News from the Galaxy

It has been revealed to me that there is life on a planet within our Galaxy. Among the living creatures on this planet are humanoids – that is, beings that bear a great similarity to humans on this Earth, but who do not appear to be intelligent, as we humans are, but rather sub-human in their reasoning faculties.
These humanoids are at present quite busy building large structures such as bridges and tall buildings with concrete, which they invented many years ago, but without the use of reinforcing bars, or rebars, as we call them.

Of course, since we are intelligent, we know what has to be the result of their efforts: continual collapses which cause these poor humanoids great grief and disappointment.

It appears that in the remote past these creatures did use rebars in concrete constructions, but an influential politician whose name is recorded in their history as “Nicson” finally decided that concrete did not require rebars to give it tensile strength, and therefore banned their use.

At the present time their media of communication are filled with discussions on how to prevent concrete structures from collapsing, with consequent disruption of life. The situation is very distressing.
Some commentators in the editorial pages of the well-regarded newspaper “Cement Times” recommend closer supervision of the building of concrete structures; others recommend more transparency regarding building methods, while some recommend that buildings be constructed in such a way as to prop each other up, to avoid collapse. In the meantime, no formula has been found to remedy this plague of collapsing buildings.

A very few of these humanoids are mentioning the fact that when rebars were used, long before Nicson, buildings did not collapse. Scarcely any attention is given to these “rebar bugs”, as they are derisively referred to by the élite of the inhabitants, who are venerated as well-informed and expert authorities in the matter. The rebar-bugs have a spokesman who goes by the name of “Paulum”, but they seem to be fighting a losing battle against the sub-human intelligence of the majority and those wielding political power.

Rebars are regarded by the cement manufacturers’ representatives as old-fashioned and unnecessary, and in fact, as “barbarous relics”; they allege that reverting to use of rebars would hamper the economy, because it would slow down the building industry, which is thriving because buildings are collapsing daily and of course, have to be rebuilt. Besides, they argue that rebars are “too scarce”.

Indeed, it might be suspected that the “Federal Cement Manufacturers’ Association” has an interest in retaining the present mode of rebar-less construction. Their disdain for rebars speaks louder than words of their sub-human nature, for by the simple expedient of allowing the use of rebars, which they have banned completely, they would find an undoubtely efficacious remedy to the parlous situation which prevails on their planet. However, it is apparent that there is no wish to accept the application of this remedial measure on the part of the Federal Cement Manufacturers’ Association, or the “Fed” as they call it.

Such is the travail now prevailing amongst the humanoids of that remote planet. There is nothing to be done; they must be allowed to suffer. Perhaps they may, in the course of millenia, eventually acquire human intelligence.