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2015-6
2

Why am I rich and not happy, Jex wondered to himself.  He accepted what people said – creative, young, still with potential to offer new good things.  All that was true.  But Jex was restless, could not sleep, and felt an emptiness nothing he could imagined would satisfy.  His body tossed as he tried to rest, his ideas tossed, he felt his whole life tossing.  He pursed hunches into black holes then started again.  He felt he was missing something and retraced his giddy career.

Jex was born at an early age, and 9 months after being conceived came into the world loved, confident and ready to gorge his sensory intakes.  As a naughty seven year old he wired up a toy that screeched like tires skidding in a panic brake.  His brother commercialized it and sold it to prank an imminent crash, cringing other drivers and pedestrians. Made cheap and priced high, sold thousands.

Transpired Jex was genius.  His inventions created revolutions while he was prepube.  He had forged ahead, pigheaded, and created a machine that could overcome gravity just by jerking itself away.  Simply 2 wheels spinning round a central axis and with arms synchronized to heave in one direction at the right time.  It went sideways, and yes, upwards off the ground, when operated with appreciation.  Jex had emulated the Wright brothers in building the first model with bike wheels, sprockets and chains to demonstrate that it worked.  He was eleven.  His brother’s business nous protected the patent and the company formed soon was spinning wheels synchronized by electromagnetic pulses, and rotating at 50,000 RPM.  A slight adjustment to camwheel would whiz the machine off in any direction.  With a panel covering it was a flying saucer.

Jex was an extrovert inventor and staged grand demos, landing his flying saucer at half time of a football match and calling his fetish of that time from the spectators to go for a ride.  That captured world imagination.

The flying saucer revolution in transport soon quagmired in regulation, to which his brother’s business nous was no match.  In the days of cars, roads regulated and channeled vehicles.  In the days of light aircraft there were relatively few and only flown by responsible professionals.  The flying saucer changed that and while Jex was greater than Henry Ford in social impact, he washed his hands of involvement as the industry split off into space exploration, military and consumerism.

Unlike his hero creator of facebook, Jex had dozens of coups to his name.  One invention easily identified as totally positive and intuitively cool was the fag zapper.  While millions round the world rued smokers for their filthy habit the Jex brain latched onto a simple device that detected a lit cigarette and jetted a cloud of inflammable mist that engulfed it in a short sharp fireball. Most distressing if in your face.  The device sold tens of millions to popular supporters, planting it in streets or where someone in their life was known to take a puff.  Discouraged smoking down to where tobacco companies went broke. It was a guerrilla movement by those who disliked smoking. The lawsuits against them fell flat because smokers blew smoke in their face, why not payback?

The argument that governments needed tobacco tax as prime revenue for social welfare got Jex started on that question.  His soaring mind homed in on the twin beauty and evil of using money to measure society.  The chemical damage that tobacco does to lungs outweighs the initiatives social welfare implements to make people feel well.  Intuitively that seems true. How can it be scientifically monitored, Jex wondered.  His wide reading led him to skip a century of quantum physics based on Schrodinger and nestle up to the work of Richard Bader who simply portrayed atoms in molecules by shape, so that you could see cancer destructing, and also beneficial-life giving reactions at work.  Jex’s insights pulled together a revolutionary way to look at what we do.  “Forget about money” said one of the world’s richest men.  “Money is for Disney Scrooge to dive and revel in”.  “Money is like trying to measure with jelly”. The dollars in the Hamptons bonuses are not the same dollars as for Pakistani day wages.

Many good people knew that and had tried with labor theory of value, bread loaves and currency, and accounting in joules of energy to describe human effort.  Jex sorted that out, borrowing from an unrecognized Serbian scientist who questioned what was energy.  Energy is a push or a pull, embedded in our concepts through human power, and identified in chemistry as the force released by adenosine triphosphate in muscles.  In his own youth, at 28 years old in the year 2050, a new way to measure human endeavor, far superior to anachronistic GDP, was embraced world wide with the currency valued in units of “jexels”.  Joule would have concurred.  The jexel was defined as the distance a 1 kg of mass could be displaced in 1 second, and based on experiments on Space Station IV was agreed to be 1 meter. It was a push or pull.  And it was human oriented.  Nothing to do with solar photons, the Earth’s momentum, or gravity.

