Through the Earth and to the Sun - Chapter 12: The Battle for Subversion

(Personal Topic, taken from U. Penn Application) You have just completed your autobiography. Submit page 217.

Kurt Vonnegut's quintessential anthropological romp, Cat's Cradle. However, I trusted that then, unlike in the aforementioned novel, my "joining the natives" would not cause the world around me to come crashing down, or in that story's particular case, freezing up. I had lighted upon a society with bizarre customs based on what most would call a primitive mentality, and was strangely comfortable, free from the professional restraints of "proper investigation," a euphemism for appropriate distance. It was truly absurd that, in a time one and a quarter centuries removed from the staid Victorian Era, such a restrictive mentality could still exist in a science that was both devoted to the past and always on the cutting edge. Innovative ignorance.

Nevertheless, I was in absolute defiance of it when I joined the Jenginian natives in their political embroilment, which began soon after I settled in. In those days, the UN had not yet reassumed all its previous clout, and so some political leeway still existed for nascent industrial powers to assume an imperial streak and claim title to neighboring, newly separate nations. Whether it were for resources, labor, or land was irrelevant. The forces that be...

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