“I am caught in a crack in time. Nothing before, nothing after. All past is in ruins and of little use in building a future. This generation must start from scratch, philosophically and theologically. There are tools that can be salvaged, to be sure. But tools are built upon the presumption that they are worth using, that life is worth the effort. One can tax his brains for only so long without a reason. He can attempt to shut his eyes and attempt to live out his life without vision or purpose. But the barrel of the gun is always so near and tempting. It is inevitable that unless a new purpose and vision of the world is found, the wheels will slowly grind to a halt. Notice how desperately we strive to keep the old myths alive. No matter if they have no substance, they have worked in the past… so patch them up, paint them with psychedelic colors, and let’s get on with the work. Even if the reason for working is gone. Even if the goals we are working for are lost. Even if we get richer and richer, yet become more and more miserable and unhappy.
“We are caught in a crack in time. This generation must start from scratch. We must act. We must build a future. And only one thing is certain. Whatever that future might be, we must build it together.”
The chimes of the arousal system sounded at 5:00 a.m. Omicron halted them after only three tones with a stab of his forefinger on the alarm button. He was up immediately and cleaned up quickly in the cluster bathroom. There were also central band bathrooms, male and female, with swimming pools, which all could use as they worked in creative groups. Omicron pulled his tunic over his head and pulled it down. His clothes, like the clothes of every I-type, were selected with the help of an A-type, although the clothing of his band was fairly simple, so collaboration was not time consuming. His father, brother, and “uncle” were the ones he relied upon most. However, the time was coming when he would have to select a tailor or choose a wife who had the necessary mental abilities to assist him in his sartorial pursuits. Clothes were simple in Golden Sun tribe,…men and women wore the same ancient-type robes and tunics,…coats were artificial skins of animals hanging about them. People could spend hours selecting clothes if they wished. There were subtle selections of fabric and trim that could distinguish them. The point was:… in this modern age, clothes were no longer important. It was the work, the magnificent work of the mind that colored and clothed everything and everyone. Everyone had his and her creative work that yielded happiness. Clothing was used mainly to cover the body. The type of clothing worn in a particular tribe was like a uniform that contributed to group cohesion. Most of the time there was no need for superficial satisfactions from sartorially besting another. However, on occasions, there were tribal parties and festivities whereat clothing could be a means for self-expression and creativity… and one might proudly wear an outfit put together using both sides of the brain…in colors and fabrics that let one strut like a peacock.
This was Saturday and Omicron knew that Aura was sailing with her family on the Bay. She’s probably collecting biological samples, he chuckled to himself. He found his mother singing to herself in absorbed preoccupation as she straightened the guest-reception area. The weekends were Steve and Sylvia’s special days. Being complementary brain types, they could hardly wait for the free days to put their heads together. Together they had the best times. Modern technology now had relieved families of the onerous tasks that they had during the previous century. Now clusters were cleaned continually by the cells within the membranes of the walls, carpets and furniture, which absorbed dust and other filth and transported it to other cells which digested and transformed the detritus into nutritious protein products for human consumption as well as useful chemicals. All food was designed and prepared automatically in one central preparation area and then distributed to the clusters or served in the central dining area in the evening. Dishes were washed, the clusters were heated and income tax returns completed automatically, coordinated by Cerebrum.
Cerebrum had started as the Internet, ninety or so years before. The Internet was a national then a worldwide system that connected personal computers into one powerful association that allowed some people to present ideas and stories and others to access and view them. During the first years, the Internet along with cell phones were used primarily for communication and association to combat the loneliness of the cities and their suburbs. The Internet could not become Cerebrum, a productive world brain, until there were changes on the ground, namely, the emergence of bands of people who lived together and created soft goods for distribution on the Internet.
The first bands were the revolutionary ones. It was truly difficult for them in a world committed to the past. Some people were able to work together at a distance with the help of the Internet. However, the major strides were made by people living together. The number of bands increased world-wide at a slow but persistent rate until the Change moved most of the populations of the developed countries into creative bands, tribes and nations. By that time Cerebrum connected more than personal computers. It became a world brain that ran mechanized Cities and transportation and automatically took care of many of the needs of the communities. In addition, Cerebrum provided the outlet for sales of the creative output of the bands. It also bound into one system the universities and all the bands conducting research for them.
