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Dr. Schwamm’s Revenge
Dr. Schwamm’s Revenge
Dr. Douglas Schwamm was never one to follow rules. Whether the rules of social behavior or those of scientific research, he plotted his own course. To him the world was a messy, disorderly place where few rules applied and none were absolute. As a result of his deep skepticism, Dr. Schwamm spent much of his career pursuing one hair brained idea after another—physical proof of the existence of ghosts, Gods, demons, faster than light travel, astral projection, teleportation. You name a wacko idea and the good doctor was all over it.
Schwamm’s choice of subject matter inevitably led to scientific dead ends and embarrassing failures. His manifold failures made it increasingly difficult to secure research grants and funding or to recruit talented grad students to work with. He was scorned and ridiculed both behind his back and to his face. His usual reply to his colleagues was, “How do you know it’s bunk until you look into it?”
To write off Dr. Schwamm’s entire career would be easy to do, but it would not be accurate because his research, while not definitive, led him toward one inescapable conclusion: there is a world of phenomena hidden from us, invisible to our most sensitive instruments and that is the world of the mind. The mind is terra inconita. It seems to lie in a place outside of physics and beyond understanding. It was while he was searching for the reality of mind that he stumbled upon something truly marvelous. Our minds, it seems, are sensitive receivers and transmitters of a type of radiation, akin to radio waves but not of the electro-magnetic variety. Dr. Schwamm named it psychotronic radiation and he dedicated his remaining years and fortune to tracking it down.
Just like atoms are the basic building blocks of matter, psychotrons are the fundamental particles of thought. And while we are constantly transmitting these mental particles with every thought, we are also receiving a steady flow of them from outside sources. Schwamm spent years building a receiver which could detect this strange radiation. He wanted to understand the source of these signals. Was it only mind to mind static or was there really an outside source? It took him several years to give his crude receiver directional capabilities. It was his goal to track down the source of these external signals.
The quest took him down many false trails. He never published. He had no use for conventional science and no respect for his fellow scientists who had high handedly dismissed his work as “crackpot physics.”. He wasn’t interested in recognition despite the fact he had made several Nobel Prize worthy discoveries.
At first Schwamm thought the transmissions might be extra-physical or meta-physical in nature. Maybe thoughts from a parallel universe, another dimension or the after-life. One by one he ruled out these sources. After many months of careful measurement, he discovered that psychotronic activity was strongest in artists, writers and creative people. These creative types exhibited psychotronic activity far above the general population.
Artists called it inspiration or a visit from their muse. Whatever it was, there was a definite spike in neuronal activity whenever an artist was creating. Schwamm deduced that we are all constantly awash in psychotronic radiation but only those minds searching the “air waves”, so to speak, made the best receivers. Everyone is exposed but few listen. Most of us ignore the transmissions. This still left unanswered the question of the source of the transmissions.
Schwamm guessed that the transmissions might be extra-terrestrial and spent several months adapting his detector to a device similar to a radio telescope. Meticulously he scanned the heavens searching for a signal. After many nights, Schwamm found a strong signal from a 5th magnitude star in the constellation Pisces some 60 light years away. The star had no name and no history. It was simply designated HD 2712. Nothing else in the night sky produced anything like this invisible source.
Somewhere around that star must be a planet with highly developed minds. Was this tiny dot in an infinite universe the source for all inspiration on Earth? Do these extra-terrestrials even realize their influence on other minds? Do they care? Most likely they do not know what they are doing. They are probably not targeting our world at all—a world they most likely do not even know exists. More than likely their psychotronic transmissions are similar to our electro-magnetic radiation which we have been leaking into the galaxy for the last century. Do we know who is listening? Do we know what effect we are having on other worlds? Do we care?
Could it be that what our artists and creative people are picking up are nothing more than the everyday transmissions on that distant world? Something equivalent to our radio and television programs—their chatter and cross talk, their sit-coms and quiz shows, their boring cell phone conversations and internet messaging Is that what passes for original ideas to the receptive minds on Earth? This was a horrifying thought but one that begged to be tested. The only way to test whether the psychotronic transmissions Earth was receiving were the source of all human creativity was to shut it down and see what effect it had on human society.
It turned out that jamming the incoming signal was a relatively simple matter. The results, however, were dramatic. Suddenly all original creative ideas stopped abruptly. Authors could no longer write and felt blocked. Visual artists repeated the same old ideas over and over. Everything became derivative and rehashed. Those books that were published were facsimiles of books already written. Nothing was new and fresh. It took several years to see the effect this had on humanity but the effect was profound. The suicide rate among creative people grew alarmingly. Without fresh and original ideas humanity stumbled. Frustration was universal. Civilization ground to a halt.
Dr. Schwamm watched it all happen. He meant to unjam the psychotronic transmission and let humanity’s artists resume hearing from their muses but he was an old man by the time the worst effects became apparent. Wars, famine, disease, the whole apocalypse was already in motion. He meant to switch it off but he was overworked and tired and died before he got around to it. Humanity drifted into a torpor and a general malaise from which it never recovered.
r.tornello - nice, real nice, I'm depressed alraedy, thanks.
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