Infinite Optimism

                 (copyright 1986-1994, R.S. Pearson)

        A global flower, a round flower, the earth was becoming a wide
forest again, alive resplendent with the vegetative vibrancy of
growth.  And it was this growth that was fused with man's wisdom
for it was by dexterity and skill that man had fashioned and carved
the genes responsible for this growth.
     The forest's geometric nuclei was providing every sundry need. 
The forest's vortex was spinning the clothes of appropriate
invention for man: electricity from the sun, wind and rains
propelling him in vehicles that also blasted off by furious
fermentations,  sparking  fresh concepts in turbines, pistons and
shoving wheels in motion.  Microbatteries charges by minute changes
in elements all around us such as wind and water.  Fireplaces in
home discharging their flames into batteries.
     And the cities were beautiful and lush.
     Madrid was one big variable combo of buildings, strange
streets  that were like winding sculptured air fresheners since the
huge pots and trees were kept in the city to make the air cleaner. 
Moving along these streets could be compared to traveling through
an industrial forest, and when one eliminated the background city
noises and the tall gray blocks of concrete from the senses, there
was the possibility of imagining a journey within another part of
the country.  No one who lived in Madrid would ever see the city in
this way, which was why it would require a visitor to explore its
hidden secrets.
     Madrid had certainly changed.  It was no longer the
traditional city of Spain               
     The plant kingdom's genetic catalogue was very big. 
Exploiting every possible combination, scientists became artists, 
and categories of knowledge were different that they had ever been. 
Biodegradable technology had become a fact, a saving grace.  It
took many different types of scientists to continue to tap the
tremendous area that could be tapped.    
     At first man's appraisal of genetic exploration was terrifying.  The
first thing people did was fear it.  They feared that the first
thing that would be genetically altered were human beings. 
Horrible fears of virtuous freaks came from writers.  This
nightmare came to a halt when people realized that the best thing
to do was work on the pollution problem, the natural resource
problem, and this broke down into designing a new chemical base for
the present technology.   
     By the middle of the Twentieth-Century people realized that
human exploitations were just a nightmare of concerned minds. 
Plant genetics however were a category larger than man could fathom
-- why not start on that?  
    Genetics would be used to control various types of
electronics based on chlorophyll which is the electrical base for
photosynthesis.   Electronic components were growable.  The first
mass producible breakthrough was the paper pulp machine, which
looked so odd as it grew large pods like a banana tree.  These pods 
could be sent to a mill for paper and wood products.              
And then components like led-light decorations were made.  These
components were indeed  electronics.  They become a complete
machine in which there were the roots of the contraption, put into
the soil to provide a nutrition. A heightened electrical current
was directable when light hit the flower.  These miniature
decorations lasted for several years.                   

