21 July 2005
In Service to Imagination
The government hired us to warn future generations of the dangers of nuclear waste sites. We retreated to our cubicles and concocted elaborate mythologies that included stories of monsters living under geologically stable mountains. We also developed a plan whereby these myths would permeate the culture and lodge themselves in people’s brains. We were thinking 25,000 years into the future. Fear is the best defense. Government officials reviewed our proposal. We were thinking more along the lines of signage that was not specific to any known language, they said. We bristled. That is absolutely the wrong approach, we told them.