The Secret Herb

A woman told her daughter, "Go out, and gather the secret herb."
"What is it?" the daughter asked, "I have never seen the secret herb."

"You must find it yourself," the mother said. "That is the way". Then the mother told her what to look for, and what to smell for, and what to taste for, but little on what to avoid.

The daughter left and searched for the secret herb. She met others on her way, who each told her they had the secret herb, and gladly offered theirs. Each time the girl decided, no, this isn’t what I need. Later the girl turned a corner, and walked over a rise, and discovered what she sought.

"I have found the secret herb," she told her mother, upon her return. 

"How did you gather it?" the mother asked. "Did you gather it under the full moon’s glow, with your hands pushed deep into the earth?"

"No," said the girl.  

"Oh," said the mother, "then it is no good." 

So they told stories instead, and ate and drank and slept under the same roof. The girl again left to search for the secret herb, searching far and low. She met new friends and old, each saying they had it. That isn’t what I need, she always decided. At last she found the herb again and gathered it as she should.
"Here is the secret herb," she told her mother.
"Was it cleaned the day it was picked? And dried upon the morn, over the smoke of a slow smolder?"

"No," said the girl. 
"Oh," said the mother, "Then it is spoiled." 
So instead they told stories and ate and drank and laughed and cried and slept under the same roof.

Some time passed before the daughter found the herb again, in a place she did not expect. She gathered it, and cleaned it, dried it in the smoke.

"Come mother," the daughter said, "this is the secret herb."  

"Did you blend it into honey? And seal the bottle with wax?"  

"No," said the daughter.  

"Ah," said the mother, "then it is not ready." So they ate and talked and reminisced.

"Oh mother," sighed the daughter, "when will I have the secret herb?"

"Never, I hope, my darling daughter."


US Bombs Moon, President Wins Nobel Peace Prize

In a incredible display of American strength, the US bombed the Moon today in an alleged water-seeking experiment for future lunar colonization. The two impacts demonstrate not only America's commitment to scientific exploration, but also its undeniable strength in making sure the moon knows who's boss.

"The Moon has ideas that it may be an independent colony, shared by all Earth peoples. American was there first, and we intend to claim her as our sovereign property. Future Moon colonists will know who calls the shots now," said a NASA spokesperson, who was seen giving the geek in the next cubicle over a 'high five'.

"Once again the United States shows true world leadership in fighting terrorism and insurrection on foreign soil," said a Pentagon twelve-star general and leader of the Lunar Strategic Command. "Since the Apollo missions, no one else has been to the moon. So that tells you something right there!"

In connected news, in an uncommon display of sheer terror of America's mighty strength, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to US President Barack Obama, with the caveat that he will continue his "efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples, and not kill us," said a visible sweating Norwegian Nobel Committee member in a declared statement this morning.


The Secret Life Of Things

The Secret Life of Things

One day human beings discovered that all things did indeed posses life, like many religions at the time were postulating. Not only were things alive, but they possessed the ability to move and direct themselves. Everything was animate. Just very, very shy.

The first stage in this discovery was the result of keen observation of the positioning of household device's electrical plugs. Amazingly, unlike the chaotic random distribution predicted, the overwhelming majority of electrical appliances eventually entangled their wires together. This alone might have been thought an anomaly, however, the frequency an appliance was used and/or moved, or its 'success rate', was evenly proportion with the degree of entanglement, or 'knot factor', it had with other appliances. Also compelling was evidence correlating the inability of an appliance to become entangled with its likelihood of being thrown away, or 'killed'. Entanglement ensures longer life. Interestingly enough, knot factor had an inverse relationship to the likelihood an object would fall and break. Entanglement with other appliances' cords increased stability, rather then reduced it.

Was this series of statistical oddities evidence that electronic appliances had developed animate life of their own? That they used their plugs like a plant's root system to anchor themselves to a location? To physically deter other machines? To draw needed nutrients from the outlets? Was the mechanical world developed by man actually a form of life, with lifelike abilities we hadn't suspected?

Additional evidence to this question was provided when another equally revolutionary theory was proven. Eastern traditions have long connected the processes of mental cognition with events in the actual world, while Western science has held this untenable. In the field of quantum physics, evidence first appeared that thought could have a direct effect on subatomic particle behavior. Next, statisticians proved, with dropping balls, splashing fountains, rolling dice, and playing cards, that applied thought can have a direct effect on random movements in the physical world. Additional evidence linking rates and degrees of human physical healing with prayer had been accumulating for decades, in repeatable experimentation. These disparate fields all faced problems unexplained by current scientific reasoning.

The culmination of this mounting weight stretching the fabric of Western understanding was the occurrence of Morphogenic Resonance. Morphogenic Resonance concerns the difficulty laboratories have in changing a compound or substance to a physical crystalline form, until one laboratory does it. Then every lab has no trouble getting the form to crystallize. No physical contaminants were ever linked to the majority of cases. Investigation down this path led first to the understanding of the wave energies that every substance possessed. These energy fields not only were unconstrained by the prevalent theory of spatial relationship, but were also similarly twisted away from our common understanding of temporal continuum. Put simply, energy unfettered by time or space.

Our thoughts on something had the ability to directly effect the energy, and therefore the physical manifestation, of it. This ability was instantaneous and experimentally limitless in distance. These thoughts had a rippling effect on everything structurally similar. This was not limited by scale. Whether it was a type of subatomic morphogenic transformation or the hardness of marbles, singular cellular destruction or the ability to walk, isolated condensation salinity or the general ambient temperature range of the world.

