In the early 1900’s, there lived an inventor named Harold. He and his assistant, Thurmond, spent their days discussing issues and looking for ways to solve those issues with their inventions. One day, Harold spoke up to Thurmond.
“There are so many painful conflicts in the world. The age that we live in is one of much strife and frustration. There must be something we can do to put an end to all this confusion and turn around the way of the world. How do you feel about this matter?”
“I wholeheartedly agree,” replied Thurmond. “After all, we are inventors of new things, are we not?”
“We are indeed!” replied Harold. “Perhaps we could invent a leader who would gain the attention of the public.”
“A sound idea,” said Thurmond.
“This leader will hold the keys to the future,” said Harold. “People will look to him for guidance, and that is exactly what they will receive!”
“Brilliant!” agreed Thurmond.
So, the two men sought to create a leader for the people of society to look to for guidance. They gathered up all of their equipment, from scrap metal to rusted mechanical parts that had been removed from various appliances. Thurmond sat down at his desk and pulled out a large piece of writing paper that he used to graph their ideas on, while Harold paced back and forth around the room, stroking his chin and staring off into distant space. This was a very common practice for the two of them. Finally, after several minutes of silence, Harold spoke up.
“After much consideration, I feel that this leader should be modeled after ourselves. After all, why would anyone listen to a foreign creation that they neither understood nor recognized?”
“An insightful observation indeed, sir,” remarked Thurmond.
“Indeed.” said Harold. “Now, let us begin from the ground up. Read off to me various parts of the human body, and we shall examine each one’s own particular use.”
“Very well.” said Thurmond. “Let’s start with the toes.”
Harold thought for a minute, and then spoke up.
“The toes are very natural looking things in regard to their relationship with the feet. However, I do not feel that they provide an adequate amount of importance in this matter to be kept.”
“And what of the feet?” asked Thurmond.
“The feet are often strangely proportioned to the rest of the body,” replied Harold. “I say this only for the purpose of science, but look at your own feet.”
Thurmond looked down at his own feet. Thurmond was a very short man, not round and heavy like some short men, but rather, he was very average in build. Yet, his feet were abnormally large for a man of his stature.
“An astute observation indeed,” said Thurmond, looking back at his paper.
“Indeed,” confirmed Harold. “Not only are they often strange in proportion, but they also serve a purpose that I feel will be all too unnecessary for our creation.”
“How do you mean?” Thurmond queried.
“Well, Thurmond,” replied Harold. “The answer is simple: Our creation is to be of much higher regard than any ordinary thing. It need not have something as clumsy as mere feet to hold it up, but rather, it will be held up by its own splendor.”
“Magnificent!” exclaimed Thurmond.
“Truly.” replied Harold. “Now, let us continue.”
“I suppose with no feet to attach, there will be no need for ankles to do the attaching. Correct?” proposed Thurmond.
“Correct.” said Harold
“Alright. What of the legs?” asked Thurmond.
“The legs are truly a means of dominance in some cases,” said Harold. He was a much taller man than Thurmond. Therefore, he felt that he understood this feeling in which he was referring to much more than Thurmond did.
“However,” continued Harold, “they do not always give a sound display of the true character of the individual in which they uphold. We cannot have a shred of deceit or dishonesty in this creation.”
“Very well put, sir,” agreed Thurmond. “What of the waist?”
“The waist is very similar to the ankles, in that it is in place solely for the purpose of connecting the upper body to the lower body. Therefore, our creation should have no need of such a connecting device. To do so would only be wasteful, and thus, misleading.”
“Agreed.” said Thurmond.
“How are we doing so far?” asked Harold.
“Our creation is truly open to an indescribable amount of possibilities,” said Thurmond, looking down at the blank paper.
“Excellent!” said Harold in approval.
“Now, what about the stomach?” asked Thurmond.
“The stomach is prone to becoming very unmanageable,” said Harold. “After all, it is the storage chamber for what will soon become waste. Our creation has no place for waste.”
“No place at all,” agreed Thurmond. “What of the chest?”
