Critical Observations of an Independent Auditor

By Nethe, Richard H. | The Humanist, May-June 1997 | Go to article overview

Critical Observations of an Independent Auditor


Nethe, Richard H., The Humanist


The following is a portion of a report believed to have been written by an alien intelligence superior to our own during a visit to Earth. Discovered in Antartica, this remarkable document was damaged in its recovery. Only through the painstaking efforts of a sophisticated team of fortean researchers has a portion of this historic record been salvaged and translated into English exclusively for readers of The Humanist.

. . . The planet is extensively populated by a strange species of two-legged animals that sometimes acts rationally but, more often, emotionally. These humans (as they call themselves) appear to have a need to congregate in large groupings only to engage in their primary occupation of competing with each other to amass possessions they don't need. In this useless effort, they practice a division of labor where various individuals perform different tasks.

One particular group, called marketeers or spin doctors, seems to have the job of creating the illusion in the other humans that the latter actually need the useless possessions they so busily produce, collect, and exchange. Surprisingly, the bulk of the humans have no problem tolerating this group, even though it manages--through deceit and obfuscation--to prod them into conspicuous and compulsive consumption. In fact, these curious marketeers think of themselves as respectable and useful members of their species, actually believing that their behavior benefits the Earthly economy, and thus have no compunction about their "management of consumer demend," as they euphemistically call their feckless activities....

What's even more puzzling are the brains of these humans. We conclude that they must have evolved in such a manner as to be split into two conflicting divisions: an older portion, accounting for their instinctive and emotional behavior, and a newer one, permitting the species to create a system of symbols (which they call language) that allows them to not only communicate but also to lie, cheat, and befuddle each other to the limits of their desires. These two brain structures appear to explain another phenomenon: while these humans have lucid moments during which they behave almost sensibly, they also seem to enjoy a state of irrationality.

We conclude that their senses have evolved just enough to allow them to survive as individuals and as a species. But as a result, they are somewhat lacking: humans perceive only a tiny fraction of their natural world. For example, despite the fact that their physicists have created mathematical models which indicate as many as ten dimensions, most members of the species are only aware of three of them and are somewhat hazy about a fourth, which they call time. …

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