“You’re listening to Newsline with me, Jeremy Sloane, and my guest host JillyT from the multi-award-winning breakfast broadcast, Lovable Larrikins. Pleasure to have you aboard, Jilly.”

“Pleasure to be here, and hi to all listeners out there.”

“So tell me, Jilly…how many fingers am I holding up?”

“I hope that’s not a rude gesture you’re making there, Jeremy. They told me this was my chance to work with the most distinguished radio journalist on the east coast of the continent…”

“You’re very kind, and no, it’s not a rude gesture. Your answer, please?”

“I’m slow at adding, though not as slow as Seth Drongo, my co-larrikin…”

“Yes, I’ve heard that arithmetic is not Seth’s strong suit, though that platinum microphone would indicate that he is a very bright operator…”

“Hope he’s not listening, getting an even bigger head…”

“I hope he is listening. Need every listener we can attract. You know, Jilly, we distinguished journalists don’t always get the listener numbers we would like. Some of that larrikin magic wouldn’t go astray here on Newsline. Now what about my question? Your answer, please!”


“Exactly. Now…how long ago is it that the answer most people would have given is ‘four’. I mean, was it fifty years ago? Sixty?”

“Oh, I guess it was in the 1990s or thereabouts. Maybe later.”

“Hint: it was much later.”

“Okay…I’ll say 2010 or thereabouts.”

“And you would be wrong. The answer may shock you. It was 2022.”

“You’re kidding! That’s almost yesterday! You’d think I’d remember!”

“Ah, but we need to keep in mind that the great majority of educated people had long known that when I hold up two fingers on my left hand and two fingers on my right hand I am holding up exactly five fingers. But among the less informed, the less awake, there was still a belief – a catastrophic one, as we now know – that two-plus-two equals four!”

“Well, you’ve blown me away there, Jeremy. Just blown me away. I guess you can see how, superficially, someone might look at the two, then the other two, and think…oh, no, surely they didn’t just think…”

“Many did. Some, though not many, were tertiary educated and held professional positions. Really.”

“Incredible…You’d think I’d remember…”

“Fortunately, Jilly, to clear things up for us, on the line we have Professor Gareth Pollard from the Thunberg Climate Emergency Unit and Canberra’s Faculty of Natural AI .”

“Oh, goodie!”

“Listeners may know Gareth from the stunning television series Fragile Australia and his bestselling book Emerging from Transitions, still available in ABC bookstores, Australia Post Offices and selected outlets. Not forgetting his adjudicator role in Survival Showdown…”

“Oh, I totally loved that show…”

“Hello Gareth.”

“G’day, Jeremy. And hi, Jilly.”

“Oh, hi Professor Gaz. I’ve followed all your work. Well, all the media stuff at least. I’m nearly through Emerging from Transitions. It’s so riveting, but I’ve had to take my time with so much new, you know, information and such like…”

“Glad you’re getting some benefit, Jilly.”

“So, Gareth, we were discussing a particular transformation which I know is near to your heart, the arithmetical transformation which has enabled so many new programs and initiatives across the planet. At its base, of course, is the breakthrough equation which swept away so many dusty assumptions and antiquated notions.”

“That’s right, Jeremy. Until we were able to probe the deeper layers of two-plus-two the convergence and transcendence we now take for granted were just aspirations. When two-plus-two became five it was like Einsteinian physics at inception. Some could accept, fewer could understand. It was only when the benefits became tangible that there was general belief on the part of the public. People often forget just what a hard transition that was, and how it made so many other transitions possible…”

“And as a result we now have MyCurrency, MyPassport, MyYou, YourMe, CarbonFair, EnergyBank, ThoughtWatch, PreTransgress, PostTransgress, FriendCredit, FriendDebit, Central Caring, HealthWayz, PronounsR, Deliver2, MyDrone, OurHome, Enterteducate, EdutainUs…in short, we have all the mechanisms which make life an experience rather than a chore…”

“Yes, and it’s important to remember that, as we glide through our modern lives, things we not so glidey, if may coin a word, just a few years back. When people were tied to the old equation they felt bound to puzzle out every aspect of life. They could not accept that their function was simply to live, while letting the AI of the convergence worry about the how of living.”

“So there’s no need to probe those deeper aspects of the equation?”

“Not really. In fact, it’s the act of acceptance that’s so liberating. Sometimes I wish I were outside convergence science and just taking the benefits.”

“Okay. Why don’t we go to some calls? Are you up for a call or two, Gareth?”

“Sure thing, Jeremy.”

“On the line we have caller Bob. G’day there Bob.”


“We understand you are especially chuffed with the new initiative called InTimeOut. I’m told it’s a way of making house sharing more flexible, especially when the same space is being shared at different hours.”


“Hello Bob? Still there? How do you find your experience with InTimeOut?”


“Hello Bob?”

Silence, then:

“I’m not Bob. Bob’s dead. I just told your people what they wanted to hear about InTimeOut.”

“Dead, did you say? What…what happened?”

“No idea. I found his body a few minutes ago during my outside walk time. By a mountain of garbage with a busted maintenance drone on top and a couple more busted drones by the side. Bob had his phone in his hand so I took it and decided it was my only chance to ring in without being traced. Everyone knows your voice analysis works as well as maintenance drones. Only need to wipe the phone before I ditch it. I’ve got about a minute…just enough time to tell you that two-plus-two equals four…and that the streets are full of bodies, more every night, and that the bodies all look relieved. And the dead bodies have better memories than you lot. And if those corpses could say anything they’d say that two-plus-two has always equalled…”

“We seem to have lost our connection. Time to go to a hard break, then we’ll come back with guest host J…er, Jill from the Love…the Larrikins and special…expert guest Dr…”


“Yes, of course…Thank you, Bob…”

“I’m Gareth.”

“Of course. Gareth. You’d think I’d remember that…”

About mosomoso

Growing moso bamboo on the mid-coast of NSW, Australia.
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  1. beththeserf says:

    In a looking- glass world word meanings can change daily if you need them to,2+2 can equal any number you want, Humpty Dumpty would concur. Are we there yet?

  2. beththeserf says:

    Anuther Utopia project ! Tower Equitist no doubt will feature the Eye of Soros…

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