For previous generations many tasks had been burdensome, yet they had offered challenges and problems to be solved and opportunities for Steve and Sylvia to devise ingenious and almost sublime solutions together. Now few problems existed on the home front. So they spent their free time in close communion as a couple. They hiked, worked on artistic projects together, swam, picnicked… never tiring of being with each other, each entranced by the enchantment held for the other. Today they were singing in the professional tribal chorus, which was rehearsing for the sound track of a movie with dancers and philosophically inspired costumes, sets, and plot. The weekends were reserved for non-work with family or friends; however, many group activities which were professional and market-oriented were encouraged if they fostered a communal tribal spirit and closeness. Afterwards, Steve and Sylvia were going to the other side of the mountain by mag to spend an enjoyable day at the beach.
Omicron had an appreciation for his mother that was intuitive and simpatico as they were both I-types. Sylvia had very carefully monitored and encouraged the progress of her son in the development of his intellectual abilities, although the responsibilities that parents had for promoting the intellectual development of their children was easier now as the identification, development, and use of mental abilities was now central to the entire organization of the education system and to the design of its curriculum.
Sylvia possessed impressive credentials. She was a historian of national prominence with a specialty in late twentieth century United States history. She had received a Pulitzer prize for her examination of the emergence of a strong world government during the first decades of the twenty-first century. By the year 2050, the United Nations was no longer a debating society. It had come to possess a military arm (NATO) and a world court of its own. There was the need for an international body to coordinate a united assault upon global warming, the need for a united effort to send rockets and humans far into space and to man and conduct experiments on several space laboratories, and the need to eliminate one war after another across the globe. Meeting these challenges resulted in a government that was truly at the top of the pyramid of communities:…band, tribe, nation, country, and world.
The world government helped institute the Change world-wide. Much of the world was in a nomadic band, tribe, nation organization anyway. However, education had to be provided universally. Every small group of people had to be made a part of Cerebrum with all the hardware and societal transformations that implied. The world government helped develop new energy sources. It helped lesser developed countries climb closer to the economic levels of the developed countries. It was understood now that history was not primarily a writing exercise. It was on a continuum with the sciences. All sciences were blends of mathematics, which was purely deduction, and history that was mostly induction. All of the other disciplines drew upon the form of mathematics and the content of history…and thus all of the sciences received contributions from the right and left hemispheres of the brain. In her work, Sylvia collaborated with A-types who questioned and tested hypotheses she espoused, assisted her in delineating determinants for historical developments, and in editing and polishing the final works. She had recently pioneered in the construction of historical models. In this process, she took theses she had developed for historical events and biographies and presented them dramatically. Using this technique, she was able to see if a thesis with its hypothetical pattern of causation… psychological, institutional, or economic… made sense as it was acted out in the five dimensions of space, time, and energy. This tool had proved to be extremely valuable in validating hypotheses as well as providing dramatic entertainment.
Entertainment, in general, had become an adjunct to creative intellectual work. Stories, plays, humorous diversions, accessed on Cerebrum… could include hypotheses, new ideas, wild guesses that could not pass scientific review, yet created new pathways for relaxing minds to go… as well as provide speculations that scientists could pursue. In this way entertainment became an important step in basic research, allowing minds to consider ideas that might not have an obvious immediate use and market. Omicron ate with Sylvia in quiet contemplation. Then he kissed her on the cheek and hurried out to the porch where his brother and uncle, both of whom had risen before him, were waiting. Jonathan, a bald, rather tall, plump, pleasant man of sixty, was yawning as Omicron approached. In the previous age, he probably would have been rotund; however, the diet of each person was controlled by Cerebrum, full of fruit, vegetables and whole grains … with fish and turkey, the only meat, eaten two times a week in small amounts. A chimpanzee life was embraced by most bands… some more fully than others, since the DNA of those apes and humans are almost identical. The diet is where all agreed… a chimpanzee diet led to the longest lives… and the happiest ones health-wise. Jonathan and Jason had altered their routines and had attempted to sleep through their mentally active period from eleven p.m. to five a.m. in preparation for the outing. Soon they were on the mag, which was pulled through transparent tubes by magnetic force, cruising languidly at “pleasure” velocity… 200 mph… towards the Creative Center. Jonathan and Jason were chatting quietly as Omicron updated his personal management record on which activities during the day were tabulated and analyzed automatically.