Peter Coming Home from Work

     Arriving at his condominium, Peter opened the door and met his
wife.  In this multi-purpose room there was a menagerie of hidden
drawers and cupboards that expanded the storage space of the
condominium by dozens of cubic feet.  There were several round
devices that opened up into compartments for tableware.  The large
round cabinets gave an elegant look. They gave the appearance that
this room did not care about space economy.  The table was round. 
The roundness reflected in chrome circles inlaid in it.  Blue
wicker chairs gave five people comfortable placement surrounding
      The other multi-functions of the dining room kept the
equipment for activities relating to the technology of that day:
scales for things like mail, or weighing out nutrients for the bio-
degradable science that had evolved.  
     In the corner sat the computer which helped to control the
condominium.  Unlike its plastic and silicon predecessors, this
machine's shell was made from composition board made of ground
acorns fused together a resin harvested from banana pod-like trees
that grew rubber-sap.  It processed information using
electrochemical reactions within a network of factory grown bio-
chips with copied DNA patterns.  At several locations about the
room were input/output screens.  These devices displayed data and
were designed to react to touch in order to allow one to command
the computer.
     Skylights on the ceiling allowed light into living room by
day, the bioluminescent chemicals within the other ceiling panels
illuminated the room by night.  
     Above the skylights the roof was covered with a lattice of
genetically altered plant fibers filled with a type of chlorophyll
that had been made black to increase its absorption of solar
energy.  Throughout the day these plants absorbed the light of the
sun and turned it into the chemical energy that powered the
     With so many compartments blended into the furniture, it was
easy to be neat.  Nothing was worse however than compartmentalized
condominium that was owned by someone that wasn't neat.  The
potential for a mess was staggering.
     Occasionally brushing her hair back, Rosette read from one end
of the round table.  Peter, listening but thinking about affecting
Matta more effectively, sat at the other.  He resembled one whose
attention span was decreasing.  His own wife of nineteen years was
reading him her days work and he couldn't find the peace of mind to
     "However broad our measureless library gets, there will be no
way to ease the pain of ourselves and others.  This has been proven
by thunderstorms, thunderstorms of bloodshed, thunderstorms of
starvation, thunderstorms of devastation...."
     Rosette was throwing in an emotive prose section, which wasn't
computer generated.
     Hearing the recital from the hallway, Daniel came into the
Fernadez's without a knock.  He thought this was better than
knocking and disturbing Rosette.
     Daniel left home at fifteen.  For several years such runaways
were common in this country, and may other countries.  They ran
away in the tradition of Rimbaud, the teenage poet of Nineteenth-
century France.  They ran away for the same reasons, to be a seer-
poet, and such were as common as the guitarists of the Twentieth
     This was their way to be a contribution to society.  Rimbaud
had been a legend to countless poets since the end of the
Nineteenth-century.  He stopped writing poetry at the age of
twenty.  Like the controlled accidents that represented the way
people came to new information, his was a mind unfettered by well-
troddened thoughts.  His work was one of the first that could be
called science fiction; he used his imagination to see things which
would not yet be seen on earth.
     This strenuous exploration had cost Rimbaud his desire to be
a seer-poet after age twenty.  But after two-hundred years even
people with a common intelligence (different no doubt from the type
of common intelligence of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries)
and a few computer programs could produce fascinating prose.  The
computer program was half the visionary  -- it too was a seer!
     Daniel had his own room which could have been arranged to be
the way he would like it.  He did most of his thinking when
listening to music, having a large amount of selections to listen
to, and only about half his tapes were musical.  He could call up
friends and have them play a record into a channel and he could
listen or tape what his friend put on.  Daniel had not become much
of a writer; he considered himself in research.
     Daniel kept away form his father because Daniel was haunted by
the hope that he would soon be successful for something or other. 
Daniel's father could help pay Daniel way through life but Daniel
would not have this.
     And so Peter was almost like a new father. Peter hated the
idea that he would become too restrictive to Daniel at Daniel's age. 
No restriction were placed on Daniel.  He had to watch out for
     Rosette now leaned on  a counter with her bare feet flat on a
multicolored tile floor.  She continued to read and then looked at
     Daniel decided to leave.

