Wading in a pool of abstraction © Robert Sommers 2023

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Wipe out

I was considering the nature of global pandemics this morning and humans seeming inability to deal with them in a rational manner. If we were presented with a way to escape our difficulties would we have the resolve and intelligence to take the cure?

And my mind keeps going back to a science fiction book I read in the early seventies. I remember neither the title or the author but it might have been by Frank Herbert. Or maybe even Larry Niven.

Anyway the story line was about a scientist whose wife is killed in a tragedy and he gets very angry. So he develops a virus to take out the world. And he has a brilliant idea. He is a very wealthy man, having numerous patents and inventions to his name. He has a lot of dough. But he needs a fail safe way to infect people to exact his revenge.

And he chooses money as his delivery system for the contagion. He infects the money. It is a very dirty thing but perfect for the job. And people suspect and even know that the money is bad and will ultimately kill them. But their greed is so strong that they can't help themselves and they grab it anyway. And man is, in the end, completely wiped out.

I wish I could remember the name of the book and reread it. It is a perfect metaphor for the current national argument. Open things up, let it rip, stoke the economic engine at all costs, no matter the loss of human lives. There are people who would take this route even if they knew it meant certain death. Greed trumps sanity.

We are living in interesting times.

No comments: