Copyright (c) copr 1994 all rights reserved Thomas James Hardman, Jr., TJH Internet SP and Earth Operations Central. Teach your children this:


The Litany of the Engineer
Gather 'round children
Tonight we celebrate
Eat well, children
Eat and grow strong
We your parents have worked hard and long for this -
That we might raise you to the age where you might
Be brought to know the simple things that make us Men.

Tonight we celebrate!
We celebrate fire!
Fire! The first tool
With which we shape the world! For are we not Men -
And well we wield fire to make the world
To conform to the shape of our dreams.

This is fire.
Fire, the first tool!
Celebrate fire!
Fire firms clay, clay holds ore, ore smelts to metal
Metal shapes stone, and well-shap'ed stone
Shapes cities, shapes roads, metal shaping rock shapes empires!

Are we not Men!
We shape the world
Our dreams made stonefleshed!
And in them we live, and store food, and grow strong!
And in stone houses we shape clay, to smelt ore
To shape cities and empires - we reshape the world!

Make a fire!
Build it high!
Shape your clay
Shape it to the shape that makes struckstone to steel
Blow the bellowed airs through the finepipes as we chant
Give thanks always thanks to the tools made with fire.

And with tools
Make machines
With machines make-real dreams
But my children dream not of machines - they are
Only your means to your ends - but make them
If only to make your dreams real. Then discard them.

My children behold the fire!
Now place your hand within!
Oh - how it burns!
And like the fire consumes the fuel, as it burns you
So shall the machine grind you up should you
Surrender your life into its embrace.

Make your machines
Simple Machines
These they are:
The lever, the wheel, the inclin'ed-plane
The screw, and the pulley, and pulley-combined
These make all others, and those make disaster
Unless you shall know of their plans.

But make fire
Harden clay
Make metal from ore
Make tools to ease your life
But remember that the machines must serve you
For are we not Men! - we're served by machines
We will die before we fail to destroy those machines that demand service.

Once we made them
We made them complex
Much too complex
We moved from a race with large brains
Adapting our world to our needs - to a race
Adapting ourselves to serving systems of machines -
And one day they decided we were not needed.

Give thanks, my children.
Give thanks to fire.


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