Daniel goes to a friend's house
     He could go anywhere and he also had the advantage of free
transportation at his disposal.  He walked around for a few blocks
in the sunny early evening of the Madrid suburb.
     He decided to only go to the other side of town were Scott and
his household lived.  Scott was four years older than Daniel,
employed,  and helped out some people like Daniel.  There was
somewhere to go now.  
     The sun's power on the greenery all around him made him sense
deeply the use of the light in all that botanic-tech. These
contraptions, now in some ways, saviors of the planet, were
basically all Daniel ever knew.  
     Only 30 years ago, in 2125, it was different.  There were
still hurdles being met in the development of some of these
technologies.  Electronic devices still were being developed at a
speed like the development of computer processors in the late 20th
Century.  Petroleum was being phased out starting in the early
decades of the 21st Century, and this was done mostly by polymer
resins coming from rubbertree mutations.  The switch to botanic
engineering of photosynthesis was a more complex operation and
hadn't been developed until the 2070's, when science could program
new designs into plant DNA by a robotic computer engineering.  It
was not until the year 2120 that the real breakthrough in
bioengineering occurred.  Researchers perfected a method to rewrite
the genetic code of plant cells using small amounts of well focused
     When people began to see that plant-like devices could be
used to monitor and control different parts of their everyday life,
they grasped them in fury.  When they saw that these plants
took away the gas blowing on the streets, the horrible chemical
smells of populated areas, they demanded the corporations to get
     New companies started that concerned executives from well
established corporations flocked to in the thousands. The older
groups changed their ways as science created new clean earth-
friendly ways of doing the same old stuff.
     His being became emotional at the good feeling he got from
memories of Scott and the group.             
      The buses that Daniel went on were built on solar
fermentation principle.  They worked on a fuel that produced
corrosive and powerful chemical reactions based on a chemistry that
was not bio-degradable, but produced no  real pollution to speak
of.  The almost unbreakable tanks ran along the entire bottom and
part of the sides of the bus and had to be refilled after the
fermentation expired.
     Daniel starred out of the window of the bus at the scenery he
had grown so accustomed to seeing on his trips to and from Scott's
place.  The sun, especially bright today, would soon disappear,
giving way to the enormous plant-structure which formed the city's
bus tunnels.  As always, Daniel's eyes took several seconds to
adjust to the sudden absence of light.  Today, however, Daniel's
eyes perceived the images as if for the first time.  Ivy growths
that scarcely two centuries earlier would be fenced off and
protected from the harm of cities now made up their
infrastructures.  Daniel looked toward the other passengers; though
also staring off, the distant, busy visages revealed none of
Daniel's astonishing perceptions.  The tunnels were his world to
     Daniel, riding through the tunnels, would always find himself
watching the continuous stream of billboards, each one glittering
and flashing advertisements so as to create one long strip of film. 
Occupants moving past the signs saw the billboards display their
products in an animated sequence, much like the cartoon flipbooks
of over a century ago.  Daniel was fascinated by these images; they
didn't necessarily motivate him to buy their products but they did
at least attract his undivided attention.
     As he peered out the clear windows at the tunnel the bus  was
now entering, bright flower colored murals illumined the walls and
a phosphorescent glow filtered through the atmosphere.  Clean and
clear were Daniels thoughts as he glanced to the left and noticed
the new advertisements hanging along the walls suspended, in
holographic form.  One revealed the new Anzel product which was a
biodegradable plastic suitcase.
     Hoping aboard the bus Daniel smiled at the bus driver and
walked back to an empty seat by the window.  There were some types
of street people that he knew he resembled.  But he knew they were
people without the good fortune to have the type of friends he had. 
He knew he'd be spending the night at the Fernandez's.
     The ride was slow around Madrid.  It was once as exciting as
any world cosmopolitan center could be.  There were certain sights
that Daniel could always look to as triggers for his curious
fascination.  It was cultivated as it had always had been, but
stories in Madrid now seldom provoke his wonder.
     But something needs to be said about this.  It wasn't as
startling to the people of 2150 as it would be to us.  Still an
area rapidly growing.  Arriving at the destination of Scott's house
Daniel rang the bell and the bus driver pulled over to the grassy
curb and getting off the bus Daniel looked towards the apartment
house that Scott lived in.  It was covered in a thick insulation
ivy that curved all around  the apartment building and kept in the
heat in the winter.  But the nature of plant genetics it  acted as
a barrier to the cool vibrations coming out of the house in the
     Daniel was up the stairs and rang Scott's bell. He knew they
were home.  He hoped someone could hear him over the loud
subculture music.  Ringing the bell again, Daniel looked down and
straightened his outfit.  He was wearing light blue pants and a
light blue jacket, with an embroidered red shirt. Yellow doves
graced the shirt in a sketch work reminiscent of Picasso's line
drawings.  He knew he looked fine.
     His welcomed sight had arrived.  A peer opened the door.  It
was Anne in a cheerful mood.  Six people met Daniel's eyes as he
walked into the three bedroom apartment.
     "Hello, Daniel.  Just in time for Dinner?"  Daniel was
addressed by Scott, busy with finishing touches on the food.
     "What synchronicity, hey? Just in time for dinner."
He said like a circus ringleader.
     Anne, Scott's girl friend came over and helped Scott with the
bowls of salad.
     "So now, Daniel . . . " Anne started, knowing Daniel was
relishing this get together after being asked to leave.
     "Peter and Rosette forced me out of the house."
     "Tell me why you were asked to leave."
     Not expecting to have to really go into this subject matter
again, he looked at Anne momentarily to try figure out how to
answer this question.
     "You know I don't know; except that Rosette was bother by
     I see.  Anne said with a nutritious cherry-tomato sized
vegetable going into her mouth.  Anne looked like she didn't hear
a good story.
     The six sat down to their meals.  They put the music on
immediately.  There were some nice things to look at and talk
about, as always: books to read, videos to watch, music to listen
     On returning to Peter's apartment, Daniel quietly turned the
key to the separate entrance and walked in, put down his backpack 
and quietly closed the door.  On his bed was a letter from Peter.
            Sorry about telling you to leave.  You should have been
with me at work today.  Then you would know how I feel.  Anyway, I
just wanted to say that I had no reason to ask you to leave, and I
hope you feel welcome, again.

