Now some of you can still remember all the hype surrounding “light”. Hands up if you were around then. Well, that turned out to be a bit of a damp squid after we found out it didn’t work everywhere at the same intensity, right, and that for several hours a day you couldn’t get it to work at all. But you have to credit the GeneSys team with knowing how to spin an issue, whether it’s planets or PR, because within a few eons they’d come up with “The Moon”, successfully wrapping it in a whole lot of romantic razzmatazz for the launch. There was “moonlight is for lovers”, then “promise her the moon” etc., and more recently the “take back the night” campaign. All this definitely put the moon on the celestial map, raising its profile far above any real performance aspect, because, let’s face it, it’s basically a pretty standard reflection-diffusion satellite. These days they prefer to go with the “seasonally adjustable, 24-hour, variable luminosity feature” stuff, but nobody’s been biting lately and light sales are down, down, down as more as more people turn to artificial providers on the internal apps market, because those guys seriously pump out the lumens! The vitamin E thing was the next big problem for light. The boffins at GeneSys are still trying to find a way to sex-up the deprivation depression effect that has plagued the northern nations for millennia, and as Kenneth’s going to tell you soon, they may have something this time.
Back then the strategy was initially one of denial. No one was prepared to take responsibility. Nordics are simply gloomy people, we were told. Later, you may remember, they shifted the spin to give us Strindberg and Bergman & C°, trying to make depression seem somehow intellectually superior. This caught on with the sweater and sandal set, but frankly, the rest of us found it a bit of a yawn. Then the spin wobbled again to concentrate our attention on our African origins and that wonderful Mediterranean diet. This was meant to tell us that humans had no business so far up there in the north anyway. It hasn’t worked. The number of Africans in Scandinavia is on the rise while the number of Scandinavians in Africa is decreasing fast. The upshot is that more recently a sense of reality has been sinking in at GeneSys HQ, and the solar deficit issue is beginning to be faced, at least tangentially ... yeah, you got it, they’ve come up with the “Twilight” series, which has certainly served to draw attention away from vitamin E for the younger generation, doing for them what fish oil did for the over 40s. But I’m not holding my breath on the vampire thing, because most of us are, and will continue to be, essentially “day-walkers” and the fish-oil solution is already turning out to be partial at best as the cod banks shrivel away.
Meanwhile the problems with light won’t be solved any time soon as we’re now beginning to learn that the batteries aren’t actually eternal, as GeneSys originally promised us, and we may be looking at only about another 2 or 3 billion years of regular use. And that’s not an issue they have an answer for with Earth2.0 (at least, I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere in the prep material), though doubtless Ken will set me straight.
Then there was Revealed Religion. This was a big ticket launch: literally dozens of Minor Prophets were enlisted for the preview campaign alone, which lasted three millennia. In the end it gave us the Pentateuch, the Gospels, the Quran, the papacy, the primacy, the caliphate and then Luther and Gutenberg ... and eventually involved the creation of entire industries, vast armies and some seriously painful maintenance doctrine. However, although ReRe got a lot of attention from the folks along the crescent, it never really caught on elsewhere unless a certain amount of coercion was applied. The problem was it didn’t present the kind of handbook quality we were looking for. We needed something along the lines of “Chapter two: weather”, “Chapter five: sex”, “Chapter seven: plumbing” Chapter nine: peace” ... What we got was some great advice in a general sense (loving your neighbour etc and not touching the skin of the pig) but not a lot of guidance on the real issues. Plus if you wanted to use all the cool revelation apps you had to have a contract with one of their providers. This was good news for the big three but not so good for some of the more adventurous and radical dotcommies on the fringes. True, it was really hard to hold out against papal indulgences: You could download an indefinite purgatory limit, you could get unlimited grace on broadband, complete with family dispensation pack. Indulgence was definitely something to go with back then and a lot of us wonder why they scrapped it. Too much of a good thing maybe ... we over-indulged.
But to be honest, a lot of what’s been happening lately in the ReRe department smells rather strongly of garage sale. How long will it be before potato-chips and cola start to replace the standard communion fare? How long before you can buy martyr credits directly from the jihad bank, without even needing to harness up? With bottled Ganges water and a Virgin apparition in every second village ... the whole thing is getting out of hand in a way we haven’t seen since the dark ages. A shake up is definitely called for. Fortunately there are a couple of candidates waiting in the wings, and I certainly don’t mean Marxism or big science. So passé! Watch this space. Over to you, Kenneth.
Thanks Jason. Now we’ve come to the moment we’ve all been waiting for. I’ve even bought a new hi-def webcam so that you can all experience this just as I do. So, without further ado, here it is. earth2.0: “The unboxing”. Oooooo! I can’t wait.
It definitely looks like a quality product from the outset. You’ll want to touch it, engage with it, even juggle it about a bit before you get around to opening it up. The box itself is gorgeous: stunning in a sort of Universal Galaxy Creation way. True to company nomenclature at GeneSys, it’s called a “firmament” not a box, and it’s in the most ravishing deep black with just a hint of Prussian blue. The surface seems inordinately deep and it’s simply packed with stars, all of which scintillate as you open it. Inside is ... your planet, cool and blue. At first glance it seems much the same as the old model until you take a closer look, then, WOW!
