Chapter 10. Dollars and Sense
It had been about half an hour since I sent out for pizza, but it seemed like an eternity. I was getting hungrier by the second, but was still engrossed in our conversation. So much so, in fact, that my right leg seemed to have fallen asleep. I got up to shake it out and re-circulate the blood.
by the second, but was still engrossed in our conversation. So much so in fact, that I neglected to notice that my right leg had fallen asleep again. I got up to shake it out and re-circulate the blood.
“What are you doing?” asked the alien, somewhat concerned. “Was it something I said?”
“Not really, don’t be concerned.” I was probably spending too much time on the couch in a reclining position with a plate of food on my belly, wasting away while watching the cable news programs. My body was probably telling me I should get up and not try to mimic a stone statue of a Chac-Mool lying lazily on the couch in a supine laid-off position. Otherwise I would need a team of archaeologists specializing in Mayan or Aztec relics might have to dig me out.
While I was shaking out my leg, and trying to walk on it I reassured my alien guest, “It’s just that I have been sitting on this couch for an extended period of time. When this happens to us humans, the circulation of blood gets restricted and this momentarily cuts off the blood flow to a part of our bodies. In this case it happened to one of my legs. It’s no problem, I just have to get up and walk on it a little. It’ll be okay in a few minutes.”
“That is very interesting. I do not think my people have ever heard of it. What do you call the innovation?”
I found his choice of words amusing. “It’s really a temporary condition, nothing we invented or perfected, except for our human minds at times. Anyway, we just say that the body limb has fallen ‘asleep’. In this case it was my leg that fell asleep.”
“And what causes the limb to fall asleep?”
I was still thinking of his comments on the trees, and answered him: It’s what happens when blood doesn’t get distributed evenly because of some obstruction. We were chatting so much, and I was so fascinated with your comments that blood was being cut off from my leg, and I had to shake it up in order to get the blood back. It’s like economic stimulation, getting money to all branches of the population where it is distributed to the leaves. We need to do something similar when a limb falls asleep on our own bodies.”
“Really? That is undoubtedly the most compelling human expression I have ever heard. I do not think I have ever heard it put that way before. I will need to study it sometime. It would seem that a lot of the limbs in your social system have fallen asleep, too. Maybe they need to wake up.”
“And smell the coffee”, I said, as if I were filling in a blank on the Match Game TV show.
“It is not really about coffee, although I understand that that particular control substance does seem to have an effect on you humans. With all that caffeine your people drink, why is not anyone yelling or screaming about your faltering economic system that has not succeeded in putting its capable people back to work?”
“Oh, there are people who yell all the time. Typically they are on our news programs, and write letters to the programs’ editors. They send email messages to the mass media, or tweet, or post something on their Facebook account. But nobody seems to be listening. Or, if they do, the media sidestep the problem. They mis-represent and erroneously characterize the waste of the public talent. The phenomenon, as presented in the public eye, is labeled incorrectly.
I thought to myself for a moment about the pernicious mass media and how difficult it was at times to discern between serious media from the tabloid media and tablet media. Many obnoxious mass media tend to fill the night air with noxious gasses.
“How do you label a problem incorrectly?” he asked earnestly.
“For example, one of the things that politicians and reporters are always mentioning is the issue of ‘job creation’. Everyone seems to want there to be job creation. But how do you count a created job? By having an announcement on a web-site? By having a job posting on a bulletin board?”
I stopped for a moment, noticing that he was looking at me in amazement. His pale-yellow color gave him away.
I then continued, “The expression of ‘job creation’ represents one of the more elaborate illusions that anyone has ever come up with in your so-called free world. They convince the public that just because an announcement for an employment opportunity has been posted, a job has been created. It’s very common for an organization to advertise for a position and then decide not to fill it. How do you know that there really is such a job, or that it could simply ‘go away’ without anyone being hired at all?”
“So what you are saying is that the term ‘job creation’ is erroneous?”
“That’s right. Actually, I would say it’s misleading.” I was able to answer him very quickly because I had the opportunity to think about the term ‘job creation’ as an objective quoted so very often by our politicians and media analysts.
The alien’s follow-up came fast. “In listening to your media broadcasts I have heard the term ‘job creation’ many times. You are the first human I have ever heard challenge that term.”
I was now pleased that I was able to enlighten my visitor on a very important subject. “As we agreed earlier, some people on my planet used to say that if you repeat a lie many times, people will start to believe it.”
The alien apparently perceived the misconceptions and seemed to be earnestly trying to get to the truth. This was altogether refreshing. I admired his persistency as he continued to dig for reality: “But if ‘job creation’ and ‘unemployment rate’ are erroneous indicators, what sort of measurement would you propose instead to indicate the number of people who are jobless?”
My answer seemed to flow like a mighty river: “Rather than counting jobs, and instead of counting the number of people who don’t hold a full-time job, I think we should be looking at hiring to capacity. This would be a datum available for use in calculating and monitoring the number of people back to work on a full-time basis, say forty hours per week. If someone is hired only part time, to work say for twenty hours a week, then the job should be considered a half-job and not a full one. The measurement could go down to even the quarter – job level of only a quarter of a job, which would be ten hours a week. And if the job ‘goes away’, then that would be an addition of a negative job which would cancel out, or nullify, a hiring.”
After taking a moment to digest what I said, he nodded as if to understand. I was amazed that the alien the ability to nod. Although we looked anatomically different in nearly every respect, perhaps we weren’t so different after all. I watched him as he prepared to make a response, and I hoped it wasn’t going to be another question. I was really getting a cerebral workout. “With all that you just told me, why is it that the media and the politicians are still pointing towards ‘job creation’ as a standard of measure?”
Ah, well, another question. “Maybe they just got used to it”, I answered, rather feebly. Then, realizing that neither of us was satisfied with that seemingly automated response, I delved deeper: “For those who are interested in making the economic situation look a lot better than it is, quoting a number that indicates job creation is easy. But anyone can announce a job creation. I could say I am looking for someone to market my latest book and print an announcement and report this to the powers that be, whoever they are. However, the advertisement could be a false one, placed out there to advertise that an organization is so successful, it is actually “hiring”.
The alien looked at me seriously and asked “Is this a wide spread phenomenon?”
“Unfortunately, it is. I’m not sure about in the Milky Way galaxy, but it does seem rather universal on our own sphere of influence. If you take my under-deployment case specifically, just multiply it by the millions of people like myself. You could easily see where all this job ‘creation’ is going.”
The alien appeared confused. I guess he was experiencing what our psychologists on earth call ‘cognitive dissonance’ while the pieces of the puzzle were simply not coming together. Perhaps on his planet he was used to having precise definitions as well as accurate reporting by his authorities. I could only guess. In any case, his bewilderment seemed to come to a boil, as smoke came out of his ears once again. Before I could express concern at this, he exclaimed: “But everyone uses the ‘unemployment rate’ and ‘job creation’ freely on your planet. They are in your media everywhere, although you claim they are fallacious and misleading. The politicians use them all the time. How can that be?” He asked, still trying to make sense of things.
“You have to understand,” I tried to explain to the alien, “that the fubbery function of some of the gauche media is not to inform, but to stay in business. To this end, they will do anything to increase revenue and keep you watching. With minimal insight they have the power to incite the viewers against some adversary foreign and domestic, and to excite them with noetic license so that they are held in suspense to keep them tuned in beyond the commercial break.”
“It isn’t enough for these media to report a newsworthy headline such as ‘Man Bites Dog’ or ‘Man replaces Machine’, but rather to relay a more onerous attention-grabber in order to further keep the people in suspended animation. They ultimately use a more captivating story with a catchy title such as ‘Man Sets Machines on Fire in a Violent Luddite-Style Rampage of Revenge’.”
The danger of robotic manipulation always intrigued me. Even the word “robot”, was introduced from a Czech writer named Čapek, and the word closely resembles the Russian word for “work”. Robots can also be scary. Not for attacks on people, but rather with their threat enabling the mental atrophy of human beings, with offers of “I-can-do-that-FOR-you.”, or even worse: “I-will-do-the-thinking FOR-you.” True, we humans appreciate the calculating speed abilities of the mechanized slaves. But we should be aware of the overdependence on machines and robots. We should have heard the “WARNING DANGER!” admonitions about the robots.
“So”, responded the alien “if you can not trust the news media, in whom can you trust? In whom do you have faith?” the alien asked, tilting his head again solemnly now in a light bronze hue.
Now, THAT really was a good question. Lack of trust and of the type of reporting that interests people has made newspapers rather obsolete. The younger generation seems too cynical to believe the reports. It would be interesting to ask young people today that oldie-but-goodie riddle, “What is black and white and read all over?” They probably will not be thinking of newspapers, but more likely of bleeding zebras. Maybe the Devil really does wear Pravda.
All this talk about the Devil was depressing. Even we use the Devil as an excuse such as “the Devil made me buy that dress” and even if he didn’t tempt Flip Wilson’s Geraldine character to buy it, I didn’t want to take the time to analyze Beelzebub or the Muscomorpha he owns.
“I don’t know, really. Websites that were supposed to be informative, weave something rather deceptive at times, a series of messages that could be more closely identified with entertainment. Some of the mainstream news-shows jolt your attention with volts of electric stimulation when they come up with a beaming “news flash” item that is “breaking news”, or focus the viewers on a new piece of news: “This just in.” After the media have hooked you in , they keep you tuned in with a caption that says “Developing Story” or some speculative headline expressed interrogatively with question marks” “Disasteroid Strike this Year?” “Alien Invasion?” “War of the Worlds?” “Are the natives restless tonight?”
“This is most fascinating,” he reacted. “You are describing an industry that exploits the people who sustain it. Its goal is to dumb down the people and feed them on their panic in a symbiotic relationship which entails a non-ending vicious cycle that ultimately keeps the media sponsors happy because viewers are viewing in a continuous state of apprehension about the future. Ironically, that is precisely the issue about which the people should be concerned.”
“But not through sensationalist journalism,” I felt it absolutely necessary to add.
He stood up to go into the other room, and with an urgent look told me “I will be right back. I just need to make like a tree and leave the room to work on this conundrum.”
I wondered where he heard that phrase, but I was concerned that he would disappear without a trace like he did earlier. “You are not going to disappear again, are you? You won’t leave without saying good-bye, right?”
