First, Stop Eating the Stew!!
Imagine an absolutely enormous vat of stew, say the size of Nevada. Nobody knows who originally created it, but for three hundred years its recipe has been honored and exactly replicated. For all that time, everyone has eaten the stew because word has it that anyone eating the stuff has an equal chance of becoming healthy, very wealthy, and wise.
Of course, along the way, many, many folks who have eaten the stew have instead become sick, poor, and stupid. That's not the stew's fault, though . . . there's been something wrong with those people. Constitutionally incapable of benefitting from the stew's magic powers, I guess.
Problem is, there's this select bunch of people who've gotten pretty rich and powerful by making sure the stew stays the same. They control it. No one other than these folks know the truth about the stew. There are commercials every three minutes, in high definition, extolling the virtues of the stew.
However, you have some suspicions. So you siphon off fifty gallons of the stuff and bring it to your own kitchen. You realize that it stinks; it tastes like a landfill; and one spoonful makes you sicker than you've ever been. "Gotta FIX this shit", you say.
So you cut up some free-range, organic meat and throw it in. New potatoes, celery, onions, carrots from the farmer's market. Maybe even some fresh stock you made from scratch. You let it simmer. You try some. Barf!!
You pull out a piece of the old meat and a piece of the new meat. You test them. Why, they're exactly the same. Having less wisdom than you had before, but still maintaining a shred, you draw a radical conclusion . . . it can't be fixed!
Solutions: (1) first, stop eating the stew!; (2) find other folks who know the truth about the stew and create a small, new stew. Different recipe. Different ingredients. Don't market it in opposition to the MegaMetaStew. Just keep it in your own village and offer it free to anyone who wants some. This stew might not make anybody rich. But it'll sure keep you alive, warm, strong, and mildly contented. The really great part is that everyone in the village has a say in what goes into the stew.
Posted by total at 1/08/2006