12 June 2009

Denevi: Borobobóo

"Borobobóo" is one of Denevi's fables, this one featuring a jungle full of animals. One day, an ape in a suit shows up. After gathering some information, he tells the inhabitants that they need a computer. In a long passage, he enumerates all of the things that a computer will be able to do for them. (Almost to a one functions of absolutely no value to a jungle creature.) After thinking it over, the jungle animals agree that they need the computer. The ape says he will need to train some people to run the machine, just the brightest. He will also need to cut down a few trees to make room for the computer.

Later, he concludes that he will need more people to run the machine, then even more. Similarly, more and more space has to be cut for the computer. It reads as something of a parable, but it's unique enough that I wouldn't label it as a simple anti-technology screed. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to say exactly what the "moral" of the fable is.

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