Jonathan looked at his maturing band nephew admiringly and warned him in a humorous manner…
‘I hope you know how to behave yourself when you visit the City, O, my boy. Those machines will take care of anyone who doesn’t treat them civilly.’
Omicron smiled, ‘I guess the iron fortresses have changed a lot since you were young. I can’t imagine people living with machines.’
Jonathan looked out through the wall of one-way transparent material which surrounded them as he paused in reflection. The blue of the water contrasted with the brown shapes of land and the cobalt-blue water nearest to them appeared as if it had been crowned with a layer of gold… as the water reflected in brilliant glints the warming, bright rays of the rising sun.
‘Yes, it was a difficult, exhausting, rat-race of a life,’ he started slowly with emphasis on the important words, words which both boys had heard in different forms time and again from this gentle refugee from another world. Jonathan usually wore a long robe covered with artificial hides and skins. ‘Men couldn’t actually live with machines, of course. So we all lived in areas away from the center of the metropolis, away from where the machines were located… at least when gasoline was really cheap… like water. Yet populations were still highly concentrated into only four percent of the total area of the United States. The metropolitan areas were like molds and the population was spread away in all directions away from the vital industrial centers. We beat our brains out every day fighting our way to work and then back on congested roads filled with cars, almost all of which had only one person in them. The cars were guided by the drivers themselves, if you can imagine such madness. I’m surprised there were not more accidents than there were. It was a hard life. We drove to work, we drove to stores to shop, we were on the road a significant part of our lives. And when we weren’t on the road or asleep, we were encased in steel buildings in the center of a major city near the center of the metropolis. Or we worked in commercial plaster boxes further out to keep the cars going or let other people drive to us for food, clothes, and fun.’
Jonathan gazed out the window as if to conjure up recollections which he was more and more careful to keep from his mind, now that his life was so bright and so worth living.
‘You know, I think the hardest part of all… was the isolation we all had from one another. When we were at work, there were other people around, but we all were separated like parts of a machine by the invisible hand of the bureaucracy. Each person was separated by task and classification, section, and floor. You could never really talk with another person. You interfaced. You got the information you needed to get your task done and little more. Then you went home where everyone lived in boxes packed into tidy nice neighborhoods, in nice, dense suburban adjuncts to the vital center. But you didn’t know anyone. I mean, you really didn’t know your next door neighbor. You saw other people at church or at the cocktail parties. But you really didn’t know anyone as a live, three dimensional person. Everyone was moving every five years or so and there really was no reason or occasion to get to know each other at all. I think this aspect of the life was most frustrating.
‘However,’ he continued as his voice once started on the subject now seemed reluctant to stop, ‘you know, our lives were not creative and fulfilled, in general. I mean, you had a family, which was nice, but you seldom saw them and then you saw only your immediate family every day. Your work was monotonous, the same old, same old, with little opportunity for creative work. You just got home and watched television, which too many times was an unrewarding preoccupation…something you did… mainly because you were too exhausted to do anything better. If you did anything creative, you did it in bits and pieces on the run, on the bus, at midnight, early in the morning, in general, when you were too tired to really do your best work. And then you were working against your biorhythmic mental stages during the day. You can see what that meant by seeing how useless I am to anyone this morning. I used to sit at my desk and just wait ’til my brain came on at lunch when I finally could get something done.
‘It was a waste. That’s what I call it. A waste of time and a waste of ability. Although, I guess, we had to go through it to get where we are today … Anyway, I’m glad it’s over.’
With these last words Jonathan sighed deeply, reflecting upon those scarring memories before rubbing them from his mind.
Omicron thought it was ironic that after billions of years of evolution from one-celled organisms to vegetables to animals and finally, to man and woman, human beings had reverted from the band organization of primitive tribes and other apes… back to cities and metropolitan areas… which duplicated the organization of molds and other unicellular life. This occurred because of man and woman’s great brains, which created tools. These tools at first helped them kill and cook things. Then the tools themselves evolved, exploded to fill every crack in a person’s life. Finally, people were enmeshed in their tools,…lived, worked, slept in their tools, until finally human being took on the organization of the tools, which brought man and woman back to the most primitive organizations from which they originally came. People with their tools were organized like molds and for the same reason:… to minimize the expenditure of energy, primarily to reduce transportation costs in the case of humans. Caught up into this organization, the health and well being of the tools which had become masters and the corporations that controlled them… became more important than that of the humans who lived like slaves, actually like parasites, within the mechanized masses.