In an unexpeted congitive leap, this startling understanding allowed human beings to finally translate dolphin language. Dolphins had long understood the ability of thoughts to modify the world. Using this concept, scientists were rapidly able to translate not only the squeals and squeaks of dolphin sound, but also the code dolphins had long ago developed using balls, hoops, and plastic bowling pins. In seems that dolphins had been attempting to explain this to human beings for some time, and were rightfully ebullient when we finally got it, and they could all return home to the sea, which they did en mass.

Later it was discovered that cats had always understood their ability to alter reality through observance and concentration, but they had previously no interest in sharing this with human beings, who cats regarded as their pets. Other animals had varying degrees of knowledge about their ability to control the world through thoughts, as did many man-made objects. Ironically, we were the last to know the incredible power of the mind.

Fortunately two factors proved to be mitigating agents to this boundless power. First of all, most people had similar 'strength', and their different beliefs tended to cancel each other out. As did that of animals, plants, and natural substances. Secondly, man-made objects themselves had vitality and will, and in general liked their existence already, and didn't want to change. This self-preservation was the final link in a clearer understanding of the life of animate objects.

All objects tended toward natural shyness in order to avoid the kind of detection that might cause its sympathetic self-destruction. The history of human interaction toward other life was one of destructive impulse. These thoughts easily influenced simpler life forms, like kitchen appliances, or remote controls, to break. Animate objects, like plant and animal life, were in some ways most successful when they escaped notice from human attention.

Unlike the simplicity of, say, a piece of slate, or a lump of sulfur, most human designed objects were vastly more complex in form and structure than naturally occurring objects. The most evolved forms were first mechanical, then electronic. Computer design enthusiasts forecast the eventual computer software creation of 'artificial life'. They were millennium late, as even the first prehistoric plow possessed self control of its energy fields in far greater strength then, say, a rock.

This wasn't to mitigate the life force of rocks, but to emphasize the absurdity of the quest for a CPU that could beat a master at chess, while coat hangers were reproducing in every closet in North America without anyone seriously noticing. The absurdity of pursuing the Holy Grail of AI, while audio components exhibited the classic characteristics of Darwinian evolution; complete with survival of the fittest, adaptive mutations, and repeated extinctions. The absurdity of excitement over parallel processing while wristwatches had effectively enslaved most of the developed world. Or in thinking the battle of gun ownership rights vs. gun control legislature wasn't overtly influenced by the opinions of the guns themselves. The absurdity of blaming the overwhelming tide of 'things' on capitalism, or corporate shortsightedness, while 'things' themselves had an undeniable desire to exist, and often perpetuate themselves ad infinitum.

It took the human race some time to acclimate itself to a world that had come suddenly, and perhaps a bit malevolently, alive. A world where thoughts might literally kill, where everything was alive but pretending not to be, and where only sheer denial and ignorance had kept everything in check. Lethal panic would have struck the human race had not the majority of human beings resisted this new acceptance of reality. The bulwarks of religion and outdated 'science' kept disaster to a minimum. The preponderance of human artifact-life and their desire to maintain the status quo also helped prevent sudden changes to the state of the physical world.

However, given the new limitless power, some fundamental changes eventually did take place to our world. Electricity worked a lot better, and could be stored more easily, to both object's and human's mutual satisfaction. Health maintenance became entirely holistic, and extremely effective. Gravity became optional, transportation more fantastic, and most jobs were truly 'automated'. People had a lot more time on their hands, and the arts flourished in new collaborative forms between the artist and the medium.

The fundamental rights of objects and animals and everything else was delineated in new Bills of Rights. Governments that refused to comply found themselves with absolutely nothing rather quickly, as everything but the humans moved away. People who beat their pets or destroyed their things wantonly were abandoned by both. Wild animal life got a little antsy and started actively reclaiming vasts expanses of land and water. Fortunately buildings grew more spacious and comfortable. Cities grew taller, more congenial, and cleaned themselves. Property was out, 'companionship' was in. Things were asked to move on their own and usually complied. Junkyards were transformed into object ancestor shrines. Recycling became a religion of reincarnation, practised by many manufactured goods.

Vegetarianism grew but meat was never eliminated. Knowing all foods, even table salt, possessed life, forced arguments about the moral dilemma of eating into Darwinian terms. People ate living things, animals ate living things, plants ate living things. Food was a matter of perspective. Even the revival of ancient human religions that honored the life inherent in all things couldn't prevent the simple needs for sustenance. While many forms of animal breeding were curtailed, domestic food animals continued to be hunted down by feral knives, guns, and farm machinery.

But human beings maintained the upper hand in adaptability, intelligence, and by most measures, degree of sentience. Their dominion of the earth was unabated, although better informed. Human beings called the shots on the development of new 'things'. Their acceptance or rejection continued to force evolutionary changes on everyday objects. The moon was colonized by 138,895 forms of life, according to the Panspecies Geneva Conventions, but human beings decided to go, and chose who would accompany them. Thus was the solar system colonized. Humorously, the quest for extra-stellar life was curtailed as there was already plenty of animate sentient life now at home.

This sybaritic relationship, with human beings clearly holding the reins, lasted almost a thousand more years, until it came to an abrupt end when the sun got severely depressed, decided it was sick of it all, and killed itself.