A New, Improved Manhattan Project: Pt 2: The Proposal

A New, Improved Manhattan Project: Pt 2: The Proposal

From A New, Improved Manhattan Project: Pt 1: Preliminary Worries

I am worried that we lack the clarity and shared purpose required to pull it together and put joyful-justice/just-joyfulness first when faced by something awful–or maybe even when merely faced by something that particularly reminds us of awfulness.

I am concerned. But what can I do about it?, that’s what I’d like to know. Or rather: what should I do, and am I allowed to go take a walk?


And so I began to work on the problem:

Now that the world is wobbling, our weapons too fierce and good will, political/cultural-organization/communication, and economic- and environmental-basis all too strained–what we need now is an anti-weapon. A weapon that undoes the effects of dangerous substances including but not limited to weapons.

My first thought was a Cloud Of Protection (COP–an unintentional acropun) that would immediately rush to, envelope, and implode a nuclear explosion as it began or a poison gas as it started to expand. I thought I’d combine that technology with anti-diseases that people could catch and which would fight off all possible plagues. But the science keeps beating me, and I fear I’ll not manage anything more than a damp fog in my bathroom–a sluggish, lazy, rather weak fog hovering over my porcelain tub and causing mildew right up until the blast that melts everything.

So I’ve decided to try another tact:

A wisdom meme. A short koan that is very easy to solve. As I understand it, by meditating on koans, they help your mind skip its normal tracks and jump into a complete, whole-being insight. I think they work because the Truth is already all there really is, so if you can just get your thoughts to find a groove that allow them to escape the heuristic loops used to navigate the day-to-day perceived reality, they will immediately find themselves centered around and radiating off the Truth with clarity and passion. The problem with traditional koans is that they’re pretty difficult to use and pretty much never work on their own: they take a great deal of prayerful consideration, meditation, devotion to the search, etc–goods that most people frankly aren’t inclined to develop. Obviously, discipline’s commendable and we can’t fault a spiritual leader for telling their flock to really get to work, to put and keep Truth first! Still, time is of the essence, and I think at this point we can’t afford to be sticklers for formalities. Furthermore, the difficulty inherent in traditional approaches to enlightenment coupled with the glory associated with such grand wisdom tempts one to imagine oneself to be wiser than one actually is–which causes trouble. I therefore propose that we formulate a koan that’s as effective as the best ones, but that’s also much much easier to crack, that in fact one couldn’t help but immediately solve.

But how? How to come up with a phrase or sentence or two that cuts the reader or listener in half, slicing straight through all the blah blah blah and forcing the conscious mind to fully experience the Truth within–that deepest widest sense-of-things that lines the back of a person’s thought, gradually building up on the back of their thought like slowly developing film gathering more and more light. While most people do get wiser as they get older, we don’t tend to ever get nearly wise enough, and our youths are full of dangerous folly. So we need something that works exceedingly fast. However, it must also be perfectly safe–a problem with quick revelations is that they may be partial but the violence of speedy insights tempts one to believe them complete, which can help unwise impulses do what they love to do: co-opt bits of goodness and wisdom, mix them up in a confusion cocktail, and use them to justify and aggrandize folly.


And so I call for a new Manhattan project: Let’s put a bunch of spiritual geniuses together with wordsmiths, psychologists, linguists, and other pertinent wunderkinder and have them come up with a an irresistible enlightenment meme.

The meme written, translated into all possible languages and cultures, and released into the info-aether, there will be several pleasant days of watching enlightenment sweep the world like a blessed plague. And then, the otherwise inevitable game-over disaster thus prevented by a new world that now really does want what’s best and really does know how to get it, we can all settle into exploring, playing, creating in thought–we can get down to business: laugh-dancing through the possibilities, which are infinite, which overflow, which contain and are ultimately burst asunder by the most charming, playful, kindly giggle that, as it turns out, more fundamentally contained them than it was contained within them.

Thank you,


The Drafter of the Proposal

And many others who sign with a flippant shrug and “totally, man!”, little suspecting how the Truth will flood their world, overtake them, become them, make them new and carry and keep them always home.

And some who sign with a secret “hah! this’ll show ’em!”, scarcely aware (in the back and sides of their thought) that it will show them as well, it will show everyone–all of us.

Authors: BW, AMW


What is this?
A three essay series called “A New, Improved Manhattan Project”
Part 1: Preliminary Worries
Pt. 2: The Proposal
Pt. 3: Some Tips for the Geniuses

Whatever happened to selling evolving ebooks on the world-wide web?
Well, nothing’s being posted, but the somewhat-begun books are still available:
Love at a Reasonable Price are listed and linked-to here:
Intro to Love at a Reasonable Price
Intro to Diary of an Adamant Lover for sale here:
Buy the Books

We also are still selling cat totes and epistemologically controversial baby onsies:
Buy Cat Totes!
&/or Objectively Cute Baby Onepieces! (advertised here: An ad for an “Objectively Cute” baby wrap

But what are we really up to?
I dunno, Bartleby and Andy are writing something once in a while and then sometimes going back and editing things. I think they’ll go back to the ebooks before too long. We’ll see.

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