by Vic Baranco
This article originally appeared in Aquarius in December 1969. The Aquarius was a magazine published by the Institute of Human abilities at various times since the late '60's.
:What a way to spend a Christmas, the season of profit, the time of Holy Mercantile, when all good men gather together in good cheer and celebrate.
:The whole country either dying or dead from infectious pineawayalonia.
:How did it happen?
:I guess that's why I'm writing this letter, so someone will know how it happened after we're gone.
:I don't remember just when, it was somewhere back in the late, lively '70's.
:Someone finally figured out what the question was -- that is, how to accurately state the problems and/or goals of the country as a whole.
:Trying to find the question is the hardest part, they found that just about everything turned out to be a mutual goal.
:I know the first two or three years that they were burying the dead, getting them buried was a mutual goal.
:After they got the dead buried, they started functioning and they found that because of the smaller population, air pollution wasn't a problem any more, and over-population was no problem at all.
:Actually, we progressed faster than at any other time in history. Breakthroughs in medical science which prolonged life occurred.
:And just about the time that the burial project ended the first recorded cases of pineawayalonia cropped up.
:Pineawayalonia is a disease that destroys the antibodies that protect us from: ulcers, cancer, leprosy, cerebral palsy, acute schizophrenic paranoia, fallen arches, etc.
:Well, actually it attacks those things that protect us from all known disease, mental or physical.
:All these diseases appear only as symptoms, and the only way to tell that a person truly has pineawayalonia is that they make self-defeating statements.
:It was serious because any disease in an enlightened day and age like ours which causes death is serious--we've conquered just about all of them.
:We were all pretty sure that a deterrent or a vaccine would be discovered almost immediately even if a cure wasn't.
:What we did find out was that it was highly contagious, terminal, and that there was no way to retard or lessen its growth.
:A lot of people had a lot of answers.
:There was a whole slew of quacks that would keep you company for an hour a week with a very high, in my opinion, AUP (Agreed Upon Price).
:Then there was that guy out in Kansas who claimed that removing the pancreas would cure it, but we didn't hear much about him after a while.
:The psychedelics were useful--a good trip would allow you to remember what it was like before you were sick, but when the effects wore off, you hadn't improved any.
:The vegetarians made all kinds of claims, but they died, too.
:Lots of those weirdoes were banding together and taking off their clothes and rubbing their bodies together in big rooms but they were dying, too.
:Finally some smartass blamed it on the "Law" so they went through a whole Magilla trying to state the question.
:I think the question went sort of like this.
:In a society where a thing, conceptual or physical, is evaluated by the amount of energy that is required to possess it, all things must be paid for in order to have value.
:In a society where the only motivation for giving is payment, there is no way to experience love.
:Pineawayalonia is an acute deficiency of love.
:In a society where all things must be paid for, how can pineawayalonia be arrested?
:They fed it through the computer and the answer came back: Follow all existing laws.
:Take no more or less than you want to take, and give no more or less than you want to give.
:Of course, all the experts agreed that what came back was a self-defeating statement.
:How could you want something for nothing and get it in a society where everything must be purcha . . . . . . . . . . . . .