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Professor part 7
Mon Oct 9, 2017 08:21

"After my return from South America," the Professor continued almost as if there had been no hiatus "I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to locate scientists working in a variety of fields whose particular lines of enquiry might possibly be helpful to me. Hoping against hope to locate those who had read Brull's books and were sympathetic or had private convictions of their own running parallel to his.

In the meantime I had more than enough to be getting on with in my attempts to establish lines of enquiry producing tangible results. Experimental apparatus capable of detecting signals of communicative intent emanating from the biosphere.

You will not be surprised to learn that this is a subject which charlatans of every description have whole heartedly embraced to aid them in milking the gullible. Its roots go back a long way, every new technology has been pressed into the service of quacks and snake oil salesmen.

America in particular produces some of the finest examples of pseudo scientific gobbledegook used to market dangerous cure all medicines but for really dangerous entrepreneurial equipment look no further than the salons of France and Italy where the privileged were shown the wonders of magnetism, electrical shocking coils, hypnotism and anaesthetics. This is why my enquiries and areas of interest are treated with such suspicion.

Yet running through this rich tapestry of deceitful practices a faint miasma of useful discoveries have occasionally surfaced almost by accident. Tolbert, I have waded through documents pertaining to every conceivable investigation of pseudo scientific claptrap, some of which has even bamboozled those that set out to expose it as fraud.

As an American friend of mine once said 'when you are up to your neck in mud and surrounded by hungy alligators it is easy to forget that your original aim was to drain the swamp.'! Men like Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fell prey to odd convictions arising from their intent to debunk them as fraud though why that should come as any surprise has always puzzled me.

It just goes to show that whilst the great and the good can be easily misled so can those of misbegotten convictions find themselves at the vanguard of a great discovery hailed as innovators and men of vision. Conceivably an experimental light bulb might have unwittingly become the first thermionic valve." The professor paused to take a rest asking "What are your views on this topic?"

"Well if I was asked to investigate communicative signals emanating from the biosphere, I should make my start with organized colonies such as ants or bees particularly bees since much is known about them and we can easily test our apparatus on the hives that we keep them in.

Although it is said that the various signals bees use to keep the hive functioning are scents that trigger specific responses in the various classes, drones, workers and so forth, that doesnt necessarily prevent our building equipment that can sense such signals.

I would start by mimicking the apparatus of the bee types by building a mechanism that resembles their antennae in shape and then attempting to take readings from it, looking for patterns that accompany the bees reactions.

To this end I would enlist the services of a noted apiarist looking for one who already has a reputation for forming odd hypotheses of their own and suggesting you combine forces to investigate their ideas with the assistance of scientific apparatus specially built for the purpose.

As for deaing with the establishment, the best way to enlist the cooperation of the hidebound authorities is, in my experience, to politely ignore them and suggest they are irrelevant to modern thinking for which reason they have little to offer as shown by their professed disdain which is nothing more nor less than an admission of their ignorance.

Nothing else takes the starch out of a stuffed shirt like politely concealed contempt of those whose every utterance in denial can be misrepresented to show how much they fear having it demonstrated that the Emperor has no clothes. Nothing like it for causing them to break ranks, especially when this is done under the harsh spotlight of public opinion.

I could easily write a demonstration piece to prove my point and I'd look to have it published in the local newspaper of wherever the victim lives. Striking at their self esteem is most effective when specifically targeted for the supporters they rely upon. This is, of course, a double edged sword that can be turned against you."

"That's a very shrewd not to say unscrupulous plan of action Tolbert. It also demonstrates your firm grasp of the principles of my research because I took the steps you suggest about a year after my return having given up trying to attract the favourable attention of the Establishment.

A Hertfordshire apiarist, a Mr Bierman, having a local reputation as something of a miracle worker by using special honeys to treat illness, saved the lives of several children struck down with Asian Flu that were not responding to conventional medicine.

This man claims that his bees talk to him and he to them and when he was faced with the flu problem his bees produced a small quantity of green honey which had a strong smell but performed the cure almost over night!

