Amoeba’s Lorica: Learning To Scroll

CAIRO, EGYPT (API*): Librarians, historians, data archivists, and paper manufacturers from around the world are descending en masse on this Eastern Mediterranean nation at this hour, urgently seeking clues to the lost art of paper making from the paper reed, Cyperus papyrus. Representatives of agribusiness interests are also here, and are visiting gardeners, horticulturalists, and invasive weed specialists throughout the tropical world, in search of the information and expertise needed to cultivate C. papyrus on a massive scale.

These actions, and other urgent moves to secure and grow the world’s supply of paper, follow from last week’s global decision to disable all computer networks, in the face of multiplying, and increasingly insurmountable, cyberattacks on these networks. A United Nations official close to the shutdown decision makers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Between the increasingly intolerable pressure on the networks by the cyber attackers, and the pressure on governments to restore jobs to people that were being lost to computers and the robots they supported, we decided that we could not afford, in any sense of the word, to keep supporting the technology.”

A world leader, recently quoted as preferring steam technology to digital on his nation’s warships, championed the decision, and used it as an example of his administration’s successes in the area of job creation in 19th century industries.

Other people were not so happy. “I wanna cry!”, lamented one programmer who had been working at a major provider of antivirus software, now closed, bankrupt, and under investigation for creating many of the viruses against which it sold protection. Bill Gates was quoted, by several sources, to have said, “Oh well, it was fun – and profitable – while it lasted.” Paul Allen could not be reached for comment, and was rumored to be barricaded in his compound on Lopez Island in Washington state. Representatives of Apple released a statement: “We invest major time and effort on systems that are designed to resist attack, and this is the thanks we get. But you morons all voted for the cheap stuff with your wallets. So, meh.”

In anticipation of the need for a major influx of minimum-wage clerks and scriveners to replace digital tools, Cratchit Guilds have begun forming, according to several reliable sources, to organize against exploitation. The same sources report formation, in response, of Stone of Help Societies by employers, which have adopted the motto, “What Part of ‘Eat’ Don’t You Get?”

Of course, the scriveners, and the debate over their use and working conditions, will be irrelevant if there is no paper upon which to write. As even the most efficient recapture of papyrus methodology will take years to implement, pressure on other paper sources will, unavoidably, increase, and will have equally unavoidable consequences, to the environment and elsewhere. Parchment manufacturers are pushing increased rates of animal slaughter for access to hides, resulting in a drop in the price of meat. The Sierra Club organized a campaign, “Paper Over Our Dead Bodies”, in an effort to protect forests from clearcutting for paper pulp. Owing to difficulties in communications, turnout for the associated tree-hugging demonstrations was sparse, and was met with armed military police who declared “We will do for you as we did for the Indians in Dakota.” Meanwhile, citizen posses, containing a disproportionately-high percentage of left-handed persons, held their families hostage. The would-be Sierra Club dead bodies quietly dispersed.

The situation remains extremely fluid. Follow this newspaper for updates as we invent them as they happen! Assuming we can get the paper.

* = Amoeba Press International #FakeNewsPathToRiches

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