“The Leap” (short story) by Tony Cartano
English Publication History: Travelling Towards Epsilon (New English Library, 1977)
Original: French (Le saut), 1975
Translated by Maxim Jakubowski, 1976
Synopsis: A researcher into some forbidden realms of knowledge discovers a long-buried intellectual secret that threatens many—mainly meddlers and businessmen. The pursuit drives him and his team into hiding in order to continue their research, but eventually he’s tracked down by the knavish cronies of a powerful businessman. Dedicated to his intellectual knowledge and landmark discovery, the researcher doesn’t give in to pain through torture so that he may become a martyr.
Pre-analysis: What kind of people have a bias against good ideas? When the ideas are small and have little impact on, say, a procedural level of a small business, there are nine so-called “hidden traps” in decision making. Most often, ideas are pooh-poohed from the start because of the “Comfort Trap”—a bias toward alternative—or the “Recognition Trap”—a placing a high value on that which is familiar. This is a common administrative tool for assessing decisions, but when applied to not just good ideas, but a great, ground-breaking idea that had far-reaching implications on a societal level… does it still apply? Sadly, the theory flies out the window, giving way to one of the most basic Christian tenements: greed, of the seven sins.
Analysis: There are always conspiracy theories floating around about revolutionary technologies or inventions that could lift a common burden from society, but some big-company is actively combating the idea so that they remain in power of whatever field. These powerful titans of the corporate world maintain their grip on their respective field by, supposedly, quashing any new developments that challenge their dominance. Conspiracies or not—it’s not my place to say, but there’s certainly some believability behind it because we see greed all around us… we have the ability to scale simple everyday greed to global corporate conspiracy.
Most of these conspiracies are aimed at labor-saving devices or resource-saving methods, of which would have mere convenient impacts on our everyday lives. But what if that big something came along that could our existence better—something bigger and more logical than religion. If these common conspiracies are fringe knowledge met with skepticism, how would we confront a rumor like “Technological salvation is a possibility” or “Transcendence through technology can be a reality”? We’d probably pooh-pooh the idea—we would fall into the “Comfort Trap; that being, our current reality is just fine and any exotic offering of another reality would be too much of a change.