First up is a sort of protective over-wrap made of something faintly luminous and distinctly cool that’s a whole lot smoother looking than the old Van Allen layer they used to pack the original, and they’ve made it dust resistant so all that old satellite crud just slides off ... no dramatic accidental re-entry fears anymore. If you want to get into this one you’ll need an approach angle between 13.5 and 14.2 degrees or no chance ... just burn off buddy. Anyhow, after peeling that back you can see we’ve got a stratosphere that has clearly been given a complete work-over. It’s very pearly and full of delicate colours. And GeneSys claims that it’s static neutral. No more interference problems (so I guess we needn’t have bothered with developing digital radio after all, huh?). And apropos radio, this supports full-range transmission on everything from sub-wave to nano-wave, so we won’t need to fight for frequencies anymore.
Moving on in, we have a heightened atmospheric experience with a two-and-a-half times faster oxygen flush. This is really impressive and will be a boon to all green life (a big hi to all you asparagus out there!) as well as to anyone suffering from respiratory conditions due to the kind of periodic atmospheric overload that has dogged Earth1.0 since Krakatoa. By the way, one of the features of the new atmosphere is improved spectral refraction (more about that later) which has the interesting side benefit of providing rainbows with ... 27 distinct colours, though you’re going to need the Falcon app to fully appreciate them!
What else? Well, it seems gravity has been slightly reduced which is going to be good news for all those with back problems as well as gaining the thanks of grateful donkeys everywhere, but I’m not sure how the athletic community is going to react, nor whether this will turn out to be such a good thing for vehicle manufacturers. Wait and see. Magnetism is also up and the poles have been realigned to make geographical north identical with magnetic once again, this time with tracking adjustment so that there won’t be any more drift. So goodbye to all those 7° wiggle issues.
Now we come to the really interesting part. Earth2 has had its ground cover completely re-looked. The rainforests are back with a vengeance and they are just staggering! The biodiversity has been upped by 17% and nearly everything is poisonous so no one’s going to want to poach it (“or grill it for that matter” [Jason]). And we’ve got deserts for you in abundance, too. Thanks to the slight increase in diameter of the new earth, despite its reduced weight, there’s a great deal more surface and the jungles, prairies and deserts have definitely gained big time. Yes, we have mega cities, but they look very Flash Gordon to me. I think you’re going to love them. Too bad about Venice, but ho hum, that’s how it goes! While on the subject of water: there’s a bit less ocean proportionately speaking, though it’s actually a tiny bit more in total terms and it’s certainly better distributed, so we all get more and easier access to islands. Aloha, honey!
Of course, one of the most touted features (and you’re going to love this one, Jason) is the double sun. In fact the boys at GeneSys tell me it isn’t really double, they’ve just redesigned the refractive index of the stratosphere to make it seem to appear twice in the heavens when the angle of incidence is sufficiently low. No more endless winters for the Finns and no more of those sunsets in Africa that are so sudden they go “bonk” and you don’t even have time to chose the right filter for your Nikon. The moon’s diffusion and reflection has also been upgraded by the addition of some very special new dust ... so it’s going to seem bigger and brighter for everyone and believe me, with the new hi-def atmosphere you’ll see every surface nuance. And they’ve made it interactive, too. Get this! You howl at the moon and it’ll howl back ... very faintly, of course, but it’s there. It’s kind of eerie and takes some getting used to, but then if you smile at it, they claim that it’ll look like the man is smiling back, which should make up for all the howling. 2 cool.
Now, on the old model Earth you could peel back the surface. That feature has been removed, because so many people were hacking into the minerals and other valuable substrates. Oh and there’s no more fossil oil anyhow. That’s a bummer, but I guess we’ll get used to it. I can’t help feeling the Arabs are going to be a bit sore and it’ll put quite a dent in their whole ReRe world domination thing. But there you go. I think we can all agree that fossil hydrocarbons in general were distinctly old-school. Earth2.0 offers so much better solar resources thanks to the improved stratosphere that we should be able to do without oil and coal for our energy needs, and all the minerals now come on trees (as do all the gemstones ... you should just see the ruby trees, big as pomegranates: stunning!). However, I wonder how we at unboxit.com are going to manage without all that fancy plastic wrapping. But then again cardboard is rad and very hip ... we can come together on that, can’t we people! And wood-based plastics are going to be totally next wave for sure. How do I know this? Well looking at the forest layer I can see that the cover has been significantly upped for this re-launch and with a marked increase in high-growth replacement species.
All in all it’s a pretty smooth product, as we’ve come to expect from the Lord of the Universe. It’s for sure way, way ahead of Earth One in so many ways and if that peace interface really works the way they say it’s going to (personally I’m betting on the new Norwegian converter), then GeneSys have a winner on their hands. And the coolest thing of all (just get this): all that wrapping is essential, nothing to throw away. You just let the whole laminate structure fold back into place above you as soon as you’ve unwrapped your way in. And Jason, when you look up tomorrow morning through all those layers of genius technology, you’re going to see the bluest of blue skies ever, ever, ever, ever!! That’s because there’s no more weather, only climate. We’ll see how that one goes in practise, of course, but for now I’d say: Dude, I think this is the real deal!
Nice one, God. Now all we need is Human2.0 to go with it. As long as they don’t make the women even curvier ... that would be, like, so
Article: © Hugh Featherstone