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Mr. Adeevee, very much at ease, strolled along the path around the
cubicle that bulged only slightly in the landscape. Nowadays, the
building as jolly game, or as experiment with materials, was no
longer admitted. No ... ! Buildings had to be earthquake- and
hurricane- proof, had to have the minimum of energy waste with the
maximum of (usable) volume, had to be no burden on the environment,
no high obstacles for the climate, but co-operative with climate and
environment (91). Long since, therefore, the type
of half-sphere had been decided upon, although a full sphere was
still to be found here and there. Naturally, nature was encouraged
to 'grow' on top of the buildings that were, logically, very large.
The surface-to- volume ratio becoming more efficient with size. The
cubicle for world-government then, was the smallest to be found, yet
linked up to the rest of the university buildings by tunnels, and,
for nice days, by outdoor footpaths. Mr. Adeevee, therefore could
see the huge mounts of the buildings further on, beset with low
bushes and grassy parks, where birds lived and occasionally a
rabbit, squirrel or ferret. Adeevee was called among his friends,
laughingly, as 'Andive', people liked to take their names from their
world-citizen number, (birth registration was not by names but by
number, to which the parents numbers were added when necessary) and
it was sport to make jokes with them. His number was A1D V2E E3B so
that a clever calculator could guess what date in the future it was
(taking into account that the switch-over to a decent and easy 16
digit system of counting and calculating was already long past).
Adee, or Adeevee, or Andive, had time enough, and therefore, when he
encountered a growth inspector for buildings, he stopped to make a
chat. It was usual that at least once in the three or four years,
the growth on the buildings were inspected and all little saplings
that promised to become trees, were then carefully dug out, and
replanted elsewhere. They then, could not endanger themselves and
the building by rooting in too shallow a layer of soil. Planting was
almost everybody's pass time nowadays, i.e. for people that had not
many other leisure- time hobbies. The inspector therefore was doing
it for fun, he had naturally done his citizen's duty of three months
work. Yea, the inspector agreed, this 'really' was life worth
living. He studied and bred frogs in the evenings or on the rainy
days. Besides, he was interested in the classical historians. He
even had traveled on foot (no sense in traveling fast, when one
could do his obligatory work period anywhere, and had his right for
one square meal a day as every world-citizen had) to where these
historians themselves had traveled, only, as he mentioned, he had
found a lush green country as Mediterranean, whereas the historians
like Herodotus and Xenophon had only known semi-deserts.
"Aren't you forgetting this one?" said Adeevee, pointing
to a woody looking sapling.
"That, sir, is a wild rose. It can easily survive here
and does no harm. Besides, we are rather short of space for
new plantings at the moment."
"Of course, your are right. But do you know that that
small tree over there was dead last spring? That would provide a new place."
"It is all in the notes sir. You know that dead trees
have to be left alone for at least three years, and only
then, is it allowed to dig them out and put them somewhere
in the undergrowth. Are you very busy in governing at the
moment sir? I could use a hand with that funny little beech
there. It needs quite a lump of soil being taken with it."
"Certainly I will help you. The next 'session' is after
dark, tonight, and I have prepared for that already, just
you wait a second for my putting on an old suit."
When he returned and after they had been happily at work for
some time, he asked:
"What is it you do when not inspecting growth?"
"Oh, inspecting is only one of the many hobbies. I also
am a member of a little group of enthusiasts, investigating
the life of frogs, but my main occupation is always history."
"Well,you know how it is. You study a lot of Thucydides and
Herodotus and then you start wondering, ... wondering about the
ideational control, in resistance against the most serious
infections like the plague. But you know, it is a specialization in
ideation theory, in Nousology in fact, and so much has been found
out since ... We learn perfect strategies and practices for staying
healthy and happy in primary school nowadays. It is only too true,
that nobody be allowed near children, who has not extensive
knowledge of Idealogy. But, I actually was in Olympia, where they
hold the world-games every four years. These absurd people, the old
people, ... holding Olympian games all over the world, Tokio, Rome,
even a place called Amsterdam. How silly! I was there, and I soon
fell in with a group of perhaps, 300 people who were building a new
Acropolis. Almost professional stone masons they were, and exempt
from the duty work by governmental decree. Ah, you would know about
that, it is all in your computer. They were making an admirable
piece of work, the stone and marble no longer being corroded by a
hostile atmosphere though. I was even able to explain to them the
symbolism of the Swastica, as a 10,000 year old symbol of the
heliolithic culture. These Nazis only borrowed it for the time
being. In general, I became more and more involved in history from
the point of view of wars, strategy, so-called statesmanship, power
and the like."
"Then you must be very well read in our father of mondial
"Oh yes. Wells cannot be missed even when only his 'History' is taken into account. But I have contrasted his
writings (novels) of say, 1914 with those of 1918 and then
1931. One can easily see a development in his idea content
"Oh, we have learned about him of course on our steam preparation
"Funny, is it not, in those dark ages of wars and wars,
when there was secrecy about everything, governing in particular. Now, we can discuss precisely what we like, you
being governor not withstanding. We can tune in and follow
all that happens in governing. What was the subject again?
Was it not that island in which they wanted to kill all rabbits?"
"Yes, that's what it is all about. I am not in favour of
any killing at all. Things will turn out admirably when you
leave nature alone, we all learn this as kids in the
"And right you are sir. Nature knows far more about
keeping balances than we can dream of. My god, the old people must have been quite a lot of genuine bastards. Com-
pletely devoid of human dignity. All this needless killing
of animals for the pleasure of shooting, the dumping of living animals in boiling water, the exploitation of their own
kiddies. Happiness stands or falls with absolute dignity.
And dignity is: giving all due rights, except for the natural need of the belly. What do the boffins say about the
"Most of them come to the same conclusion. There is very little harm
if we do nothing, and very much when we do. These patches of heather
that will be extinguished appear to be not even so special qua
genus. There have been found plenty more places on Earth were it
flourishes abundantly. The proposal was apparently from some crank,
suffering from local blindness."
In the evening, at the appointed hour, Adeevee, entered his
cubicle and set down behind the desk. A red light flashed
on and off, indicating that he had forgotten to shut his
door. This was always necessary because, in the rare cases
of a decision to vote, all the locks, on all the thousand
cubicles over the globe, would be locked electronically, not
to be opened until the complete decision was made. The computer therefore counted you as present when your door was
shut. Adeevee, shut his door and the counter just over the
time display, should now jump one number further, but, seeing the time was so near, there were plenty of others coming
in so that the display could not be read. It stopped for a
split second at 873 and then went wild again. There you
are, 995 was the stop now, still five short therefore.
Still three minutes to go. It seldom happened that one of
the thousand governors did not attend in time. Absence by
illness was not known, and accidents very few in that new
world (92). In his surroundings then, on absence, a tremendous noise of sirens would set off, a sound hardly ever to
be heard at all normally, in this rational, relaxed, happy
world. Yes, one minute to go, and the number is complete ...
Adeevee, settled at ease in his chair, while the notice
board announced: 'choose your number please'. Adeevee,
reached over to the keyboard and typed in 4. That was the
number of saplings the inspector had to remove to safer soil
that day. The counting display almost seemed to buzz with
the efforts to keep up the thousand different numbers typed
in all over the globe. Adeevee, knew that the computer
would subtract all 1000's from the total so that a number
remained that was a governor, the chairman of this session.
Out came the result and it was 68, Adeevee's own government
number, the number of his station too, etc. Adeevee,
acknowledged with the button, and hastily tried to adjust
himself to the idea that he now, was responsible for the
organization of the session. Yes, he even was the only one
able to decide to a voting. He pressed the button 'speech'
(on the outcome of the chair number, that particular cubicle
was switched on to speech to all other centers) and said:
"We all know by now what is the matter in hand. I suppose
there will be not many of us to decide in favour of
'change'. I suggest that one who is, will take the word."
Another counting display showed 4. There were four people
who wanted entrance into the speaking system. Number 391
flickered, and he was heard over the speaker.
"I say, I was in favour last session, but too hasty,
apparently. I changed my mind, there is clearly no occasion
to go and destroy these animals at all. I was advised that
nothing serious can happen if we do nothing. For my part,
we can vote now, and be done with."
His flickering went out and number 45 started. In the same
moment, the number on 'waiting' was reduced by one.
"Thank you number 391, go on number 45." said Adeevee.
"Look, I was advised by a psychologist of some sort that
we, governors rapidly acquire a tendency to decide always in
a 'no change' manner, it is far easier that way. But what
are we supposed to decide anyway if we always decide in letting things as they are? We are governors aren't we, we are
supposed to control, not to leave things alone!"
At that moment, the counter for speech, started racing like
mad, and ended up on 807.
"Now," said Adeevee?"this clearly is a protest against
you, 45. We cannot possible hope to give this number of you
lot speaking time. It seems far more logical to vote at
once, let's simply see how the cards are on the table. We
might end this business soon that way. Is there anyone
among you 807 speakers who wants to make use of the number
10 priority?" (93)
The screen remained empty except for a 45.
"Right then," said Adeevee?"we will vote 'now'," while
pressing a button marked 'no', his voting knob. Immediately
he could hear the automatic lock on his door click. On his
screen appeared the notation: 'for' and 'against'. It was
clear that the against was active, it counted 896, while the
for's were only 3.
"You see?" said Adeevee?"amply enough for not taking
any action." (For taking action, a change in the natural
order of things, unanimity was needed, i.e. 999 votes. For
not taking action, 750 votes were enough). At the same
time, he could hear his door being unlocked, a decision was
"You, dissenters, are free to think things over again,
search for advice, and when it should turn out to be serious, we could
always bring the question in again. Next on
the agenda as I see it is the question about this line from
Moskow to Peking. The works have been stopped in waiting
for a decision about whether to tunnel that lake, or to make
a dam across it (94). It is quite recent though, and most
of us will have had no time to investigate. There is no
time pressure, (as usual), so let's postpone it for the time
It was then that the speaking counter jumped to 2, and
then back to 1, while the governing number 18 flashed up.
"Go ahead number 18."
"I am in favour of such a dam, with a tunnel on top naturally, since
we always have these transport-lines in tunnels, would it not be
best to do the same here? We could make the dam wide enough for the
planting of ample vegetation. But should we not provide concrete
tubes in it for the natural fish trekking and the evening-out of the
water level? The eastern part of the lake, as I am told, is favoured
by the fish for breeding. We don't want to make two lakes out of one
"Right number 18, let's take a week off. In the mean time, the
nearest of us might go and take a look. Who is nearest anyway,
number 60 or 830?" Number 830 came in and said?"we have some
specialized boffins in this sort of technology over here, I can take
"Right, I hereby set the next session for 10 days from
now, but not at this ungodly hour for me, let's make it noon
in this place, i.e. 8. 6. 6. world time (95)."
Next: What are You to
Up: The World Solution for
Previous: Story One