TWO AND TWO MAKES FIVE
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TWO AND TWO MAKES FIVE

-George Orwell

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The land around Ankh-Morpork is fertile and largely given over to the cabbage fields that help to give the city its distinctive odor.The gray light of pre-dawn unrolled over the blue-green expanse, and around a couple of farmers who were making an early start on the spinach harvest.They looked up, not at a sound, but at a travelling point of silence where sound ought to have been.It was a man and a woman and something like a size five man in a size twelve fur coat, all in a chariot that flickered as it moved. It bowled along the road toward Holy Wood and was soon out of sight. A minute or two later it was followed by a wheelchair. Its axle glowed red-hot. It was full of people screaming at one another. One of them was turning a handle on a box.It was so overburdened that wizards occasionally fell off and ran along after it, shouting, until they had a chance to jump on again and start screaming.Whoever was attempting to steer was not succeeding, and it weaved back and forth across the road and eventually hurtled off it completely and through the side of a barn.One of the farmers nudged the other."Oi've seen this on the clicks," he said. "It's always the same. They crash into a barn and they allus comes out the other side covered in squawking chickens."His companion leaned reflectively on his hoe."It'd be a sight worth seeing that," he said."Sure would.""'Cos all there is in there, boy, is twenty ton of cabbage."There was a crash, and the chair erupted from the barn in a shower of chickens and headed madly toward the road.The farmers looked at one another."Well, dang me," said one of them.

-Terry Pratchett

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We did not make ourselves, nor did we fashion a world that could not work without pain, and great pain at that, with a little pleasure, very little, to string us along--a world where all organisms are inexorably pushed by pain throughout their lives to do that which will improve their chances to survive and create more of themselves. Left unchecked, this process will last as long as a single cell remains palpitating in this cesspool of the solar system, this toilet of the galaxy. So why not lend a hand in nature's suicide? For want of a deity that could be held to account for a world in which there is terrible pain, let nature take the blame for our troubles. We did not create an environment uncongenial to our species, nature did. One would think that nature was trying to kill us off, or get us to suicide ourselves once the blunder of consciousness came upon us. What was nature thinking? We tried to anthropomorphize it, to romanticize it, to let it into our hearts. But nature kept its distance, leaving us to our own devices. So be it. Survival is a two-way street. Once we settle ourselves off-world, we can blow up this planet from outer space. It's the only way to be sure its stench will not follow us. Let it save itself if it can--the condemned are known for the acrobatics they will execute to wriggle out of their sentences. But if it cannot destroy what it has made, and what could possibly unmake it, then may it perish along with every other living thing it has introduced to pain.

-Thomas Ligotti

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