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“Wow, you really look a lot like the late ‘super minister’. A lot.”

“Funny. Most people in this village have no idea who you’re talking about.”

“But you do?”

“I suppose.”

“Wait. You are not him, are you?”

“Certainly not.”

“Shit. You are.”

“I will keep on insisting not to be him, no matter what you say. But suit yourself.”

“What the hell are someone as important as you doing in a fishing village faraway from everything?”

“Paperwork for the fisherrmen, on occasion. Mostly I just read. And the shrimp is really good, as you no doubt is finding out.”

“Good shrimp, indeed.”

“On the other hand there’s going to be heavy rain latter and this usually means smaller catch.”

“Rain? No way! No way we’re talking about the weather. No way you’re not explaining what you’re doing here. How come you don’t even have security? Or even high speed communication, for that matter.”

“Both are unavoidable nuisances that pass for priviledges, but you’ll notice I am pretty much managing to avoid both. And a host of others, for that matter.”

“You are trying to tell me you have opted for a simple life in the fishing village instead of the messy world of power? I’m not buying that one!”

“Playing nomic. Have you heard this expression? They were just playing nomic, only on massive scale. And I did like the game for a while. But it is a very difficult game with a crucial failing. If you get good at it, it loses it’s appeal. To put it another way, the only way to get good at this game is to understand how arbitrary it is, but as soon as you see it you stop seeing what you are playing for!”

“Nice words, but that is bullshit. Even if you tried to pull out, they’d push you back.”

“Well, Annapolis was good enough to buy me some slack.”

“You mean bad enough?”

“Whatever you want.”

“Oh my! You are not telling me you screwed up Annapolis just to get a shitty retirement on forsaken fishermen village? That can’t possibly be true!”

“I certainly did not say any such thing. Nor will I say it. Nor would you be able to tell that story, no matter how hard you tried.”


“I just can’t see why. Of course, the big game can have a lot of nuisances, but you were so up there you certainly could arrange to have anything that bothered you removed.”

“It’s the other way around. I just could not se the why of everything, all the mess, all the struggles. In the beggining, when I failed a lot at everything I tried, it was easy to suppose that the opposition was really shortsighted, and convince myself that there was no progress just because this or that person was selfish or stupid or greedy. But then I started winning. And I started doing really important work. At first I thought i was making the world a better place, as they say. But more and more it started seeming as if stuff was getting rearranged, but not really improved. You solve a problem and people find another one. Then you try to keep people from creating new problems, and that is really hard, but then you manage it and this itself becomes a problem. Communities that are too smooth begin to shrink, to wither away. At some point, you see that life goes on and on, caring very little for the whole management you used to believe you were doing. The whole government thing, it is not the point, it is not the life of the society. It is peripheric. Even life itself seems peripheric, in a way.”



“So. Wow. I don’t even know what to say.”

“More shrimp? Maybe?”

“More shrimp. And another beer. It is on me.”


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