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It may not have been entirely clear from the text message sent to the Canadian Prime Minister from Her Imperial Excellency Penelope Larken, High Leader of the Declared Free Rebellion Territory of Upper Devonia, but war had been official declared by the latter upon the former.

Penelope, or (by the formality of Empress) Penny as she was known to her casual acquaintances particularly those who she still regarded as friends from her days as Treasurer of the Parent Council of Mill Gardens Elementary School, was gravely serious upon the matter. And while the same would not have been true from the perspective at the other end of the continent, at least not at first, our historical records of those events here two hundred and eleven years later show that this was just the first [FACTUALS] of many underestimations made in those early days of the conflict that would so resolutely shape our modern Now.

Underestimations were among the most common of the maladies observed in that era, of course.

The billions of people who inhabited those [REDACTED] years of the human experience were often caught up in an existential and often [REDACTED] struggle to make sense of the world. It was a waste of their time, particularly as we now fully understand that there is no sense to be made of the world at all.

The Now makes perfect sense and needs no further interpretive philosophy to support it.

Needless to say however, much time was spent, wasted, or otherwise imprudently allocated to the act of translating reality into over-simple metaphors.

Also, the oh-too-frequent use of metaphors by people of this era had an unfortunate side-effect: hardly anyone at all understood them, so very few people took them seriously, and thus the plague of underestimations [FACTUALS] ravaged the populous.

It was the straw that broke the camels back, is what one of them might have said about the situation at large, but of course nearly everyone would have shrugged that off as nearly everyone of that era was immune to the daily effects of dealing with actual camels who had broken their actual backs.

This, again, is a metaphor and should be [REDACTED].

Empress Penny had made her own underestimations as well, though they were fewer than those made by her unsuspecting rivals. Empress Penny preferred to be addressed by the title of Empress Penny, even among her friends, largely because of the importance she placed upon uniting the wide gap between the grave importance of her job and the humble foundations her populist appeal to the regular good old folks whom she now ruled with the firm hand of authoritarian [FACTUALS] leadership. She had learned this from her time organizing the annual elementary school fundraiser.

Empress Penny did not underestimate the value of the perspective of keeping one foot firmly planted among the rich soil of the people, an idealist philosophy she might explain to her people in the form of a metaphor having something to do with crops or agriculture. However, Empress Penny did, to her ultimate benefit and eventual downfall, underestimate the richness of that soil. This was possibly never explained as a metaphor until now.

I here beg your pardon for a brief interruption to the narrative.

As a bonafide and Arc-certified instructor of early twenty-first and early twenty-second century historical agitprop, the events leading up to the declaration of war via text message upon the still unsuspecting nation-state of Canada by the Declared Free Rebellion Territory of Upper Devonia first drew my attention four years ago. That is to say, the too-often scattered and loosely documented history (exclusively in the form of unverified digital records) of these events had first caught my eye in 2222. It first caught my eye as the topic of what would shortly become my [FACTUALS] thesis in the year twenty-two twenty-two on the eve of my twenty-second birthday. The symmetry of this did not escape me, but it would prove to be largely unimportant. Unless it is not.

That these events drew attention at all should be of no surprise, of course. A passage of a mere two hundred years has yet to dilute their impact upon the course of the flow of history. Oh, I realize how fully that vague statement can apply to near any such event, the chaos of action leading to effect leading to effect and then leading to yet another uncountable flutterings down through the roots of history, that each and every action, no matter how trivial can be spoken of with such authority given the proper scrutiny, attention to detail and so forth. But the dilution of effect, the knowing of what leads to what else and why and why not, that is territory trod by a more thoughtful explorer of historical significant events.

The layman’s explanation to which my Arc-certified instruction often leans upon as if a kind of crutch, and though I hesitate to now turn too hastily towards such a device to aid my plodding ambulation through this explanation, that comparison is to two kinds of rivers; Where one river is fed by run-off and trickles of fluttering history, growing larger and stronger, faster and wetter, able to carry more and more significance as it carves its path across an unsuspecting landscape. Another river starts strong from a deep soruce but is leached, branched, and sponged dry by subtle factors, perhaps loosely packed soil soaks away the water or thirsty roots drink up the trickling water, but however so, by the time it reaches it’s destination there is little left to show of the flow.

Such goes with history.

Such goes with seemingly insignificant events.

Such events feed the larger river that wends into the Now, while other events have evaporated back into the cyclical swirls of passing, unrecorded moments.

Text messages were more often than not insignificant trickles. Except when they weren’t.

Through the first half of the twentieth century, two hundred years ago, it was common for a not insignificant quantity of the [REDACTED] and free-thoughts exchanged between people to be passed through trickles of insignificance called text messages. These were passed between people who knew each other and people who did not know each other, from people who knew of each other, or to people who were less aware, such as the case of Empress Penny and the Canadian Prime Minister. She knew of he. He knew much less of she.

Words, those factors of communication which are largely unchanged [FACTUALS] between then and the Now, were far-less sparingly launched across the vast electronic networks that blurred distances across the [REDACTED]. It was a kind of technological peak, if a squandered one, when anyone with a text messaging gadget could poke and prod at the gadget in such a way that thoughts could be dispersed into that network. They would trickle across the fibers of this invisible array of gadgets, a process almost entirely misunderstood by everyone who used the trick, and then those same words would appear on another gadget somewhere else. That other gadget might be across a room, across a city-burg, or on the other side of the [REDACTED]. That gadget might belong to a friend, a stranger, or even the Canadian Prime Minister.

It was a technological peak, perhaps, but definitely a squandered one, too often misused by careless [REDACTED].

I will inject some professional commentary at this point, given my hasty introduction of what are likely unfamiliar words and [REDACTED].

It is my hope that readers in the modern era, while those readers may find themselves confused by some of the terminology applied in this textbook, that I am able to illustrate the frivolous complexities of the civilization about which I am teaching. These are foundational lessons of a pertinent counter-example to the Now. After all, Arc-certified instruction is intended to explain how [REDACTED] but more so to give honor to the discovery of our Now, the Now we have clearly placed as the perfect and proper state of society by displaying the folly of our ancestors. The historical records explain the path to the Now, but do not give preferential urgency to it in any way.

I sincerely hope that [REDACTED].

It should go without saying that these materials are provided for the literal and beneficial education of ARC-class students who have interest in understanding the events of our regrettable and [REDACTED] historical eras, albeit eras that ultimately lead us to our current and forever perfect society.

Knowing that underestimations were among the most common of the maladies observed in that era, students should be wary of a similar folly and assign their attentions strictly to the factuals presented in this text.

[REDACTED] and, of course, in this course, to the glory of Now and nothing more.