The Gnome – a 100 word story
The fawn couldn’t see them hiding in the bushes. The arrow was quick and painless, tranquilizing shot penetrating, inducing sleep. The Gnome ordered the two hooded men to upload the fawn onto the cart. The three of them took the hidden road, delivering the sleeping animal to the laboratory. The mechanical chicken lay motionless on the table, a lifeless shell, nothing more. The Gnome connecter her to the machine. Carefully, he connected the fawn to the other side. Buttons were pressed, levers pushed into place. Life energy was transferred and the mechanical chicken awakened, ready to serve her new master.
Hi there and thanks for stopping by. I’m Guy, and you’re listening to my surreal sketchbook of reality.
Episode 20, The Hidden Road
It seems like there’s a limited amount of things that exist in this world and that they tend to disappear as they are used by us. This is the essence of the idea of scarcity. This episode Is a semi-philosophical look at scarcity. I’m not a professional philosopher by any means and my approach can be quite absurd, illogical and not at all that serious, so – you’ve been warned. Do not take this podcast too seriously. If you tend to take things too seriously, this might not be the podcast for you. Seriously. I mean it. Find another podcast to listen to.
You’re still here? Good. Let’s talk about scarcity. When we talk about a limited amount of something like food or trees, we are talking about scarcity. We say that wood is scarce and we should preserve as much of it as we possibly can because if we don’t, there won’t be any wood left anymore. That is not the whole story though. When you cut down a tree and make, let’s say, a chair out of it, you are merely changing the shape of the tree. If you then burn the chair, you are changing the condition of the tree from matter into energy. You can’t really get rid of the tree. You can only change its shape, definition or state.
Food seems to disappear when we eat it, but that is not really the case. It becomes part of us, blending with us completely when we eat it. The saying “you are what you eat” has much truth in it. Science shows us that matter and energy are interchangeable. It also shows us that there is a finite amount of matter/energy in the universe and that amount is constant. It cannot change. This means that the amount of food and trees can’t truly change. Only thair shape and condition can change. Things can blend into each other and change their essence and meaning, but they don’t disappear altogether. On the other hand, a tree is not as useful to us as a burnt-out chair, and food can’t be used again after it blends with us. In that way, those things are scarce. I’m going to check the scarcity of things in my fridge. I’ll be right back.
Wildcards – a 100 word story
The Queen looked at the multi-colored roses in shocked amazement. Seven and Five giggles softly while Two just stared madly at her. “What are you doing?” she asked, her amazement turning to anger. “Why the fact is, you see, we are painting all your roses” answered Two. The Queen turned the perfect shade of red, the one she liked for her roses and shouted: “Off with their heads.” “Not this time,” said Seven and Five in unison and started splashing colors at the Queen. They splashed her, then splashed her some more until she was completely devoured by the colors.
Welcome back. So we made a chair out of our tree, then we burned it. Can we get it back? Theoretically, this is a possibility, and here we will be going into the future of scarcity. We are currently mastering the ability to move atoms. The field of study that concentrates on moving atoms is called nanotechnology. If we could get back the energy of the burnt tree-chair and somehow convert it back into matter, then rearrange the atoms of that matter back the way they were when we first found them, we could theoretically get our tree back. This way of getting back the same tree might prove to be too difficult to accomplish and too expensive. There might be a more practical way, but you won’t get the same tree. What you will get though is the end of scarcity.
3d printers are on their way to becoming a household commodity. This idea of printing actual everyday objects is becoming a reality. Currently, those printers are very limited by the materials you can use, but that is going to change in the future. When the ability to move atoms makes its way into 3d printing, imagination would be the only real limit. You would take one material and change it to another by changing the composition of its molecules. This means you would take cheap materials and make everyday objects from them. Your only limit would be the composition of the atoms themselves. You would have to use atoms that can compose the right kind of molecules for the materials you want to use, but then if a certain material is missing you could always create a new one to replace it. In that way you would be able to print any object you could think of.
Our economy depends on scarcity. When you can print any object using a 3d printer, there is no scarcity anymore. You would be able to print out food, trees, chairs, cloths. You would be able to use 3d printers to print 3d printers. You could even be able to print money, but money would be useless. The age of 3d printing and nanotechnology would truly be the age of abundance. Something that’s already being worked on is the ability to print replacement organs for the human body. Eventually, we would be able to print a whole new body for ourselves, staying young forever. We would be able to rearrange the atoms in our brains, becoming more intelligent. This is just one of the things that might herald what is called the technological singularity, but this is a topic for another episode. For now, let us just remember that trees never die. They just change their essence. This concludes episode 20 of this podcast. Close the door on your way out and don’t forget – I’m just a figment of your imagination.