Links . . . . . . . . Archives . . . . . . . .


Should Congress have intervened in -mumble mumble-?
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Friday, July 21, 2006

The story I posted yesterday was apparently too big to fit on this page, so here's part two. I'll put up the last part tomorow. Seems like someone who's been blogging as long as I have should know a better way (and should also have gotten past the stage of using other people's comments as tech support). Incidentally, I didn't re-read it yesterday. My main excuse for how it's written is that I was trying to copy the style of it's inspiration, Phaedrus.

(Here's Part One)


"Thoth, this could be the most dangerous innovation yet! In your
eagerness to win the love of your pets you seem to have stumbled upon a
loophole in the very limitations that make them our servants. Most likely
this system of yours will simply interfere with the natural functioning of
their minds, reducing their faculties and rendering them virtually useless.
But on the off chance that your plan were to work perfectly, the humans
would be started on a path toward equality with us. If they could still not
challenge our authority, they might be able to imagine doing so, which is
bad enough for creatures who's worship we are accustomed to!"

"Really, Ammon, such hyperbole is quite uncharacteristic!" The
feathers at the scruff of Thoth's neck stood on end, "At worst, my plan
would be no more harmful than fire, which has on the whole proved to be
beneficial after all."

"Only after considerable effort on our part to foster a reverence
for fire among the nimbusless defecators, and incorporate it into their
rituals of worship. It took you, with considerable help, several centuries
to deal with the unintended consequences of the gift you bestowed in an
instant, in a flash of lightning."

"Fine then", Thoth thrust his curved beak upward, "You tell me what
could be so harmful about making our subjects more educable and fit for
more sedentary and meditative lives, and I'll get started on an antidote.
If I put my plan into effect, then in a few millennia we'll see if it's
really as bad as all that."

"To be really safe, your precautions should include a way of
eliminating the knowledge entirely if it should prove as harmful as I fear
it may." Ammon paused interminably for 1/68th of a second, celestial time
(eight decades, terrestrial time), and embarked upon the exposition of his
specific objections.

"This innovation would disrupt the normal operation of their

"As does every one of our interventions, usually to our benefit.
This will make our servants wiser and give them better memories, for it is
the cure of forgetfulness and of folly."

"To the contrary; this will create forgetfulness in the learners'
souls, because they will not use their memories. Instead, they will trust
to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. You have
found a specific not for memory but for reminiscence, and you give your
disciples only the pretense of wisdom. They will be hearers of many things
and will have learned nothing. They will appear to be omniscient and will
generally know nothing. They will be tiresome, having the pretense of
knowledge without the reality.

"What matters it whether they engrave the knowledge into the
gelatinous creases of their cerebellums or elsewhere, so long as they are
able to retrieve it? They will be able to recall all of our names, without
always forgetting them and making up new ones. New names which WE are then
obligated to learn to respond to, like dogs!

"Children will no longer be taught to memorize the great epics and
recite them on command. Chanting will lose its appeal. What devotees now
sing, and engrave upon their hearts, they will write down and be content to
read at their leisure a few times a year. Worship will become a thing that
can be done at their own convenience."

"We would no longer have to keep our commands short and simple."

"Even if we do, they will complicate our directives and obscure
their intent. Once our words are transcribed into a tangible form they will
become irresistably malleable. Generations of well intentioned scribes will
try to clarify the meanings of our pronouncements, thus, piece by piece,
their own thoughts will be substituted for ours."

"As their whole civilisation is advanced, so will be that which we
gain from their worship. Our temples will be that much more lavish, the
prayers offered to us that much more well thought out, the sacrifices that
much more plentiful and daintily prepared."

"They will keep records of our promises, and of the outcomes of all
of our dealings with them. Their worship will loose it's naivete, and
gradually cease. They will credit themselves for what they attain, and
these temples, prayers, and sacrifices of which you speak will be
accomplished for the glory of the humans rather than ours."

"Their worship will be of a more consistent nature; their
grandchildren will know as well as they what victuals each of us prefers,
and not frustrate us with substitutions."

"They will gain the pride to attempt more of such substitutions,
and (learning from the experiences of their ancestors) they will become
skeptical in general. People who are not directly and completely dependent
on our favor (and forgetful of the inconsistency of our graces) can hardly
be expected to slaughter their own children to satiate the appetites of
such vague rumors as us! I hope you like chicken, Thoth."

(Here's Part Three)

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?