Monday, April 1, 2019

Theory: Is this show actually about a post-scarcity society?? (also goodbye homebrewing)

It has been done. Today, I released by Magnum Opus. The greatest 5e homebrew to ever see the light of day. I can do no more but bask in my glory, as I move on to more superior forms of activity. Like making complicated theories about animated shows for my own entertainment and upvotes on /r/fantheories.


You know, ever since my young years, there's been this one show that I used to follow where a couple of cool characters wordlessly did funny stuff. And lately, these memories have resurfaced. I looked them up on youtube, and sure enough they're there. Seeing them though made me ask so many questions...

  • What are they?
  • Where are they?
  • Are they the only ones?
  • When are they?

All of these questions and much more will be answered in today's article. So sit back, bring popcorn, and let's see where this goes.

When and where?

The most important episode in the whole series is definitely an inconspiciously named one - The Fruit Market. I want to recommend you go watch it, but maybe it would be helpful to first read what I have to say about it.

The short summary of the episode is, that one of these beings - which I will from now on dub Orange, Blue and Gator - starts its own farm. When it asks for help from its friends, they refuse and go sleep under a tree. Notice how the tree is already there. Is this tree something that has also been grown by Orange? Or did it grow by itself? This gives us our first important clue about this world - it's taking place in our world. But let's continue.

Once the Orange harvests his fruits, he starts to sell them. Notice these prices - 12 for raspberry? 10 for strawberry? 8 for a pumpkin? Boy oh boy, those sure are... prices... what currency are these in though?

Well, doing my research, this show was made in Germany back in the 80's. So these might be prices denoted in German Marks. From this, using the inflations and converting the prices to Euro, we can calculate when is this show taking place, so let's do it!

First, assumption - for the simplicity's sake, I will take the price of raspberry, since it's the most expensive one, and I will take the price from 2018, since it's hard to find prices for these in the 1980's. Dividing a price listed here by weight of a raspberry gives us 0.3713 € per piece. Assuming the average inflation from the early 20th century up until now of 3.15% will continue roughly the same way in the future (source here), we can get a simple equation to solve.

1.0315^x * 0.3713 = 6.1355

Where 1.0315 is the price after one year of inflation, x stands for years of inflation, 0.3713 is the price of raspberry right now in Euro, and 6.1355 is price of the raspberries listed in the show, converted into Euro from German Marks that were used back when the show was made.
This gives us a difference of 90.4376, or almost 90 and a half years. Adding that to the year 2018 finally gives us our answer, year 2108.

But notice what's happening in the show itself afterwards. Once the Orange starts to sell these fruits, the others blatantly ignore these prices, taking his hard-earned fruits and playing with them. This of course angers Orange, but what does that show to us? Well, first of all that these beings come from a world in which communism was attempted once more. Notice how the Blue and Gator take these fruits without even asking, without even looking at Orange. Literally taking them for granted.

On the other hand though, it also shows us a futility of establishing capitalism in a post-scarcity world. Did you notice where the apron, seeds, dirt and farming tools came from? That's right, nowhere! Orange literally manifested them, pretty much out of nothing. Each of these beings can take on any form, manifest anything, reshape anything in their world. So why did the Orange even try to produce these fruits in the first place?

Think of it this way - say for example you enjoy to produce oil paintings. Would it feel more satisfying to carefully paint every single stroke until you have a picture, taking time and effort? Or would it be more satisfying to just print it out of the printer? Exactly. Orange started to farm his fruits for his own enjoyment. This goes to show that the only things that have value in the post-scarcity world are work and results of work, and even that is questionable since it's very subjective to judge. Just take a look at Blue and Gator - they did no work, so to them these fruits have no value besides temporary sensory stimulation.

Though, with these assumptions in mind, is this show actually taking place in year 2108? Maybe the capitalism and communism were overthrown a long time ago, which goes to show why it's so ingrained in the minds of Blue and Gator to ignore them, and why is Orange trying them out again - because it's too far back in time. The year 2108 might be the last actual time when the price of a raspberry was 12.

Speaking of, sidenote - why is the currency missing you may be asking. Well, the answer is very simple. In this world, all of the governments all over the world have finally united and taken one single currency, making it the currency. Which means that it does not need a symbol afterwards.

So let's add 35 more years and assume that it's at the very least year 2143. Reason for 35 years here.


So the next question is... who are these beings? Orange, Blue, and Gator. Are they... human?

Well, according to a shocking revelation at the end of this episode, it turns out they can't be human, because the humans still apparently exist in the world. We can also see the reinforced lack of care for the work of others in this episode.

So if they are not human, what are they? Well, my best fit would be the Gray Goo. At first you might think this is silly, seeing how they're orange, blue and green-colored, but that's actually just a name. Gray Goo stands for a futuristic scenario, where self-replicating swarm of nanomachines consumes everything in the world, and converts it to more nanomachines. Orange, Blue, and Gator, can actually manipulate anything else. They are sentient blobs of Gray Goo!

Luckily, unlike the Gray Goo in the futuristic apocalyptic scenario, in this world it has been stopped in time to preserve some things. Like a museum, or a western town, or trees here and there. Remember how I mentioned the tree in the Fruit Market episode? After looking at the shape of its leaves and branches, I concluded that it must be a beech tree. And let me tell you, for a beech tree, this one seems to be pretty old, purely subjectively speaking. This must be one of the trees preserved from the times before the Gray Goo outbreak.

That would be all for today's theory. Next time we'll talk about the sociological aspects of the Shrek universe and whether Cory ever actually could have gotten into the House.

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