INFINITE OPTIMISM BY R.S. PEARSON (copyright 1986-1994, R.S. Pearson) INTRODUCTION EARTH 2155 A global flower, a round flower, the earth was becoming a wide forest again, alive resplendent with the vegetative vibrancy of growth. And it was this growth that was fused with man's wisdom for it was by dexterity and skill that man had fashioned and carved the genes responsible for this growth. The forest's geometric nuclei was providing every sundry need. The forest's vortex was spinning the clothes of appropriate invention for man: electricity from the sun, wind and rains propelling him in vehicles that also blasted off by furious fermentations, sparking fresh concepts in turbines, pistons and shoving wheels in motion. Microbatteries charges by minute changes in elements all around us such as wind and water. Fireplaces in home discharging their flames into batteries. And the cities were beautiful and lush. Madrid was one big variable combo of buildings, strange streets that were like winding sculptured air fresheners since the huge pots and trees were kept in the city to make the air cleaner. Moving along these streets could be compared to traveling through an industrial forest, and when one eliminated the background city noises and the tall gray blocks of concrete from the senses, there was the possibility of imagining a journey within another part of the country. No one who lived in Madrid would ever see the city in this way, which was why it would require a visitor to explore its hidden secrets. Madrid had certainly changed. It was no longer the traditional city of Spain The plant kingdom's genetic catalogue was very big. Exploiting every possible combination, scientists became artists, and categories of knowledge were different that they had ever been. Biodegradable technology had become a fact, a saving grace. It took many different types of scientists to continue to tap the tremendous area that could be tapped. At first man's appraisal of genetic exploration was terrifying. The first thing people did was fear it. They feared that the first thing that would be genetically altered were human beings. Horrible fears of virtuous freaks came from writers. This nightmare came to a halt when people realized that the best thing to do was work on the pollution problem, the natural resource problem, and this broke down into designing a new chemical base for the present technology. By the middle of the Twentieth-Century people realized that human exploitations were just a nightmare of concerned minds. Plant genetics however were a category larger than man could fathom -- why not start on that? Genetics would be used to control various types of electronics based on chlorophyll which is the electrical base for photosynthesis. Electronic components were growable. The first mass producible breakthrough was the paper pulp machine, which looked so odd as it grew large pods like a banana tree. These pods could be sent to a mill for paper and wood products. And then components like led-light decorations were made. These components were indeed electronics. They become a complete machine in which there were the roots of the contraption, put into the soil to provide a nutrition. A heightened electrical current was directable when light hit the flower. These miniature decorations lasted for several years. CHAPTER ONE Peter Coming Home from Work Arriving at his condominium, Peter opened the door and met his wife. In this multi-purpose room there was a menagerie of hidden drawers and cupboards that expanded the storage space of the condominium by dozens of cubic feet. There were several round devices that opened up into compartments for tableware. The large round cabinets gave an elegant look. They gave the appearance that this room did not care about space economy. The table was round. The roundness reflected in chrome circles inlaid in it. Blue wicker chairs gave five people comfortable placement surrounding it. The other multi-functions of the dining room kept the equipment for activities relating to the technology of that day: scales for things like mail, or weighing out nutrients for the bio- degradable science that had evolved. In the corner sat the computer which helped to control the condominium. Unlike its plastic and silicon predecessors, this machine's shell was made from composition board made of ground acorns fused together a resin harvested from banana pod-like trees that grew rubber-sap. It processed information using electrochemical reactions within a network of factory grown bio- chips with copied DNA patterns. At several locations about the room were input/output screens. These devices displayed data and were designed to react to touch in order to allow one to command the computer. Skylights on the ceiling allowed light into living room by day, the bioluminescent chemicals within the other ceiling panels illuminated the room by night. Above the skylights the roof was covered with a lattice of genetically altered plant fibers filled with a type of chlorophyll that had been made black to increase its absorption of solar energy. Throughout the day these plants absorbed the light of the sun and turned it into the chemical energy that powered the condominium. With so many compartments blended into the furniture, it was easy to be neat. Nothing was worse however than compartmentalized condominium that was owned by someone that wasn't neat. The potential for a mess was staggering. Occasionally brushing her hair back, Rosette read from one end of the round table. Peter, listening but thinking about affecting Matta more effectively, sat at the other. He resembled one whose attention span was decreasing. His own wife of nineteen years was reading him her days work and he couldn't find the peace of mind