The tree must go

Crusoe had a chance to view the new facility – the brainchild of one of the world’s wealthiest men, who had made his name in a race to sequence the genetic code. He had famously used his own DNA in the process. He later went on to create synthetic life and it was from synthetic biology He made his fortune.

The inspiration to recreate Eden came from watching an old movie, The Truman Show, in which Truman Burbank, played by JC, is cocooned in a world in which everyone else is an extra in his life and everything is stage-managed.

Why not do it properly with real people? They could be designed free of genetic disorders. Their main use for drugs would then be for psychedelic or hallucinogen purposes where every dose produces a different outcome in contrast to the numbing uniformity of twenty-first century drugs.

A range of projects in a number of different countries had shown how to create self-contained environments. Curiosity’s trip to Mars in 2012 had confirmed the presence of extensive subterranean water, making all else possible. The new facility was set up. Unlike the Truman Show, its occupants were unlikely to come into contact with outsiders for several centuries, perhaps millennia.

Synthetic biology had made it possible to design species to fit the new ecosystem. No-one of course could know beforehand what in fact would happen when these species began to interact. In other words, the place would almost instantly begin to have a history, and slip out of control. Whether He realized this or not was less clear. Maybe He had a fantasy about being able to intervene.

The most important moment was designing the woman to take control of the Garden. The man came from stem cells retrieved from the marrow in one of her ribs.The first couple were just about to be woken up in the Garden, when Crusoe arrived. She was in time to see the final check that everything was in order. One last round for Health and Safety. It was then they noticed the tree, growing on a slope. A firstborn son out climbing who slipped could have a dangerous drop on the downhill side. The tree must go they said.

The New World had a history. Ultra-short story writing became its dominant art form. The form developed when someone dreamt one night of the following: “For sale, baby shoes, never worn“. The shortest was “Crusoe, we say, was saved”.

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  1. Once upon a time, in the future (7 words). 1984 revisited. A vision of risk free living, mountain free and safely boring. I’m thinking Crusoe is Robinson but maybe a microprocessor family.

    Great stuff!

  2. Katie Higgins RN says:

    For the *archives* “Eden II”– the sequel…

    ” Life. Vital Wisdom Housed within Unfathomable Vivo-chip”

    Crusoe seeks “The Way”

  3. Well, I’m horrified at this wholesale destruction of Nature. Wouldn’t it be more enlightened to do something for these unfortunate climbing children in the first place? These are at-risk youth, who need to be identified and placed on climbing inhibitors—before the first tree episode, if possible. Think of the school failures, the car crashes, the heavy-metal bands that can be averted with an early intervention program!

    Of course, children on long-term climbing inhibitors won’t be children, exactly. They might be more like very short middle-aged people with high, piping voices. It’s hard to say. Someday Eden’s motto might be: Even Our Acid Trips Are Predictable.

  4. Katie Higgins RN says:

    Ergo, it is time to seek the meaning and true nature of life away fro “the tree of knowledge”.

    An unmedicated child today is fairly adept in drawing the conclusion that science and technology have not made for a happy, peaceful society.

  5. Let’s forget the flowery language of trees and such and please get a grip on what is actually happening here. I cannot cope with rhetoric, facts are my thing, and this is not an intellectual arguement about who is cleverer at analogies than the next person.

    Analogies are coming out right left and centre, but they do not contribute an awful lot to the base, which has no comparison with anything which has ever happened before, apart from thalidomide. Similar, but different.

    Thalidomide was a drug which caused considerable human, physical defects.

    SSRIs are drugs which can lead to a crumbling wreck of humanity.

    My real comment is that they are all over me when they decide to put me on drugs; polite, respectful, somewhat caring.

    When I come off the drugs, you cannot see them for dust; leaving me, abandoned, with a legacy of attitude, which was like a chameleon; indecent, mental assault took place the like of which I have never experienced from anyone who is not in the medical world.

    I am still reeling from the medical verbal abuse that came my way and I would rather have had no arms or legs than be castigated the way I was when I was in the throes of mental psychosis with withdrawal from these drugs and had to listen to their uninformed assault on my characte and almost given a death sentence, to boot.

    How do you wage that?

    Sometimes, I wonder if David should try the ultimate test. Take a Seroxat tablet 20mg for two weeks, a month, then stop taking it and see what happens. Nothing will happen to David because we will all be there to stop him jumping into a canal or trying to kill his wife.

    It was a situational crisis with me, nothing to do with ‘depression’, I had never been so happy when I came off Seroxat.

    How do you wage that?

    The fall-out from total condenmnation of my character and mental chaos from drug withdrawal has been devastating.

    I am not alone with this; thanks to you all for speaking up.

  6. Hey Annie – hope you will have patience with the fantasists among us. For some it’s crap, I know. For me, it’s medicine. I doubt I would have lived into adulthood without Ray Bradbury and JRR Tolkien, not to mention Star Trek and the Twilight Zone. Then again, my grandma loved books about the Power of Positive Thinking, and found a lot of solace in them, whereas the same books just positively made me want to hit somebody. Medicine to her, crap to me.

    Maybe what we should brainstorm about is this: What kind of mental health system (if any) would we like to see? I would love to hear anyone’s take on this, whether fantasy or even better, live examples. Chrys Muirhead, at top of comments column here, has posted some interesting stuff over at about developments in Scotland where she lives. Crisis centers, peer-to-peer counseling, etc. Is it for real, or just fine words and promises? Bob Fiddaman, who also comments here, has a lot of experience reaching out to fellow Seroxat survivors online. Has any of this resulted in people getting together either to force change in the system or to help each other recover? It would be great to know.

    In the meantime, I do believe we gotta laugh or we’ll croak. I was SO glad to discover that someone has re-launched the PANEXA website. PANEXA has saved my life on a few really lousy days:

  7. Lisa Lavin says:

    Life sometimes feels like “The Truman Show”. I remember watching it in Austin, Texas 14 years ago. Getting trapped in a Psycho Psychiatric hospital is a bit like “The Truman Show”, except I don’t remember Jim Carrey getting powerful psychotropic drugs!

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