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Pinball machines are the precursors of computer games. A photo of such a device can be seen in the picture. The pinball machine was invented around 1700's but its modern version had its peak acceptance between late 50's and early 70's. Many people throughout the world are not too familiar with it because it was mainly a US/Canada phenomenon that never had widespread acceptance throughout the world. Yet, they did have some penetration in Latin American and EU markets. What is interesting about this fact is that in all countries around the world the reaction of politicians to pinball machines was more or less the same, regardless of their use levels.

Pure Evil

The first gut reaction of politicians to its widespread acceptance was to declare the evil, evil devil-spawn-created device as… you guessed it, pure evil. There were attempts to prohibit and ban such devices altogether. In many places in the world this ban actually took place.


However, as time went by, politicians realized that these evil, evil machines actually brought in quite a bit of money. As such, there was no reason not to profit from this unexpected source of extra taxation because, you know, in the end they were not that evil after all but just dangerous.

Who Cares

After a number of years, pinball machines became a daily event to such an extent that they were mostly invisible. Not too many people cared about or played with them. Many languished at the back of stores or bars incessantly burning electricity with the goal of alluring evermore elusive players. These machines became crossed-out items in most political agendas.


Over time the pinball machine fad ended when they were replaced by other, more sophisticated machines. Politicians moved on onto greener (and more lucrative) taxation pastures. As such, pinball machines became a non-event to the point that many of them ended up in scrapyards sold for their metal content. They never even made it to crossed-out items in political agendas.


Passed this point, pinball machines simply disappeared from the places they used to frequent and from the mind of former players, now in their 30's or so. At this time if you would to ask teenagers or politicians about these machines, the most likely answer would have been: What?

Collector's Item

Eventually the pinball machine became a rarity. At this point in time it became an object of admiration for connoisseurs and savvy collectors. The prices of antique pinball machines skyrocketed and as it could not be otherwise, the taxman was there to collect their pound of flesh stoked by politicians who now re-classified them as "luxury items".

This sequence of events is depicted below.

Pinball Evil Scale


This study in the evilness of pinball machines is in actuality a study in government stupidity cycles. Politicians overreact rapidly, suddenly and with decision when they see a hot political topic they can exploit. As it could not be otherwise, they side with the mob (the voting mob, that is). Eventually and as things calm down, these "hot" topics seem to fade away from political agendas with the added insult that right about this same time they reach their highest demand. Over time, those topics or items become mundane to the point of becoming invisible and over the long time, they inspire admiration.

The key question is now the following: was all this really necessary?

And the answer is an obvious: No! It wasn't.

Most items and topics on earth go through a cycle of discovery, use, decay and collection. This is a natural process which continues perpetually with or without the interference from politicians. As a matter of fact, politicians not only add nothing to the cycle, they make things more complicated, convoluted, twisted, un-understandable, obscure, tabu and inaccessible. As you can see and since the cycle continues anyway, we could as easily get rid of all politicians and save ourselves all those years of complicated, convoluted, twisted, un-understandable, obscure, tabu and inaccessible thinking which we did not need in the first place!

This simple example highlights what politicians do all the time and how it is only through the historical point of view that these cycles come to life. Politicians count with the invisibility that short time periods provides them with. They count with our inflamed righteousness, egos and sense of correctness. They want us to "get involved" so that they may ride the cycle to their political jobs. They expect us to be stupid, lazy, easy to taunt and careless. And guess what? Most times they manage to achieve this goal successfully. It is for this reason, not to fall into their trap, that we must take a step back from the issue and look at the big picture in historical time frames. If we are too close to the contentious tree to see the political forest, we will end up flattened by a falling tree. F&P.


The simple pinball machine is a clear example of the kind of "voter management" all politicians engage in. It is for this reason too that we urge you not to vote. Politicians are expert sellers and we will fall into their trap. Thus the only way to win is not to play. The only way to detoxify ourselves is not to vote.

Unless, this is, you are a masochist who enjoys frequent pain and a political junkie who cannot wait to get the "dose". In this case, who are we to tell you what to do? Go ahead, make your day and enjoy it because eventually it will all go away and you will be in the throes of an acute withdrawal syndrome.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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