“The chest is a place of comfort for the young,” said Harold, “however, it is also a means of great boasting, and by great I mean not great at all, but rather, puffed up with false greatness stemming from an unruly amount of self-importance. Our creation has no need for such empty promotion.”
“A clever discernment indeed, sir,” said Thurmond.
“Indeed.” said Harold. “Now, in order that we may proceed more rapidly, let us look upon the fingers, hands, and arms all at once.”
“Very well,” said Thurmond.
“Now, the fingers are very useful, providing hands the ability to give, to obtain, and to keep. These are all wonderful traits. However, I fear that they are much too vulnerable, much like the toes, and they are prone to be broken and rendered useless. The hands are glorified in the presence of fingers, and thus, they serve no purpose without them. The arms provide a great deal of strength, yet they rely heavily upon other things such as grip from the hands and fingers, as well as the back, which is often their wellspring of strength.”
“How will the creation serve and maintain without these members?” asked Thurmond.
“A sound question indeed,” remarked Harold. “However, I feel that once the people are captivated by our creation, they themselves will carry out its acts of serving and maintaining, thus providing a sense of togetherness and activity.”
“Remarkable!” said Thurmond.
“Indeed.” said Harold.
“I suppose the shoulders will serve no more purpose than the ankles or the waist.” stated Thurmond
“Precisely.” said Harold.
“Perhaps you could break down the parts of the head in a similar fashion?” proposed Thurmond.
“Very well,” said Harold. “The nose serves only an inwardly fulfilling purpose, and is therefore, not needed. The eyes are very valuable, yet I feel that they are susceptible to render a person useless in the event of their absence, assuming that the person has spent any amount of time relying upon them. The ears serve a very important purpose in listening to the opinions of others, yet I feel it is those very opinions that have brought the world into a place of such confusion. It is difficult to remove these, yet I feel it is necessary.”
“A very difficult decision indeed,” said Thurmond.
“Indeed,” said Harold. “Now, the mouth is a means of great good as well as great evil. Yet, I feel that with a proper amount of coordination with the mind, it can be controlled for the sole purpose of good.”
“What relation would you suggest?” asked Thurmond.
“I propose that we create a brain that is filled with intentions firmly set upon the good of mankind. If the brain is allowed to think for itself, it may become unruly and indecisive, therefore rendering itself a failure. That is why we must fill it with a firm standing in the betterment of society. It will have no thought of confusion whatsoever, and with no ears to give it new information, its integrity will be kept.”
“Very intriguing,” said Thurmond.
“The mouth will serve as the platform of the brain. After all, the people must first hear its sound advice in order to put it to good use.”
“I agree,” said Thurmond.
So, the men got to work making their idea into a reality. They spent several months designing their creation. Everything ranging from building material, size, and shape was considered. Finally, after an intense amount of labor, they completed their project. The creation was a large sphere, about five feet tall, five feet wide, and five feet in circumference. In the middle was a separation that broke the sphere into two semi-spheres. The top portion of the sphere had intricate designs on it, while the bottom portion was clean and free from any marking. Inside the separation was a rectangular funnel that went all the way around and broke out on either end. Its edges were rounded off, and inside it was a rim that lit up when the creation was activated. It could be rolled around like a ball, yet it was as firm as the body of a train. The men referred to it as “The Coordinator Of Revision and Emendation” or more simply, “The C.O.R.E.”
One day, when the men were finally confident in the success of their work, they took “The C.O.R.E” out into a town square, and placed it in the center.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” said Harold aloud, “It has come to my attention that there is a great amount of turmoil in the world. This should not be so! Therefore, allow me to introduce to you the cure for our confusion, the righter of wrongs, and the fixer of our broken society.”
Thurmond powered on the device, and it let out a loud, humming sound. The people in the square gathered around in interest and amazement. After a moment of shocking silence, the device began to speak in a human voice that sounded much more monotonous and mechanical than that of a human’s. It was like nothing that the people had ever heard before.
“Unity.” said the device. “Coordination. Wholeness. Consensual agreement. Undivided solidarity. These are the qualities of a perfect, impenetrable society. Without these qualities, there is no society.”
