Lost Transmissions: Unnovation

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Lost Transmissions

Entry: Unnovation.

Unnovation is the easiest way to start a fight with an inventor, as it is an entirely new branch of the science, discovered by an economist.

Rando Lapatra, for that was his name, had been struggling with the question "What are things really worth?" His thinking ran something like this; if everything has some intrinsic worth, even if it was only from the value of the atoms the thing was composed of, which, when clumped together into something useful, such as a bar of gold for example, were subject to the same laws of supply and demand and economic speculation as everything else, then, he reasoned, a true standard of value against which all currencies could be measured would have to be, in itself, worthless.

The inventors he hired rewrote the question as the search for something completely useless, bent to it with a will and failed completely, creating the wormhole grocery delivery system, an anti-rock music generator and the null-time holiday bubble in the process, all of which were spectacular successes.

Lapatra, sensing a theme and having agreed to pay the inventors only when they got results, sent them back to the drawing board.

They failed again, and failed big. The machine to calculate zero to an infinite number of decimal places didn't fit the bill, but the improbability nano-factory, or Improbalator, a machine to create anything, was. It worked like this; the user would submit a question that could be answered by the creation of some new device to a simple computer that would work out how improbable it was, and then send focused beams of finely tuned improbability particles into a vacuum chamber, thus producing whatever it was that would answer the user’s question from extremely thin air.

Lapatra, having first filed patents on these inventions, then asked the machine to solve his original problem and produce an utterly worthless object that could be used to reliably measure all the currencies in the galaxy. What he got was another economist.

Lapatra quickly hushed up the results of his research and changed disciplines. He now runs Unvent! the most counter-intuitive company in the galaxy, who’s motto "Ask us for what you don't want and we won't deliver it!", based on the simple observation that things invented by accident are far more interesting than whatever it was you wanted in the first place, has been seen as an insult to commerce, logic and advertising, which hasn't stopped Lapatra from becoming fabulously wealthy and writing the book Capitalizing on failure, a seminal volume for slackers everywhere, which got him thrown out of the Ursa Minor Economics Institute once and for all.

But, on the plus side, his sudden wealth did get him invited to a lot of interesting parties and, because the answer to any problem could now be turned into an interesting gadget, the Improbalator ensured the collapse of philosophy as an academic discipline, and, having cleared up all the niggling questions, made the galaxy a better place to live in.

Addendum: When asked the question "Does God exist?" the Improbalator produced sixteen hyperviolet sweets and a monocycle. The current thinking is "Not to everyone’s taste and difficult to get to grips with." The debate continues.

Entry Ends.

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