Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Two Donkeys and The Fires of Innovation

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Two Donkeys and The Fires of Innovation

    Two donkeys leaned their grey bums up against a fence and watched the world go by on the highway that wound along their farm field. Neither donkey had much to say, preferring to eat the grass and swish the flies away from their face with their big ears in gentle contemplation.

    One donkey turned to the other donkey after a few hours of watching trucks zip along the road and asked her "Do you think society has reached it's zenith?"

    "Whatever do you mean?" the other donkey replied.

    "Well, it's just that it seems like nothing is changing. We're simply improving on what already exists. Where are the flying vehicles from the Jetsons? Where are the transporters from Star Trek? All we see is the same ford trucks winging down the road, they just get newer and sleeker shells."

    The second donkey blinked lazily in the sun and thought about this for a moment. "Well, its not like breakthroughs happen instantaneously. Societies don't just appear and disappear, it's a slow evolutionary process to everything. We're just at a time when we're making things more comfortable for ourselves. Newer trucks are nicer trucks."

    "That's just it!" the first donkey exclaimed. "We're padding down and not being creative or inventive. We've made a formula for everything and we just follow those directions to the letter. There is no difference between the first truck ever made and the ones the exist today. They're both just four wheels and engine. The only thing that'd changed is how well it works."

    The second donkey paused to think about the first donkey's words. "Apples and oranges - I could go for an apple right now - look, we're just donkeys but its plain to see that a truck that rolls off the assembly line is nothing like the first one's built by hand by Henry Ford's workers. The concept of what a truck is remains the same but the application is completely different. Automotive vehicles were originally a luxury but now are a necessity. That demands of society change to meet the level of technology it's developed."

    "Perhaps I am just excited for the day when the next concept of transportation evolves out of what essentially just a truck." sighed the first donkey.

    "Why do you feel the need for things to change so suddenly? Rome wasn't built in a day nor did it just disappear after the Goths sacked it. It just ceased to be relevant but never went away. One day trucks will outlive their importance and then just fade away too, so what's the rush?" the second donkey asked.

    "I guess I am bored with how things are now. Almost everything seems routine nowadays." the first donkey sighed again.

    "The reason we rely on formulas is because they are tried and tested and so the successful ones are reused. If we tried something radically new every time we wanted change rather than slowly improving the current practices, it'd be a lot of wasted time and energy expended on failures. That is just bad business practice."

    "Maybe I wish that progress wasn't so economically dependent?" the first donkey proposed.

    "That's ridiculous. Society is based on the collective working together to better satisfy the needs of the individuals who make it up. Its those interactions of individual needs being prioritized within the structure of inter-social collective that describes what an economy is. Its a fundamental nature of social beings. It doesn't have to be a fiscally based economy but it has to exist, for it describes the requirements of the collection of individuals." the second donkey admonished.

    "So what fuels progress at all, if we're only trying as a group to meet the needs of a collection of individuals? I mean, we're already successful for the most part. Life is pretty comfortable on the whole despite the lack of transporters and Jetson vehicles."

    "Ah, thats because the other instinct in the nature of society- excuse me for I am going to try to phrase these in economic terms: maximize the return with as little expenditure as possible." the second donkey smiled.

    "'Getting the most with as little effort as possible?'" laughed the first donkey.

    "Exactly. Since Prometheus brought down the first flame to give to mankind, making them better than us animals, it's just been improving on the quality of living. Making comfort more comfortable. That's the sole reason of society and it's subsequent economy, to facilitate that purpose. Everything sprang from that tiny flame they took from the titan. You argue that progress is slow but that's the very nature of what progress is. The subtle evolution to make things better."

    "So when do we get around to the flying Jetsons vehicles? I am tired of watching the same old trucks zip by this fence." the first donkey whined.

    "That's another aspect of the fire of progress that Prometheus gave to mankind. Fire, in its nature, spreads more and more voraciously. So with every little improvement we make, the rate of advancing our levels of technology increases. This is immediately evident in Moore's law of computer processing speeds. And let's face it, donkey, everything now has a computer in. Even your loathsome trucks."

    "So you're telling me that it's not too far off and to be patient, donkey?" the first donkey asked.

    "Exactly, though it might seem distant at the moment, it is also inevitable that we're progressing towards the day when trucks will no longer be a necessity. It's the nature of the beast which we call mankind. They've been giving the fire of invention and now they're slowly but surely fanning the flames."

    "You're one for metaphors, donkey," the first donkey chuckled.

    Both fell silent as another truck drove by. It slowed down as it went by and the driver rolled his window.

    "Hey, donkeys! Ee-yaah, ee-yahh! Ha ha ha ha ha!" he called to them.

  2. #2
    Registered User chrismythoi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    the ending was a bit odd. was the man mocking the donkeys for their conversation, or the fact they were just donkeys?
    other than that i quite liked it. read any orwell?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts