No. 132. A Moral  Machine  He had asked a friend to forge him a big iron pendulum.  As extravagant as this sounds, it seemed a matter of some urgency to him.  He had become so suffused with half-truths, media evasion, bureau-speak, cultural waste and cruelty in high places that it was all making him ill.  He had more than his fill lately of what playwright Tennessee Williams used to refer to (as often as he could) as "the powerful smell of mendacity."  The pendulum was a glorious corrective to all that.  It always told the truth.  It always showed you what was truly vertical--and, in an age of poisonous ambiguity like ours, that was a lot to know.

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