“Not to worry, human. I did not realize the impact of being left alone was so profound on your species. I agree to your terms,” he concluded and retired to the other room. As he left the room, he told me “I just need a few moments to make sense of the information with which you have so graciously helped me. I am now a bit closer to understand the causal throes of your woes.”
Another rhyme scheme. If Dr. Seuss were a rapper, he wouldn’t be more talented than this alien at writing childish rhythmic verse. As a spontaneous poet, I suppose I should have tested his abilities and ask him what rhymes with the word ‘oranges’.
Several more quiet minutes passed. I heard the alien move around in the other room, and it sounded like he was getting ready to come back with a solution to our woes. It would be an amazing thing if it were indeed true. In the meantime I enjoyed this sort of pregnant pause, which sometimes yielded fruit and more food for thought fruit than the words they separate. A blank between words such as the second and third ones in the following sentence can go a long way in preventing organized profanity. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword, but the blanks in between have the potential to be even more acutely penetrating.
I would have liked to pause for eating and was really beginning to wonder where the pizza was and why it hadn’t been delivered already. I resolved to ask the alien what he thought I should do, but I would wait until he re-entered the room.
And sure enough, he came back all fresh and enthusiastic about his apparent findings. He was like a steamroller, and I didn’t know how to bring up the subject of the pizza. He confirmed my hypothesis that he could not have been able to read my mind, or if he could, he didn’t find any utility in reading it.
The alien appeared fresh and ready to continue his research, armed to the fangs with new insight into the human condition.
He then cleared what seemed to be his throat with a husky amphibian-like croak and then began: “I just wanted to confirm my observations”, he opened. “Your problems arise when you humans become a society that rewards greed. You get along just fine as a society until the law becomes inequitable, unfair, and skewed against the people who do the work to add value to society.”
“When a society becomes successful, its people become proud of its achievements. This could be overcoming financial depression, winning a world war, and journeying to the moon.”
I agreed with the alien and would have congratulated him on his perceptive analysis. But instead I rebounded, this time wanting to keep up early and not fall behind.
The alien continued his thesis, building up his argument brick by brick, mortar by mortar: “In the meantime more and more entrepreneurs have tried to compete over who could build the tallest buildings, while fanatics like those of that late summer day in your year 2001 succeeded in breaking them down. We on Zatox have noticed that once your people start looking at others’ achievements and social trophies, they start to become jealous of each other, even if they have to find excuses with some fanatically religious pretext to destroy these edificial trophies.”
This made me think. I expressed my thoughts to the alien with interest in his observations. “Maybe our species has evolved beyond regular intelligent everyday living. At some point we may have crossed a line and have come to a realization as dramatic as a bite of a piece of fruit from the garden; something that tips the scales towards tempting greed and avarice.”
The alien looked at me with amazement. At least it seemed to me like he was amazed, rather than lost in a maze, like me. It was kind of hard to tell.
“It is almost as if you humans take turns at eating the fruit of a tree which acts as a trigger that initiates a genesis of a new kind of human, causing that being to go from a naïve existence to a rapacious and greedy one. From naïveté to avarice. On a larger more social scale, these that have acquired wealth become the envy of the world and an imposing target, scraping the sky.”
It was an interesting parallel. I suppose that when humans come to the understanding about the potential for having unlimited wealth is the fruit of the forbidden tree.
I continued the alien’s thesis: “And once the people are successful, they start buying up things they may have once needed but had a shortage. The shortage is now gone and the cornucopia has arrived. The gluttony begins to take over as the parvenu people start eating, drinking, and buying to excess.”
“That’s very good, human. I think you have got it, by George! Eventually, excess human gluttony gets to a point where people cannot stop acquiring things of wealth. But where once it was important to have enough, it becomes paramount for human beings to have more than enough – they start to hoard away material things. This is the true tipping point which leads to excessive greed, and is the point where people lose the liberty of thought they once had. They themselves become slaves of their own material devices they have purchased, and the resulting slavery encompasses the entire population. You could say that their freedom becomes replaced with ‘greedom’.”
That last part seemed corny but relevant. By now I was in sync with this creature from across the galaxial divide, adding: “Then comes the moment in which the successful citizens-conquerors look around and check to see if they are keeping up with the Joneses. They check their neighbors very carefully, and if they see some object they like, they will covet it with an obsession that doesn’t end even after that object is acquired.”
I remember a sci-fi alien once saying “Having is not as good as wanting.” So true. Then I wondered to myself, which commandment was the one about coveting? How was it relevant to this chapter of human development?
In the meantime, this alien’s color had changed to something that reminded me of a glowing light you might see in a bar. “My observations are simple: You humans as a species are never satisfied”, he said in obvious disgust. “You are like the element fluorine with 9 protons and electrons, ready to react with anything, always restless and in search of itself or a partner, a selfish and greedy element that would do anything to be complete. It will never be noble like neon with its characteristic 10 protons and electrons. Fluorine’s lack of nobility makes it unstable by nature.
I thought again of the deceptively decimal detective Adrian Monk, for whom the number nine was as “under-fluous” as fluorine – hypo-normal, forever delinquent and insufficient. Ten was perfection for Monk. It was the number of Commandments, digits, and amendments in the Bill of Rights. It was and still is the basis for our decimal system. And fortunately for all Monk’s friends, neon is inert. Ten is where it’s at, in the here and now - at least until the next geomagnetic solar storm strikes, like the Carrington Event during solar cycle 10.
I had been enjoying the alien’s chemistry class. He was brining human characteristics alive in a science charged with boring lectures. I had never thought chemistry was open to anthropomorphic illustrations. Too bad I was still hungry for that pizza, and that I was still as unemployed as before.
Fortunately, the alien had more to his chemistry lecture, though it wasn’t all hydrogen-to-helium-fusion- generating sunshine: “Humans can never shine like the beams emitted from a neon light because they cannot be complete by themselves. Your thirst for material possessions has proven to be unbounded; no matter how much you have, you want more. The Pharaoh was not noble enough to be obliged by his noblesse, and just like him, your wealthiest individuals are never satisfied. You are always hungry and even your noblest of neon-like humans have too many wants and desires to be anything other than fluorine.”
All this talk about chemistry was too much for me. I didn’t understand the differences between the elements - it was all Greek to me; or Latin. But I did know that greed can erode away mountains of faith and trust that take eons to build. Many people today look at the moon landings with suspicion that they were nothing more than some loony conspiracy that the filming of the astronauts walking on the moon was fabricated in some sophisticated studio on Earth. They have lost the faith and trust in government institutions, claiming it all as propaganda lies as the crow flies.
The alien continued his review of human observations. “Our researchers on Zatox understand the notion of trial and error, learning from past experiences in order to apply lessons to future cases. Because you wanted to ensure the blessings of liberty for yourselves and your posterity, you established a set of rights that protected your freedom from any governmental restrictions on free speech. But then you found that too much free speech does not lead to prosperity; the most common illustration being the case where someone yells “fire” in a crowded theater. Another example is the limitation of free press when national security is at stake, and you made “corrections” on your common-sense law. You added further regulations to the acquisition of guns, making it illegal to sell them to minors and to certain people. Through trial and error, you noticed that something was wrong with your system when innocent people were killed by terrorists crashing planes in buildings or deranged individuals in public places. Another example of trial and error social experimentation includes the military draft, the death penalty, use of medical marijuana, and abuse of steroids in sports. There are many more examples of common sense “corrections” in social mores and behavior, and many things once taken for granted are being tested and contested, just in case you have gone too far to overcompensate for a particular problem. It is all part of a system of trial and error which goes back centuries and will continue in the future until your people feel they get it right. You stumble in the throes and stub your toes.”
“Do you think we will ever ‘get it right’ as you say? Everything seems to be out of kilter. Do you think we will ever get it back into kilter? Things are so out of whack; they need to get back into whack and enable the long-term unemployed to get back to work.”
We were definitely out of kilter. And it wasn’t because of Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the union. The array of stars may since have been out of whack somewhat as a result - a bit different from the six rows of eight we had before 1959. But that didn’t have anything to do with our being out of kilter or out of whack. We needed another kind of whack to get us back. The fault wasn’t in our stars, but in ourselves.
“Good observation, human, and your question is indeed compelling. I was just going to get to that,” he said, understanding my modern slang while not showing signs of being annoyed at my insolent interruption in midsentence. It is possible that his species culture was used to that type of unmannerly behavior. My impudence notwithstanding, his speeches could cover much territory. He could speak without having to take a breath while never having to come up for air, if his species really needed any. It was possible that he was familiar with cultures of interruptions and it was perfectly normal for him.
“To respond to your inquiry about whether things will ever get fixed, the answer is, probably not in your lifetime. It is exceedingly difficult to bring the system back into whack, as you so eloquently said. You would need an all-out media campaign of truth and virtue.”
Now that was a laugh. The only media campaign we had was political pandering. The media had become an organ of one of the dependent political parties, the cratties and pubbies. The news media have already gone too far and is too-far-gone to be brought back INTO whack again. They would have to be whacked pretty hard, with bats and paddles. Unfortunately, the cable media in particular are responsible for fomenting racial anger, animosity, and even hatred with fierce innuendos that incite viewers’ anger. My own impression is that this social malfunction is a systemic consequence of how the media distract viewers from the real problems going on. Unfortunately, this media dilemma has become so widespread that it has reached the outer limits of reason. It won’t help to adjust our TV sets. No sense in calling service or maintenance. They called us already in anticipation: They can’t fix our vertical hold, or the horizontal one either, or anything else, for that matter.
Like the Cat-in-the-Hat’s Thing 1 and Thing 2, the media are good at the trick and the track of public opinion, particularly with politics. First they trick and then they track like expert skaters with the skill of Frick & Frack in the rink. But they perform the slippery moves with a blend of rotating media spin and subconscious Freudian slips that both impress and confound the people with excessive tricking and tracking. This distracts the viewers from the true source of our socio-economic problems. Instead of discussing the declining middle class, and the sentiment of the general public that we are going in the wrong direction, the media inundates us with even more innuendos with the politics mix of fracking, phone-call tracking, and computer hacking. This interests the people, but economic performance is still #1. The media, like many of the politicians they support or condemn, are all too often just as slimy and slippery. They skate on thin ice while sliding and shoving the opposition media.
