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World X A Speculative History

By Richard Bolam richa rdbola mat50.wordpress.com


World X - A Speculative History

There is nothing new except that which has been forgotten. Marie Antoinette (1755 - 1793) richardbolamat50.wordpress.com


World X - A Speculative History

In the beginning was World Zero, and this world was, indeed, a beautiful but terrifying wilderness.

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World X - A Speculative History

A world of forests and mountains, oceans and lakes, wide open spaces and all manner of creatures.

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World X - A Speculative History

And those forests of trees that fell with no-one to hear them, and the oceans of fish that died with no-one to fish them, began to accumulate in an ironic joke, whose cosmic timing would not deliver its punch-line for at least 80 million years.

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World X - A Speculative History

And then a stray asteroid came along, and things changed. Most things died.

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World X - A Speculative History

~ Interval ~

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World X - A Speculative History

When I went to primary school they told me that the Earth was ball-shaped. When I went to secondary school they told me it was a sphere. At college they said it was an oblate spheroid. And when I went to university, I was told the Earth was a geoid. When I looked up geoid, it said “Earth-shaped�. - Anon

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World X - A Speculative History

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1: 9

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World X - A Speculative History

~ End of interval ~

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World X - A Speculative History

Some time later, in the blink of an single sun’s eye, those fish that had not died grew arms and legs and crawled onto the land. They looked back at the retreating seas and climbed into those trees that had not fallen, and waited for evolution to remove the webs from their feet. richardbolamat50.wordpress.com


World X - A Speculative History

And then language came along.

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World X - A Speculative History

That itinerant asteroid that attenuated the rule of lizards, so popularly imagined, also brought a virus from outer space that put words into the mouths of the apes. They climbed down from the trees, grew tall and started talking. They planted a garden and watched the moon. They counted the days and measured the length of the seasons. richardbolamat50.wordpress.com


World X - A Speculative History

richardbolamat50.wordpress.com And then God came along, and made rules.


World X - A Speculative History

God looked at the apes and the apes looked at God.

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World X - A Speculative History

God chose one of the apes and called him Adam. Adam looked at his hands, and his opposable thumb, and in order to extend his reach, picked up the jawbone of a dinosaur. One end he used as a lever, and the other he sharpened.

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World X - A Speculative History

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Some time later, after an unfortunate misunderstanding, God sent Adam from the garden. Adam persuaded the apes to go with him, out of one paradise and into another, with a mixture of blessings including will and sin and guilt.

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World X - A Speculative History

Adam and the apes went out and explored the world whilst the girls made sandwiches.

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World X - A Speculative History

And then writing came along.

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World X - A Speculative History

And this world could be called World 1.0.

The First World.

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World X - A Speculative History

World 1.0 was, indeed, a beautiful but terrifying wilderness. A rich and fabulous place. A world of cathedrals and palaces, of gardens and parks, but only for some.

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This world was the cradle of culture, that took civilisation to the known world using organised force, and hammered democracy out on the backs of slaves who carried the books of the Aristos all the way from the library to the arena and back. World X - A Speculative History

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World X - A Speculative History

God looked at Adam and Adam looked at God.

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World X - A Speculative History

And then printing came along.

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World X - A Speculative History

And literacy allowed ignorance to barter with influence in a deal brokered on ideas and funded by paper. richardbolamat50.wordpress.com


World X - A Speculative History

And then, after one revolution or another, that tarnished the plated silver of its own industry, lying unused on the banqueting tables of its rulers, removed the golden crowns of our monarchs, and with them their heads.

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World X - A Speculative History

And we came to know this world as World 2.0, the Second World.

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World X - A Speculative History

"In order to have more, it is necessary to produce more. In order to produce more, it is necessary to know more."

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World X - A Speculative History

And this world was, indeed, a beautiful but terrifying wilderness. A world of industry and commerce. A world of politics and science. A world of ambition.

And in this world Adam no longer looked at God but looked at the apes, and the apes looked at Adam.

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World X - A Speculative History

Adam said “Finally, we will remedy the degenerate geometry of our calendar by including Year Zero, a number not present in the years of our Lord, and with this we will step out of time, out of history.

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World X - A Speculative History

God said ”You can’t do that!”

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World X - A Speculative History

Adam said “No offence intended, but what need have we of God when we have technology? Need a pillar of fire? Coming right up. Need to part the seas? Not a problem. Need to displace a nation? Consider it done. Need to flood the world? Well, we’re getting there.”

Adam said “I have put my faith in industry, I have put my faith in the laboratory, I have put my faith in the bomb. Technology works, technology delivers.”

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World X - A Speculative History

God said “No offence taken, but be warned;

I.

Remember why the common cold is so-called.

