I Hate Numbers: Revenge of the Brackets

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Astronauts defeat maths

4 astronauts boarded 1 rocket ship. 2 races, 2 genders both distributed 3:1 in the manner arranged by one particular multinational union. 1 ship that would increase the number of meters separating its tail (2 fins protruding from the ass end of the 1 ship for purely decorative purposes) from the crust of the planet (the amount of plates composing said 'crust' is greater than the unpluralised noun 'crust' would seem to imply) by means of combusting a dreadful amount of secret fuel-stuff (the conservation of that secret having already having cost the aforementioned one union the sum total of 18263023 GBP / 1293168437 USD / 9137863187 EURO).

  A sensible decision you might think. By conserving that fuel-stuff and aborting the launch the astronauts were unlikely to be exposed to more than 1 planet in their 70-80 year respite from non-existence. Irrespective of exactly how many planets lay beyond the atmosphere of this one, most reasonable men (or members of the sex you’re left with if you take 'men' away from the 2 internationally recognised gender groups) would agree that it's probably greater than 1.

  Perhaps a Humanist (or indeed multiple humanists) might argue that since the 6999999996 non-non-humans that would be left behind by these 4 outnumber the 4 immensely (though the application of imprecise terms like 'immensely' to strictly quantifiable mathematical values is still a linguistic grey area) the 4 should put the common good over their self interest and go do street sweeping or something. This would be one of those cases where a bit of context clarification could clear up a whole load of confusion ('whole load' passes because, fortunately, confusion can't be strictly quantified yet).

  The intention behind the 2-finned rocket expedition our hypothetical ethical friends (for humanists, even non-existent ones, are friends with everyone) are questioning the need for, is actually more in the interests of the 6999999996 humans than our 4. The 6999999996 stood to regain their blood pressure and smooth brows while the 4 could barley rely on living to see old age. This would be because the 4 were going to break maths.




 CBB News 24/05/2XXX 

  Radio broadcast transcription:

  [Good 11:59 am inhabitants of UN #12 NATO #34 [.] this is CBB radio 7 your #3 regional/#10 national spot for all your 3# regional/#10 national news ... in regional news /as 2 radio stations could have told you slightly earlier/ 37 automobiles composed of 8 motorbikes 12 5-seater cars 2 8-seaters 7 2-seaters and 2 2-storey busses have been involved in a horrific pile up on the XX motorway [.] the incident resulted in the tragic shredding of 132 distinct tires into many strips that the DDRS are recording as we speak]



  Get the picture? No one knows precisely when the number obsession began. Not that that stopped a circle of bearded underground historians arguing vehemently over the matter. The first census? The first spreadsheet? The first ex-assets investigator to run for president? No one knows. Few care. Most are far too busy dealing with the new reality that the stat crazed resulted in. Actualy, reality's the wrong word. The pre-eminence of the Department for the Displacement of Reality with Statistics proves that. It's a nice theory. By meticulously recording everything, all the worlds 'problems' just become data and stop being 'problems'. In reality however (though a zealous DDRS adherent might complain that I went wrong by referring to 'reality' as the 'place that matters', the DDRS' motto being 'matter does not matter') the only 'problem' that the stat craze 'solves' is the problem of spell check auto-correcting 'cuntless' as 'countless', 'countless' being abolished from all languages for obvious reasons.

  Talking about cuntless, that’s what 3/4's of the astronauts were. Context is a crazy thing. What would have been mildly depressing visual shorthand for how the world works; becomes a charmingly nostalgic reminder of the times when it could at least be said to have 'worked'



  Funny isn't it? The thoughts you end up having at milestone moments. They don’t linger on the significance of the moment anymore than they’re absorbed in the moment. They have some tangential bearing on 'the moment' sure, but could the thought 'Isn't it strange how this ships the only vehicle manufactured in the last XX years without an assigned number?' truly be related to the voyage to save mankind? Its things like this that make you think, maybe individual humans aren't meant to affect the course of their species.


If our brains aren't fit to the task of coming up with appropriately weighty thoughts for the occasion then maybe we shouldn't bother. I mean look at Superman. Look at his face when he's saving the world from this or that, jaw line contrasting hard-line determination with sensitivity. Whats going on in his head? Fuck knows, but probably something proportional to the situation at hand. 


  Not that I'm complaining. The human mind can't be expected to do everything, even cool things like save the world or coming up with biting comebacks on a reliable basis. That’s just neurology, I think.


The problem is actually the opposite, when people forget what things the human brain can't do. I mean its this mistake on a societal level that’s stuck me in this tin can.


  Anyway as established I and my 3 co-workers (for I'm only one person. Did the omnipresent narrator-voice thing make you forget that?) are goin-






[My arms have stopped flipping switches I was flipping switches I'd forgotten i guess i've trained for this more than i remembered g-force is really a thing i feel heavier than that time after that event where i ate the large quantity of foodstuff hey i just said large quantity i guess g-force can even expunge deeply ingrained conditioning maybe they should use it as therapy spaceflight is cool all the little shits who want to become astronauts should really feel this weight truly is relative the dieting industry is entirely reliant on the earth’s gravitational equilibrium actually i guess it’s more about losing fat than mass per se how long until]

  The temptation to make a really cliche 'breaking the surface of water' analogy for the experience of escaping the Earths atmosphere is really strong; but I am more so, so fear not!

Submitted: July 20, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Nick Yates. All rights reserved.

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