to listen. "However broad our measureless library gets, there will be no way to ease the pain of ourselves and others. This has been proven by thunderstorms, thunderstorms of bloodshed, thunderstorms of starvation, thunderstorms of devastation...." Rosette was throwing in an emotive prose section, which wasn't computer generated. Hearing the recital from the hallway, Daniel came into the Fernadez's without a knock. He thought this was better than knocking and disturbing Rosette. Daniel left home at fifteen. For several years such runaways were common in this country, and may other countries. They ran away in the tradition of Rimbaud, the teenage poet of Nineteenth- century France. They ran away for the same reasons, to be a seer- poet, and such were as common as the guitarists of the Twentieth century. This was their way to be a contribution to society. Rimbaud had been a legend to countless poets since the end of the Nineteenth-century. He stopped writing poetry at the age of twenty. Like the controlled accidents that represented the way people came to new information, his was a mind unfettered by well- troddened thoughts. His work was one of the first that could be called science fiction; he used his imagination to see things which would not yet be seen on earth. This strenuous exploration had cost Rimbaud his desire to be a seer-poet after age twenty. But after two-hundred years even people with a common intelligence (different no doubt from the type of common intelligence of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries) and a few computer programs could produce fascinating prose. The computer program was half the visionary -- it too was a seer! Daniel had his own room which could have been arranged to be the way he would like it. He did most of his thinking when listening to music, having a large amount of selections to listen to, and only about half his tapes were musical. He could call up friends and have them play a record into a channel and he could listen or tape what his friend put on. Daniel had not become much of a writer; he considered himself in research. Daniel kept away form his father because Daniel was haunted by the hope that he would soon be successful for something or other. Daniel's father could help pay Daniel way through life but Daniel would not have this. And so Peter was almost like a new father. Peter hated the idea that he would become too restrictive to Daniel at Daniel's age. No restriction were placed on Daniel. He had to watch out for them. Rosette now leaned on a counter with her bare feet flat on a multicolored tile floor. She continued to read and then looked at Peter. Daniel decided to leave. CHAPTER TWO Daniel goes to a friend's house He could go anywhere and he also had the advantage of free transportation at his disposal. He walked around for a few blocks in the sunny early evening of the Madrid suburb. He decided to only go to the other side of town were Scott and his household lived. Scott was four years older than Daniel, employed, and helped out some people like Daniel. There was somewhere to go now. The sun's power on the greenery all around him made him sense deeply the use of the light in all that botanic-tech. These contraptions, now in some ways, saviors of the planet, were basically all Daniel ever knew. Only 30 years ago, in 2125, it was different. There were still hurdles being met in the development of some of these technologies. Electronic devices still were being developed at a speed like the development of computer processors in the late 20th Century. Petroleum was being phased out starting in the early decades of the 21st Century, and this was done mostly by polymer resins coming from rubbertree mutations. The switch to botanic engineering of photosynthesis was a more complex operation and hadn't been developed until the 2070's, when science could program new designs into plant DNA by a robotic computer engineering. It was not until the year 2120 that the real breakthrough in bioengineering occurred. Researchers perfected a method to rewrite the genetic code of plant cells using small amounts of well focused radiation. When people began to see that plant-like devices could be used to monitor and control different parts of their everyday life, they grasped them in fury. When they saw that these plants took away the gas blowing on the streets, the horrible chemical smells of populated areas, they demanded the corporations to get involved. New companies started that concerned executives from well established corporations flocked to in the thousands. The older groups changed their ways as science created new clean earth- friendly ways of doing the same old stuff. His being became emotional at the good feeling he got from memories of Scott and the group. The buses that Daniel went on were built on solar fermentation principle. They worked on a fuel that produced corrosive and powerful chemical reactions based on a chemistry that was not bio-degradable, but produced no real pollution to speak of. The almost unbreakable tanks ran along the entire bottom and part of the sides of the bus and had to be refilled after the fermentation expired. Daniel starred out of the window of the bus at the scenery he had grown so accustomed to seeing on his trips to and from Scott's place. The sun, especially bright today, would soon disappear, giving way to the enormous plant-structure which formed the city's bus tunnels. As always, Daniel's eyes took several seconds to adjust to the sudden absence of light. Today, however, Daniel's eyes perceived the images as if for the first time. Ivy growths that scarcely two centuries earlier would be fenced off and protected from the harm of cities now made up their infrastructures. Daniel looked toward