We live in banal times. You may deny this; but you would be wrong (and stupid) to do so.
Today the masses are entertained in increasingly inane ways by increasingly moronic individuals. Pursuit of the arcane has been abandoned, in favour of pursuit of superficial fame, despite the fact we are still largely ignorant to the true nature of the Cosmos and the muted whistling of star-bound chimaeras. Terrible, ultimate Knowledge lies within our grasp, but our hands have grown withered and taut, and (to continue the analogy) several of the tendons of our forearms have actually snapped (i.e. making it even more difficult to grasp at our full extent).
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It is one of the cruel realities of this world that I do not have access to the finest abacuses of ancient Persia.
The beautiful counting frames of the Achaemenids, once installed in plush palaces o’erlooking the sun-drenched gardens of Pasargadae and Persepolis, are lost to time and beyond my grasp. It pains me to admit that I shall ne’er sit astride an ancient abacus of Susa, gem of the Zagros Mountains, tallying up catch reports from dusty fishers on the Tigris.
Had I access to such primitive but meticulous counting machines – were I free to slide their ruby beads along cylindrical tracks into handy conglomerations – then I might be able to keep a count of the number of times I have been asked to explain the meaning behind the Fisherian coat-of-arms.
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