Steve would stress time and again… the same point. Tools really don’t evolve…they must be developed…they are …the artifacts of consciousness… in a creative mode…One must not lie back and wait for a dream world to appear…automatically…by the forces of evolution…There were those who would destroy the progress of these past decades…and all would fall again …in a Dark Age…if humans did not take action…and direct the movement of mankind towards progress…Humans, indeed…have great brains…But nothing is done… if they don’t use them.
Well, either through evolution… or development, as Steve would have it…a metropolitan way of life had emerged…People were enmeshed in their tools…Governments tried to mitigate the harshness and debilitating aspects of such a life. However, true help could only come from separating the two worlds… the communities that housed man and woman’s bodies… and the world of tools created by his and her minds.
The mag came quickly and silently to a halt and Jonathan reached for the door, opened it and swung out. Jason and Omicron followed on his heels as he walked through the immense terminal. The Creative Centers were run at the nation level. The Center for Jupiter Nation was a fantastic, crystalline shrine to creativity, energy, and Light, located in a commanding position in the hills on the east side of the Bay. During the twentieth century one could stand at this site and survey the entire southern part of the Bay, the length of which had been surrounded by brilliant sparkles of tiny lights at night… demarcating a galaxy of human life. Now there were lights at night mainly at the tribal communities, which were scattered far from each other over vast expanses of higher land.
The City itself, which stood directly opposite them across the Bay, was now a black shadow, illuminated only at the top where the handful of managers babysat a gigantic mechanized unit which never slept. The Creative Center was a circle with a ten mile diameter… it serviced the Jupiter Nation. 450 Creative Centers were distributed throughout the country, one for each nation. Theoretically, one could go to any of the Centers… however, there was no reason to do this, because the food, entertainment and services were of equal quality. There was dancing twenty-four hours a day at the Center, food of many kinds was always available; the food was always healthful in content and amount. Creative products of the highest caliber from the bands in the nation were displayed or were available for purchase here, although they could be purchased anywhere via Cerebrum. It was a refuge, a source for special products, inspiration and knowledge, which was available to the populace to use whenever they needed it. In the Creative Center, art, music, fashion, drama, cuisine, and architecture were all presented… old and new… The architecture was spectacular… with tremendously high, large crystal formations… grown from small beads of quartz, utilizing the latest technology in proliferating macro-molecules. During the day, the light poured into these diamond-sparkling, jutting shapes. In the evening, the light of man and woman shown back into the face of the black, a glowing, vibrant monument to the species, which pulsed with life twenty-four hours a day.
The weekends at the Center were especially busy with people crowding the spacious walk ways. From the terminal they took a small personnel carrier, which moved automatically according to the itinerary pushed into the control panel. They traveled to the fashion mall where Omicron with help from the other two selected cloth for two garments and placed his orders at the computer console. He then left his uncle and brother, who would be designing garments for themselves for the next three hours, to explore the City, which was located across the Bay.
Omicron was eager for the feast which lay ahead of him. He carried written permission to enter the City given to him by Steve, who had gotten it from the nation’s leaders. Few people were allowed in, to protect the City from sabotage. Omicron was prepared to take mental and pencil notes about everything he saw. He magged across the Bay and half the width of the southern peninsula…and walked out to the front gate…After he was admitted,, he went to the primary receiving area of the City where raw materials from all over the world were unloaded and stored. Then he went to the manufacturing area where the raw materials were turned into products. Here on approximately twenty-five square miles of intensively developed land, machinery was inextricably linked into one system with raw materials entering automatically through tubes, fabricated by machines, and then moved to the exporting part of the terminal for shipment of the commodities to the communities in Jupiter Nation, throughout the western United States and across the Pacific Ocean.