Peter at work

     "There needs to be more ferrous in these radio saplings."
     The purr of the slowly rotating gears obscured Peter's voice. 
Matta was soon out a door and down the hall.
     Peter looked at the machinery conveying the beds near the
windows.  There were solar mirrors on the walls to accent the
brightness of the sun.
    "I hope he heard me," he said softly yet aloud.  
     "There is a definite problem with this job; not enough money
and its too boring."
     Peter continued squirting the liquid on the little saplings
embedded in their gel-like soil.
     Peter didn't really have anything to say to his boos that was
vitally important.
     He remember he once ruined an entire months crop due to a lack
of a nutrient in one stage of growth.
     Peter had once again spotted his employer, and was walking
over to him.  
     "There needs to be more ferrous in these beds of saplings. 
The photosynthetic and metabiotic processes aren't working right."
     Walking over to Peter, Matta stopped and glanced at him
through his dark glasses.
     "There needs to be more ferrous in the mixture.  The receivers
over there aren't getting enough of it."
     "I didn't see any lack of ferrous on the daily report.  It's
not something one can see with their eyes."
     "I've been here thirteen years.  I can tell when a three-week
batch is doing bad.  The last time a crop's circuits failed to run
it was due to an iron deficiency."  Peter paused and took off his
dark glasses for a moment.  Brushing back his hair he said.
      "No sincerely, There is something wrong with these plants. 
Matta.  I can tell.   Look at that one there."
      Peter's fingers probed a small soft nub underneath the hard
top of the plant.
     "This one here, its not going to spit out any current. It
won't ripen correctly when  the time comes.  You'll see."
     Matta, letting Peter get the best of him, said he'd take the
blame if they came out bad.


