Could long ago there have been a civilization that reached our level of technological development? Could once upon a time there have also lived people with computers, the internet, e-mail and the rest of it? But of pressing concern, could what happened to this ancient civilization foreshadow the threat of collapse for the U.S. during the 21st century, if not indeed Eastern as...
Could long ago there have been a civilization that reached our level of technological development? Could once upon a time there have also lived people with computers, the internet, e-mail and the rest of it? But of pressing concern, could what happened to this ancient civilization foreshadow the threat of collapse for the U.S. during the 21st century, if not indeed Eastern as well as Western civilization?
This question has been raised by discovery in a cave in Iraq of an ancient artifact containing a map indicating a route over land and sea to a mountain peak marked simply O, a tablet of gold bearing what purports to be a "Manifesto of Mystifu," and a CD "far advanced beyond anything of which our present technology is capable." From a feat "little short of code-busting for the Rosetta Stone" emerges the strange tale of the radically different cultures of the ancient villages of the saintly Osanto, the vicious Snarlsgrrrr, and the woeful Mystifu. Born into each of the villages are babies, both girls and boys, of an unusual and equal potential for achievement. Through radically different kinds of child raising, family life, and both humorous and terrifying adventures, their lives are thereafter shaped into the radical difference between life in Osanto, Snarlsgrrrrr, and Mystifu.
Most arresting of these differences is the contrast between the governing Code of Osanto, with its break-dancing Sages, and the governing Code of Snarlsgrrrr, with its dutiful hordes of ComConBots. What experts find particularly striking are six radically contrasting foundations for these ancient codes. These six foundations seem to predate-and may even account for the origin of-both the progressive and the regressive moral codes that "ever since have shaped the seesaw between hope and terror that's been the frightful history of our species on this planet."
In dismal contrast is Mystifu, which flounders in the mental mush of a tug of war between both Codes, the chaos of an explosion of gadgetry and informational overload, and the lack of any firm sense about anything. Snarlsgrrrr sets out to enslave and exploit the other villages with its hordes of ComCon (i.e, compassionate conservative) robots. Devastated by confusion, with mutant Grokers creeping in upon them from the polluted sea, Mystifu collapses environmentally and in every other way. Can Snarlsgrrrr be stopped? Can the Grokers be tamed? Can the Sages of Osanto intervene in time to save Mystifu?
The sentient world waits with baited breath while, in the genre of Orwell, James Thurber, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., the experts race to translate the conclusion.
This is the third book for the Benjamin Franklin Press publication of David Loye's four book Entertainment and Humor Cycle, for which the other titles are Brave Laughter, Return to Amalfi, and Tangled Tales of the Book Trade, or the Mystery of the Missing Century.