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There are two ways to convince people that you are intelligent.

Talk fast.
Or talk slow.

Fast talkers overwhelm you with the sheer quantity of information they can project. Surely someone that talks this fast must also be able to think fast!

Slow talkers convince you of their wisdom by gradually withdrawing their responses from the depths of knowledge.


The slow talker and the fast talker share a common talent:


The fast talker controls the conversation by ploughing over all obstacles. Other people's thoughts are shoved aside before the onslaught. The fast talker is always on the edge of going out of control, of spiraling off into incoherence or circuity. But the talent of the fast talker lies in staying just below that threshold, and generating a pulsing stream of discourse at the threshold of listeners' comprehension.

The slow talker, on the other hand, controls the conversation by forcing everyone else to stop and listen. The slow talker can remain silent for most of a session, and then, finally opening his or her mouth, can change the entire structure of the conversation through sheer force of will. The slow talker's talent is to speak with a richness, and a pregnancy of meaning, that sweeps aside other people's words as but a pale reflection of the underlying Truth.

In Whirrled, control is power.
Whirrled is a kaleidescope, in which every certainty is undermined and every reality is temporary. The length of time in which the world becomes unrecognizeable has been shortened well below the average lifespan of an individual. The experiences of one generation are useful only because of the inherent cyclicality of history; the past will become the future not by passing through the present, but by reappearing in a different form at a later date. The world spins endlessly on its axis, but the axis twirls as well, so that there is no longer any point, anywhere, that is truly at rest.
In this ever-changing universe,
the successful are those who can
create some measure of certainty and
familiarity. Intelligence is the ability
to see the emerging patterns as they form;
to slow, if only for an instant,
the hurtling mass of reality to a point
that is comprehensible to others.
In Whirrled, anyone can be out of control. It takes no talent to be in motion when tbe ground beneath your feat is racing in the other direction. Likewise, it requires no great still to make yourself stationary, for you are not stationary relative to anything else in the universe. The talent lies in approaching the threshold of these two states, where reality is both complex and comprehensible.

Those most successful in Whirrled may not always be the fast talkers. Technological and cultural change will continue to accelerate beyond the capacity of any one individual to stay abreast of such change.

In other words,

Mastery lies at the edge of chaos.


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Copyright © 1996 Kevin and Adam Werbach.