Friday, August 3, 2007

What's Next?

Once upon a time, humans lived outside.

No, wait, no they didn't.

They couldn't live "outside" because there was no "outside." It didn't exist. There was no inside for anywhere to be outside of.

Humans had to create "inside": the physical spaces, a word that means "inside", and the vague notion that one bit of air is different from all the rest just because you lash together a couple of branches in a clearing.

And once humans did all that stuff: tricky lashing and wordsmithing and conceptualizing, they sat back and they relaxed.

"This is INside" they said. "We're not out in the cold anymore, we're in the slightly-less-cold, which is better. We're not like those . . . animals . . . OUTside. We're people, and we live here in the comfort, security, and slightly-less-cold that can only be provided by branches. See? We've got 'em lashed, and everything."

But then a curious thing happened. In the very act of saying those words, every human suddenly wanted to be outside again. What was going on out there? What was the weather like? It was a problem, and it ate at them.

For a long time, the only solution was to go back into the harsh outside world. But in time humans developed better insides, ones with solid walls, and fresh off the invention of the first door, they had an idea.

"We'll just cut a hole in the side!"

And so the first window stole the thunder of the first door, and that's why doors hate windows to this very day.*

Now people had the indoors with some of the outdoors, and that nearly did the trick. But . . . you know, it was a little too much of the outdoors. What was the point of all those walls if the cold was still coming in? So they took the wall piece they'd cut out and put it on a hinge next to the window, and that was the first shutter. Now people could be inside, see what was going on outside, and still be slightly-less-cold when they wanted. But it wasn't over yet. People missed the plants too!

The people took a container, filled it with dirt from outside, put one of the plants in it, and created the first "potted plant." But there was no rain inside and the plant started to die. So the people went out and got water. The container held all that water, and the plant started to die again. So the people put holes in the container to keep it from containing so much! Then they put a dish under the container to catch all the things it couldn't contain anymore because they put holes in it!

It was a lot of trouble.

And that's why people learned to manufacture plastic, so they could form it into something that LOOKED like a plant, but didn't get dirt and water all over the place. We have fake plants, people, and we make believe that they're real so it will seem like we're outside, even though we're inside.

With all that in mind, I'd like you to watch this.

*I have no idea what this means.

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