A: You see, our greatest problem is the demotivation of our scientists. That’s why we give each of them this hypodermic needle, with unlimited refills. We refer to the black hole that can open up inside anyone, at any time, especially in those whose lives have been dedicated to one pursuit, wherein they question whether what you’re doing is meaningful, and consider whether despite all the work that they’ve done to get up to this point, they wouldn’t be better off jumping onto another ship? You see, if left untreated, wonder-deficiency can lead to de-motivation of colleagues, gluttony, sloth, pointless clicking of advertisements, pacing, slouched posture, burning/shredding of one’s work, absence from work, love affairs and elopements, screaming, and suicide.
After the onset, it only takes a second – a quick jab to the stomach – before the feeling is all but forgotten. It can be used anywhere. The action will hardly be noticed. And they will again feel that childish wonderment in gazing at the stars, or the swirl of a snail’s shell.
B: But, what you’ve done is taken science and mechanized it!
A: On the contrary. We have simply made it accessible to the masses. Should all be shut out because they don’t feel the same wonderment that you do? Never have we been more successful. You see, we employ more researchers than all the academic institutions in the world combined.
The bromide of the past generation was to “find your passion.” It was an arduous task. Now people don’t need to find our passions anymore.
B: But isn’t something lost?
A: Any skeptic of new technology defaults to the argument that when something is automated, something is lost – especially when they are losing. “The feeling associated with doing.” But you see, it’s merely a defense mechanism, to avoid feeling that your life has been wasted on doing what is now automated. You want to convince yourself that the times that you despair – when your wonder has run out – are essential to the success that come later. Sadly for you – but fortunately, really – they are not.
B: But if you put wonder in a box, in a pill –
A: In a shot actually.
B: – in a shot – by containing wonder it ceases to be wonder.
A: Are you a scientist or a romantic? What does it matter the route by which wonder is achieved?
B: Wonder is boundless. If you define it, draw boundaries around it… You’re not giving true wonder. You’re giving people the motivation to do what you want them to. I refuse. I don’t care how much more productive your scientists are. I will find my own wonder. Wonder isn’t supposed to be free. You have to learn to love a hyacinth.
A: How much of your wonder do you presume to be yours? Rather than given to you by everyone who came before you in your field?
B: Whatever freedom I have, it is more than I will have under you. Now leave.
A: (dons hat) I presume this interview is at an end? It’s such a pity that basic human instinct makes us question the gifts we are offered. This will be a loss, surely, but there is no shortage of people who want to be scientists. Goodbye.