I noticed that the alien wanted to continue, and he cleared what seemed to be his throat. He then proceeded pompously with his flowing discourse. Sounding like the dramatic beginning of a trailer for a movie coming soon to theaters, he chimed:
“In a world where organisational flux is in everything we do, in all that matters and energizes moving or still, constantly changing in unperceivable increments of space-time, people might think that all the issues have been settled. But this is merely an illusion. You may think that your legal system, through trial and error, has figured out so that it corresponds fully with your times and mores, and that the adage ‘practice makes perfect’ is applicable. But there will always be some microscopic aspect of the law that would need to be judged in trial and error. And that is your error. You seem to feel that when you have done something right, your work is over. Your situation is as inert as neon. You say ‘NOW we have got the situation fixed,’ or ‘NOW we are on the right path.’ But then you find that you may have made matters worse, and may have to consider the possibility that you have ‘pulled the wrong tooth’, need to double back and fix the problem, then have the courage to find the real problem and fix it the right way. It takes years, maybe centuries, to find the right social formula. Eventually practice does make perfect. The problem is you humans think you have it all figured out, and are perfect already, but –“
“All right, I get the point,” I interrupted rather rudely, intruding on his upcoming re-but-tal. I had a good idea where he was going with this seemingly endless and unlimited free-flowing speech that seemed like a filibuster, though that really was no excuse for me to cut him off. I didn’t want him to shut up, cause that may induce another government shutdown. More than a mental breakdown, the experi-mental government closure was more than just detri-mental to our system. The govern-mental constipation often bordered on the criminally excre-mental.
Undaunted by my interruption, the alien continued his filibuster which seemed ineffective at anything except for having gained world-domination of the time allotted for his research. “But, you humans do not have it all figured out. Your objectives may remain the same, but the environment out there is in constant flux. I will discuss that later with you, but in the mean time you should understand the development of your society through judgmental trial and error. One of your pressing issues concerns the notion why it is so important for your government to back its bonds with good faith and trust, which should work both ways. Where is that faith and trust that the government should have in its own peoples’ capability to add their value to society? What better way is there to invest in a society’s future than to invest in its people and enable them to earn earnestly? Take the example of bridge maintenance and highway repair, for example. These could be paid for using reserve tax revenue rather than bond sales. Money from bond sales is placed in funds you cannot seem to locate, while the bonds themselves aren’t specifically earmarked for specific projects. Where is that money already collected from previous bond sales? Is it falling into a general pool of sundry p-money to politically promote particular ‘pork’ projects sponsored in some unrelated congressional bill?”
I now felt I needed to say something to interrupt him, or he could have gone on forever, and I just didn’t have all the time in the world. “These are great points,” I said, trying to lighten things up. “Your lung capacity is certainly larger than mine. You would have been excellent at performing a filibuster.” Congress did seem to be his calling. He could have been counted on to lecture the cratties on why they are all too often left behind, and righteously exhort the pubbies on the right about what they are doing wrong.
But then I noticed a change in air pressure. Uh - Oh! The word “filibuster” made him explode like in a violent chemical reaction involving crack-cocaine. It didn’t sit well, even though he paradoxically had been in the middle of executing one. He reacted to the word ‘filibuster’ like liquid oxygen ignited on a NASA space pad and was turning a pale blue, exploding with a demeanor unbecoming of an alien rocket scientist.
“Filibusters! Funny you should mention! They are the same type of unregulated, unlimited abuse of the intent enabling free speech. Like war, what are they good for? In peace, do they really help the people? Are they mentioned in your Constitution? With what sort of perversion of free speech are they supposed to comply? It is just as I said a while back about unregulated freedoms, unbridled sophist expressions that monopolize the floor like old trees dominate the forest while discouraging new ones to take root. Filibusters make as much sense as Latin was to Homer, Greek was to Virgil, and Yiddish was to King David. They are no more effective than antibiotics are in fighting viruses. By getting fatigued colleagues forced into submission, they are more like dia-bribes than diatribes. In summary, filibusters have become as ‘necessary and proper’ as assault rifles in public places.”
Nice filibuster segment! Unlike those used in Congress, this one had an end – and a very eloquent one, at that! And unlike congress, the alien was able to eventually shut up without shutting down. The government, that is.
With the cunning oratory skill of Pericles at a Kerameikos funeral or Mark Antony in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar, the alien seemed to bury me with more ash and dust than the earthly soil could bear. He had let poignantly loose with yet another sensational flash-bang “gotcha” of lightening and deafening proportions. He was a true polemist who could argue his case in the finest tradition of public speaking. This was classic stuff I could never have dreamed up. From what interstellar laboratory did he synthesize his oratory? Who wrote his material? I wish I had, as I could have made a fortune writing it. Too bad I was just an underachieving, unemployed but humbly ineffable little Tao bear of little brain, a wannabe who just wants to be.
I saw the alien change color once again, from the explosively light blue resembling liquid oxygen to a bright turquoise, to a matted azure, then back to the bright orange-red. I didn’t know what that signified, but perhaps he was cooking up a new idea to be tested out in space. Only time would tell. Right now he seemed to be in some code red status.
“Thinking through your problems, solving them long term requires more than originality. It requires coordinating your grid of ideas and seeing the larger picture as well the spatial correlations between you. But the first step is originality, and the recognition that group-think may be dangerous both to your politicians artists and scientists.”
Apparently we were talking about the space between us all, and the wall of illusion which separates the people from the truth out there. The truth is, I didn’t know what he was talking about. Maybe I should never glimpse at the truth in this current enterprise, as this may have been the alien’s dream, after all.
My recurring dream still haunted me. I didn’t push my alter-ego over the side, but was accused by my other alter-ego of murder. This made me think about the truly innocent fugitives of justice, the Kimbles of the world who swear before God they are innocent become the true victims. With their last dying breath they speak the truth but are called liars right down to their last drop. Doesn’t that claim of innocence bring some reasonable doubt to the suspect’s culpability? Why isn’t that doubt sufficient to prevent their execution? Why should the system cynically assume that the accused person is a liar? Why take THAT on faith?
Those wise judges who are supposed to mete out justice should meet their maker over coffee in an Amicus Brief on capital punishment. Especially when that justice is executed on a presumed innocent victim whose only crime was not being able to convince a convicting jury of the truth. The Amicus Curiae would try to cure the situation by asking: Why should your justice system dismiss that innocent victim’s plea of innocence right down to the victim’s last living moment of truth? What if new evidence comes to refute the prosecution’s charge? Then the victim of blind justice will be cleared of the crime posthumously, but for that victim it’s too late. How can you forgive a dead person whose very last experience in life was hearing a conclusion of justice that he was a liar? Why is the system in such a hurry to cut down an honest and innocent victim? Why make the very last thing before death one more last second “dig” at a person’s dignity-gritty and integrity? Once digging the grave from the verdict of grave justice is done, digging at the truth is too late. The justice system’s conclusion that the suspect is a liar is irrevocable. The character assassination is complete, as both verdict and innocent a re executed. It is a conviction that cannot be overturned, a conclusion that leads to the victim’s own conclusion the most condemning story of that innocent person’s memory.
Convinced that I was not a player in anyone’s dream, I then asked: “What sort of originality are you talking about?” I dared to ask, with genuine curiosity, feeling only very small as the flow of the conversation was flowing within me, without me, and beyond me.
“Well, for example, we have noticed that you humans have this new computer technique called ‘copy and paste’. Though this was a breakthrough of truly ingenious proportions, it has become abused by your people in a paradox by which an original innovation has robbed people of their originality. In a sense, creative art has been forsaken for its own sake.”
I was having trouble understanding his last comment. Maybe I too was victimized by being part of a “copy and paste” mentality. It was probably used in the writing of the Obamacare law, a ‘doctored up’ piece of patchwork copied from different sources of massive legalities written for other purposes, and pasted into the thousands-of-pages bill without being read by supposedly intelligent minds. The copy-and-paste technique was probably the most likely cause for HealthCare.Gov website to be non-functional bytes worse than barks, with lines of computer software instructions being copied and pasted from other program sources resulting in a monstrosity of spaghetti-and-meatball code of conduct which no human and no computer would be able to understand. Rather than just piece things together, all the king’s horses and all the king’ s men may have to go back to the drawing board and use their superior Ivy League brains without copying and pasting legal jargon or software code. Our intellectual mordancy was now being challenged by the temptation to ‘copy and paste’. For like Humpty, we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly in urgent need of mending.
I was beginning to understand his last observation about creative art forsaken for its own sake. We humans DO live in a copy and paste society. Originality has been taking a beating. Whether in school or in institutions of higher learning where cheating is so prevalent and is even encouraged at times, whether in non-academic essay plagiarism by writers living or ghost, whether in patent stealing or other copy-write infringements that suck the life force out of a creative genius potential. Ironically, we have all fallen victim body and soul to a copy-and-paste mentality that has bled us dry and usurped our creativity.
Then it occurred to me why the copy and paste phenomenon had adversely affected our way of thinking. It has to do with two strategies that can be used to enhance our existing technology: By increasing the power input of existing technology, or by utilizing innovation to find different ones. The former paradigm is safer. It is like simply raising the volume so that things are just plain louder. The problem is that such an amplification enhancement can be expensive and impossible due to existing capacity considerations. The latter is more risky, and many technology experts attempting to apply science would therefore prefer the former, even at the risk of relying on a copy and paste paradigm.
“Unfortunately”, he continued his lecture like a pedagogue professor who was unaware of his surroundings, “both science and economics have become too political and your scientists behave like politicians with their court of followers. They are like rock stars with an entourage of ‘groupies'. Instead of using the grey matter between their ears to envision new possibilities, they rationalize old theories of the universe using popular explanations such as dark matter, string theory, black holes – all part of the 21st century popular science jargon.
I was surprised by what this stellar scientist was saying. “What do you mean?” I protested in the defense of our brilliant scientists. “These persons of education are the greatest minds, and are recognized by the universities and institutions of higher learning and are therefore smarter than the rest of us. If the establishment says they’re so smart, then I trust they are. They are never unemployed like me ‘cause they are too smart and are set apart from the rest of us because they have very high IQ’s”.
“That is precisely the problem,” he countered. “Your economists are elevated in your media to such high positions, they are like the national debt: They cannot be questioned. They are considered so smart and untouchable, and are therefore selected as wizards of wisdom to participate in illustrious think-tanks of renown. Some of these doctors of think-ology have no more brains than a scarecrow. But they have one thing that even the man behind the curtain didn’t have: Exposure. More specifically, mass-media exposure to the public.”