the other passengers; though also staring off, the distant, busy visages revealed none of Daniel's astonishing perceptions. The tunnels were his world to enjoy. Daniel, riding through the tunnels, would always find himself watching the continuous stream of billboards, each one glittering and flashing advertisements so as to create one long strip of film. Occupants moving past the signs saw the billboards display their products in an animated sequence, much like the cartoon flipbooks of over a century ago. Daniel was fascinated by these images; they didn't necessarily motivate him to buy their products but they did at least attract his undivided attention. As he peered out the clear windows at the tunnel the bus was now entering, bright flower colored murals illumined the walls and a phosphorescent glow filtered through the atmosphere. Clean and clear were Daniels thoughts as he glanced to the left and noticed the new advertisements hanging along the walls suspended, in holographic form. One revealed the new Anzel product which was a biodegradable plastic suitcase. Hoping aboard the bus Daniel smiled at the bus driver and walked back to an empty seat by the window. There were some types of street people that he knew he resembled. But he knew they were people without the good fortune to have the type of friends he had. He knew he'd be spending the night at the Fernandez's. The ride was slow around Madrid. It was once as exciting as any world cosmopolitan center could be. There were certain sights that Daniel could always look to as triggers for his curious fascination. It was cultivated as it had always had been, but stories in Madrid now seldom provoke his wonder. But something needs to be said about this. It wasn't as startling to the people of 2150 as it would be to us. Still an area rapidly growing. Arriving at the destination of Scott's house Daniel rang the bell and the bus driver pulled over to the grassy curb and getting off the bus Daniel looked towards the apartment house that Scott lived in. It was covered in a thick insulation ivy that curved all around the apartment building and kept in the heat in the winter. But the nature of plant genetics it acted as a barrier to the cool vibrations coming out of the house in the summer. Daniel was up the stairs and rang Scott's bell. He knew they were home. He hoped someone could hear him over the loud subculture music. Ringing the bell again, Daniel looked down and straightened his outfit. He was wearing light blue pants and a light blue jacket, with an embroidered red shirt. Yellow doves graced the shirt in a sketch work reminiscent of Picasso's line drawings. He knew he looked fine. His welcomed sight had arrived. A peer opened the door. It was Anne in a cheerful mood. Six people met Daniel's eyes as he walked into the three bedroom apartment. "Hello, Daniel. Just in time for Dinner?" Daniel was addressed by Scott, busy with finishing touches on the food. "What synchronicity, hey? Just in time for dinner." He said like a circus ringleader. Anne, Scott's girl friend came over and helped Scott with the bowls of salad. "So now, Daniel . . . " Anne started, knowing Daniel was relishing this get together after being asked to leave. "Peter and Rosette forced me out of the house." "Tell me why you were asked to leave." Not expecting to have to really go into this subject matter again, he looked at Anne momentarily to try figure out how to answer this question. "You know I don't know; except that Rosette was bother by Peter." I see. Anne said with a nutritious cherry-tomato sized vegetable going into her mouth. Anne looked like she didn't hear a good story. The six sat down to their meals. They put the music on immediately. There were some nice things to look at and talk about, as always: books to read, videos to watch, music to listen to. On returning to Peter's apartment, Daniel quietly turned the key to the separate entrance and walked in, put down his backpack and quietly closed the door. On his bed was a letter from Peter. Daniel, Sorry about telling you to leave. You should have been with me at work today. Then you would know how I feel. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I had no reason to ask you to leave, and I hope you feel welcome, again. Peter CHAPTER THREE Peter at work "There needs to be more ferrous in these radio saplings." The purr of the slowly rotating gears obscured Peter's voice. Matta was soon out a door and down the hall. Peter looked at the machinery conveying the beds near the windows. There were solar mirrors on the walls to accent the brightness of the sun. "I hope he heard me," he said softly yet aloud. "There is a definite problem with this job; not enough money and its too boring." Peter continued squirting the liquid on the little saplings embedded in their gel-like soil. Peter didn't really have anything to say to his boos that was vitally important. He remember he once ruined an entire months crop due to a lack of a nutrient in one stage of growth. Peter had once again spotted his employer, and was walking over to him. "There needs to be more ferrous in these beds of saplings. The photosynthetic and metabiotic processes aren't working right." Walking over to Peter, Matta stopped and glanced at him through his dark glasses. "What?" "There needs to be more ferrous in the mixture. The receivers over there aren't getting enough of it." "I didn't see any lack of ferrous on the daily report. It's not something one can see with their eyes." "I've been here thirteen years. I can tell when a three-week batch is doing bad. The last time a crop's circuits failed to run it was due to an iron deficiency." Peter paused and took off his dark glasses for a moment. Brushing back his hair he said. "No