That's all. Next time we pour, we'll get five hundred and twelve different particles. He moved around to the back of the section I was sitting in. I had to turn around to see him; that was uncomfortable, so I turned forward again and continued to watch him on the overhead screen. Chin's image was also split-screened in. She was still standing at her seat. She looked very angry.
She said, "That's all very clever, Dr. But I still don't agree with the results of the selection process. But we're not here to have an election. We already had one. The bad news is you're one of the winners. Foreman held up a hand to stop it. Foreman added quietly, he was speaking to all of us, "Now here's the really bad news-it may turn out that you are not the very best qualified individuals to be here.
You may all be fuck-ups and failures. We won't know that until it's too late to change it. But we have to start somewhere. Chin had remained standing. She still didn't look satisfied, perhaps she never would be.
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Foreman looked across the rows and rows of interested faces at her. You're already here. He came around the chairs and up the aisle and stood face to face with Dr. He had circled the entire room. He spoke softly. You have to know that you like it here, or that you agree with what happens here, before you'll participate. That's a good excuse to keep one foot out the door just in case it gets rough.
You'll leave yourself a justification for quitting, right? She looked as if she were being attacked. Foreman merely looked bored. You don't make commitments-you think about them. Thinking things over is one of the best forms of denialbecause it masquerades as responsibility. Please stop forcing me to. Foreman didn't even bother to look. He turned back to Dr.
Neither are we. There isn't any more time.
You have to choose now. Are you going to be here or not?
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Chin snapped at him. Her eyes were blazing.
I don't like enemas. But what either of us likes or dislikes is irrelevant to the commitment to be made here. Let me tell you, people who dither never finish dithering. They just find new things to dither about. And it really pisses off the other people in their lives. Chin looked frustrated and close to tears.
If I hadn't been so annoyed with her for holding things up, I would have felt sorry for her. She wailed, "Why does this have to be decided now? Or not. We cannot proceed until each and every one of us takes responsibility for his or her participation. He waited a moment and then asked politely, "Yes? I mean, what's the purpose? But first I want you to notice something. This is another delaying tactic. Because this is about all of us. This is a demonstration of what we do instead of making choices. This isn't about Dorothy: It's about you. Dorothy's just acting it out for you.
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Then I'm going to ask you to answer mine. Its continuing purpose is to train the members of the core group.
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It is not a select or a privileged group. It is a distinction applied to that class of individuals who have demonstrated their ability to produce results and who are committed to expanding that ability. The core group are those people who we expect to carry the greatest burdens in the war against the Chtorr. You do not have to do this training to be a member of the core group. It is neither honor nor burden. It is a distinction which we have made only for the purposes of large-scale project management.
You are not the first group of trainees, you will not be the last. There is no honor in your participation, only in your results. It is not intended to be one; it should not be approached as one. We are not interested in your various political belief systems. What we are offering here is a course in management.
Personal management. Management for results. What you are being offered here is the opportunity to become a part of a continually expanding body of individuals who have, and I quote the course description, 'committed ourselves to the essential human question. He looked around the room, looking to see if we were following him. His eyes looked sorrowfully down from the screens. He studied us like a father.
We waited for him to go on. Foreman stepped off the dais and crossed to Dorothy Chin. Indeed, it is deceptively obvious. But the question would be the essential human question even if our planet weren't under assault by the Chtorran infestation. The only difference is that the infestation has forced us to confront this question. I make this assertion-do you know what an assertion is?
It's a starting point. It may or may not be true, it hasn't been tested yet, it's just a place to start. I assert that what we as individuals, and as a species, do in the name of survival is not always what is necessary to ensure survival. I say that we do that because we, as individuals, and as a species, are confusedhave made false connections-as to what real survival is. We have confused survival of the political ideology with survival of the nation.
We have confused survival of the species with survival of the world-view. And the imperatives inherent in all of those various survivals have destroyed the survival of the self. The group will be responsible for creating an operating context, so that humanity can choose directions, commit to them, and implement them.
Additionally, the purpose of the core group will be to create an alignment of will throughout the scientific, political, and military branches of the human family. This course-here, in this roomis your training for that responsibility.
Chin looked troubled. She said slowly, "I find the whole idea preposterous. I find you, and this group-and the conception behind it-a ridiculous joke. No, a terrifying nightmare. Who gave you the right to make decisions for the rest of the human species? Who died and appointed you God?
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