We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Scientists discover new element!

[Tentatively attributed to William DeBuvitz]

The August 2000 fire at the Los Alamos Laboratory had one significant consequence. A secret scientific document, discovered in a bunker whose security systems were mostly destroyed by the fire, was leaked to the public last weekend. Actually it reveals nothing that we didn’t already suspect. But it does show that the government has known all along that, besides arsenic, lead, mercury, radon, strontium and plutonium, one more extremely deadly and pervasive element also exists. This startling new discovery — the heaviest element now known to science — has been tentatively named GOVERNMENTIUM (Gv).

Conspiracy theorists speculate that Governmentium has been in existence since the time of the Manhattan Project or even the Philadelphia Experiment, and kept top-secret by the CIA. Perhaps its existence accounts for the explosive growth of bureaucracy over the last half-century. This astonishing element has no protons or electrons, thus having an atomic number of 0. It does, however, have 1 neutron, 15 assistant neutrons, 35 deputy neutrons, 80 vice neutrons, 145 supervisory neutrons, 165 team leader neutrons and 225 consulting neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 666.

These 666 particles are held together in the nucleus by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called “MORONS”, themselves surrounded by vast and undeterminable quantities of lepton-like particles called PEONS. Since it has no electrons, Governmentium is INERT. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. According to the discoverers, a miniscule amount of Governmentium causes a reaction which would normally take less than a second over four days to complete. Unlike all other known elements, Governmentium does not decay measured according to its half-life, but instead undergoes continuous reorganization in which assistant neutrons, deputy neutrons and vice neutrons exchange places, causing a sample mass of Governmentium to actually INCREASE over time since with each reorganization some of the PEONS inevitably become MORONS, and, finally, neutrons, thereby forming entirely new isotopes. This characteristic of PEON-MORON promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Governmentium is formed whenever MORONS anywhere reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as the “CRITICAL MORASS.”

Governmentium has been found to concentrate in certain key locations such as governments, large corporations, and especially in universities. It can usually be found polluting the best appointed and best maintained buildings. Scientists warn that Governmentium is known to be toxic and recommend plenty of alcoholic fluids followed by bed rest after even low levels of exposure.

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