Unfortunately this gentleman did not follow my instructions regarding the placement of my equipment and noting down how it reacted to certain changes in hive temperature to be observed at specific times. Also he interfered with it when the hive needed to be cleaned or the frames removed, I was not aware that hives required frequent human intervention. So the experiment was not a success.

I could not spare the time to become an apiarist and make careful observations of my equipment so I reluctantly put it to one side for possible reuse at a later date and its been up there on that shelf ever since and that was over ten years ago."

"Perhaps you should have payed more attention to Messr. Brull's remark about your dog being anxious to assist you?"

"Alas during my absence the poor chap passed away, old age you know, it's a pity they have such short lifespans and I couldn't face going through that again, the warm companionship so short in duration then the loss of their demise so keenly felt. "

"Ronald I can't help but think that perhaps you should consider how your attention to what became your field of study was by your own admission the direct result of observing your dogs behaviour out in the fields. Just as Rene Brulls attention was drawn to his dryads message as the result of his focussing upon the trees they inhabited?

We've barely met and so I haven't the right to pass comment on your lifestyle but two ladies in the audience of that lecture felt free to do so and the gist of it was that and I quote 'the poor lamb needs someone to look after him!'

You know sometimes the ordinary, down to earth man or woman has a fundamental grasp of what's important to achieving happiness. It might be that your successful pursuit of your studies would assisted by a companion. Especially since such a companion set you on your path originally." Please forgive my outspoken observations."

"You may be right Tolbert, it does help to have someone else around as you have proven in the short time you've been here. One does need to have ones thoughts shaken up a bit otherwise one tends to get stuck in a rut. Another dog, eh? Old Bruce wasn't purchased from a pet shop you know, he just turned up one day and attached himself to me.

Without him to require being exercised I lost the interest in rambling that I used to enjoy and no longer made daily observations of the cycle of seasonal growth in the hedgerows like I used to. Dammit young man you're quite right, I hadn't really stopped to consider the changes the loss of Bruce wrought in me. I used to talk to him all the time you know? Seems silly but it helped me get my thoughts in order.

I wonder, should I go in search of a breeder or local farmer, they usually have a litter of pups or know someone that does."

"If I may make another suggestion Ronald" Tolbert ventured "perhaps a suitable candidate will show up like Bruce did if this is the right time. I've often observed this to be the case from friends of mine who have been delighted at the spontaneous arrival of an animal they have grown to love as one of the family. They assure me that this is the best way to acquire a pet and some will swear that the dog knows when and where its needed."

    • I take it this is... - Sarge, Mon Oct 9 08:49
      ...not the point in the tale when a slightly motheaten ginger tom shows up on the doorstep instead. Grin! Ignore it, I'm kidding! Funny, you have me thinking of those great flocks of starlings that... more
      • Re:- those flocking birds - mike, Mon Oct 9 09:44
        You are no doubt aware that the flocks have a system that allows for tired birds to drop back and get the advantage of slip streaming whilst rested birds go to the front? Also I seem to recall that... more
        • we share... - Sarge, Mon Oct 9 10:25
          ...the ability to enjoy the company of both dogs and cats, although we do have our preference. I enjoy the company of all animals, certainly more than humans with a couple notable exceptions. We had... more
          • Re: we share... - roger, Tue Oct 10 09:12
            Where I went to college in eastern Kentucky starlings and some other forms of blackbirds flocked as well. It was a wonder to watch them fly. They would leave in the AM and return near dark. They... more
        • Oh and another thing - mike, Mon Oct 9 09:56
          I'm glad you posted that because I was afraid I'd put the kiss of death to our conversations by specifically requesting you not to make suggestions. I always check in here every time I go online... more
          • Oh, hell no! - Sarge, Mon Oct 9 10:37
            I meant what I said in "Oddly enough..." under Part 5. I very much understand. I gave up on even looking for some glimmer of a "nugget under the sh:thouse" in the clubcar bit. I find it something my... more
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