I hadn’t thought of this before. I have come to respect the opinion of these experts in economics and public affairs as though they were some Oracle of Delphi with wisdom to foresee the problems of the future. With all their intellectual acumen from the best Ivy League schools lux et veritas, urim and thumim, I expected better things. I had assumed that with light and truth they could steer the ship with the beams of a star to steer her by, stand beside her and guide her through the night, with beams of enlightened thought from above in the spirit of Dei sub numine viget.
I was very suspicious about all the partying politicians in their college days. When you hear about their education it seemed many of them attended Ivy League well-connected political-party schools. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that when the politicians were at the university they school they probably took Adderall or some other amphetamine concoction in order to enhance their scores. Now that they are politicians in high positions, maters of the political sciences and arts, they don’t need to take substances like they had to when they were students trying to pass exams. The only time they need a fix is when they are forced to sustain a filibuster. Maybe more of them should be taking Adderall right now, so that they don’t have to respond “I don’t recall” in congressional hearings. Maybe such amphetamines were part of efforts to conduct a total recall of Hollywood governors. Maybe if our wisenheimer wise-crack and smoking-hot politicians used amphetamines now, they could focus better on fixing their problems. Too bad they stopped taking it after college exams were over. We need sharp A+ thinking today.
Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, and the rest of the vainly-vein infested intravenous league. Those IV’s are the real party schools, graduating both future pubbies and cratties alike. The parties love these party schools, rushing them like an exclusive Greek fraternal order or Masonic lodge. Graduates can join these celebrity political parties by invitation only after the party is over. Then come invitations to White House parties and fundraisers, and a regular person can’t just crash such a party without cash or invitation. Access to all that merriment and frivolity, that laughter and celebration for the celebrity elite, are exclusively for party patrons, like an inaugural ball or other red-carpet affair. The parties do indeed reap the benefits of the IV indoctrination, because these institutions as prep-schools of higher learning to prep them for public office. The party schools deal with only part of the population apart from the people and consequently are p-money based, feeding off the politics of leadership preparation.
The naive voting public isn’t typically aware of this exclusivity. Nor do they have access to the p-money. They public constituents are mostly the working class, experiencing the realm of v-money in hard work, sometimes in as many as three different part-time jobs. They can sacrifice their time by volunteering their valued services even though they have to work hard for the v-money they earnestly earn. All this while elusive p-money flows abundantly above and around them beyond their reach.
Ever looking for honest straight-shooter candidates, the voters are swayed by political propaganda funded by p-money. On the surface, it seems that there is a real idealistic debate between the parties, but underneath all that rhetoric, things aren’t really straight. Partisan politicians of parallel party lines are drawn in straight lines so that they never meet with their counterparts from across the aisle. For we all know that parallel universes that never meet can never compromise. Like the parties, they have no points in common to connect the power lines of communication. Nor do they seem particularly motivated to actually serve the people or preserve the union.
Political parties are like gangs in many ways. It’s the same mentality. If you try to leave the party you are a pooper, a buzz-kill whose buzz deserves to be killed. If you are not somehow beaten to a pulp or bullied by a party pulpit. You are a defector, whose defective ways are punished as an example for possible future defectors. The party’s never over just because some traitor pooped it or popped some balloons. Interesting how the word contains “part” was used to describe such machinery with communists, fascists, Baathists, and even Apartheid in South Africa. It’s the same basic idea in the mechanism of governing from the left or from the right, from either socialist or fascist extreme.
“We on Zatox found all this interesting.” The alien continued. “That scientific knowledge on your planet is so political. But it makes sense. A scientist who wants to make money looks for funds to investigate phenomena that interest the wealthy donors. The very claim that worm holes can exist prompt political scientists to claim they have a ways to prove it, if only they had money to fund some university-level experiments. But it is all too often a sales activity with door-to-door scientists trying to sell an expensive idea to wealthy donors. The danger is that science becomes as skewed off course as the beams of light in the curved space in the vicinity of black holes.”
Wow! The way the alien was dismissing worm holes made me wonder: If they don’t exist, how could he have gotten here? Assuming he really was here, how did he cross the vast distances across space? Maybe they had access to some technology other than wormholes.
But now that both doubt and scientific aspersions have both been cast, some explosively burning questions are now thrust forward: Could the whole worm-hole thing be mere human propaganda, a type of attitude control of wealthy donors? Are they really a fabrication of popular science fiction blended together with theoretical physics departments at universities trying to get grant money? How and when did worm holes become part of accepted and proven science?
Worm holes could turn out to be simply a shortcut for theoretical physicists to get over the rainbow to a pot of golden beholden grant money. Dark matter is something that hasn’t been proven, but seems to be a solution to a problem which threatens to bring inconsistency to previously accepted ideas. True, the effort is a rather artistic one, but one shouldn’t base science on creative artistic notions without actual proof. We shouldn’t be trying to solve everything with worm holes and dark matter in an elaborate mutilation of your universe in terms of your perception of it. You are trying to jam pieces of a puzzle together that just don’t fit. It isn’t always easy has to fit square pegs into round black holes.
In this way science isn’t just about the derivation of knowledge, as that word’s etymology implies. Science has become too political these days. It has been taken over by political scientists, those who claim that rape can not cause pregnancies, evolution should not be taught, and climate change is just an illicit gimmick to elicit public support for certain controversial policies.
We humans are more than just terrified terrestrials. We are something else. We live on the periphery of the galaxy and don’t worry about black holes sucking us in. We are a transitory species that knows it won’t live to see our Milky Way galaxy collide with our fast approaching blue-shift neighbor galactic neighbor known as Andromeda. Our creativity has been provoked by and fired up like the stars of the heavens. We are at our best when we look for science fiction teasers like dark matter and worm holes. Our imagination has been provoked further by the thought of traveling among the stars on ships that have launched a thousand Facebook pages. Or a show that launched a thousand ships named Enterprise to continue a tradition of sailing, this time not at sea but amongst the stars of Hollywood.
After considering the alien’s remarks about think tanks, I now began to consider the lofty posturing of those top-of-the-hill institutions once held in high esteem and the illustrious alumni they sponsor. Maybe think-tanks have more metal than mettle. At this point I began to lose faith in their structures, their ivory towers and gleaming beams that support and suspend them. For the first time I have understood that there is a danger in putting one’s faith in academically charged think-tank organizations that in fact do nothing but give the public a false sense of security that some thinking intellectual who is both caring and smart is at the helm of the ship. How ironic that a Russian submarine named Kursk after the famed tank battle would sink with all hands on board.
The tanking feeling was unsettling. Original thought, though once well done, was becoming extremely rare at times and difficult to find. As with the case entailing the stellar beams of a shining White Star vessel known as the Titanic, whose commissioned captain of industry went down with the ship, our distinguished ‘think tanks’ have become as detached from actuality as that great ship’s bow and stern. They have become as beneficial to us as our SEC when the gallant ship that was commissioned to regulate the path of that ship. Instead, the ship had been steering directly towards an iceberg such as Bernie Madoff, rather than preventing the theft of billions of dollars from our unsuspecting citizens who had had faith and trust in the navigation system.
Indeed, think-tanks sink ships, all too often with sunken treasure to thank. While many diamonds-in-the–rough seas environment, talented people go down without being given a chance to reach their potential. Treasures and jewels of the mortal fools descend together with their gold and hit bottom with a thud in the mud while the think tank thinks why the ocean’s so near the floor. Then, like unsung and unsunk heroes, the thank tank thinkers tinker again with new things to think about, thinking things previously not thunk, while unsinkable ships that had never sunk do indeed sink, as investments shrink like sinkholes and then tank before finally sinking. Whether the tanks are sent to Kursk or Berlin or Budapest or Prague or Tiananmen Square as steel traps, the similarities among tanks and banks and other angst are more striking than a blitzkrieg. For it is said: “Thou shalt not steel.” Ironically, the Devil apparently does wear plada not only among Tiger-tanks in Panzer divisions, but also in the guise of Esso tigers in gas tanks brought in from leaky oil-tankers on the ocean – assuming they hadn’t hit the floor first.
Maybe the copy-and-paste mentality was at the core of this erosion. I had already heard about plagiarism taking place in large numbers at these institutions of once-higher learning. And if people can plagiarize in their writings, maybe such corrosive corruption takes place in the job market as well, as people lie on their resumes and their background.
How does one compete in such an environment? What sort of illuminating lamp should an employer need to verify a candidate’s background? As a long-time job-seeker I found it difficult to compete with people who lie on their résumés. No one could be sure if HR departments actually checked the facts on this all-important document, but I knew that in many cases the truth would be found out later. Probably in most cases the truth about a candidate’s lies would never be discovered after it is too late, as the hiring manager would not want to get into trouble. HOW DOES AN HONEST PERSON COMPETE IN SUCH A CULTURE?
Navigating through these rough waters made me feel at times like a teetotaler captain trying to maneuver a ship in vino veritas country. Maybe this is why so many of us feel we need to be like Diogenes to go around looking for originality. In our cynical indignation we needed beams of illumination to find an honest person and creative thinking. It is not down on any map; true places never are. Could we all have been guilty at some time or another of copying and pasting someone else’s work? If so, where? Evidently I needed this alien to see the light.
The alien then interrupted my sinking feeling by continuing a less loopy anti-tank missile barrage of his own. I thought we were past my think tank thinking, but maybe the alien could read my mind: “They are bulky heaps of lardlike panzer-tiger monsters and may have been as impressive at the Battle of Kursk in World War II, but even your modernized mechanized armor today with all its technological advancements and achievements from the industrial revolution to the fortunes of both war as well and peace.”
I heard about the fortunes of war, and we all knew that Haliburton made those fortunes by greasing the wheels of the chariots in Iraq. I was pretty sure the alien would eventually pick this up too, on the internet, as the Chaney exploits seemed obvious to anyone with both brain and conscience.
The alien’s steel-plated comments in the meantime were getting clever and a bit verbally violent. I admit to having been a bit rusty myself in connecting the ironic dots. I hoped in his highly charged verbose state he wouldn’t have a blood pressure issue, issuing from this fast and furious current of statements which spurted forward like a Mars-like declaration of war similar to a surge of infantry troops on barges ready to invade the mainland, flowing through the ultra-high current of what seemed at least for the moment to be a network of bellicose veins.