Daniel about Town and in the Disc-Shop

     Daniel: sturdy young avatar of his own mind, parentless by
force of will, he is all there is to light and sound.  Yes, Daniel
was to be an extraordinary helper, a benevolence dropped down to a
world long dominated by mediocrity.  Each era might have more
progress than before, but even in Daniel's day all people were not
aristocrats at birth.
     Many like Daniel had tried not to be mediocre, even though,
subliminally, it was mediocrity that was cherished and rewarded. 
To be creatively virtuous was in and out of vogue as it had been
for some time, and Daniel kept dressed in the most radical
application of this fashion.
     And he was multifaceted in his definition of virtue.  To him
the Virtues were not only applied to morality.  He like to think
about honesty  in estimating how one lived up to their unremovably
ingrained delusions of creativity.  Intellectual fortitude was one
of his favorite concepts.  He could read Egyptian hieroglyphics,
not by a formal education, but by his confidence in the feelings he
got from them.  He thought much of his thought to be only the
logical outcome of what others professed.
     Today was an especially luscious day and he felt an anointed
essence of life as the winds blew between him and his field of
vision.  As he roamed rather aimlessly within Madrid he kept his
head bent up and his eyes on the huge photosynthetic murals on the
skyscrapers.  The bright flower pigmented energy cells were always
in and out of bloom and the city planners sequenced which window
panel area would bloom when.  It wasn't advertisements he was
soaking in.  According to the formula there was always a blossoming
image on all four sides of the buildings.   Of the half-dozen or so
shope keepers that Daniel had a friendship with, he decided on
visiting Scott.  Scott was the most talkative, and the Turn-Off
Bookstore, Scott's store, was his closest possible destination, a
valid factor he often considered.
     The young vagrant had no intent of buying anything this day. 
His working friends knew this was usually the case.  He entered the
store without looking for Scott to catch his glance, which would
have taken a strained effort for Scott was busy with a customer.
     Daniel saw the busy visuals of the store as symbolic of the
true nature of the mind of man.  It was an old symbol for him.  He
saw many things as symbolic, and sometimes these personal
revelations went too far, but not one ever noticed: Daniel kept his
mouth shut.  He realized that the rows of books and bins of disks
could have anything printed on the. This energized him.  He skimmed
a dozen books this afternoon, booted a few cellulose DNA-film
     Fiery young writers were not bored to agitation by the 
stagnation of older writers.  They did not emulate only a few
renegade authors, like in the days of the French Surrealists.  Now
there were so many fresh ideas, so much unexhasted intelligent
directions, that there was no need for a froward avant-garde.  To
be creative in this age required massive research.  Since the
information explosion of the early 21st century, so much new and
bizarre information was available -- facts and fictions -- which
gave bookstores/diskstores a wide popular appeal which had never
been seen since global illiteracy was obliterated.
     After Daniel's lengthy browse he walked up to the consumerless
circular check-out counter.  Daniel usually browsed a bit before
greeting his working friends, not really to appear as a potential
buyer, but perhaps.  After the usual amenities the two Great Minds
resumed their ongoing conversation.  And somewhere in the middle of
     "in the 2020's people had pretensions for all these things,
they spoke of creativity, of entertaining didacticism, of shocking
the public, but as history has seen, the public mimics verbally
what the strong accomplish in truth, and until the majority finally
began to create, not mimic, societies still were trapped in mundane
politics," Scott said in a sarcastic voice which
reeked of historical studies, "you name it."  Scott shifting one
leg upon a stool to lean on the other, emphasizing:
     "There was such a dominance of the waking consciousness over
the subconscious, a tyranny of pretention over actualization, so
much," he laughed, but alone - Daniel couldn't see anything funny -
- "that few real solutions to desire could be found."  There was a
slight silence followed by some gestures by both.  "Remember, true
Surrealism was ignored by the majority until fifty years after
they had all died."
     Although Scott was twice the age of Daniel, he enjoyed his
presence as much as Daniel enjoyed getting in his own words. 
Unfortunetly, the fact that Daniel didn't laugh brought out Scott's
age difference a bit, causing a slight tension between them. 
Daniel thought it manifested in the form of a non-verbal thought
transference to the effect of "Daniel, you haven't really written
anything yet!" Daniel's sensed it and wondered if it was paranoia. 

     Like Kurt, one of the other store workers, and like Peter and
Rosette, Scott put little faith in Daniel's abilities, as Daniel
rarely went at length to prove himself.  The teenager kept after
his feelings instead of writing much.  As a matter of fact this was
part of Daniel aesthetic doctrine:  he considered his method
"Thought Connoiseurship."
      To be continued....

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