The Wandering Tavern | Technology
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Münchhausen is an immense wasteland with no more interest than its strategic location on the edge of the galaxy. Like some border towns of old, its only city, which gives its name to the planet, is a place of passage for adventurers, fugitives and impostors of all kinds. And the worst of them (or the best, depending on how you look at it) meet at the Wandering Tavern, which takes its name from the homonymous novel by GK Chesterton, a 20th-century satirist.
In imitation of the legendary pubs of old Earth, in the Wandering Tavern there are (among other less easily identifiable things) a dartboard, a pool table and a chessboard, and its foamy blue beer loosens the tongue and predisposes to credulity more than any other drink in the known universe, according to those who have tried it. And they also assure that it is impossible to drink a single glass.
The most fanciful and crazy stories come and go constantly from the unique gambling den, and also the most terrible and gruesome. Some are believable, but false; others, implausible, but true; and the majority, as false as implausible. Among them, and given the characteristics of the place, there are many, as will be seen, those related to darts, billiards and chess, and some have become famous. Although none as much as the story of the Wandering Tavern itself.
They say that the tavern began as a laboratory installed on the outskirts of the city of Münchhausen to investigate the peculiar magnetic properties of the planet. One fine day and for no apparent reason, the laboratory levitated and began to move erratically through the air until it ended up falling into its current location, so abruptly that its expensive instruments were rendered useless. Although not entirely, if one were to believe the astute entrepreneur who bought the ruins of the research center at a bargain price and built a tavern from its ashes. According to the space expired turned tavern keeper, from time to time the ex-lab turned tavern spontaneously levitates again, hovers erratically over the city for a few minutes, and ends up landing back where it started. And not a few patrons of the Wandering Tavern confirm his story.
Earnshaw’s theorem shows that static ferromagnetism alone could not explain such unusual behavior, so there are only three possible explanations:
1. The magnetism of the planet is not static, but fluctuates following guidelines that invite us to think of an intelligent purpose and a certain tavern spirit.
2. After the accident, the instrumental complex of the laboratory merged, giving rise to some advanced type of artificial intelligence that “longs for” the erratic journey that gave rise to it and repeats it from time to time.
3. The one that travels is not the tavern, but its patrons, who after the third blue beer can believe anything and after the fifth they can go anywhere without getting up from their seats (which, by the way, would be an even greater effort than lifting the entire tavern from its perch).
The texts in this series are brief narrative approaches to that “great game” of science, technique and technology -three inseparable threads of the same braid- that is transforming the world faster and faster and in which we all must participate as players, if we do not want to be mere toys.
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