It is amazing, Omicron thought, that so few people ran this entire city, utilizing the power of Cerebrum. The City was truly one elaborate machine with warehousing, transport links, and intermediary products shared so completely that it functioned as one unit. Jonathan had told him that all raw materials, machinery and commodities were monitored continuously and displayed on view screens in the command management headquarters …located in the towering complex mix of machinery and electronics…with the management perch on top. Mechanization of corporations and then integration into single mechanized cities was delayed by out-sourcing to underdeveloped countries…where commodities were produced by workers receiving very low wages…. In this way…for forty years 2000-2040 A.D. corporations cut costs not by means of intensive automation but by utilizing cheap labor in underdeveloped and developing countries, which allowed China to rise from a land of poverty to an industrial power. The corporations could have extended the old ways for years, constantly using lesser developed parts of the world for their own ends. However, the emergence of residential bands… along with the development of Cerebrum as a serious adjunct to research endeavors… encouraged people to leave the cities at a slow then faster rate… which encouraged corporations to mechanize faster.
In the twentieth century, economists at universities, who were isolated from the cities in their fortressed think tanks, had monitored dollar flows each month and then made projections based on what were sometimes wild guesses as to existing and future quantities that were involved. However, now management had continuous data concerning physical parts and flows…of the operations of the cities… and thus could calculate Gross National Product as efficiently as a manager could run his corporation before the turn of the century.
Omicron traversed the City in a systematic manner, careful not to miss any structures, or any of the processes… for his mind was somehow convinced that this inventory must now be made, and made well, in preparation for some future purpose.
The next wave broke, flowed far upon the beach, then retreated with a hiss, leaving only the saturated sand to show a new encroachment, as the surf pounded relentlessly in. Steve and Sylvia sat among the rocks overlooking the beach. Sylvia had spread a table cloth on a stretch of sand in the midst of the dark, shale boulders. On the cloth were placed vegetables, fruits and whole grain dishes, which had been dispensed by the band’s culinary center as they left. They toasted each other and the beauty of the day and place, with crystal goblets of sauterne. The sky was blue without a cloud. A sailboat glided effortlessly across the horizon as the sun slowly moved from directly overhead to slightly closer toward the horizon. Sylvia shoved her foot through the sand, allowing the sand to trickle between her toes. ‘Omicron is no longer a boy, Steve. He is becoming a young man.’ Steve pressed his lips together savoring the bouquet of the golden liquid. Then he released a flow of ideas which had been gathering like a storm in his mind for several months. The words came in pulses, interspersed with pauses filled with the pounding and the spraying of the waves, which underscored the gravity of what was said.
‘Omicron is completing his instruction in the community. He must now begin the climb to be a man.
‘He must now progress from childish play to mastery over himself, his passions, and ultimately over the Cosmos… in accordance with the Laws of the universe. The hardest part of his life is before him. The process may be completed quickly in a matter of months. It may require a lifetime.’
‘I know these things,’ Sylvia said. ‘But I fear for him. I wish he were more like you. I wish there were a way he could be like you.’
Steve looked into a blinding glint off the water.
‘You know there is trouble brewing. We have all known it was just a matter of time. Our men have been on alert now for five months and things aren’t getting better.’
Sylvia beheld her powerfully built husband. When the chips were down, she knew that mentally and physically he would meet the test.
Steve remembered the large headline in the ‘paper’ downloaded from Cerebrum the day before: CASTLE BOMBS WHITE HOUSE.
‘Those bastards are making life rough,’ he said, slamming his hand into the sand. ‘Those cruds have had their day and now they want to take us all back there. But they won’t.’
CASTLE was the underground organization of billionaires, mobsters and exploiters who were forced out of lucrative pursuits by automation and out of illegal relationships when people left the cities for bands. There were those who had profited from the dense packing of humanity into the cities. In the old world there were billionaires whose work was legal and necessary to run the global corporations. However, mechanization of the cities eliminated corporations… and a handful of wealthy, powerful industrial leaders were left without large enterprises to run.
