The History of the Future --
October 1, 2058: The Last Novel
The last novel ever published, a 600 page tome entitled Autofill that those critics who
actually finished reading it unanimously called "a rather tedious story," was published on October 1, 2058.
Written by Neville Whinewright, the book was about a writer coming to terms with the fact that he had nothing to say that
anybody wanted to hear. Whinewright reports that, in writing his novel, he was using a word processor that included
the latest algorithm, one that was able to adapt to his writing style. Not only was it able to predict what form of
any given word Whinewright was likely to choose, but it was also able to predict what words Whinewright would use next.
Says Whinewright, "After the first word, it autofilled the entire novel. If that wasn't bad enough, I couldn't
think of how I would've written it any differently. I thought about writing more, but in the end, what's the point?"
An Open Letter from the Honorable
Senator Leonard K. Bullfinch:
The increasing epidemic
of gun violence in the United States has come to even my attention. It seems hardly a day goes by that
we don't hear of some gun-toting wacko taking the lives of innocent people everywhere, and then, more often than not, killing
himself before we can. And this is especially true in our schools. This has got to stop.
There are those who suggest, for instance, that we
should arm our teachers. Though I am not opposed to arming teachers, I don't think we're going far enough.
After all, aren't we still leaving the protection of our students to those school officials who have failed them so
many times before? Shouldn't we be teaching our students to take care of themselves? Shouldn't
taking care of themselves be the goal of every citizen?
My solution, therefore, is to arm everybody. And by everybody, I mean everybody.
Every last man, woman, and child. I propose that every citizen be given a fully automatic assault
rifle with 1,000 rounds of ammunition. After all, if we expect our peace-loving citizens to be able to
protect themselves from somebody who has an assault rifle, how else are they going to do that than have an assault rifle themselves?
There'll be no discrimination, as there should never
be in this great country of ours. Not by age, race, political or religious inclination, or even because
of felony convictions. If one person is safer because she has a gun in her purse, then it just goes to
follow that everybody is safer if everybody is armed, and armed equally. And the safety of our country,
the safety of our citizens, should be the primary concern of any politician.
There are some who may object to my plan because of the expense of giving away a few hundred
million assault rifles. First, the government will be buying those assault rifles in bulk, and everybody
knows that things are cheaper when you buy them in bulk. And then what little expense there may be, at
best, will be short lived. Overall, though, we expect the government, and you, the taxpayer, will save
money. Studies have shown that arming the entire population could very well pay for itself in the long
run. For instance, it is quite possible that we could phase out police departments altogether.
Gang violence, for instance, would become a thing of the past. And just imagine how much money that
would save us.
But even if there is an
expense, isn't it worth it to feel safer in our homes and on our streets? To feel safer in our workplaces
and places of worship? To feel safer in our cars and the airplanes that fill the sky?
There are also those who think this plan will be more dangerous than any gun violence that
we are currently experiencing, especially if we don't check anybody for their latent, or even overt, violent tendencies.
I disagree. If we happen to give an assault rifle to somebody that really shouldn't have one, such
as a convicted violent felon or a known terrorist, what with everybody else being able to protect themselves, how much harm
can he do? And what better way to discover those people who shouldn't be armed.
Along these lines, it is true that there may be a "slight" rise in gun violence,
but we expect that to quickly fall to way below current levels, if for no other reason than there will quickly be less people
shooting at each other, because there will be less people to shoot. And less gun violence is a good thing.
Therefore, I urge you, my fellow citizens, to support
my plan. Together we can end gun violence by not hesitating to shoot anybody who threatens our peaceful
way of life. God bless this great country of ours.
Senator Leonard K. Bullfinch (I., At-large)