Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How Humans Lost Their Hands (and saved the world)

My first creation (and destruction) mythstory....

How Humans Lost Their Hands (and saved the world)
Copyright 2014 Steven Feuerstein

A very long time ago, our home, the Earth, was very beautiful and full of life on the inside, but on its surface it was empty.

So the Great God Bacta shook the planet and brought forth multi-cellular life in all its ever-lasting glory and ever-changing beauty.

And among the multitude of multitude of creatures, one little piece of Earth's life was Sura, and she was the First Woman, mother of all the humans.

She was, however, sad, because she was all alone, and lonely.

Bacta felt sorry for Sura and in a moment of love for this new surface life, bestowed upon Sura four gifts:

1. A fat fish made of silver, with jewels for eyes.

Bacta declared: as long as Sura possessed the fish, humans would never lack for food. Bacta would make sure the harvests are plentiful and the hunting good.

2. A golden coconut, always full of cool, fresh coconut water.

Bacta declared: as long as Sura possessed the coconut, humans would never lack for water. Bacta would make sure that the rivers flowed and the water creatures cleaned the water, and that humans would always have enough to drink.

3. A glowing jade stone in the shape of a pulsing heart.

Bacta declared: as long as Sura possessed the jade heart, Bacta would make sure that humans would love each other and protect each other from harm.

4. A fossilized shark fin, dark and sleek.

Bacta declared: as long as Sura possessed the fin, humans would be born with their amazing hands, with which humans can make all sorts of things.

Sura thanked Bacta for the wonderful gifts, but still looked sad. Then Bacta remembered, and it created Beto, the First Man.

Beto, the First Man, was also the happiest man, because his job was to make little baby humans with Sura.

Beto was good at his job, and so was Sura, and soon humans - and the things they made with their amazing hands- covered the Earth. After all, Sura still possessed the fish and coconut and jade and fin, so humans ate and drank and loved and built all they wanted.

And they were so busy eating and drinking and loving and building, that they didn't notice all the other creatures who had stopped eating, no longer drank, felt neither love nor hate….because they were simply no more.

Bacta discovered what was happening and appeared before the multitude of humans, to declare:

"You are eating so much food
and drinking so much water
and loving so few and so little
and building so many roads
that the last butterfly has died."

A great murmur went up amongst the humans: "Butterflies dead? So what?"

Bacta was not done. "I have never before had to take back a gift, but I hereby take back the fish. I will no longer make ensure that you have food to eat. Perhaps this will teach you to live in the world, instead of eating it."

And so it came to be.

A swarm of locusts ate the crops that humans planted. Worms ate the fruit in the trees. The rains stopped and everything went bone dry.

Many humans died.

But after a while, the humans who survived figured out how to stop the pests and after a while rain returned. With GMOs, and Roundup, and DDT, humans could get back to eating and drinking and loving to their heart's content. And they did.

Then Bacta appeared for a second time before the humans, very angry, and said:

"You are still eating too much food
and still drinking too much water
and still loving too few and too little
and still building too many roads.
Now, the last elephant has just died."

A great murmur went up amongst the humans: "Elephant? What is an elephant? Dead? So what?"

Bacta was not done. "Only once before have I had to take back a gift, but now I take back the coconut. I will no longer make sure that you will have water to drink. Perhaps that will teach you to live in the world around you, instead of drinking it dry."

And so it came to be. The water in the rivers turned blood red and the water in the seas caught fire.

Many humans died.

But after a while, humans learned how to clean the water so they could drink it, and live. They had to keep this good water apart from the bad water and so from that time on, everyone drank water from plastic bottles.

Bacta was outraged. Water was the source of life, the home for all bacteria. Humans were even ruining that?  Bacta appeared before humans in a fury, and said:

"You are still eating too much food
and still drinking too much water
and still loving too few and too little
and still building too many roads.
Now the last frog has just died."

A great murmur went up amongst the humans: "Frogs are slimy. Frogs are gross. Good riddance, frogs."

Bacta was not done. "Only two times before have I had to take back a gift, but I now take back the jade heart. I will no longer make sure that humans love and take care of each other. Perhaps that will teach you to live in the world around you, instead of covering it with humans."

And so it came to be. Families stuck together, even tighter than before, but friends were no longer trusted, and everyone else was a danger, and not to be trusted.

Yet if you are not trusted, then after a while you act untrustworthily. Without trust and love, between the many groups of humans around the world, violence broke out and wars swept the continents.

Many humans died.

But after a while, those who stayed inside or had the biggest guns, wrote contracts agreeing to help one another. And then the lawyers ruled the land, along with the police.

Which meant that humans could get back to eating and drinking and not loving the world, which they did, with a vengeance.

Forests disappeared. Coral died and turned into rock. Without trees, rivers dried up. Without coral, the fish and then whales had no food, and they died, too.

Many humans died, but many more kept on eating and killing.

When Bacta appeared for the fourth time, humans trembled before the roaring voice of a billion billion bacteria:

"STILL  you eat too much and
STILL you drink too much and
STILL you love too little and
STILL you build, build, build."

The humans were confused. What else were they supposed to do, with their amazing hands and their amazing minds?

Bacta was not done. "You build so much that there's no room for anything but humans. And then you have more humans.

"Only three times before have I had to take back a gift, but now I have come to take back the fin. I will no longer make sure that humans are born with hands that allow them to build, and in building, destroy. Perhaps that will teach you to fit into the world, instead of fitting the world to your desires."

And so it came to be. From that time forward , human babies were born without hands. In their place were just two stubby fingers, and no wrist.

The humans with ten fingers called these tragic babies Four Fingers.

Ten Fingers helped the Four Fingers. They built special gloves for the two, lonely fingers on each hand, and built special machines to do things for Four Fingers they could not do for themselves.

And then Ten Fingers and Four Fingers got back to eating and drinking up the world.

Aren't humans amazing?

But after a while, all the Ten Fingers died, and then a little while after that, the machines stopped working and the gloves wore out.

Many four-fingered humans died.

The ones that survived worked hard for their food with their four fingers, but didn't eat too much.

They got thirsty from their work, but didn't drink too much.

And the only way they could survive was to work together, so they came to love each other dearly.

But they didn't have hands, and never would, so they didn't build any machines.

Which means they didn't spoil the water.

And they didn't cut down all the trees.

Happily, soon (after just 100 generations of Four Fingers) the water was pure again, and the forests were full of trees again, and new creatures evolved to take the place of all the creatures humans had killed.

And Bacta looked up at its creation, and was, for the first time in a long time, pleased.








1 comment:

iudith said...

Hello Steven,

Great, impressive and moving ...
with a lot of food for thought :):)

I just wonder how should we, as software creators, feel about the fact that our brain's product is much more often put "in the sake"
of "building those things" that ultimately will destroy our planet ?

As we know (and PL/SQL Challenge proves it !),
we do have the possibility of doing the same
just "out of love", for polishing our brain capacities without having any one make money
or weapons out of it ... and rely on those
four gifts for having all our needs satisfied.

But ... we cast ourselves out from that Paradise
... and, as individuals, we cannot do too much
to choose the other way ...

Thanks a lot & Best Regards,
Iudith Mentzel