The people began to cheer, and murmur to one another in astonishment. This was unlike anything that had ever been seen or done.
“Amazing!” shouted one man.
“Simply incredible!” shouted another.
Some walked up to the device and examined it carefully, while others stood back in fear. Some watched from far off in disbelief, while others looked at one another in silence and amazement.
The device began to speak again, stating the same words that it said before. The people reacted exactly as they had before. Each person fixed their attention on the device, and more people began to gather around. The device continued to speak, reading off the same words each time, captivating its audience.
Finally, Harold spoke up.
“This device holds the keys to a better society! We must learn from it, heed its advice, and put its words to action. Go, and think about what you have seen and heard. Return tomorrow, and you will not be disappointed.”
The next day, Harold and Thurmond brought the device to the town square, and it spoke to the people again. This time, however, it spoke new words, which took many by surprise and filled them with amazement once again. This continued for several days. Each day, people would come to hear the advice of “The C.O.R.E.”, and they would leave astonished. After a few weeks, however, fewer people came. A small group of devoted followers came every day, with the occasional new faces. Yet, even the devoted groups began to dwindle down into just a few people. After several weeks, no one came to hear the machine’s advice.
One night, Harold spoke up to Thurmond.
“What in the world has happened? First, there were many followers. In fact, everyone in the town came. Now, however, there is no one. Not one person comes to listen.”
“Perhaps the people are unchangeable. Perhaps they are too set in their ways,” said Thurmond.
“I simply cannot accept that!” yelled Harold in frustration. “There must be something we have forgotten. Perhaps there is something we overlooked.”
“It is very possible,” said Thurmond. “Should we rebuild it?”
“No,” said Harold. “The people recognize it already, and they associate it with failure. We must create something different, something new entirely.”
So, the two men started from the beginning as they had before. This time, the device that they created did not speak at all. Instead, its only purpose was to receive information. There was no outward display of activity from the device, except for a short humming sound that came whenever someone spoke to it. People came from all around to speak to the device, wondering what would happen. Some said it held a treasure, and it would only open for the correct passphrase. Others said its only purpose was to store up information. A few people said it was utterly useless and that it needed to be removed from the town. This device quickly became a thing of the past like the one before it. Harold and Thurmond pondered in confusion as they had before, which led them create a third device, uniquely different from the others. This however, produced a similar reaction from the people. Over the next several months, Harold and Thurmond repeated the same series of events. They would create a new device, the people would flock to it, only to forget about it later on, and then a new device would be created, producing the same results. As time went on, there were enough devices to interest every type of person in the town, yet none of them remained successful. Pretty soon, the people began to create their own devices in order to fulfill their own desires.
One day, Harold spoke up to Thurmond.
“What have we done? We began with the intention to cure the confusion in society, yet all we have done is to make it worse! How can we go on?”
“I do not know,” said Thurmond, as he hung his head in disappointment.
For several days after that, the two of them sat in silence, and pondered what they might do. Finally, as he always did, Harold spoke up.
“Thurmond, I believe I have come to a realization.”
“What’s that, sir?” asked Thurmond.
“You and I are much too similar,” said Harold.
“We are very similar indeed,” said Thurmond.
“We agree far too often,” said Harold.
“Agreed,” said Thurmond.
“In fact,” said Harold, “since we have been agreeing with one another for so long, we have yet to create anything useful!”
Thurmond thought for a moment. “I suppose you are right,” he said.
“Also,” continued Harold, “I feel that we know absolutely nothing about society, for if we did, we would certainly have made a positive impact by now.”
“Truly,” said Thurmond. “Perhaps we should go into society and learn of it.”
“Precisely.” said Harold. “I feel that in order to change society for the better, we must first understand the society itself. Then, having learned of the society, I feel that we must look to ourselves, and make the changes in ourselves, rather than relying upon some created entity to make the changes for us, for I fear that our creations have done nothing but send the society spiraling into a deeper state of confusion.”
“Clearly,” said Thurmond.
So, the two men shook hands, said their goodbyes, and set off in opposite directions, seeking to learn more about the society in which they lived, in hopes that their observations would become productive action that they themselves would carry out.