It’s ironic that steel has turned out to be such a deadly material. Not just with deluded demagogue men of steel like Stalin. The commendable steel driving heroic figure John Henry, who died with a hammer in his hand while racing against a steam-power hammer is further proof that a man of heart that pumps iron can stand in absolute contrast to bloody dictatorial historical characters.
Now it was his turn to pulverize the panzers: “In times of peace, think tanks are just as ineffective in finding those nooks and crannies and all the exceptions and possibilities that are outside the scope of conventional thinking and thus vulnerable to surprise epiphanies. These academic and political think tanks have become as irrelevant to the public as the Nobel Peace Prize. Most of you humans know that already, although very few seem to care.”
Ouch! That stings. Though his last comment had the smarts, it was a blow to my way of thinking, having held the Nobel Peace Prize in highest esteem. Though I was never decorated by any wizard as a doctor of thinkology, I had hoped I was indeed smarter than a wizard’s scarecrow.
Continuing his rant, he marched onward as if towards some river to be crossed, though he crossed the Rubicon long ago. It seemed part blitzkrieg, part shock and awe. By now, his own torrential flow made new river crossings perilous: “You humans use the IQ measurement as an excuse for your own mediocrity, when you could be the geniuses yourselves. You need to stay away the flow of mainstream mediocrity, avoid those intelligence-quo stereotypes and go on a journey of your own. Use your originality, not just rationality. Stop using IQ excuses that dumb you down. Think with lunacy and you will go past the moon.”
His comment about intelligence really made me think. What is intelligence? Can it be measured at all? Why has it been such an elusive factor? Isn’t it relative, depending on a person’s mood? Can a person be a genius in the morning and retarded in the afternoon? Might it depend on dangers? Preoccupations? Disturbances?
The alien’s reference to going past the moon made me think back of his use of the words “earth-set” in the east and “earth-rise” in the west. These terms seemed so original, I had not thought of them before. Perhaps it required unconventional thinking by someone like the fool on the hill, who sees the sun going round and the eyes in his head see the world spinning round with all the visual clarity of Mister Magoo’s own peepers.
This was an interesting play on words, except that it is the fools who vote the politicians to the Hill, where nothing is on the level. But taxation of the ides of April fools no one without representation, until the Capitol offense for living in the nation’s Capital is justifiably defended.
“Could you give me an example of this type of originality? When I send out resumes I follow the instructions of the experts. I am certainly not being original, not by any stretch of the imagination.” I admitted, handling the truth with every shiver and sliver of honesty. I was still thinking about how to be more original with the resumes I was submitting to potential employers. All this thinking was giving me nothing but tension headaches, and I wanted nothing more than to kiss my aspirins good-bye.
“That is just it, you said it yourself! Stretch the imagination. That is precisely what you humans need to do”.
“I would like to do that,” I said to him. “But originality doesn’t appear to be in demand. People today seem to cling to old ideas. The employers want to hire people with experience rather than take a risk and train people who have shown potential in the past. How can people start thinking outside the box?
He thought for a moment, changing colors several times over, then and looked back at me. Then, sounding like Ed Wynn trying to think of an original anecdote of a serious nature in order to get the group to stop laughing and come back down from the ceiling in the Mary Poppins movie, he said. “I have just the thing.”
Like the alien’s weird looking appendages, I was all ears. I wasn’t sure what sort of thing he had in mind.
“Let me illustrate the sensation of discovering new dimensions of thought. I will try to simplify a possible truth for you, if you think you can handle it.”
I was a little hungry, and could have used some brain-food, but didn’t want to miss this opportunity, either. “Please begin”, I said, inadvertently inviting him to open the cherished vault of creative theoretical science.
“All, right. Let’s begin by looking at all the stuff around us, the molecules that comprise our compound material, the atoms that are the basic elements of these substances, the neutrons, protons, and electrons that are the building blocks of all our compounds.”
“I am aware of the particles that constitute the earth, the air, the sun, and the water. We all are,” I said proudly in our defense.
“I know you are,” he responded. “But I do not wish to discuss the elementary perceptions of your universe, with all due respect to your enlightened philosopher Empedocles and to your classical scientist Aristotle, who added a fifth column element, ether, to the mix. We appreciate Aristo’s idea using ether to explain the propagation of light through a vacuum of space. He could not have known that it was the APPLICATION of the idea that was wrong. The idea is correct in terms of the propagation of transverse sound waves in the air due to pressure differences, but light does not need air or any medium in order to travel distances. Sound and light travel very differently, but we on Zatox understand how you could erroneously connect the two concepts. Despite the error, we do congratulate you on your insight and insound. Now I want you to open your mind in a similar way, but this time to think outside the box, as your species likes to say. In the spirit of scientific method and observing the dots of the heavens, I challenge you to see the light and to connect them. Are you ready?”
“Go ahead,” I complied. If this alien was really someone’s avatar in actuality, that someone should be congratulated on his or her ingenuity.
“Are you sure you are ready? This is something different from that with which you are familiar, apart from anything Robert Boyle or other sceptical chymists as they were wont to be proposed and defended by the generality of alchymists from your planet would have debated. ”
Once again, I didn’t know what he was talking about. His annoying alien-sesquipedalian wording aside, I had no idea what skeptical chemists he was referring to, nor did I know much about alchemists except for the claim in a book I read once. The alien should have read it. He might have been impressed that when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. I wanted to get to that Promised Land of understanding by realizing my own Personal Legend. If I had an elixir of life to avoid having to imbibe this difficult wisdom, I would have done so. But apparently there were no short-cuts to that understanding.
“Okay, all things considered.” I said, a little fatigued but intrigued.
“All right. Open your mind and consider: Imagine a place where - all the matter is expanding.”
“Expanding? Everything? Everywhere?”
“Just imagine such a possibility. Now that your mind is open, try to expand it; to stretch it.”
“Albeit, what if all elementary pieces of matter were changing over time?”
“Let us advance this idea slowly and nurture it, keeping it simple. It is true, that your philosopher Leucippus came to an understanding of the existence of particles he referred to as atoms. And it is true that Democritus ‘of the people’ expounded and expanded on the notion of matter. And in your more recent history, Professor Niels Bohr formalized a model of atomic structure. What I am asking you is this: What if every piece of matter, and space too, were changing at a continuous but constant rate”?
“Changing? In what way?”
The alien looked around for a while, lost in thought. When I said to him “Welcome to my world”, I didn’t think he would get so lost so quickly within it. But in that lost realm, he could have taken solace that HE was not alone.
Then he looked at me and said his own word to the whys: “GROWTH.”
“Growth?” I reacted. What do you mean?
“That change I was talking about earlier. When I asked you about the possibility that everything was changing at a constant rate, I was not sure what specific example I could that you, as a human being, could comprehend. Now I have it. The size of the atoms and of the space between them. Their growth.”
If I were growing together with all the matter in the universe, I was feeling growing pains. His efforts to stretch my mind were having an effect. The alien then repeated his question, becoming more specific:
“What if every piece of matter, and space too, were changing at a continuous but constant rate”?
“Growing? How fast?” I asked.
“That is really not important, but it is good that you asked. It shows you are able to expand your mind in different directions. Let us say for simplicity sake that all matter is doubling in size every second.”
Now THIS was different. The whole idea was like living in Edmond Abbot’s Flatland, where a new dimension of thinking is added to the system. Here was a Romance of a new dimension, one of many, perhaps. Who supervises the laws of physics? Is supervision necessary? Or, are the Deist philosophers right in asserting that things have been set in motion and don’t need tweaking? If the theists are right, and we need God to guide us, how does that Rex of the universe appoint a board of regents to regulate the rules? How are the forces of nature enforced when mass is accelerated? Who reaps of the work done over the distance? How is that work energized and when is it converted to light or to dark matter? Is light matter the opposite of dark matter? And how much time did it take for the energy of the big bang to empower the universe?
“But wouldn’t we see that increase in size?” I asked.
“No, because EVERYTHING is increasing, and in our example everything is doubling in size. Like the people in your constitutions, all constituent atoms were created equal.”
I thought for a moment, and tried to imagine the scenario. “But if the volume is increasing,” I asked, “Won’t the atoms eventually hit each other?
“I like where you are going with this, human. You are resisting the theory in the true spirit of Epicureanism. The philosopher Lucretius would have been proud.”
I had no idea what he was talking about. Before I could get a word in edgewise or otherwise, he continued:
“Let us say that the space in between the subatomic particles is also increasing.”
I was still endeavoring to think outside the box, but the familiarity of my existence was holding me back. I may have been a victim of too much copy-and-paste. I realized I had to force myself to be original and despite the hunger and frequent thoughts about the pizza, I was making an earnest attempt to adapt. “I still don’t understand how we wouldn’t be able to perceive it,” I said.
“It is similar to those occasions in which you are in a car traveling at a certain speed which is the same speed as the car next to you,” he clarified. “If both cars are going the same velocity and in the same direction, the passengers look to each other like they are standing still. The same idea goes in this example. No one perceives the change in volume because everything is changing size at the same rate.”
I was trying to digest the idea. I would much rather be digesting pizza.
“Over time, in this example, the absolute size changes, but not the relative size between objects. Although we would be twice as big as we were a moment ago, everything else is twice as big, too. Down to the atomic level, including neutrinos and those elementary particles your physicists identified as quarks and leptons - those elementary fermion particles of matter with full spins and exclusive rights to a unique quantum number, and down to the bosons – those half-spin particles that hold matter together.”
“I guess that would include everything,” I said, still trying to get the picture, which right now seemed to be the size of the observable universe.
“But everything does mean everything,” he continued. “All the matter, all the antimatter, all light matter and dark matter, all the energy and of course all nooks and crannies in between and all the spaces around. In the model which I am presenting, all the items of creation are increasing in size.”
“Are there any exceptions?”
“No. Everything. In this example all space, matter, and energy would have a signature resonance, which in this case we have defined as ‘size’ increase.”
“And this would be a character of our surroundings, right?”
“Very good, human. I see your universe is already expanding.” The alien then thought for a moment as if he were creating a story as he were going along, and was thinking what to say next. “It would characterize all our surroundings and beyond. It would be universal, a characteristic property not only of every element under the sun, but every piece of matter in the universe.”
