Death of the Innovator


Paradise shone before him.

The entire city stood encased in a geodesic dome, which simultaneously protected the city, regulated temperature, air quality and weather, and also acted as a backup energy conduit should the central magnetic alternator fail.

He had designed the alternator himself. Based on simple principles of magnetism, the subtle design operated with a greater energy efficiency than any alternator previously known. The alternator not only supplied power to the regular city grid, but also to the transportation system, the latter being equipped with redundant safety features to prevent transportation accidents. An in depth analysis of flow dynamics had enhanced the software he had written which guided the overall city traffic flow. It was the most effective urban transportation design he had ever seen.

The fresh air flow was monitored by atmospheric processors which utilized the latest information in molecular fractional distillation techniques. Even some ordinary scientists were getting close to the point where they could see the applications he had made. The system worked in such a way that centrally situated processors sampled the air and automatically made corrections when negative feedback triggered sensors.

The crystal clear water flow was as easily purified. All water was routed into a central processing plant for recycling. The same plant received all of the garbage the town could produce. All material was analyzed, then redesigned at the molecular level. Water impurities, and all forms of garbage, could be reassembled into perfect foods, designer clothing, or ice sculptures, as desired.

A rich soil quality was equally assured. Nanites in the soil acted as sensors, regulating the balance of nutrients for the city food supply, which was guaranteed, via genetic engineering and agricultural design, to have zero population growth-there was no longer any vicious competition among plants for resources.

Nor could there be any grounds for pointless competition among the human residents, for not only had they, too, attained zero population growth, but the bell curve which had characterized human civilizations for all previous time had been irrevocably destroyed. No longer were there a few dull, fat, ugly humans at one of a spectrum with a majority of average people in the middle and a fraction of smart, shapely, and beautiful people at the other end, but the whole population stood at the positive end, creating a new set of circumstances for human evolution that essentially voided all earlier prognostications of the fate of man. Aging, disease and poverty were gone.

The language of the citizens was the easiest of all world languages to learn, being based on the ideas of Melville Bell as presented in his theory of visible speech. In addition to being the easiest to learn, the language was also the most accurate of all tongues, for it was the first language to have at its root the insight of Fuller that all is ultimately reducible to frequency and angle.

This was a language Pythagoras would have approved of, for its words were all based on the most precise theory of cosmic design as number yet proposed.

The theory enabled the rearrangement of matter into any desirable form permitted by the laws of physics. The originator of the theory, who now admired his own handiwork, had discovered the theory while in high school, doodling in the margins of a crucial exam, which he had barely passed. Since then, he had wandered into an intellectual forsaken realm, following the evidence wherever it led him.

He had resolved to himself that he would follow the trail through hell itself, if need be, for he pursued the path not so much because it fascinated him, though it did, but because he had to prove, to the one he loved above all others, that most men had always missed the essential underlying beauty of existence. More than anything, he wanted to live one moment in the arms of his true love after she had looked at the world and seen what he had seen, so he could finally watch her reclaim the magic she had lost as a child. For love, he had devoted every fiber of his existence to proving the ecstasy of reality.

For his ardor, he had been returned a lifetime of rejection. It took him years to understand all the laughter, indifference, and resistance he had so interminably faced, until he finally gained an insight: Those who speak the same language as their peers and make only a few majestic modifications at the frontiers of understanding will usually be well received, but those who completely replace existing frameworks in favor of original designs will always be met with persecution.

Thus the language of Melville Bell, so potent that foreign phrases transcribed into the Bell language could be read flawlessly without accents in minutes by beginners, was tossed to the dusty shelves of history. Thus Feynman and Einstein, two of the most brilliant geniuses of the century, were deemed worthy and acceptable, while Fuller, whose work in geometry had enabled a gymnast to find the most powerful theory of energy ever, had been scoffed at in rebuke, and remained so to this day.

Yet it was Fuller who had shown the way to paradise, not Feynman or Einstein. The majority was wrong.

Thoreau had written that in the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Others had aimed to make little modifications at the fringes, and they had often succeeded. The city designer had aimed for paradise, and now he had found it.

Yet he lived there alone.

He had tried to reach out to his fellow men for years, but always they asked why they needed to understand math, physics, art, exercise, philosophy, language, puzzles, music and more in order to appreciate the design. Was there no simpler way? Could man not understand, build and enjoy paradise with just crude knowledge and a happy attitude? Was it really necessary to work a little while having fun?

An ancient ruler had once asked the famous geometer Euclid a similar question long ago, concerning the trials of learning geometry, and received the classic reply: "There is no royal road to geometry." In a similar vein, Thomas Jefferson had said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was . . . and never will be."

The city designer had made paradise as simple, efficient, and fun as possible, and now let out a heavy breath as he stared at its grandeur.

Yes, he thought, a little work was involved in building the ultimate world-but it always takes less effort to build paradise than to deny that you wish to live in it.

Taking one last look at the computer screen, he closed the file and turned off the power.

Paradise was waiting, whenever man was ready.