About the Author

Roy Sniffen

Let me tell you about my world. The physical world I encounter when I walk out the front door of our little hillside home in East Oakland, CA. Directly across the street is the mission-style Roman Catholic church of St. Lawrence O'Toole. The saint, the tale is told, was a noted bishop of Dublin and is famous for the words uttered on his deathbed:

"What fools these mortals be. Who will take care of you now?"

In the church complex is a rectory to my right, and a convent to the left, and I can almost see the school behind the church if I crane my neck a bit. Up the hill in the distance is the massive granite front of the Oakland Mormon Temple with its gold tip which gleams in the sunlight.

Down the hill is a brick front Community Baptist Church where during my seminary days I frequently had to make emergency trips for surplus food. Just at the corner, by the traffic light, is the Temple of Love, housed in an old movie theatre.

Far off, and often only a ghostly silhouette are the towers of San Francisco. I imagine I can see the ComputerWare store next to the Embarcadero Center where I worked part-time one Christmas season selling Macs.

In between me and the Baptist Church I spoke of before is a commercial area with banks, coffee shops, video stores, karate schools, card-collector stores, appliances stores and dry cleaners. As I look that way, in the space between the church and the convent, overtop of St. Lawrence O'Toole School, I can see the sign that tells me the most about my life.

In the midst of these structures of religion and commerce, of entertainment and instruction, of the very serious and the very mundane, there's a sign high over a supermarket. It has one word and I look at as a beacon. The word is "Lucky".


episode 2

The Net: Second Babel or New Jerusalem?

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