The Jexel Counter was inspired by Atkin’s “entropy meter” but skipped the hangups and was immediately obviously usable to all who saw it.  It did not lie and showed the true cost of any good or service.  The simple leap of assumption was to acknowledge the cost we associate with any good or service is based on the human action that takes it from its reference environment and alters it to suit our demand. A leopard skin coat starts with the energy cost of hunting the leopard.  Car costs start with mineral exploration and development.  The cost of petrol in joules has nothing to do with the joules released on combustion, but in production costs, and in old long-serving fields, the per liter flow costs is down to a kilojoule.

Jex’s good intention to bring science to markets and remove mystery and cheating had an unintended downside. It drained the enthusiasm from market promotion and led to socially correct shopping that lacked spirit.  How mundane to know the real cost of electricity (factoring in pollutant emissions) and even the real cost of icecream.  Instead of the marketing monster industry selling the idea of necessity of electric toothbrushes, people brushed their teeth like inmates on death row.  Exotic perfumes did not sell sexiness.  In fact sex was just chemistry subject to scientific accounting and analysis.  Orgasms measured in jexels and fakes coming up zero.

Making love was like a documented routine at the gym.  Pencil in the outcome and don’t blink or ponder or smile.  We have become a society of robots, Jex reflected. Like ants programmed to survive and nothing else.  Jex’s bro’s company had a branch specializing in zoological research, and visiting there taunted his observation of ants against the screaming enjoyment lions had in sex.  He would have preferred the latter, if he could find a lady like a lioness.

Jex’s old uncle told stories about WWIII. About how his parents were killed and he survived.  About the Covenant at the end of the war to sign over all national sovereignties to the Beijing Principle, that all industry must be approved and capped to avoid further global atmospheric destruction.  Jex grasped that it was the mad consumer race in the last decades before the war that had caused it – the race by industry with pollution unchecked, and concomitant draw down of resources, even clear water and air.  When the tipping point came it tipped violently and survivors wondered why they had not seen it coming.  Similar to the Bretton Wood Agreement after WWII, the Beijing Principle humbled “world leaders”. It forced them to expand and improve the Kyoto Protocol globally and with strict monitoring and regulatory powers.  The first Secretary General, Kevin Rudd was the most powerful man on Earth.  He was known as the benevolent tyrant and everyday life proceeded smoothly, if monotonously.    His mandate and style carries on.

Now, in 2067, the basics physics of the Earth has not changed, except for the damage done to the natural cycles of water, carbon and nitrogen, but the decimation of population and the zero growth policies of the past forty years reduced demand and means survivors can function.  It is the old administrative boundaries now gone that make Jex wonder.  He was born and mainly grew up in the Changchun electorate, neighbor to the Pyongyang electorate where he learnt a lot.  In the turmoil of his youth Pyongyang was the most immune and he relished their antiquated ways, especially in farm family life.  Now at 45 he lived further west in Gansu electorate.  His bro’s company was headquartered there.  The decision to establish there had been based on low entropy and high jexel potential.   But there were some downsides and overdoing beyond control.  What had been good open space for transportation now had skies full of the saucers and accidents happened.

Part of Jex’s problem was he had to suffer ordinary people who got engrossed in mundane things.  Gambling, looking pretty, competing in games and sports and relationships.  He got idolized and pandered too, but had no friends and certainly no soul partner. Even his bro was too business-like to be likable, though he did appreciate his protection in making sure he got what was deserved from inventions.  To the people around him he appeared a quaint nerd capable of miracles, but not one for fun.

