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By Chris Newman
(Written for Ecclasia)


Billus is Periphera's trickster brother. He was always jealous of the attention Perhiphera got for her grand creative inventions of new technology. Billus decided to manipulate those inventions for his own pranks. He is the God of software bugs, deadlines, short-sighted corporate profits and the triumph of inferior technology. His tricks are often brilliantly devious and costly to those who suffer.

Those who pay homage to Billus will be able to meet deadlines or get close enough to the deadline that the result is still profitable. But this efficiency comes with a price for software bugs are favored creatures of Billus. He will even help track down a bug which is preventing product sales or delaying a release, but the fix will introduce at least two new minor bugs. Computer programmers who fail to pay homage to Billus are likely to see their work take many times longer than expected and their grand designs may be trumped by inferior technology from Billus' minions which was released sooner with better marketing.

Billus has many grand triumphs throughout the history of technology. When the engineers at Sony paid too much attention to Perhiphera while building the Betamax, Billus tricked the managers of Sony into focusing on short term profits by keeping the technology private. Meanwhile the inferior VHS, a project by engineers who paid homage to Billus, triumphed in the marketplace.Billus also makes sure that the qwerty keyboard remains the industry standard despite the fact it was designed to slow typing, and despite the fact the dworak keyboard is many times more efficient.

For a long time, IBM was the favored company of Billus, always overbilling customers for second-rate technology. But when the developers of OS/2 paid too much homage to Perhiphera, Billus punished IBM by switching his favor to Microsoft and promoting their inferior Windows operating system.

Billus likes power outages which happen just before you save a large paper, and gleefully manipulated California legislators to lift only half of the price controls on electricity so power generating companies would have no incentive to build new plants when needed. He promotes inferior polluting fossil fuels over renewable clean energy sources like wind and geothermal power.

Billus makes sure that the most inexpensive computers come primarily with his favored software. He keeps Windows quirky, buggy and crash-prone and makes sure Linux will never get a decent user interface. Billus promotes bloatware ever larger and slower software full of largely useless features. But Periphera's disk drive designers have triumphed for the short term by making hard disk space grow faster than Billus' bloatware.

Billus loves monopolys, because once a product has the lions share of the market an no competitors can stay profitable, the product then has no motive to innovate beyond the baby-steps necessary to encourage upgrades. The major new features in his favored monopoly products always have a profit or advertising based tie-in to make more money. Windows, Microsoft Office and Quicken are his most prominent monopolistic software successes but his minions are in charge of many small niche products with monopolys as well.

Billus used the grand designs of Periphera's Internet to trick investors into supporting technology companies with unworkable business plans and when major investors realized they had been duped, technology stocks plummeted in value regardless of the merit of the company. Thus he caused economic problems for the entire country.

So take care as you travel the realm of new technology. Periphera provides innovation and creativity, the grand designs that bless humanity. But Billus can not be ignored. Pay homage to him occasionally, so the bugs you encounter will be merely annoying rather than devastating. But beware paying too much attention to Billus for those who choose to worship him full time will never escape profitable mediocrity.

Note: Periphera is the Goddess of Technology. Unfortunately, her creatress has reconsidered her permission for usage and has requested that we remove Her article.


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This page last updated March 10, 2004