Then there were the mobsters. In the old days… the crashing machinery took its toll on bodies which were designed for open space and fresh air. Lives filled with monotony, smog, congestion, poverty drove people to drugs, pornography, cheating, stealing… any way to get ahead or leave it all behind. Criminals had become as organized as the cities and corporations themselves with chief thugs and myriads of underlings covering the metropolises of the nation like a blanket. Organized crime had preyed upon a morality and view of life inherited from the Dark Ages where sex was considered by most of the population to be dirty and immoral. However, the body required sex, so the mob provided it at monopoly prices. Drugs were the same way. Only a few illegal drugs were more dangerous than the cigarettes which were legal, but all were banned, gave the mob monopolies with lucrative prices and large criminal operations. The mob was organized with a medieval structure in which feudal type lords reigned over urban fiefs, raked in the profits of the manor, and maintained order and stability in their commerce with hoards of hired murderers.
After the Change, powerful people and the criminal organizations remained. People were much happier now living in nature and doing creative work together and no longer sought escape from the machines. With the Change came a new morality. Man and woman now were recognized to be animals. Sex was now considered to be a natural process which young people should learn about like any other subject, although the animal instincts and power of sex were greatly respected and steps were taken to defuse and control them. Thus, the mob no longer had a base in illegal operations as man and woman had now moved from the crush of humanity in the cities out onto the land. Man and woman had also moved from a medieval code of morality to one consistent with human biology. Thus, the Change had rid the nation of the power of corporations and the wealthy… and the plundering of gangsters.
However, some powerful people and mob organizations endured. They were located in peripheral areas of the United States, primarily in the northwestern part, living off the treasure which decades of looting and investing in land and property had given them. However, now their supply of money was reduced and the individuals and organizations were doomed unless something happened. They had tried to infiltrate and subvert the
creative bands with no success. Their great hope was a coup d’etat… and under a dictatorship moving the people back to the cities, although the prospects for such a drastic change backward were diminishing. Warfare had broken out first in Chicago. With most of the people living away from the Cities, the machinery of the Cities was vulnerable. Using dynamite, CASTLE blasted their way into the Chicago City and the managers were taken captive. The terrorists held the City for twenty-eight hours before the Huron Nation’s troops were able to storm the captive areas and the CASTLE troops were slain.
Then New York was the target. The mobsters launched a full-scale offensive on New York Nation which demolished one-fifth of its productive capacity before its City could be garrisoned and robots could begin the two-month task of reassembling the equipment. Most of the CASTLE troops had escaped. Now the White House was bombed. The President had been unexpectedly away and none of his family was injured… however, two members of the staff had been killed, several injured, and one crystalline wall had been blown out. One could feel the surge of events swelling to a climax. ‘CASTLE is really at the end of its rope,’ Sylvia said. ‘They are running out of troops and they are isolated in one part of the country. So far the country’s strategy has been to keep them out of the Cities. The government knows that CASTLE has nothing to gain from attacking the thousands of scattered communities. CASTLE must capture several Cities or one strategic City before they can have much of an impact. Even if they do, our military can dispense with them easily. Do you really think you’ll have to fight?’
‘Yes, it appears that something is about to break. CASTLE has learned that isolated bomb blasts and demolishing parts of the Cities has only a minimal impact. They must capture some Cities and have productive capacity at their disposal before their efforts will be felt.” Steve leaned back in his beach chair and looked out at the thin line between sky and sea.
‘We have a good life now. I think the whole country would gladly and unitedly rise up and smash these hoodlums anytime. The country is making preparations now. It looks like creative projects throughout the country might have to be put on hold for a while. Many of the enemy are located to the north of us…up near Portland Nation…The President wants me to work with leaders of several tribes to the north to come up with ideas of how to provide a first line of defense against a possible assault upon the country. I’ll take several men from our band with me. We must expect the worst and be prepared to do everything in our power to preserve our new way of life. If worst comes to worse each man will decide if he will fight. Women and children would have to move to the other side of the Bay until it’s over. If there is a Struggle, then Omicron will probably be in the thick of it, too, you know. And this is well…for he is in need of some tests, and a Struggle like this…would certainly give them to him.
Omicron traveled the length and breadth of the City. He justified this examination on the basis of research he might do on how Cities such as his had evolved.. However, he knew he was there for another reason, a reason he couldn’t exactly put his finger on. Instinctively, intuitively, with his I-type sense, he felt he should get to know the City, its layout, commodity conveyance systems, important production units, and the location of the central management unit with respect to these things. He traveled by personnel mover in the midst of the machinery, took a mag over the metropolis, and even took a subterranean mover to gain acquaintance with the many levels of storage areas and utility connections which lay hidden beneath the ground. He did not rely solely upon his memory, but took extensive notes and drew elaborate sketches of everything he saw.