Jex’s aching for fulfillment buried him in archeology.  The soft yellow soil of the loess plateau of Gansu had covered thousands of years of human history and many millions of years of life before that.   His bro’s core company, Entropy Management Services, had a department named Dig, and they dug for history.  Their digs were high-intelligent, informed by an electromagnetic beam far sharper than X-rays, and could see skeletons and artifacts in the soil.  Mammoths, dinosaurs, unnamed creatures, and whole villages of early humans. Informative and enlightening.  One particular community setting entranced Jex.

The community exist 2500 years ago with a population of 200.  They were primitive and suffered many baby deaths, the tiny skeletons cradled in porcelain vases.   But they had fashioned a shrine and grave with great attention. The headstone had the single character 道(dao meaning The Way).  The community would have been illiterate.  The grave was of an old man, maybe 85, and beside him, the whole skeleton of an ox.  And some bamboo strips with writing that could not be deciphered except for a partial image of the first word, that 道.  The conclusion had to be obvious. This was the famous Laozi, the philosopher after which Taoism (Dao-ism) is based.

Approximately 2500 years ago as a respected scholar and philosopher and guru to Confucius he had become disgusted with imperial court politics and left, heading west riding an ox.  At the western gate, now in San Men Xia electorate, he was stopped by a guard who recognized him and realized the significance of his resignation. On emploring he tarried 2 days to write 5000 characters, now called the classic Dao De Jing.  Then he left, never to be seen again…till now.

Jex read the classic again.  It is inspired, divine, mystical and defies translation. What was racing through the genius of philosophy’s mind as he painted those beautiful characters and what ideas are in between them?   Maybe 2500 years ago was better than 2067, Jex wondered.  Or at least this outstanding sage had arrived at a point beyond petty materialism.  Worthy of considering and taking on board.  It was a pointer to the hunger Jex felt.

What else could the Dig department dig up.  In neighboring Xian electorate they comprehensively inventoried all four directions of the terra cotta warriors vainly protecting their dead emperor, with swathes not even unearthed because they were just more of the same according to the ground level beam exploring.  The team moved to Greece, where Lao Zi contemporary Plato was uncovered in body plus his original works.  There really was Plato Cave, where people sat and interpreted shadows on a wall cast by actors behind them and unseen directly. As Plato philosophized, people only see shadows of reality, and try to make out what is going on from impoverished information.  Jex restored the cave to how it was at the time Plato orchestrated performances, replete with a fire built on the original charcoals of the fire that allowed actors to cast shadows.  More than any invention this adventure into the soul of Plato excited Jex.

In a thought experiment he followed Plato’s insight that people who had learnt interpreting shadows, if taken outside the cave and introduced to the real actors in the flesh, they would be lost. They would be looking for shadows to try to understand what was in front of them.  They would not recognize a higher form of reality and look past it, obliviously, search for the shadows they knew.  How true of 2067.  Before jexel accounting, humans of his parents’ generation looked at money, at dollars, at wages, bank accounts and GDP to reckon worth.  Jexels are more objective but there should be more to life than that.  Just like in the days of energy accounting, coal and cornflakes might have the same kilojoules but are different.

In a flash of lightning bright insight, Lao Zi’s Way and Plato’s Cave meshed together.  The Way that can named is not the Way. The shadows on the wall were not reality.  Chasing the Way is like grabbing at shadows.  Written almost concurrently 2,500 year ago on opposite sides of the world, the message is that trying to grab hold of and master material reality only frustrates, and enhances its elusiveness.  In Jex’s 2067 world, consumerism gone mad means nothing to life.  Jex grabbed an old fag from his lab, lit up and sucked deep. Fag zappers were obsolete and he enjoyed the trip back in time. He jumped into his saucer and flew over to someone who was his fetish just then.  She was delighted to jump in and he set the coordinates for across the Pacific, the electorate of Las Vegas. It was a rundown ghost down of apparently former glory that was an ideal setting to Do Nothing as Lao Zi said, to look past the shadows and appreciate reality, as Plato said.  Jex had broken the hex.

: http://www.coulterexergy.com/archives/1302

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