We find all the no-life-support-wealth-producing people going to their 1980 jobs in their cars or buses, spending trillions of dollars' worth of pe¬ troleum daily to get to their no-wealth-producing jobs. It doesn't take a computer to tell you that it will save both Universe and humanity trillions of dollars a day to pay them handsomely to stay at home.
History's political and economic power structures have always fearfully abhorred "idle people" as potential troublemakers. Yet nature never abhors seemingly idle trees, grass, snails, coral reefs, and clouds in the sky.
One would hope the at-home-staying humans will start thinking—"What was it I was thinking about when they told me I had to 'earn my living'— doing what someone else had decided needed to be done? What do I see that needs to be done that nobody else is attending to? What do I need to learn to be effective in attending to it in a highly efficient and inoffensive-to-others manner?"
Comprehensively and incisively programmed with all the relevant data regarding education, it will be evidenced that the physical and social costs will be far less for individual, at-home-initiated, research-and-developmentinterned self-teaching than having individual students going to schools, be¬ ing bused, and so on. This mass-production baby-sitting is only continued because of the union-organized response to the fear of the teachers about losing their jobs. Their political clout has for long been strong enough to guarantee continuance of this inefficiency to the present moment.
The computer will make it clear that by far the most effective educational system for human beings—all the way from birth through early childhood and on—is that to be derived from the home video cassette system and its supporting books, the pages of which are also to be called forth on world-satellite-interlinked video "library" screens as published in any language. The computer will also make it very clear that, freed of the necessity to earn a living, all humanity will want to exercise its fundamental drive first to comprehend "what it is all about" and second to demonstrate competence in respect to the challenges. The greatest privilege in human affairs will be to be allowed to join any one of the real wealth-production or maintenance teams.
A living organism must be studied from two distinct aspects. One of these is the causal-analytic aspect which is so fruitfully applicable to ontogeny. The other is the historical descriptive aspect which is unravelling lines of phylogeny with ever-increasing precision. Each of these aspects may make suggestions concerning the possible significance of events seen under the other, but does not explain or translate them into simpler terms.
“Are there big people on your world, or are they all small like you?” Lyra said.
“We know how to deal with big people,” Tialys replied, not very helpfully, and went to talk quietly to the Lady. They spoke too softly for Lyra to hear, but she enjoyed watching them sip dewdrops from the marram grass to refresh themselves. Water must be different for them, she thought to Pantalaimon: imagine drops the size of your fist! They’d be hard to get into; they’d have a sort of elastic rind, like a balloon.
In science, simultaneous macroscopic and microscopic exploration is quite customary, especially in biology. Molecular biology, for example, which derived from the application of chemical analysis to biological problems and led to the discovery of DNA and its function as the carrier of information for every form of life, has developed independently from physiology, which concerns the whole animal and the way it functions as an integrated living system. In like manner, the difference between the Gaian notion and the ecological notion of our planet derives in part from their history. The start of the Gaia hypothesis was the view of the Earth from space, revealing the planet as a whole but not in detail. Ecology is rooted in the down-to-Earth natural history and the detailed study of habitats and ecosystems without taking the whole picture. The one cannot see the trees in the wood. The other cannot see the wood for the trees.
White people discovered the Galapagos Islands in 1535 when a Spanish ship came upon them after being blown off course by a storm. Nobody was living there, nor were remains of any human settlement ever found there.
This unlucky ship wished nothing more than to carry the Bishop of Panama to Peru, never losing sight of the South American coast. There was this storm which rudely hustled it westward, ever westward, where prevailing human opinion insisted there was only sea and more sea.
But when the storm lifted, the Spaniards found that they had delivered their bishop into a sailor's nightmare where the bits of land were mockeries, without safe anchorage or shade or sweet water or dangling fruit, or human beings of any kind. They were becalmed, and running out of water and food. The ocean was like a mirror. They put a longboat over the side, and towed their vessel and their spiritual leader out of there.
They did not claim the islands for Spain, any more than they would have claimed hell for Spain. And for three full centuries after revised human opinion allowed the archipelago to appear on maps, no other nation wished to own it. But then in 832, one of the smallest and poorest countries on the planet, which was Ecuador, asked the peoples of the world to share this opinion with them: that the islands were part of Ecuador.
No one objected. At the time, it seemed harmless and even comical opinion. It was as though Ecuador, in a spasm of imperialistic dementia, had annexed to its territory a passing cloud of asteroids.
But then young Charles Darwin, only three years later, began to persuade others that the often freakish plants and animals which had found ways to survive on the islands made them extremely valuable, if only people would look at them as he did-from a scientific point of view.
One one English word adequately describes his transformation of the islands from worthless to priceless: magical.