I was trying to get a grasp on this model. I understood it but was trying to live with it – that was the hardest part.
“So…,” the alien continued, cautiously, not wanting to move too fast with this theoretical example, “in this universe where all particles and the spaces between are changing in size, we could generalize this change and call it…’flux’.”
I had heard the word “flux” before, and tried to use it as a generalized synonym for “size”. It was hard because I was trying to do too many things at once with different parts of my brain. The size issue was using one side of my brain and the perception of the total model was preoccupying the other side.
“Would this flux ever change?” I asked, intrigued as if listening to a bedtime story.
“For simplicity sake, let’s assume this size change is constant. Everything is doubling in size each second. This includes all the substances that you once called the elements: Those which comprise the organic material for life on earth, the oxygen and nitrogen in the air, the material in the burning stars you see in your telescopes, and the water that carries nutrients to all living things.”
“On Zatox,” he doubled back trying to clarify, “we have a word for this theoretical idea. It could best be translated to your verb ‘to matter’. We say that all things in the universe are mattering, but in your use of grammar, you could say that all things matter. In this specific case, that refers to size.”
This was interesting. I guess I did matter, even though I was unemployed. I had to think this over, as it was new to me. Maybe it was all part of my understanding which was starting grow and matter, getting fatter and fatter. Perhaps I should take off a few pounds and matter a bit less.
I wanted to comprehend the theory he was proposing, so I asked: “If size change is our specific type of flux example, how can things just continue to grow in size? Isn’t there a limit? Won’t we hit the walls or the ceiling?” I asked, still trapped in the bubble of my own way of thinking.
“There you go ahead, human: You are forgetting the characteristic of infinity. Remember that the potential for growth is unlimited and infinite. Essentially we could keep growing over time.”
The alien, as a mad-hatter of matter, appeared to be less concerned with the model he presented than my own ability to grasp it. This was apparent in his observation: “I suppose it is hard for you to grasp because you are used to thinking in terms of relative growth. Your scientists have prejudiced your way of thinking and have effectively but perhaps inadvertently blocked your path to creative thinking.”
“Well, they are the ones that are in the know. After all, they are the scientists; the expert achievers. And they have high IQs and are very smart,” I said in their defense, still reeling from the cognitive dissonance I had about the intellectuals of our day.
“This is all true. The only problem you have is breaking the bonds of chained thinking. It is all about the copy and paste tendency you humans have when one of you comes up with a brilliant idea beaming with originality.
The alien seemed to notice my mind travel and after it landed back on Earth in a free-fall from grace to disgrace. Again I wondered if he could read my mind contemplating our mounting homework assignment whose due date seems fast approaching. He then continued his cosmo-political, somewhat theological discourse: “For example,” he continued, “your scientists like to examine theories about what happened before the big bang that they say started it all.”
It was interesting that the alien picked this example. I always thought that what happened before the Big Bang was intriguing, but our knowledge of it - assuming we could conceive of what actually happened – would not help us survive and advance forward and improve the human condition. For all intents and purposes there was nothing before the Big Bang, and investigating it doesn’t help us any more than heaven. For no passages appear before the opening passage of “Birai-sheet Bara,” corresponding with “In the Beginning.” The Bible Begins with a Book Beginning, a Big Bang of sorts.
And then there was light, and the story is still continuing…
“Your scientists” he continued “are in group-think agreement when they say that all the matter just before the big bang was concentrated into the size of a pin-head. We on Zatox feel that the problem with this pin-head thinking is in understanding the true nature of that attribute called size. Surely this matters very much to you humans.”
I couldn’t help but smile at his choice of words, and wasn’t going to ask him to stop calling me “Shirley”. Instead, I responded like Baron Munchhausen on the Jack Pearl radio show comedy of that name: “Vas you dere, Charley?”
Unamused by my giddy attitude, the alien continued with vexing solemnity:
“Today’s items cannot be compared with yesterday’s,” he continued. “That is why you can not travel in time. Nobody can. We cannot do an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison because between the first time you “apples”, and the second time, the size of their atoms has fluxed to a new size. In the meantime the apples may have twice the size they had by the time you finished saying “to.” In a sense, the previous items are fluxed out of existence before you can even finish a sentence.”
Then he looked at me for a moment appearing reconciliatory, realizing that these ideas were revolutionary and did not flow like main-stream science. If he were human he may have asked me something sarcastic like ‘how do you like them apples?’ But this was an atypical unearthly alien, and so he asked me somewhat apologetically, “How is that for an apologue? I apologize if it was too radical for you.”
No time travel? No going back to the future? No flux capacitors simply because the condition of the matter in our universe was in constant flux and beyond our capacity to manipulate it? This was almost as big a disappointment as the fact that year 2015 was fast approaching and it looked like no hover-boards even were close to being invented. More importantly, why did I just now say that “that year was approaching and it looked like”, when it hadn’t happened yet? I wish I could go back a few seconds and find out, but apparently I am locked out somewhere along the infinite corridors of time.
What a beaming eye-opener! And what a conclusion to be led to! I always thought it would someday be possible to go back in time as far back as to the Big Bang itself. It was only a matter of time until we had the matter all figured out. But to dismiss time travel as a total impossibility was an affront to our own science fiction culture we have been developing, going back a hundred years!
No, I didn’t like them apples; today they wouldn’t keep away any doctor – not of thinkology and not of Physics. It’s a good thing Newton’s head was growing at the same size as that infamous epiphany-bearing apple that fell on his head. Otherwise he would have been crushed.
Putting the kybosh on time travel would be a serious blow to the human imagination. Look at all the folklore that would have to be discarded. No way-back machine built by Mr. Peabody, no idiocratic time masheens, no langoliers threatening to shred us up in airports if we were late for our flight, no paradoxes, no sequels to look forward to – or backwards either.
One could argue, however, that if time travel were truly possible, somebody would have done it by now – or perhaps more appropriately, somebody will have done it in the future. Then the past would be changing all the time, and I don’t remember it ever doing that.
Time travel presented many philosophical challenges. Especially when combined with reincarnation. If a spirit finished an assignment in one body and departed from it, who is to say that the next assignment comes right after that departure, like the soul of the Deli Lama? Maybe the next body assignment is in the past or in the future. But that creates a problem. If the reassignment erases our memory, which it would seem to do, then fate MUST take over, and consequently we have absolutely no free will, a gift too precious to concede. So, either we have no free will at all as destiny rules all of us and our decisions, or one of the two things can’t exist: Time travel and reincarnation. Out of sentimental reasons and my belief in the eternal soul, I decided to give up on time travel. It’s a thing of the past. One of our past-times – gone.
“All right,” I said, in capitulation, at least for the moment. “Let’s say we have such a universe where some molecular flux locks us in and prevents us from traveling in time. Now what?”
“It is not really a lock-in, but your summation will do,” he reacted. “All I am saying human, is that your scientists have focused attention on trying to explain the nature of gravity as being a consequence of the bending of space, as if that is supposed to explain it. But it does not explain why matter bends space and what is really going on.”
I never thought about matter in that manner.
“It is not really about the example I have presented to you or about any flux models in the universe. My example was submitted for your perusal simply to illustrate the creative potential you humans have, if you do not get caught up in the political group-think that eats away at the potential harvest in your fields of science which have become too political just like your elected officials. Instead, these fields should be nurtured and cultivated with fertilizers of encouragement.”
His choice of words made me laugh again on the inside. I thought about fertilizers of nourishment and cultivation. When our electioneering politicians attack their political opponents and spin their thoughts on the public, they seemed to have sufficient amounts of fertilizers to provoke the emotion of their followers in their lynch-mobs. Put it on the ground…spread it all around…it will make your flowers grow.
He continued, relentlessly: “The point I am driving at is that humans need to be creative and original and try to envision physical models in novel ways.”
I got the point, but was busy trying to connect the dots to get a one dimensional ray of hope which I could combine with other beams to form a two-dimensional Cartesian card whose credit, faith, and trust, could be placed with others like it to become a three dimensional faithful book of records. But I was too hungry and tired and couldn’t even make it to first base, and thus wouldn’t be able to round the bases and return home if I had never left. On one hand no errors, but on the other hand, no hits or runs, either. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Nothing, on an empty stomach.
“Instead,” he continued somewhat repetitively, “your popular scientists seem to talk the same talk, walk the same walk, preoccupied with what their colleagues might think, stuck in a groupthink mode, never leaving the convenient box of conventional thinking.”
In defense of humanity, I protested his criticism: “But you have to admit, we have been able to use our abilities to get to where we are now. We have had good people to show us the way. Like Edison, Bell, Morse, and Leuwenhoek. And look at all the good money generated,” I said in our defense. I guess I now felt that it was as good a time as any for all good men to come to the aid of their money.
“Indeed,” he said. “These were the people that used non-conventional thinking to consider inventions given birth to by necessity. The genius was generated by conventional need, and the solutions were resolved by non-conventional design.”
I tried to think of something profound to say, but both my time and my temper were growing a bit short as if placed in some temporal flux. I felt I was on the other side of the pizza “mehitza”, starving both for food and ideas. True, man does not live by bread alone, but food should come first. As time wore on, I felt I needed food fast, even if was fast food. This was not supposed to be a fast. I needed to insert an ‘e’ before the ‘a’ and ‘t’.
In my depleted state, all I could think of saying was: “We have used our eyes, ears, and hands, to observe, listen, and engineer new triumphs. Look at what we have accomplished.”
“Of course,” he rebutted, ever focused on connecting his points of view into a linear equation. He seemed to have an answer for everything. “But you have to continue this success, and keep on growing. You cannot stop now. You have come too long a way to give up now.” He sounded like a football coach at halftime of the big game.
“Stop idolizing yourselves. Eyes you have, but cannot see; ears you have but do not listen; disposable thumbs you have, but do not fortify; two nostril you have but you do not aspire; two hands you have, but do not employ the potential strength of the people to whom they are connected in order to work together with dexterity and build for the future. Whatever other dynamic duo parts you may be missing, you need to grow a pair.”
