“I’m glad to see you,” he said. “I need to test some ideas.”
“Ideas for what?”
“My new non-difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something.”
“Do you mean your non-profit?”
“There you go repeating me gain.”
I ignored him. “So what are you not going to make a profit in now?”
“This,” he said, holding up an ad mock-up. There in bold type was a call-to-action for one to “Cure Cognichasm.”
“Yep. You all need to be cured of it.”
“What is your solution?”
“A seven-week course designed to cure one of the greatest mental shortcomings of your species,” he said.
“And that is?”
“Your apparent inability to connect cognitive phenomena,” he said, “and the mental chasm it produces.”
I began to sense his meaning. “And you got this idea when?”
He looked at me sternly. “You know very well when.”
“Those ten so-called ‘presidential candidates’ didn’t constitute a fair sample of the ability of our species to engage in linear thinking,” I said.
“Well they did mention a cure for a problem that was tried by the Chinese, with no apparent success, centuries ago. That’s a pretty big cognitive gap.”
“They were just kidding about ‘building an immigrant-proof wall’ and maintaining it,” I said. “After all, they were appearing on an entertainment venue.”
“Forget them,” he said. “Between the ten of them, they couldn’t connect two dots if they were standing in a field of sunflowers.” He consulted a sheet of paper filled with typing. “Let’s look at some examples.” He read for a few seconds. “Here’s one,” he said. “We can stop teen pregnancies by telling teens not to have sex.” He gave me a smug nod. “Now just how disconnected is that from reality?”
I was on the defensive all of a sudden. “I didn’t come up with that,” I said, “but some people believe it.”
“Oh yes,” he said, “the teens of your species have such a long history of doing exactly what adults say.”
“That’s a strained example.”
“Oh really?” he said. “Try this instead: Sex education leads to teen-aged pregnancies.”
I couldn’t think of an answer, so he kept reading.
“Cutting revenue inflow increases available revenue.”
I said nothing.
“The more you charge on your credit card, the more money you make.”
I said nothing.
“The only way to save a country is to destroy it.”
I said nothing.
“Facts are stupid things.”
Silence on my part.
“Training children to excel on standardized tests makes them more educated.”
“The drinking of whiskey puts the spirit of conviviality in one’s heart and enhances our existence.”
|What can I add? - C.W.|
“Oh,” he said. “Excuse me. My mistake.” He ran his finger down the list. “Here it is: The drinking of whiskey destroys our families, communities, and civic organizations.”
“And your point?”
“Each member of your species tends to interpret facts to fit its own beliefs.”
“I don’t think that’s true,” I said. “We can be as logical as the next species, perhaps more so. And we are a pleasant example. You said yourself that drinking whiskey—especially, I think, Four Roses Single-Barrel—helps a lot.”
“You aren’t much help,” he said, “maybe my fans can come up with some examples.”
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