sincerely, There is something wrong with these plants. Matta. I can tell. Look at that one there." Peter's fingers probed a small soft nub underneath the hard top of the plant. "This one here, its not going to spit out any current. It won't ripen correctly when the time comes. You'll see." Matta, letting Peter get the best of him, said he'd take the blame if they came out bad. CHAPTER FOUR Daniel about Town and in the Disc-Shop Daniel: sturdy young avatar of his own mind, parentless by force of will, he is all there is to light and sound. Yes, Daniel was to be an extraordinary helper, a benevolence dropped down to a world long dominated by mediocrity. Each era might have more progress than before, but even in Daniel's day all people were not aristocrats at birth. Many like Daniel had tried not to be mediocre, even though, subliminally, it was mediocrity that was cherished and rewarded. To be creatively virtuous was in and out of vogue as it had been for some time, and Daniel kept dressed in the most radical application of this fashion. And he was multifaceted in his definition of virtue. To him the Virtues were not only applied to morality. He like to think about honesty in estimating how one lived up to their unremovably ingrained delusions of creativity. Intellectual fortitude was one of his favorite concepts. He could read Egyptian hieroglyphics, not by a formal education, but by his confidence in the feelings he got from them. He thought much of his thought to be only the logical outcome of what others professed. Today was an especially luscious day and he felt an anointed essence of life as the winds blew between him and his field of vision. As he roamed rather aimlessly within Madrid he kept his head bent up and his eyes on the huge photosynthetic murals on the skyscrapers. The bright flower pigmented energy cells were always in and out of bloom and the city planners sequenced which window panel area would bloom when. It wasn't advertisements he was soaking in. According to the formula there was always a blossoming image on all four sides of the buildings. Of the half-dozen or so shope keepers that Daniel had a friendship with, he decided on visiting Scott. Scott was the most talkative, and the Turn-Off Bookstore, Scott's store, was his closest possible destination, a valid factor he often considered. The young vagrant had no intent of buying anything this day. His working friends knew this was usually the case. He entered the store without looking for Scott to catch his glance, which would have taken a strained effort for Scott was busy with a customer. Daniel saw the busy visuals of the store as symbolic of the true nature of the mind of man. It was an old symbol for him. He saw many things as symbolic, and sometimes these personal revelations went too far, but not one ever noticed: Daniel kept his mouth shut. He realized that the rows of books and bins of disks could have anything printed on the. This energized him. He skimmed a dozen books this afternoon, booted a few cellulose DNA-film disks. Fiery young writers were not bored to agitation by the stagnation of older writers. They did not emulate only a few renegade authors, like in the days of the French Surrealists. Now there were so many fresh ideas, so much unexhasted intelligent directions, that there was no need for a froward avant-garde. To be creative in this age required massive research. Since the information explosion of the early 21st century, so much new and bizarre information was available -- facts and fictions -- which gave bookstores/diskstores a wide popular appeal which had never been seen since global illiteracy was obliterated. After Daniel's lengthy browse he walked up to the consumerless circular check-out counter. Daniel usually browsed a bit before greeting his working friends, not really to appear as a potential buyer, but perhaps. After the usual amenities the two Great Minds resumed their ongoing conversation. And somewhere in the middle of it: "in the 2020's people had pretensions for all these things, they spoke of creativity, of entertaining didacticism, of shocking the public, but as history has seen, the public mimics verbally what the strong accomplish in truth, and until the majority finally began to create, not mimic, societies still were trapped in mundane politics," Scott said in a sarcastic voice which reeked of historical studies, "you name it." Scott shifting one leg upon a stool to lean on the other, emphasizing: "There was such a dominance of the waking consciousness over the subconscious, a tyranny of pretention over actualization, so much," he laughed, but alone - Daniel couldn't see anything funny - - "that few real solutions to desire could be found." There was a slight silence followed by some gestures by both. "Remember, true Surrealism was ignored by the majority until fifty years after they had all died." Although Scott was twice the age of Daniel, he enjoyed his presence as much as Daniel enjoyed getting in his own words. Unfortunetly, the fact that Daniel didn't laugh brought out Scott's age difference a bit, causing a slight tension between them. Daniel thought it manifested in the form of a non-verbal thought transference to the effect of "Daniel, you haven't really written anything yet!" Daniel's sensed it and wondered if it was paranoia. Like Kurt, one of the other store workers, and like Peter and Rosette, Scott put little faith in Daniel's abilities, as Daniel rarely went at length to prove himself. The teenager kept after his feelings instead of writing much. As a matter of fact this was part of Daniel aesthetic doctrine: he considered his method "Thought Connoiseurship." To be continued....
Back to Biodegradable Technology
Creative Virtue Press
R.S. Pearson Literature Page