I may have been delirious, but this guy was hilarious. A real lollapalooza. Even in my current giddy state-of-mind I realized he was no dummy, no golem. Not just another talking-head among the walking-dead. His spirit was as hot as plasma and his remarks flowed like coronas at a sports bar. His starlight-star bright approach was truly enlightening. Such an attitude would make him a rising star on a stairway to heaven, if it weren’t for his liberal ways. He was a real hot dog – and, he was on a roll. In my mind I was rolling on the floor laughing. His quips were priceless, better than those of Leno or Letterman or Fallon or Dangerfield or Youngman. Yes, that Henny Youngman.
“Here is what usually happens:” he continued, unaware of the comedy material he was issuing like it was a bodily function, which is what made it even harder not to laugh. I guess I may have been taking his light beams of knowledge too lightly. “First your innovative scientists contrive a model, and then they try to market it. If they are successful it becomes popular and the other scientists follow it because it becomes popular.”
I suppose scientific method and theory could be considered politically correct, and could have the effect of preventing new sapling ideas from taking root in the forest soil already saturated with mature and conventionally accepted trees. Conventional ideas are like black holes that suck in the light beams of innovation.
“But then, there is always someone who tries to find new holes in the established theory. Sometimes they find inconsistencies. The conventional scientist will, in order to comply with the established model attempt to define newfangled explanations such as string theory or dark matter, or other exotic ideas, rather than admit they have been going down the wrong path, barking up the wrong tree.”
“How can you say that?” I said, again defending our scientists in the know. “Your changing size theory, or flux change theory is just hearsay. It isn’t so much a matter of fact, rather than a matter of opinion.”
“That is true - undeniably true,” he exclaimed. “In is interesting that you bring up the notions of fact and opinion. You remind me of Parmenides of Elea who described for his fellow humans two views of reality: Fact and opinion. A fact is something done; a fait-accompli. An opinion is thought based, and in this way the flux change is just an idea; a new direction; some of you humans would call it a ‘make-over’. It is not the flux idea itself that is necessarily “right”, but rather a bold direction, a new dimension, a novel path, a fresh endeavor of newly charged particles of the mind to form a different basis on which to explain the expanding universe. Your conventional scientists understand that so much time and effort has been spent understanding our universe in this way, that any change would mean that we admit we were wasting our time. No one wants to start over at the drawing board.”
It was time for me to investigate his theory: “I am still having trouble comprehending the size-change issue. Does the growth ever end? Does the flux stop here? Or anywhere?”
Then he growled back a surprise answer: “You humans! When are you going to learn that size doesn’t matter! Not to you, anyway,” he bellowed, reminding me of that little alien dog from Men in Black. “Size matters only when trying to figure out why all matter has a property such as gravity. It certainly should matter to you when you are trying to do some heavy lifting. “
He paused to size me up, checking to see if I could keep pace with his thinking. Apparently I could, as he continued elaborating and developing his universal model: “First of all, remember that I used the notion of size as an example of a type of flux, or ongoing change. I didn’t mean to say that the size of all the particles in the universe were actually doubling in size, but rather used that change as an example easy to understand. It could be more complicated than size change, and probably is. Some have called it entropy, order, chaos, and other types of flux – not just size.”
You don’t have to be a seismologist to know that size matters, whether at epicenter or along tectonic faults. But perhaps size was right but the model was backwards. Maybe all the particles weren’t growing in size, but rather shrinking. Maybe we think we’re getting smarter, but some great Shrink is sizing us up for other testing purposes.
“Remember,” he continued as if summarizing, “if size is undergoing constant change, there need be no limit. It is just like multiplying a large number, say a googol-plex, by 0 you must invariably get 0.”
Now he was speaking my language. “You mean Google invented a very large number?” I knew they were a search engine and were interested in branching out further, but this number thing was simply too much.
“There you go again, human,” he said, in a voice of disappointment I had become familiar with by this time. “You are employing a popular group-think intuition just like everybody else around here. I was not referring to your search engine, but rather to a number designated – but not invented – by one of your mathematicians named Kasner to denote a very large but finite number. You might want to googol it – I mean Google it.”
I made a note to do that. He then continued:
“It does not matter whether you are talking about a large number or a small number, large and small doesn’t matter except when it relates to time-dependent size.”
He saw this was getting complicated and had the unstrained mercy on my mortal soul and my self-contained brain of limited understanding. He seasoned his words with well-intended simplicity.
“What I mean is this: In the beginning, all the matter may have been packed into a kernel the size of a pin-head or the size of a black hole. Something of a highly dense singularity of closely packed atoms. In either case, the actual size in today’s relative terms would have to be defined based on how long ago was the big bang.”
I guess that even pinheads would know that when it comes to sizes and numbers, a googol-plex might as well be equivalent to 1. If you multiply 1 by itself any number of times, say even a googol-plex number of times, the product will always be 1. And if you multiply a googol-plex by zero you will always have the result equaling zero.
“This really is a new way of looking at zero and one. I guess it depends on the angle you are looking at the situation.”
“Well put, human. If you take a look at a disk or coin or some other short-cylinder object head on, it has the shape of 0. But when it is slowly turned in such a way that it is viewed from the side, it becomes the number 1. Again, it may be turned until it is viewed head on where it becomes 0 again, very much like the moon phases. This is the very nature of a sine curve that goes from 0 to 1 to 0 to -1”
This reminded me of the Yale to fail to jail to bail example. Another type of quantum singularity.
The question is, before you depart from zero value broken, you have to break an infinity step and get a very large amount of zeros to the left of a one and to the right of a zero to get a non-zero real number. But what is that first number? When do we cross the infinity step?
I had no idea what he was talking about now, but I did understand the difference between 0 and 1, and that their relationship is the same as that of 0 and 1,000 or 0 and any number (as long as it isn’t 0).
The philosopher Zeno would say that a non-zero is never reached, in much the same way that one couldn’t ever cover half of any distance. This is a paradox of motion applied to the action of going from 0 to a non-zero number, no matter how miniscule, and no matter how fast you trying to get to that number.
“I hope I can remember all of this when I wake up.” I knew this may not be a dream, but he did say I would remember it only as such after he used the SIN contraption. I had never heard of Zeno before and was not xenophobic about aliens crossing over from the zero to the non-zero, or from actually being able to cross a particular finite distance. I did want to remember the name Zeno and look it up when I awoke from my discussions with the alien, which showed I was open to what interstellar freak-like beings said.
At that thought, the alien interjected: “You, human, could be the fleetest of humans, but I will tell you in the spirit of what the tortoise said to Achilles, a bit inverted: "Whatever Logic is good enough for me to tell you is worth writing down. So enter it in your notebook, please.”
He then left the room and I took some time to write down what he had said on a colossal piece of paper. I wanted to remember everything, and hoped that this paper would still be around with all my notes when I woke up.
I didn’t know what to write; it was just too much and seemed an infinite task for which my intelligence was bounded. The alien could have repeated it an infinite number of times, but I probably wouldn’t be more enlightened. So, I summed it up on a colossal piece of paper, writing: “People are zero, while God is One.”
This is a subject of controversy as hot and reactive as the solar core. But even if you believe He is Three or characterized by another finite number, or submit to another intermediary step-up, going from zero to one is an infinity step that, like Moses looking over the River Jordan towards the earth-rise (as the alien would prefer to say) in the west over the Promised-Land, we human beings are merely a function with an asymptote, able to perceive the infinite and get closer to it but are not allowed to cross over the non-zero barrier to get to the other side.
I guess these nuances and definitions whether God is One or Three are differences of opinion that exist in all male-organized religions. The domination of that gender and its necessary participation in the natural organization of reproduction requires organic penetration. Since Adam & Eve, it seems that all the organic original sins of gratification to which men and women have committed themselves the question of size may indeed matter. This is so even if all matter is changing its size in a universal flux. I guess that would include not only the masses that mattered on Earth, but also on our neighbors Venus and Mars, the stomping grounds of each sex.
This is evidenced by all the men who have traditionally stomped the ground when they can’t find a woman with whom to procreate. It is what probably has motivated dance more than any anthropological factor, the stomping craze being a story that could literally cover volumes and reach the dense masses, whether through some opium of the people or mass hypnosis or even mass hysteria.
It may have been something similar to this density of volume that mattered to Thoreau when he referred to the mass of men who lead lives of quiet desperation. As I see the matter at hand, it seems to be the sons of men who have by tradition been taught to build; to erect beams, foundations, stories, and engineer the tall buildings while keeping bridges in suspense; but only while the erection stage is at its most potent.
On the women’s side of the mehitza on Venus, there is probably a lot of spiritual chatter going on about what to do with the weaker sex, the one with the Martian urge to wage war and spill blood on the landscape. Someday the ladies will figure out they can sip martinis and live a wonderful life without men. The barbaric brutality of men who have over the centuries constantly beaten down and bullied women may provide the urgent necessity to mother inventions that would enable the species to survive in harmony. Women’s sana in corpore sano.
Could there be a new marriage set up in heaven? Will women use technology to eventually replace men while enabling the continuation of the species? Look how far women have come in the last 100 years in developed countries, and then consider technology has advanced in that time. Put these too together and you have incredible possibilities no human female would ever dreamed of. Guided ballistic missiles would be replaced by vibrators, and swords would be beaten into automated plowshares to replenish the earth’s food supply. Nascent nations would not lift up swords against their sister nations for there would be no men of war anymore.
Technology has already been used to invent artificial body parts. Stem cell research and some levels of cloning have been experimented, already to some success. At some point the women may find it necessary to
devilishly devise and design a human spermatozoa with all the acrosomes, cell membranes, fibres and mitochondria so that it acts like a real sperm just like a prosthetic leg enables mobility. Technology appears to be coming to the rescue to the women. No reason for the ladies to be luddites. Lewd behavior was mostly man’s.
The challenge would be how to place the genetic material of DNA into the sperm itself, much in the same way cloning is being experimented on nowadays. Special care would have to be taken to ensure that the sex chromosome of the artificial sperm would only be an X chromosome to ensure that no penetration of future missile launchers would be generated in the process. We’re probably not ready for such a technology but at the rate things have been going in the past century or two, it seems logical to assume that in time, perhaps a method to control the haploid cells could be placed in the artificial sperm before it is sent on its way to fertilize the egg so that after this stage, nature would simply takes its course as it did before.
Since homo sapiens and its parts first stood erect, womankind has had the urgent necessity to develop a solution to the erectile dysfunction of society. Some women prefer cute men, others prefer brute ones. Some prefer man-dates, other prefer the male mandate. But in any, many women around the world have been thinking clearly for the first time this past century. Their fertile imagination has been stimulated and impregnated with a necessity for a biological breakthrough. The ladies would become not mothers of all wars, as some barbaric warmonger dictator men have espoused, but rather matriarchal angels of peace.
