".

- Thursday evening I had a date in Beit Shemesh. I liked her, but I received a termination notice from her on Sat night. Oh well.

- About 10 km out on my way to Jerusalem from Beit Shemesh, my car lost its ability to regulate temperature; i.e. it went from cold to severely overheated in a matter of a km. I had to slowly return (drive, wait, drive, wait, ...) to Beit Shemesh. Fan problem? Radiator? Temperature gauge? Oil?

- After dozens of calls, I finally found a friend to put me up for the night in Beit Shemesh.

- The car had a blocked radiator; I don't know what repairs were actually required, but what I ended up with was a new radiator, temperature gauge, some hoses, fluids, etc costing1,845 NIS. Bleah.

- I missed two engagements I had scheduled for Friday morning in Jerusalem (a game designer who wanted to consult with me about publishing, and another date).

- Shabbat with mom and my shul.

- Shiva visit Sat night

- Sunday morning I arrived at my new building on the left. I'm fairly sure that the technology defining the elevator interface (buttons) has remained relatively unchanged for 100 years or so. This elevator's designer decided that "Up" and "Down" wasn't interesting enough. Instead, the controls are a number pad - no instructions as to what to do with it. Apparently you key in the floor to which you want to go to, whereupon the pad informs you by which of four elevators to wait. There is no indication as what floor the elevator is currently, so no progressive feedback as to how long you will be waiting for it to arrive. The elevators have no floor buttons in them. Once you're inside one, you have no opportunity to change your floor number. The only controls are "keep open", "close", and "emergency".

Update: apparently this is called a "destination control system".



Nadine said...

That does sound like advanced technology for no reason/no benefit; seeing for yourself what floor each elevator is on and its direction is unquestionably preferable.

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Allegedly, this system is supposed to speed up time to destination by 30% when a) there are too few elevators, and b) there are many passengers.

Janet W said...

I think that the 'destination control system' allows building management to rotate elevators out of service during low usage times. Agreed, they leave a lot to be desired from a rider point of view.

Batya said...

I have never seen anything like what you described at a funeral. Why don't you investigate first what it waw all about before commenting and possibly being motzi shem ra ("idolatrous")?

Yehuda Berlinger said...

What I wrote was the result of an investigation. I said "guessing" in case my sources were incorrect.

While we're at it, here are a few other rituals that I think are idolatrous: red string bracelets, hamsas, praying at gravesites, reciting tehilim, kissing mezuzahs, tashlich, kaparot, saying "bli ayin harah" and anything else having to do with ayin harah (like spitting, or avoiding things that are done to corpses), and changing your name to avoid the angel of death. It is for practices such as these that the temple was destroyed and we were exiled from Israel. There is only one God and all prayer and belief of power should be directed to Him, and nothing else.

But hey. We all make our choices, as someone recently told me.

Batya said...

I doubt these were the practices that brought the churban, as many of what you listed are ways of concentrating our thoughts on Hashem (kissing the mezuzah, for example-where one is supposed to think of the Shema that is in there, that Hashem is Shomer Daltot Yisrael (guardian of the doors), not the mezuzah itself, and as it's written on parchment and in kedusha, it does have some holiness) The chamsa,and red bendel(string) are more modern things and I do agree with you, are strange.
Touche on the last line