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Friday, November 15, 2013

Infinity Express #Flight2100: Entropy Fueled

Never in the history of literature has any short story entered the world with such fanfare, mystery and expectation. For a few moments thousands of eyes from all around the globe will be engaged for a brief minute or two making, at the very least, literary history. For days, months and years thereafter, thousands of minds are destined to confront the enigma of “Infinity Express Flight 2100: Entropy Fueled”. For as John Milton so profoundly stated in Paradise Lost – “the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven”

Are you ready to board this Starship? Are you sure?


Infinity Express Flight 2100: Entropy Fueled
 – A silly little story …
Boarding passes were presented by the 10,000 or so passengers who happily jumped onto Starship Earth, some 250,000 years ago. For Infinity Express Airlines, Flight 2100, was then finally boarded; destined to take its passengers to the last shores of Eternity. Engines were fueled by cosmic fuel - entropy; the flight crew was a top class professional team, captained by Economics, while Theology, Politics and Science rounded out the rest of the key cabin crew members.

After take-off, the passengers’ only concerns were survival, procreation and creating the distractions needed to keep their brains’ - primary organ - neurological mass and energy mix, actively producing a range of various cognitions. Through their cognitions they could also create many stories that would allow them to organize and entertain themselves over an expected long voyage. So they did all these things. It was a circular process, like everything else around them.

All the essential necessities were provided in the cargo store for this journey, along with enough entropy supply for the Starship’s engines, as well as, the daily use of passengers for their survival needs and distractions purposes. This cargo store was certified and approved prior to departure, and then managed, in flight, by the crew.

About fifty-nine “cosmic minutes” after takeoff, the Scientist was becoming concerned, that the now over seven billion travelers, had been consuming too much, from both the necessities cargo store and entropy fuel tanks. It was a grand party, as evidenced by the thick cabin smoke and clutter. But this ever-growing passenger population created after take-off was testing the logical stress limits of the ship and voyage. Particular attention was given to the half-full entropy fuel tanks. 

No worries” said both the Politicians and Theologians “The Captain says there is more than enough for another 250,000 years given past usage experience, more than enough to refuel at the next rest-stop along the way. “ With these assurances the passengers relaxed and continued with their affairs for a moment, not even realizing that they were still going around-in-circles. Moreover, the Scientist for some strange reason was quickly re-assigned to coach, with the other passengers.

Back in the cockpit cabin, its atmosphere was now engulfed by the team’s fear, high-tensions, blinking-lights and stuttering confusion. The abstract Positive-Sum Infinite (PSI) gauges for GDP, Wealth, and Growth were all stabilized and normal, but the concrete Negative-Sum Finite (NSF) gauges for Climate, Resources, Water and Biosphere had just jumped sharply into J-curve configurations. The Politician, and now acting flight engineer, immediately pulled-out and started reading the” Infinity Express - Emergency and Flight Disaster Protocols Manual.

“Quickly, what are we supposed to do?” asked the sweat-drenched Captain.

“Captain,” replied the Politician, “it says we are now  Linear Curve Code Red Nth”

“Then, what does it say next. Tell me! Quickly! Please?”cried a clearly terrified Captain.

“Strange Captain? All it says is that, the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. Dr Albert A Bartlett. That’s it?”

“Holy jumping Star bucks guys – the fuel tank just dropped to empty. Get into batten-down mode; we gotta to tell the passengers,” bellowed the now highly-strung Captain at the top of his lungs.

Suddenly, back in coach, in just a few brief moments the Captain’s voice broke the newly found Starship’s passengers’ cabin short-lived calm. “Attention all passengers, please push back your trays; buckle your seat belts as our indicators are telling us that we are about to enter an unexpected area of accelerated exponential turbulence” the Captain deeply lamented in an official resonant tone.

Then just as suddenly, sparse moments after the sturdy voice left their ears - the engines went quiet. Then a brief ghostly hiss, followed by Dead Silence…

Hardly moments later, within the carnage of terrifying wreckage, a few survivors clung to their last gasps of time. A young little girl softly and quietly turns to her father’s darkened somber face. With all her remaining strength she blurts, “Why? Why Daddy? Why? 

A single lonely teardrop etches on his face, then falls into the soulless murmur of waves flowing into an existential universe. Looking for the welcoming hand of eternity’s shores? Or humanity’s last thought?

There were no hands, no shores and no thoughts in the remnants and carnage of unanswered why’s. Only whys. And then, another cosmic minute lapsed, bearing the soft humming sounds of another passing Starship... 

...Infinity Express, Flight CM2E - heading rapidly towards…

the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven”

Special thanks to  those who contributed alphabetically to the crafting of this parody;  Paul Chefurka, Chris Clugston, Fred Magyar, Terry McNeil, Frosty Wooldridge and Dr Peter G Kinesa.  And a very special acknowledgement and thanks to the late Dr Albert A Bartlett, whose famous quote is cited above regarding humanity’s (particularly mainstream economics) inability  to understand and apply the exponential function.- conceptual failing which will ultimately have such profound effects on its condition, sustainability and longevity. In the end, it should prove to be one of its greatest failings of understanding and intellectual honesty.

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