I don’t know what technology would be used to do execute this sex change, but half the population would at times see the advancement as the greatest thing since the mute button. The other half of the copulation would be scared out of their wits at the thought of castrating the humanity gritty to become the exclusively woman-nitty-gritty.
At this time such a projection of technical injection is still science fiction. The thermocouple is still generating heat. But such a revolting revolution seems not far-fetched if you take a good look at how things have evolved in the past century. When one considers the sex-and-tech changes that have taken place in the recent past, it seems we are like a spermatozoa headed towards capitulation in the direction of an impending sexual evolution.
True, from the instant of fertilization at the point of inception of the human zygote, the familiar nine-month human gestation would probably remain the same. The only thing to change would be the events leading up to that familiar act of the ovum’s fertilization. From that time the symbol for iron, “FE” will forever go in front of the word “male” for all of the new exclusive womanity.
In this way we can see how women’s liberation has been leading to a new laboration of progeny. Eventually all labor-pains would begin in the lab. No more thermo-coupling or thermo-copulating from missionary sex. Babies would then be generated with the fertile imagination of a new generation of nascent scientists that rely on their superior wo-mentality. The revolutionary laboratory story of adaptations to nature would start with this new technology. The sex-techs’ change of humanity would reach a climax in limiting humanity to females only, then continue in vitro veritas, and reach satisfactory climax with wine, women, and song. But no men. No more stag-mating, and no more stag-nating either. No more Y-me questions. The new XX ex-sex nation wouldn’t have to be in stag-nation mode anymore.
Amen to that, many women would say; an omen of sorts. No more organ donations would be necessary from men to replenish the doers of the do-nations; no more flagella of the penis genus to whip the women as they did so many times in the past; no more Bolsheviks or Mensheviks – only womenseviks; no more forced contributions; no more spilling of seed or of blood on the battlefield; no more floggings For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge; no more falsehood derision; no more nightmares; no more horrific repercussions from warlike drumbeating or wife-beating, no need for hunger… a sisterhood of man; no more cross poli-nations; no more romantic organ-music; every night would be ladies’ night. Music would still have the charm to soothe the average breast and the number of savage beasts would now be less than 666. In fact the number of domineering primitive primate-like savages would be zero, as the domain of animal husbandry would come to an end.
Could the male gender eventually become obsolete? Would Perry Mason be replaced by Mary Payson? Would they earn the same salaries? Is the sexual revolutionary female takeover-makeover inevitable? Is the male gender destined to be castrated from the landscape? Will the dinosaur daddies give way to the mammal mommies in an extinction that would enable the meek to inherit the earth? Would the dinosaur’s descendants – the birds – provide a constant reminder to the women not to make the same mistake the extinct dodo daddies once did? Could the ladies develop a science of genetic splicing of their x chromosomes in order to generate new daughters of an evolution? Would there be any more need for male seed? Or would the need for male intervention be replaced by female inventions enabling exclusively Venusian interventions?
The very idea that some sexual disasteroid could trigger such a revolutionary stage should be sending chills up the spines of every able-bodied male of today. Every daughter of Elysium would enjoy life after men, and all Eves everywhere would excel in that eventual evolutionary event. Certainly they would have motive. Centuries of rape, wife-beating, male domination, religious male fanatics, tribal violence, devastation, chauvinism, aggression – all this would be gone. Once upon a time, a man’s home was his castle and a woman’s place was in the home. Now queen will run the castle. Her best friend would then be a dog while girl’s best friend would continue to be a diamond, but then in a new mystic crystal revelation. The woman-beings would for the first time since Eden be getting even created equal with two X chromosomes. No more asking why; no more “Madam I’m Adam” palindromes; no more mankind; no more adamant Adams to rule over women; just kind sisters in a Garden of Even with no more communist manifestos or any subsequent maneuvering or manipulation. On that enchanted evening the penitent male gender would be at the twilight stage to be survived by the meeker sex, ready to inherit the Mother-Earth and restore its natural beauty of creation. They would turn the world around the other way, with a different spin from the one than the one Earth and the other planets were familiar. Such wisdom would be the end of the woes of womanhood and the start of the wise women’s sisterhood.
The Bible says that Adam and Eve were the only people to ever be “created”. Every human being after that was conceived and generated in natural acts of organic recreation that regenerated the species. Since then, new generations of people have resulted from such a cross-product of reproductive regeneration.
The song from Casablanca says that woman needs man, and man must have his mate. Maybe that’s why a person whose partner departs or just parts ways is suddenly at odds. That is, until that lone male or female meets another partner and gets “even” with fate who took away the mate. As time goes by, space threatens to separate the pair.
Perhaps there is a bright side to this gender degeneration: It would solve the pronoun problem our species has been having when we say: A person should always be careful of “his” privacy. No more clumsy replacements such as “his or her” or “their”. All persons will become “she” or “her”. No more grammatical inconsistencies. A lengthy chapter in the annals of humanity closed; another cold case of historic alien-inspired proportions put to rest, to be filed under “E” for “ex-sex-types” or “X” for “X-chromosome” with a copies submitted for your perusal and intellectual arousal in both the X-Files and the Twilight Zone.
After the extinction of the daddy-dodo, after the last stud has become a dud and the last omega-male has cocked his last doodle-doo, a victory dance with vivacious daughter laughter would follow the eventual climax. No more vive la difference. From sea to shining sea, wo-manifest destiny would be complete. The women’s scorn will have become as worse than any fury in Hell’s ferociously ferric underground. Without men, life will have become a true paradise found.
They used to say deeds are masculine, words are feminine. But without the “Y” there would be no more word, no more “mila”. No more brith, but every birth, every “laida” would generate only a “lady” baby. What a coincidence that with all the talk about the perfection of the number ten, the Roman number 10 was symbolized by “X”! What a coincidence that the Ten Commandments were mentioned in Exodus chapter 20, that is, the Roman numeral “XX”! Was this an accident of chromosomal prophetic justice?
The successful sex will have this all figured out. All references to money types, such as political p-money and value v-money will begin to make sense when observed in an organic way. The male organ can be seen as p-money while the female one which generates real human value by housing zygote, embryo, and fetus can be likened to v-money. The physicists would compare the cross reproductive product of p and v to pressure and volume in the PV=nRT ideal gas law from classical thermodynamics. It seems ironic that the barrier between p and v is often money itself.
If the wisdom of women comes to realize this, and such a revolution eventually evolves and comes to pass, all sex chromosomes would be “X”’s and no “Y”’s. Those that are burdened with pregnancy will still be carrying the cross of the X chromosomes, but they would forever be combined with other “X” contributions. The removal of the “Y”’s would put an end to the whys of the human woes. No more woes for the women. No more “Why me?”
Woe was woman, until the transformation. Man’s helpmate match was probably called “Frailty”, but he changed her name to woman after having heard many times “Whoa, man! Whoa, man!” She wanted to take it easy and was probably trying to get him to slow down. The “whoa, man” was probably all he heard in that delightful act, and he associated his manhood with that sound. The declaration of “Frailty, thy name is woman” was probably considered valid by the sons of men. Man probably reserved the exclusive rights to his mate’s name in exchange for his rib.
Between the muck ‘n mire, between the “f” in fire and the remaining ire of fury Hell doesn’t even hath, I can already envision an experienced Mother Nature angrily going into Venus-type heat, having been fooled too many times by earthlings. It’s not nice, but I can envision a scene where the doyenne matriarch would espouse her vivaciously virago views on the second planet from the sun lecturing her virgin daughters on the eve of their first consummation, exchanging opinions with them in a session of open intellectual preparation for an intercourse of ideas:
“It’s not about the size of the organ, but rather about the quality of the soul that is within each of you always, and about the newly generated person that may develop in your womb within you. You have the exclusively undeniable right to carry or abort that fruit of a growing person to its nine month fruition. No man has a right to dictate that to you. What matters is not the sexual relationship relevant to a reproductive organ or to a male-organized religion, but to the immortal soul itself, specifically, the soul’s size within you.”
Translated into Hebrew this is the “Gödel Asher Bach”, an eternal golden bride which sounds strikingly close to Hofstadter’s prized work where science, art, and music are intertwined, and which I’m sure the tortoise and Achilles would have read and enjoyed.
Mother Nature’s festive womanifesto where nothing violently virile is manifest, engenders this organic question: Does size really matter? Does its change really matter? It certainly did in presidential elections at a time when loose change was hard to find. Between the tricycle wheels of election cycles, erection cycles, and ejection cycles, size does seem to matter. But do the woes of our ways matter? Or is it our human sighs that matter? And if size were to really matter, why are nickels larger than dimes but only worth half their value? And why do they say that good things come in small packages? This is not just a corny expression that was coined here for the occasion, but one that’s been nagging me for years since my swift childhood years pedaling on my tricycle.
There are lots of perplexing questions that matter little, like hair. It starts out dark in youth, and then turns grey with maturity, experience, and games of neural plasticity. Who’s to say what matters more in this steady state of economic chaos? The dark matter between the stars or the grey matter between the ears.
Perhaps the woman’s place is in the home-stretch of human development, though their purpose is mentioned in various places in the Old/New Testament where Princeton loyalists would quote a scrambled passage from their logo “Women test taut men.” The jumbled message makes sense, for only through wise women can men taught and not just taut. Or, to separate the “u” you may use and re-scramble in Princeton book talk, “Vet tes en nov tam tum”. I’m still not sure what that ramble-jamble means. Perhaps it translates to “Test and invest in this brave new world of tim-tum college education.” So much for Huxley College and Professor Wagstaff.
If it is human destiny in this failing fatal state of men and the fateful fate of the femme fatal to become the womanity-gritty, hopefully the meeker sex will have learned something from then men: How not to destroy nations but to sustain them; how to respect your fellow female; to think wo-mentally rather than mentally; how to execute the law and not to sexecute it; how not to let male-organized governments decline the way they did in Babylon, Egypt and Rome and how to prevent the USA from following the same pattern.
Although the alien momentarily left me alone and went into the next room to seek out intelligence through cyberspace help in the next room, I took solace in the notion that I am not alone on my own home planet.
g g g g g g