By Ray Wilson

The Seebackroscope was popular in the 1950s; I confess mine is lost. It was part of a junior detective’s toolkit. The idea was that, while seemingly looking forward, you could use one eye to view behind you. This strategy is a useful concept that has applications for us today, looking back to the past with its predictions of possible futures. Knowing where you are and where you have been might be extremely difficult, but it’s a good starting point for determining where you want to go.

It’s a frosty Saturday morning, and the sun is warming the workshop roof but not improving our tempers. The sidecar is up on the ramp, and the hound has skedaddled into the kitchen with our dad after the argy bargy over the canopy mould.

“Look, Rich points out, “it’s just not going to work; there’s a lot of complex angles—maybe 3D print it.”

“Rich, it’s the old school way or no way—we can do this,” I retort. Rich sighs, knowing that our stubbornness will likely lead to hours of trial and error. As we delve into the project, the challenge becomes more apparent, but so does our determination to see it through.

We eventually agree to have a coffee break and look at the tiny concept model Rich manufactured from cardboard.

“What do you reckon, Rich?” I hand him a tattered 1950s copy of the “Eagle” comic featuring Dan Dare, pilot of the future, from our departed Uncles collection.

“Something survived—the Seebackroscope features in the centre pages.”

“Uncle loved Dans exploits—Dan, he said, was honourable and courageous, but most importantly, he would rather die than break a promise.”

Rich chuckles and takes a sip of his coffee before he scans the text and does his best posh accent for Dan and a smattering of ropy hard R’s for Digby.

“Breakfast is ready, sir,” Digby announces.

“Good show—don’t tell me—bacon, eggs, and hot toast,” Dan replies.

“Not those vitamin block blocks again, hey, sir?” Digby smacks his lips, placing the platter of blocks carefully on the table.

“Queer though, isn’t it, sir? Vitamin blocks—let me tell you, my aunt Anastasia has pigs and…”

“Digby, let me tell you that she will be having vitamin blocks too,” Dan interjects.

“Nay, sir, not up in Lancashire; still a few pigs around, no doubt, and a few hens to lay.”

“I could get her to send a dozen.”

“No, no thanks, Digby. I would rather not know about your aunt’s black market activities. Thank you.”

“I just thought that it would cheer you up, sir.”

“We had better hurry, Digby; we have a meeting with Peabody.”

“Right ho, sir.”

“Well, Rich, the missus is a bit shaken up after the funeral yesterday for her uncle; we haven’t seen the family together for years.”

One gentleman told us, “It’s my second funeral today, and both are running behind schedule—they are so busy, I suppose.”

“It is very strange—so many deaths—not so many asking the right questions—still are there, Ray?” Rich responds.

“I’m afraid not—we were queuing to get into the crematorium; the people were queuing to get out after their services had finished; we had not seen anything like it.”

“Turns out the guy is a hobby farmer and engineer; he builds steam powered tractors. He farms a few acres but has been unable to get onto the land to do much—its so waterlogged—a couple of days here and there—thats been it so far this year.”

“The missus told him that it was all to do with geoengineering; I am not sure that he understood what she meant.”

Rich nods in understanding. “It sounds like a tough year for farmers with all the rain.”

“That’s probably the least of it—theres a big movement on the rise—its bigger than you could possibly imagine.”

“NO FARMERS, NO FOOD,” Rich says.

“That’s the spearhead,” I say.

The implanting of thoughts and ideas has happened throughout history. In the fictional future world of Colonel Daniel McGregor Dare, born in the year 1967, the world was already a changed place. By the time Dan was flying rocket ships and driving impulse engine hover cars, the world was one of countries without borders—a one world government—a world rapidly becoming devoid of plants, animals, and proper food other than the rather yummy vitamin blocks—or, if we happened to be lucky, lab grown fish and meat. Israeli company Plantish recently announced the creation of the world’s first 3D printed fish steak, letting the oceans “off the hook.” The reverse engineered salmon fillets are printed in seconds and ready to cook immediately. “It flakes. It tastes and melts in the mouth exactly like excellent fish should.”

The UN aims to reduce nitrogen use, livestock production, and meat consumption and promote sustainable protein sources like plant-based or lab-grown products. The UN Environment Programme aims for a 50% reduction in meat and dairy consumption by 2050. Other international organisations, such as the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy and the World Bank’s climate change action plan, also aim to transform agriculture and other key systems to address climate change. Synthetic food producer Picnic’s investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, managed by Warren Buffet and Walmart, with capital from the foundation.

Mr. Bill Gates owns around 270,000 acres of farmland in the United States, which makes him the largest landowner. Statistics demonstrate that agriculture is an excellent investment for billionaires; it seems unlikely that the land will be used for traditional farming. It is more likely that the land will be used for so called “innovative and sustainable agricultural practises,” such as those promoted by the WEF. This aligns with the global trend towards transforming agriculture to address climate change and food security issues.

Picnic plans to use additional funds to accelerate expansion in France and Germany, focusing on robotic fulfilment centres, electric vehicles, and software development while ensuring sustainable growth. Bill Gates is universally accepted as a man who wears many hats—computer operating system programmers told me when it was released—you know Ray that Windows 95 is the virus.

Theres money in them, viruses. If you first introduce the virus but have the anti-virus ready to deploy, the most recent viral COVID iteration is still very much in silico.

Biomiq-maybe is off on a slight tangent—maybe not. Billy Boy invested millions in Biomiq to develop artificial breast milk—obviously, lab grown milk—nutrition for infants and obviously will help to save the planet by reducing climate change—exactly how it does that, you can probably guess. Billy Boy is also tinkering with plants.

Using plants as bio factories to produce vaccines and antigens. The idea is that instead of having to get the shot—no more nasty needles—you will now be inoculated by an edible “vaccine.”

You wouldn’t even know you had been immunised by a piece of fruit and a plateful of salad.

Not content with the land grab—disconnecting humans from the land—removing jobs and forcing people to be dependent on governments for money and something that looks like food, maybe even tastes like food, but definitely is not food our bodies would recognise. The ultimate control of the human species—the Mekon would be envious of such a diabolical plan.

At least you can immediately spot one—the Mekon—a large, bulbous green head—even if it regurgitates a load of guff about philanthropy. By creating edible vaccines, he is not only making the process more convenient but also potentially “safer and more sustainable” in the long run. Billy Boy is following in the footsteps of his dad. The implications of this technology go beyond just healthcare, raising questions about food security and control over our own bodies.

There are no heroes coming to save us; every one of us must be our own personal Colonel Dan Dare or Professor Jocelyn Peabody. We must be vigilant and proactive in ensuring that advancements in biotechnology are used for the benefit of all humanity rather than being exploited for nefarious purposes. It is up to us to uphold ethical standards and hold those in power accountable for their actions.

“I don’t like the idea of 3D printed fish or meat,” dad says. Listening to the conversation, the hound curled up contentedly on the rug beside him.

“I think I might actually prefer Dans vitamin blocks after all,” dad continues, “at least it is not pretending to be something that it is not.”

“Look, Rich exclaims; thats the bloody answer.”

“What is?”

“The canopy—look at the contours—you wanted old school—look at that,” Rich waves the Eagle comic, pointing at the hood of the impulse engine car. Let’s replicate the design—you see, Ray—it’s perfect; ours operates in the same way, but we just reverse it.”

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