II. Also, two heads are usually better than one but not when they share the same neck. III. Please read the user manual of your telescope. IV. And finally, remember that there is no such thing as cold fission.�

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World X - A Speculative History

“Thank you.” Adam said “I’ll take it under advisement”.

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World X - A Speculative History

”You’re welcome.” God said “I’ll be back.”

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World X - A Speculative History

Adam looked at the apes and the apes looked at Adam.

Adam said “Imagine a world where rules don’t apply. Imagine a world without guilt. Can you imagine that world? I can.”

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World X - A Speculative History

“A world without regulation or limit A world without conscience or restraint. A world without ethics. Can you imagine that world?�

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World X - A Speculative History

“I can, and this world we will call World 3.0 and it will begin beneath a rising sun, at Ground Zero, in the blink of an eye.�

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World X - A Speculative History

Adam looked at the apes and the apes looked at Adam.

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World X - A Speculative History

Adam said “This world, World 3.0, the Third World, our New World, is indeed a beautiful but terrifying wilderness. We have gathered all of our horizons into a single, unbroken circle.�

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World X - A Speculative History

Adam looked at the apes and the apes looked at Adam.

And then, with no more worlds to conquer, Adam said

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World X - A Speculative History

“I’m confused. How much is too much? How far is too far? How many is too many before enough is enough? 1? 2? 3? 2,975? approximately 140,000? approximately 2 million? approximately 6 million? or maybe even an estimated 50 - 60 million? All those that we incinerated, pig after pig, cow after cow, that were burned or crushed or ground to mince, have shared our DNA, although a pig is not a cow nor a cat nor a dog nor a horse nor a sheep nor an ape nor a man. Although a dog will eat a dog and a cat will eat a cat, an ape may eat an ape and a man will eat more of less anything. Although a pig won't eat a cow, and a cow, no matter how hungry, could not eat a horse." richardbolamat50.wordpress.com


World X - A Speculative History

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World X - A Speculative History

And at about this time, God thought...

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World X - A Speculative History

“Where is that asteroid, now that I need it?�.

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World X - A Speculative History

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God said “Enough is enough. Here is wisdom. ”Your rumours have spread around the globe like wild mint, all the way from Israel to the West Bank, in both directions via every supermarket in between, and that near-instant consensus, if mistaken or misheard or misconstrued, could bankrupt your world in the blink of an eye. “Those carbon filaments that you have proposed for Jacob’s Ladder, related more closely to the soot of ovens than the dust of diamonds, may have a disproportion whose half-life could be half a life, and in turn halve the lives of those poor unfortunates who may be required to take a more direct route to Heaven. “That handful of plutonium, assembled in a symmetry never attempted by nature, gave birth to your New World faster than a blinking eye could shade, with the glare of a thousand suns that would shame the very angels. “Your unforgiving schedule has chased billions into the next life with a telemetry broadcast instantly to every scorched eye on earth. “And you have rebooted the world.”

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World X - A Speculative History

Adam said � I would have chosen to repent at leisure but eighty million years seemed like an awfully long time.�

God thought for a moment, and said

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World X - A Speculative History

OxO “You have reached your limit. Those frozen heads of the Americas, buried in glass, and sleeping at the bottom of silos, have dreamed a canopy of desperate hope, whose network of widening pinholes has all but wrecked the sky, and darkened the blue of its dome. “Neither vultures nor magpies would have recognized, nor could have predicted this, your definition of beauty, and those unblinking eyes and gaping mouths can not be sated. “Your warring nations are merely pigs and cows and horses and sheep and cats and dogs of straw.”

OxO

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World X - A Speculative History

Adam looked around and said "How could it have been any other way? “I am merely a dragon, wrapped in a lamb, and surrounded by a cloud of doubt. “That one small step was a leap of faith and those painted masks, merely smiles, directed to our nearest of stars."

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! World X - A Speculative History

Adam looked up and said "Is that Superman? “Is it a bird?

“No it's a plane.

“Here comes another."

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World X - A Speculative History

God said “Now, where was I?”.

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World X - A Speculative History

He reminded the apes of their nakedness and, though surprised, they were not ashamed. They returned to what was left of the trees and looked down at the rising seas, marveling at this new irony and wondered how long it would take them to evolve webbed feet.

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World X - A Speculative History

God said “This world I call World 4.0 and it will begin between two towers, at Ground Zero-Point-Blank.�

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World X - A Speculative History

“And this world, World 4.0, the Fourth World, the Last World will, indeed, be a beautiful but terrifying wilderness.�

Amen.

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Profile for Richard Bolam

World X - V 14 - 17/1/13  

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World X - V 14 - 17/1/13  

Pages 1 - 54

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