At noon, Omicron returned to the Creative Center where Jonathan and Jason were waiting in relaxed conversation after a stimulating morning of creative work in the fashion mall. The three then magged across the Center to Lonigee’s, one of the famous restaurants in the Center, for a sumptuous luncheon prepared almost entirely automatically, yet in an impeccable manner according to the very close tolerance levels and exquisite specifications of the head chef who designed the delicious entrees.
Then they were off to the zoological museum where Omicron was particularly interested in the evolution of man. In the museum, the full account of the evolution of man was displayed from the first chimpanzee-like hominid to Homo sapiens. In the beginning there was man. The animal, man. The evolving man. However, almost from the first,,, man, Homo, was distinguished from his and her ape cousins by the size of the bulges of his and her forebrains and their use of tools. It is true that the apes had the capacity and from time to time the inclination to utilize objects in nature as tools. However, only man and woman relied heavily upon such tools and only he and she fashioned tools by making significant changes in the natural form of objects, as they shaped them for their use as appendages to their extremely vulnerable bodies. Now out on the land, no longer afforded the security of high branches on trees, man and woman became heavily dependent upon tools for survival, and over time, this dependence increased as their tools became more complex and capable.
At first, man and woman bodies evolved and changed like all species to remain compatible with their environment as he and she moved from Africa to all parts of the world. Evolution quickened for tens of thousands of years as man and woman utilized tools. In the manner that evolution had always occurred in the past, there were pools of genes, of blood…well, what there were, were bands of people, each of which possessing certain characteristics which were the expression of the genes they bore…Pools of people competed one with the other for survival..often fighting each other…The pools with superior tools, probably utilizing superior brains, survived to pass genes to the next generation. This quickening of evolution proceeded until man and woman left the warmth and love of the primal band and became parts of large civilizations a few thousands of years ago. In these large civilizations men and women lived mostly in servitude under the control of a few who were the most intelligent and most powerful. It was at this point that the evolution of human beings slowed as the security and provisioning given by these great civilizations allowed people of all abilities to survive and pass on their genes. Some evolution continued because those with better brains and power tended to leave more progeny. Yet the benefit of civilization was a mixed blessing… as that competitive struggle among pools of genes and blood…was replaced by slave labor in fields.
Ironically, the enslavement of humanity reduced the environmental pressures upon the species and allowed people in greater numbers to live to reproductive age. It was then that evolution of man and woman slowed and their tools began to evolve at a faster and faster rate instead. The enslavement of man and woman to their tools would continue until the Change. The evolution of man and woman’s tools increased in speed over time until only three hundred years ago they exploded into a skyrocketing industrialization which left man and woman with bodies consistent with life in a primitive band in an entirely new alien environment under the suzerainty of town and city, an alien environment of their own making. This new world was incompatible with a body which had been fashioned according to the requirements of some prehistoric time.
This incompatibility between body and environment reached its excruciating peak during the twentieth century as almost all the population in the developed Western world was lured into cities, which spread like molds in every direction from urban cores to become metropolises. Man and woman were lured into this exasperating life by the wealth that was created by their tools. In the end, it was their bodies and their animal spirit that suffered. For every fiber of their bodies needed, craved for the joy of a life in nature, in the embrace of a loving and caring primal band of people.
Then it was over, in the last half of the twenty-first century. With the machines doing most of the manual and menial work, man and woman were at last free to return to nature, to the organization of primal bands with which their bodies were most compatible.
Also of interest to Omicron was the full presentation of man and woman’s social tools. Social tools, the institutions which man and woman had used through the eons of time, had also become more complex over time. The five major institutions: the Church, the Government Bureaucracy, the Corporation, the University, and Marriage and Family were inherited from the Middle Ages. Man and woman’s tools exploded into industrial revolution during the eighteenth and nineteenth century with its impact world-wide. However, the social institutions remained rigid and bureaucratic, constraining growth. Finally, with the Change, the church denominations were replaced by each tribe selecting or creating a religion which all in the tribe adhered to but could be changed at any time. Government, corporation, and university bureaucracies were replaced by band, tribal, and nation hierarchies. Marriage and family relationships no longer were conducted in isolated islands in the city and suburb, but now were part of one blood, one fist, one embrace of the band… a new, old way of life.
Usually Omicron became fully absorbed in these exhibits as they held great meaning for the condition and progress of man and woman in his own day. However, today his mind was elsewhere. He could not keep his mind off CASTLE, the havoc they were unleashing across the country and the danger they presented to the new way of life. He was also preoccupied with thoughts of his father and the continuous counsel he had given to him in his youth. Threaded through these mental wanderings was an intense feeling of anticipation, of awakening, of challenging adventure ahead… and intuitively, he felt that he was at the threshold of one of the most important times of his life.
Then they went to the art museum. Most of the paintings on exhibit were from an earlier time, as drama was the major form of art utilized in the 2080s. Of the paintings completed recently, very few were abstract geometric paintings, as it was now recognized that such paintings were mostly a reflection of the relationships in the dominant analytical left hemisphere of an A-type’s brain. Modern artists now utilized painting, as composers, dramatists, and choreographers employed other forms of expression, to convey concepts by visual means which could not be expressed easily by means of verbal or written language. Now each painting conveyed concepts by means of the analytical placement of shapes derived from objects in the external world….Analytical organization of paintings was desirable as it was most compatible with the strengths of the eye…Dynamic, inductive strengths were used in music…to be consistent with the physiology of the ear.
Then they dined at another famous restaurant for dinner and thereafter, they were off to the theater. There were a number of theaters in the Center. In these theaters, famous plays from the past were presented, as well as the work of established modern playwrights and creative groups, both of the country and the world. In addition, the best plays and movies created by the bands in the Jupiter Nation during the past year as well as a few works selected from the best from the other nations were presented. Tonight they were going to see a musical written by a well-established group located in New York Nation. Omicron was interested in examining the relationships between the plot of the play, the musical score and words of the songs, and the philosophical concepts which would be expressed. He always learned much when he partook of the works of the masters… each nation had its auteurs… respected artists, creators who led the way…in every field.
Omicron’s mind whirred as the mag moved… almost as if in slow motion… past the illuminated, jutting landscape of the Creative Center…out, out across the waters of the Bay. Jonathan had dropped off for a short nap and Jason was communicating visually by means of a hand held device connected wirelessly to Cerebrum to his girl friend, whom he had met in New York at a special national class for prospective doctors.
Omicron continued to mull over in his mind the drama they had seen. Omicron had learned much from the way the music was used in the drama to support the story. The music was tremendously moving as it was based on a biological reality, that of existential fervor, that is, exuberant questioning of existing values and institutions, which historically had often been caused by rapid economic transformation. The music was also very meaningful as it expressed concepts which transcended a particular time and space, which were related to the entire evolution of man and woman.
Omicron wished that he were able to write monumental music. He realized that if he were ever able to do it, it would be only after a monumental struggle, a struggle within himself. Physically, he was attaining the strength he would need to be victorious in life. However, he remembered what Steve had told him repeatedly, that no battle could be won until one was mentally equipped with the tools of the universe, until he had progressed far along the road towards becoming a man of the Cosmos. It was then that he realized how languid, stuporous, like the sap of a tree, his actions were. On the threshold of adulthood he would have thought that he would be eager to get on with the work, relish the adventure of a new life. However, his feet seemed heavy, glued to the earth. Often his thoughts would soar, but his body was immobile. Why is this? he wondered. I must shake this off, I must somehow gain energy and movement and thrust forth into the world. Yet for some reason I am transfixed, I feel totally incapable of functioning, let alone succeeding at anything.
They arrived home around eleven o’clock at night, Omicron’s usual bedtime. Jonathan bid Jason and Omicron good night and walked down the path to his cluster. Sylvia greeted the boys and asked Jason to see that Steve had everything he needed for the night’s work ahead. Omicron was lying in his bed immersed in organic tissues filled with warm liquids, looking through the one-way curving roof of the cluster at the stars above. He heard his mother open the door to his room to bid good night,…then retreat quietly… as Omicron stared languidly up… into the infinite reaches of the Cosmos above him.