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Scene: Typical technology class. Students wait eagerly around their desks to start their final course exam

Teacher: OK Quieten down everyone. In front of you is a block of wood. Over the next hour, I want each of you to create a stool. Ok? Got that? Begin.

... one hour later

Teacher walks around desks, examining stools in turn

T: Good. Good. Very Good. Original idea. Good. Oh, that hasn't worked. Good effort though. Good. Eh ... Edmund?

Edmund Burke: Yes, Sir?

T: What's this?

E: It's a stool, Sir.

T: It looks an awful lot like a block of wood.

E: No. Look, if I put it on the floor I can sit upon it. It facilitates its purpose as a seat, as it has done since the wood was created.

T: But ... it's a block of wood.

E: A block of wood which has grown with increased usefulness over the ages. It has been perfected by nature. I cannot improve it.

T: Couldn't you have given it legs?

E: I have no experience of ever creating such 'legs'. Such creations would be abstract reasoning derived from unproven principals. Man's human nature is imperfect because of original sin. Therefore, it is impossible for me to improve upon what nature has perfected.

T: Now, Edmund, if you had even sanded it -

E: But such a change was not absolutely necessary! Change should only be used to maintain what has been created.

T: Right... Look, if I put this through the electric sander, I can make it smoother to sit on.

He puts it through the sander


Burke handles sanded block of wood. He takes out an electric saw and cuts off the sanded end.

T: What are you doing?!

E: Now the stool is back to how it was - change to maintain the natural order.

Teacher gives him a confused look

T: pause

Edmund, you're failing this class.

E: But I'm a member of the natural aristocracy!

T: I do not care. And take off the Georgian suit - it is not right for a technology department.

E: Ohh! Just you wait until I write my new book: Reflections on the Revolution in Stools. Storms off.