World 2.0: part 1
“There once was a man…”
It was a cold Wednesday morning. It wasn't winter, there was no reason for the city to be cold. But then again, the world as everybody knew it was coming to an end, so the sudden change in temperature and weather had a reason after all. The Maker had gotten cold feet after learning about his creation’s free fall. An anti-climatic end that he did not see coming.
A change in weather nor a delusional maker could stop Dr.Story from coming to work. In fact he did not see the World’s end as an anti-climactic catharsis. In fact, unlike most people who would rather curl up in bed with their loved ones and watch their favourite movies while listening to mind numbingly soothing music simultaneously when they learn that the earth is coming to an end, Dr.Story’s nature of work was such that, he couldn’t take a day off even if the world was coming to an end. And what a literary coincidence it was.
Before we get into Dr.Story’s daily proceedings, it might help if we knew a little about Dr.Story.
His name says it all; he is a storyteller. And before you jump to any conclusion, he is not a writer or a politician, he compiles History; or as he calls it other people’s stories. Like most graduates of the life sciences, Dr.Story was a historian by merit and not by profession. He earned a doctorate from the prestigious university which also shares it’s name with the Bible of the King’s Language, Oxford. A graduate of history and a doctorate from a prestigious university from England could only mean one thing, he was filthy rich.
And again, do not come to conclusions. Dr.Story wears a cape of unpredictability that is derived not from his quirks but his cliches. Dr.Story’s life is as predictable as World War 3; it is not going to happen ‘cause the World is coming to an end. To put Dr.Story into layman’s perspective, he inherited a lot of money from a rich uncle who died at a very young age. His passion towards realistic storytelling drove him towards history. He has not made a penny since nor has he had any impact on anybody’s life, not even his own.
A pompous rich ass with no history; keen on making his own.
Taking the internet troll, “Dress for the job you've, not for the job you want”, a little too seriously, Dr.Story walked into his office sporting a jacket that might just resemble the SS uniform from Nazi Germany. That doesn’t imply that he is some sort of Neo-Nazi or a skinehead for that matter. But he wouldn't mind being called a skinhead given that he was a 43-year old man with a large bald-spot who would rather admit to voluntarily shaving his head rather than to ever acknowledge the ageing.
His office was his house and his house was his office. Need I say more? He was not English nor was he an American, his nationality doesn’t come into play here. But he lived like an Englishman. That’s a compliment only rich people will appreciate. He liked the finer things in life, Cuban Cigars that’re not sold in Cuba, Scotch that is older than most people’s birth certificates and more importantly, he appreciated rich history.
The walls of his office were painted with colours that reflected the World’s current state of affairs, a lot of Red with patches of Green in the most unlikeliest of places. Historians are only observers, a fly on a wall spanning a thousand centuries but never activists. They record and they present, they never act or react. To know better, take a peek into Dr.Story’s modest office. He owned a table larger than the Gaza Strip, made out of Teak Wood; a plant species that is almost extinct.
He had been a “supporter” of the Government for quite sometime now. When the Government had learnt of the World’s demise, they knew they had to preserve history. Preserve meant they had to take with them to the new world a lot of information, so they decided to use “Choose” instead of preserve. This meant they needed someone with a lot of freetime and a lot of knowledge about events that aren’t useful in the conventional context. Dr.Story had found himself a job.
He had to choose events from the last millennium or so that had the most impact on the larger scheme of things. In a world where attention spans were a bigger problem than Global warming, Dr.Story had to choose between pointless information and History that made a difference.
The year is 2071 — the world as we know it is coming to an end. This meant that we were moving into a new world, World 2.0 if you prefer. It was almost like moving into a large abandoned bungalow with a self-destruct button that would self-destruct any second. And Dr.Story had been destined with collecting and compiling history from World 1.0. The catch was that he had to choose events that had an impact. Given that History is all about perspectives, he had to choose perspectives that mattered the most.
Dr.Story has to put together a version of History for the attention-deficit beings. To choose stories that mattered. To choose History that made a difference. But made a difference to whom?