Saving Smarts on a Budget

Driving through Cordoba, Argentina, Dr. Vestra explained again.

“The world’s greatest geniuses all emit Benoche Waves. Einstein and Oppenheimer had it. Many more are wasted because no one realized it. With Benoche Waves, we can!”

“But why do you need me?” said Ex-Army Ranger McCabe.

Vestra sighed, “A genius in Uganda was murdered by warlords. Another was killed by drug-dealing gang members in Chicago. You can stop future killings… Driver! Stop!”

Vestra pointed to a scruffy boy spray-painting a storefront. “It’s him! Salvatierra.”

“Graffiti artist?”

“He doesn’t have formal training. Look, that’s Hydrogen. There’s Deuterium. My God! He’s worked out Cold Fusion!”

A policeman charged in to club the alleged graffiti artist.

McCabe raised his weapon.

“Let me help!” hurried Vestra, handing the policeman a roll of money.

The bribe-hungry policeman gone, McCabe said, “Thought you weren’t getting government funding.”

“I’m not,” sighed Vestra. “I hope that cop likes the coupons.”
Written for What Pegman Saw:

Author’s Notes:

If Benoche Waves and a Dr. Vestra really existed, I imagine they might have detectors to find Benoche Wave sources. I couldn’t go into this detail due to word constraints. In this story, I thought Vestra might be sticking a detector out the window and that’s really how he found Salvatierra.

Whenever I hear about ethnic cleansing in Uganda or Serbia or mass killings in Sudan and Syria, I wonder how many of the dead would’ve had the intellect of Einstein or even better. The murders are bad enough, but losing minds that could’ve improved the entire world is even worse. Genius doesn’t depend on ethnicity, but it does depend on nurture to realize its potential. When will governments realize that human minds are their most precious resource?

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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34 Responses to Saving Smarts on a Budget

  1. I was reading Doctorow’s City of God and he posed the same question about the Holocaust. Curt Herzstark invented the first modern digital calculator, the Curta, while in Buchenwald. The aggregate of lost knowledge to senseless violence is truly staggering.

    Liked by 2 people

    • EagleAye says:

      It is staggering. Folks might think the notion of ethnic cleansing ended with the Nazis. Sadly, it didn’t. I just looked up a list of ethnic cleansing campaigns and the list is, again, staggering. It leads right up to the present day.

      It makes me wonder how many Einsteins died during this pointless killing. How many more never blossomed because they grew up desperately poor and couldn’t attend school or never had teachers paying enough attention to realize their potential. I wonder where we could be if we were wiser?

      Thanks much for your thoughts!


  2. James says:

    “My God! He’s worked out Cold Fusion! Quick! Take a photo!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      You know, the story I originally imagined had him taking a pic, and he didn’t figure out the meaning of the graffiti nearly so fast. Then, of course, the policeman took his camera. It got even more complicated as I went. 😉

      Thanks kindly for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • James says:

        Actually, I was thinking he’d have to be a genius to figure out it was the formula to cold fusion at a glance.

        Liked by 1 person

      • EagleAye says:

        Oh yeah, he has to be a genius to figure out a device that detects geniuses. But this is an artifact of flash fiction/micro fiction. Things necessarily happen quicker than in real life. Honestly, it would take him months to figure this out even under the best of conditions.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Comment on your Author notes:
    I definitely agree with your thought. I came at that subject from a different angle one day myself, thinking of Bob Dylan’s song “Everybody must get stoned.” (If there’s an ulterior meaning to the song, I didn’t catch it.) But what I understood I had to agree with.
    Everyone’s gonna get pelted. Some people throw rocks at anyone who has it better than they do or more talent, etc. Some just throw rocks for anyhow — and I can’t say I’ve never criticized anyone, either, without knowing all the facts. If we’re breathing air you can expect that somebody, sometime, is going to throw rocks at us.
    So how many more Beethovens, Rembrandts, Nobels, Einsteins, Edisons, etc, would this world have known if some folks with brilliant minds and bright ideas hadn’t given up under sharp criticism? Those who have persevered and made the world a better place got a lot of rocks thrown at them but they took the hits and went on anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

    • EagleAye says:

      Excellent points, Christine! It’s not only those who died, it’s those who couldn’t withstand societal pressures. Another senseless thing if you ask me. Why are people shunned when they’re smart? Why does anyone in authority allow it to happen? It’s not easy being different, so such people need to be fostered and protected by those in charge. This is another of those things society has gotten exactly wrong. We need to work on it.

      Thanks much for contributing. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes it’s a question of the ones in authority (such as teachers) but often we’re the ones who, picking up attitudes from society around us, frown at and make comments about weirdos, nerds, and others.
        One day, at age 15, I parroted a racial “joke” that was going around— without ever thinking twice. I had no desire to slam anyone myself. This is just a joke about being “a — slave” passed around among my peers. But later I realized there was a black man present when I said it. I knew this “joke” would have hurt him — and when I seriously thought about it, the joke wasn’t one bit funny.

        Liked by 1 person

      • EagleAye says:

        So true. “It takes a village to raise a child.”


  4. pennygadd51 says:

    That’s a lot of story you squeezed into 150 words. Well done!
    It’s terrible that so many geniuses never fulfil their potential; but don’t you think it’s equally terrible that anyone at all should be needlessly killed, or so poor they don’t have the opportunity to study? I suspect we need more people who are good at loving and nurturing rather than more geniuses if we are to solve our most pressing global problems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Thanks kindly!

      Any death is a tragedy, no matter how smart someone is. Truck drivers and bakers (for example) may not necessarily be geniuses but they are still important to a functioning society. I’m certain we need more nurturing, loving people in the world. When one person stops to help another be stronger (e.g., teaching the future generations), then all of us are made stronger. Humanity’s global problems would be far fewer if Humanity stopped “being the problem.”

      Thanks for your thoughts! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lyn says:

    When will governments realize that human minds are their most precious resource? Doubt that will ever happen, ninety eight percent of politicians wouldn’t have a brain between them. Let’s hope Dr Vestra never runs out of “money” to bribe unscrupulous people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. Well I’m not holding my breath. Seems most governments have a vested interest in minimally educated people. Too many smart people might realize we don’t really need to give all that power to politicians. In the meantime, Vestra will have to wrangle what money he can. Thanks Lyn! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. k rawson says:

    So much story packed into 150 words. I see your dilemma as you were whittling it down, but that was some judicious editing–you get across volumes.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Dear Eric

    Having read through the comments and your replies there’s not much left to be said. You raise the most important question of all. How many would-be Einsteins (or Curies or Twains etc etc) have been slaughtered before given a chance. I often have wondered what Anne Frank might have been? Well done, sir.



    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, I so agree with your footnote! I wonder how many great minds are lost through ethnic cleansing or not letting young girls go to school or making young black men feel they have nothing to look forward to. So much goodness and brilliance are wasted in our world. Your story caught that idea in spades.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. prior.. says:

    hahah to the coupons and cool thriller vibe to your nice fiction here….. you must emit Benoche Waves

    Liked by 1 person

  10. prior.. says:

    and the author’s notes was sobering

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lynn Love says:

    What a fascinating idea – a genius wave. A great story and I can see how this could easily expand to something longer. Nicely done

    Liked by 1 person

  12. draliman says:

    Great stuff, very imaginative and thought-provoking. I guess they’d better nip off quick before the policeman counts his “money” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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