Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Parable for Baguio

This is the dream of Einstein on 26 April 1905:
"In this world it is instantly obvious that something is odd. No houses can be seen in the valleys or plains. Everyone lives in the mountains..."

This is part of Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams.
In this particular dream, it was said that scientists discovered that time flows more slowly the father from the center of the earth. It was a very small difference, measured only by really sensitive instruments but you try to bring that out in the newspapers and "sexy" it up so I guessed the headlines then was: Time Slower On The Mountains.
So people decide to leave the shores and went up the mountains. They built their houses on mountaintops.
"People most eager to live longest have built their houses on the highest stilts. Indeed, some houses rise half a mile high on their spindly wooden stilts. Height has become a status."

Those who live on high literally looked down on the people below. if they need to transact business in the lowlands, they do it as fast as they can so they will not lose time and age faster.
Of course, there would always be rebellious people who thought, What the heck! Let's go down the mountains and enjoy our lives while we can.
"In time, people have forgotten the reason why higher is better. Nonetheless, they continue to live on the mountains. to avoid sunken regions as much as they can, to teach their children to shun other children from low elevations. They tolerate the cold of the mountains by habit and enjoy the discomfort as part of their breeding. They have even convinced themselves that thin air is good for their bodies and, following that logic, have gone on spare diets, refusing all but the gossamer food. At length, the populace have become thin like the air, bony, old before their time."

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