Posted by Robert Duncan on:

I wrote a scene in a screenplay about 15 years ago. It takes place in a penthouse NY condo with a secretive wealthy man who wants to meet a professor in the works of cybernetics. When looking out his window, the humans look like ants in some kind of controlled fashion with roads and such. The professor is a bit awkward and uncomfortable with such extravagance and declines an offered drink. The old wealthy man is here to lecture him, a kind of warning that he cannot take control of his empire by allowing him to teach humans what they are and thereby offer them another degree of freedom of self-awareness. He has his grandchild over to play. She is very precocious and wants to meet the professor and show him what she is working on for her science project.

She leads him over to two aquariums with ants in them. She says, “Watch this.” She drops sugar water into a smiley face in one of the aquariums. She says, “My father says that represents money.” The ants cluster round the sugar droplets and from a human observer’s point of view looks like a smiley face but made of ants. In the next aquarium, she turns on a very hot bright light and puts in a filter that shines down on the scattered ants. After a minute or so, the ants scatter from the hot zones of the light and from the human perspective form a frowny face.

The rich old man said to his grandchild, “Come play puppets with me, darling.” She giggles and obeys. He puts his hands in the puppets and says from one puppet to the other, “You will do as I say or there will be consequences.” The other puppet says, “I don’t fear you. I am just as strong.” The little girl giggles and says, “Grandpa, those are just your hands.” He uses string puppets now to continue the lesson to his grandchild. “What shall we do now if we have no meaning or reason to fight?” The other marionette, responds through grandpa’s bad transviliquism, “We will create a reason for purpose’s sake.” The girl giggles and says, “You are just pulling their strings grandpa.”

“Humans need purpose and meaning grandchild,” he says. The professor doesn’t say anything. The old man simply says, “You can let yourself out. I’ve enjoyed our chat.”

Posted by Robert Duncan: on