Earthlings have a need for futility. They go out of their way for it. They even have special buildings and clothing just for futile things. Then they stand at mirrors and admire how futile they’ve been. They call this whole thing “exercise”.
Exercise is the practice of taking things that used to have a point and removing it. See, they go to these places called “gyms” in order to lift up a lot of heavy things. This would make sense if they had a lot of heavy things they needed about two and a half feet higher, which they don’t. Because after they lift it, they let it back down. This seems to need a lot of practice because they don’t just do it one time, they do it over and over, many times a week.
I think it comes from when they used to have to hunt, and failed, mostly. Nowadays they can eat right away. It’s just: Hungry? Eat. Hungry? Eat. All day long. It just doesn’t feel right to them to succeed all the time. So they invented exercise.
Also, there is danger in it. They take a heavy iron bar, and add a bunch of weight to it. Then they lie down under it and see how many times they can lift it up off their chest. The goal is to try it one more time than they actually can. If they risk crushing their trachea, they’re doing it right. If there is no danger of this, they add more weight.
And running. Running used to be for getting somewhere, or away from somewhere, faster than walking. Now it’s for getting all the way around back to where they started. They could have just stayed there and be done with it. (I’ve never seen one Earthling who looked like they enjoyed running. Mostly they look like their face is melting.)
And they’ve even invented the treadmill to make running even more futile. It makes it so they don’t even move forward at all, no matter how fast they run. They can even adjust it to make sure there is no uphill progress, either.
They even invented a portable single stair staircase. They get immediately to the top and have to go back down again. They make this failure by starting to go up a step but, since there isn’t one, they have to put the foot back down behind them. Then they fail with the other leg.
Now, after a few generations of this, they’ve forgotten any of this stuff had a purpose to begin with. They’re just making up the weirdest stuff they can.
“Swing your arms here, now here. Up here. Down here. Bend at the waist and palm the floor. Palm the sky. Palm the floor. Kick, kick, kick, kick. Look like a tree!”
Observer003 – Earthlings
Economics: Part I – More For Less