An essay by Professor B.A. Darling, as provided by Rebecca L. Brown
To all at ‘The Journal of Better Times,’
I am writing in response to Dr. A. Muchworthy’s paper of July 1892, which I believe was entitled ‘Looking Towards a Better Future: Potential Techniques of Forecasting and Prediction.’
I feel that I must express my growing concern and dismay at the preoccupation with which Dr. Muchworthy–and indeed much of the scientific community at large–display with regards to the future and future events.
Whilst it is understandable and perhaps even commendable that Dr. Muchworthy seeks to advance scientific understanding through the use of informed prediction–or ‘foresight,‘ if you will–I am concerned that these new discoveries will be at the expense of the inventions and advancements of the past.
Whilst the vast majority of the scientific community cheapen themselves through the pursuit of new inventions and new advancements, chasing the fame and fortune which we have come to associate with the science of the future, there are a few truly committed scientists amongst us who remain committed to the re-discovery–or retro-discovery–of our scientific heritage.
Take electricity, for example; where would these visionary scientists be without the very power on which their work is based? If it was not for my colleagues and myself who have dedicated our lives to discovering, time and time again, the wonders of the electrical, their search for a ‘better future’ would have no foundations on which to stand.
It may come as a shock–pun intended–to many that such an important sphere of the scientific community goes both under-funded and under-recognised. Where would we be, you may rightly ask, without the men who time and, indeed, time again diligently rediscover the wheel for us? Where would we be without the men who have dedicated their lives to the reinvention of fire?
By writing to you, I hope that I might be able to–perhaps retroactively–convince Dr. Muchworthy and the many others like him that there is more to science than progression. Spare a thought, kind doctor, for those who are seeking to scientifically regress and thus to redress the current, unbalanced nature of the scientific community! Would it be too much to ask that, as you look towards the future, you spare a moment to look the other way? Would it be too much trouble for you to be regressive, just for a moment, or perhaps–if that is too much to ask–to look both ways at once and do both at once; to digress, if you like.
I look forward to rereading your responses to my concerns.
Professor B. A. Darling (PhD, MMA, TBC)
Professor Darling is the world’s hindmost expert in retrospective science. He currently lives in lesser Anklesfield with his wife-to-be, Beatrice, and his hamster, Mister Wiggly. His ground re-breaking paper on the discovery of fire was published more than twenty five years ago in the Journal of Colloquial Science.
Rebecca L. Brown is a British writer. She specialises in horror, SF, humour, surreal and experimental fiction, although her writing often wanders off into other genres and gets horribly lost.
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