WORK / NEWS / abt / <-->

[how to repay the cow]

A therapist has been opening his therapy for so long that no one remembers when he started. It is told that he never dies because every client who has gone to him has seen him until the very last second of their lives.

One day, a young artist visited him. The artist confessed:

- I am feeling sad - the young man said - once I made a painting of a cow on a farm. It was a beautiful cow with unique patterns. Then I sold the drawing for a lunch. I was happy, but then I realized that the cow deserved to have something too. I brought a few packs of grass to the farm, but the cow had been slaughtered. Now I feel guilty because I think I owe the cow something that I cannot repay anymore.
- Don’t worry young artist, drink water then you will be fine.

The young artist drank water, and he felt good again. Twenty years later, that artist visited the therapist for the second time.

- I am not feeling good. Another day I photographed a portrait of an old man. His face had a lot of creases that looked like a surreal landscape. Then I sold the photograph for ten ounces of gold. I was happy, but I realized that the old man deserved to have something too. I brought two ounces of gold to him, but he had already passed away. Now I feel guilty because I think I owe the man something I can no longer repay.
- I am sorry to hear that, but don’t worry, drink enough water, then you will be fine.

The artist drank water. He felt good again. Twenty years later, the artist became old. He visited the therapist for the third time.

- I am not feeling well. I made a documentary about the war that was happening in my country. Then I sold the work for 100 carats of diamond. I was so, so happy, but I realized that my country deserved something too. I carried half of the diamond back to my country. But it had been completely demolished due to the conflict. Now I feel guilty because I think I still owe my country something that I cannot repay.
- I am so sorry to hear about the tragedy. But don’t blame yourself too much. And drink some water then you will be fine.

Twenty years later, the artist saw the therapist one last time. He is now at the last moment of his life.

- For the many years of my lifetime, I have made my art entirely from my imagination. I have carefully avoided anything in this world. I have sold them for everything, and I have been the happiest man in the
world. Now, in my last moment, I feel I don’t owe anything but you. I still feel guilty because I cannot repay you.

- Don't worry - the therapist says - I will follow you to your afterlife. Now, drink some water, and you
will be fine.

[Lying Guide]

When we were kids, sometimes we would lie to our parents to get the things we want. Like, playing more video games, or getting more candies.

Lying is art. You have to be very creative and sensitive. You have to predict what people potentially think and ask you. You have to make up events. You have to plan out for all possibilities.

For a person who lies a lot, another challenge comes: How to escape the guilty feeling of having lied a lot?

There is only one possible solution: You have to tell yourself that you actually have not, that the lie and the truth have been the same.

This is the moment when lying stops being art and becomes something different. There is nothing created because it is already there.

[The Planet]

64 delegates from 64 nations gathered in an observatory for a historic conference. They looked forward to making a deal on how to share out the space of a new planet discovered the previous year. From the telescope of the observatory, they could see the planet float elegantly in the universe like a crystalized trophy on blue velvet. More importantly, this planet has an infinite surface. They hope this infinity can allow all 64 nations to move there and live comfortably forever.  

For the many years before the discovery of the new planet, 64 nations rose many wars to gain territory. Now the new planet had been discovered, no one bothered to rise wars anymore. The planet had become the new game in town. People recycled weapons to make spaceships that were ready to be launched. But there were still some final problems that the conference needed to solve before the move. 

The first problem was how to redraw borders on the infinite surface of the planet. The opinions were divided into three groups. The first group reasoned that, rationally speaking, drawing borders in infinity was mathematically impossible, so we must give up this nonsensical idea. The second group argued that borders must be respected, even if arbitrary because it was about the necessity of self-identification. When the debate became a fight, the third group jumped in. They proposed that instead of drawing borders using lines, they wanted to use angles. According to their plan, each nation must keep a healthy 90-degree angle to the neighboring countries. After a vote, this solution was approved. They created an 8 by 8 grid system to frame the infinite space. From this grid, 64 units of infinite space were ready to be filled. And from this arose the second problem.

No one wanted to be at the corners of the grid because of the lack of relations. After a vote, they decided to create a lottery, which randomly put 4 nations at the corners, 24 nations at the edges, and the rest somewhere in the center. This result indeed made 4 nations very unhappy. They rejected the result as well as the grid solution. No one could come up with other alternative solutions so the conference was still getting stuck at this point. 

The last problem was how to name the planet. Since the discovery, each nation had been calling the planet by their invented names, in their definitions and languages. There were 64 names and definitions of the planet. After many polls, the conference could not come up with a common name for the common planet. They decided to create a research program that dived deep into each of the 64 languages to search for a name that was translatable to all languages while maintaining the same meaning and referring to anyone. Fortunately, the program was a success, giving a new name to the planet. Its English version is “My Land.”   

[Flea Farm]

Somewhere on the other side of the desert lies a row of residences made up of four identical houses. The owners of the residences are four families who have moved here eons ago. Each family consists of four members: a father, a mother, a son, and a daughter. 

Each house has a garden in the backyard, which the families use for their agricultural businesses. One family grows Cuscuta. Another, ginger. Another, frogs. And the last one, dog fleas.

The dog fleas are creatures who attune to rough landscapes. They are very difficult to capture. They don’t crawl, only hop. They hop so fast that normal eyes cannot see their trajectories. Even after they are done hopping, they blend in so well with other fleas that we cannot tell which from which. 

This family now has 224 dog fleas. To track their locations, they have built a [flea farm]. The farm is monitored by a coordinate system that consists of two perpendicular structures painted in black and white, and a cubical red tower. 

Each day the family walks around the farm. Whenever they encounter a flea, they sketch its shape on a yellow piece of paper and place it at the location of the flea. This causes the flea to hop to another place. The family observes the flea’s new location. They determine it by consulting the black-and-white structures and the red tower. Then they record the new location on the same yellow paper, turning it into a map. 

[the Wax Fortress]

Nobody knows for how long the Wax Fortress has existed, nor do they know who built it. Yet, the Yellow Army has been there for so long that everyone believes that they possess the fortress.

The Yellow Army is a strictly disciplined and hierarchically organized force that has a medium body temperature. They believe that it is their ultimate mission to inhabit the Wax Fortress because the fortress is made of wax, which has a low melting point and therefore is not suitable for any other forces that have higher body temperatures than the Yellow Army.

Different from the Yellow Army, the Pink Army is not as strictly organized, and possesses a much higher body temperature. The Pink Army always wants to overthrow the Yellow Army to seize the [Wax Fortress], even though they know this would mean the destruction of the structure. The Pink Army has always held the Yellow Army accountable for the origin of their conflict. They organize many attacks from outside, as well as plant spies and special agents inside the fortress. The Yellow Army doesn’t respond directly to these attempts; rather they defend themselves by organizing their military structures even more strictly.

Nobody knows the exact origin of the Pink Army. This is still a topic up for discussion among scholars. There are hypotheses that the Pink Army is a rebellion unit formed after a mutiny against the Yellow Army. Other hypotheses point out that the Pink Army might originate from the Southwest of the fortress, where they receive orders from the sky at A6.