“Discovery” / Memorable Fancies #679

     In the newly discovered land there was a pier that reached out into the sea and disappeared over the horizon. We tried to imagine where such a pier might go. At first, our explorers walked out on it, but ran short of food and water after a few days with still no end in sight. They turned back.
      Then we developed a plan: one team walked out on the pier, carrying twice the amount of food and water they needed for a round trip. When they exhausted a quarter of their ration, they left half the ration there and turned back.
      Then a second team did likewise, and a third. Soon the cache had become the first of our forward bases. More teams followed, extending our knowledge further. As the length of our exploration grew, we needed more and more trips outward to go each additional mile. But we persisted, even though the latest teams extended our knowledge only a few yards.
      There were storms and accidents and drownings, but eventually we were many miles out of sight of land. We persisted.
      What did we expect to find? The end of the pier? An exploration party from across the water coming our way? A magic island of pastries and ice cream, of talking birds and beasts?
      We imagined many other endings to our quest, including hundreds of elaborations on the “magic island” theme, the “coming our way” theme, and so on.
      Eventually, we brought our explorers back. There was nothing left to imagine; nothing left to find.

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00 Seventh Effect front cover small image



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