January 25th, 4038
by Dorthy Dabbledots

What’s Next?

Those in quest of knowledge and discovery tend to be a bit maniacal. Myself included. I was once on expedition with a group of archaeophysicists who kept discovering light distortions in wrong, weird places and had a hard time convincing others that we were not on drugs. We even united for a few months in the Society of Maniacal Light Distorters just outside the Great Hall of Science. And, as many of the stories that follow amply illustrate, the quest to perceive new ideas and concepts is an occupation of perseverance, irreverence and exceptional abilities.

Some F.A. Darts would claim that this personality is largely a gift of birth, though many, deprived of the opportunity as youths, later discover its joys. I always wonder how I went from the streets of Helenixa to the temperate bright light distortion filled chaos of Fulgur in quest of its power source.
One lovely aspect of discovery, besides its continuity through time, is that the required human talents defy rankings, formal education, and professions. It’s an obsession! It is innate in all of us as the ancient papers of Earth 650 BC prove.

But let’s not romanticize. The quest for knowledge and discovery began in earnest with conquest. To be powerful was to have more knowledge than anyone else in the known living world. Specimens of yore, during the 18th century Earth civilization, were sent dead and alive back to the “mother” countries – the ancient idea of borders and governments vying for power, to rich collectors and put in display.

Today, most of the 2.5 septillion specimens and elements are not in collections. Some archaeophysicists recently became aware that there are not only livelihoods, but also prestige in finding profitable elements of undeniable power. However, we decided long ago, as Galactic Citizens to step away from ancient ideas of power and distribution of knowledge. We came to the conclusion that sharing knowledge openly and equally is the only way to discover what is next. Until recent dark events put a hindrance on openness, we archaeophysicists strived to discover and to share with equal maniacal blind obsession.

I plead with those that hold the keys to knowledge not to close the gates. We must keep progressing forward in complete honesty, unafraid of the unknown and unexplainable. We must be as transparent as the material that makes this universe work.

The most successful archaeophysicists will be those who admit the stark past and help rectify the wrongs, clarify the unknown. They can, for instance, gather elements to eternalize all the rare paper resources left. They can assure that duplicates are placed with the bright young minds of Ematica, and help guide the next generation towards future expeditions for precious resources. If done right, the forty-first century collector will also be a diplomat and a source of healing. This doesn’t stop the fun. It just adds humanity to the mania.

And the forty-first century will have new and more focused archaeophysicists. There have been too few explorers for artifacts and elements that remain the most undescribed. We need fervor for light distortions, fulgur occurrences, ithaca shields, and why and how they all interconnect a planet with its atmosphere and the universe. I personally would enjoy a study on how these occurrences affect our human sensibilities.

As I finished this issue, I had lunch with Wendy Wildred, who was helping the Great Hall of Science by characterizing every universe from ancient texts; yet, she yearned to study fulgurs in nature, to venture to far unknown quadrants, to discover and to always keep asking, “What’s next?”

I thought: If this issue can find one lover of discovery and adventure, who is willing to risk comfort and contentment, it will have done enough.

As always and until next time, remember to “stay hungry, stay foolish.”

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