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Earth a Franchise, Astrophysicists Discover
December 8, 2162

CANBERRA--Money, it seems, really does make the world go round. A team of top astronomers has today announced observational confirmation of Marguerite Fury's controversial General Theory of Unified Universal Monetary Force. Working at the Rudyard Kipling Indenational Observatory, the team spotted and documented a companion, or "franchise," Earth in the remote V-137 cluster.

"It's really quite an astounding find," exclaims team leader Frances Polt, "unparalleled in my 30 year career. The observations predicted by Professor Fury's work are really starting to crop up at a rate that tends to confirm her insights, but this find is more important for the Theory than anything to date."

"The General Theory," explains Professor Fury from her office in Reykjavik, "generalizes my findings concerning the monetary force commonality underlying the four fundamental forces. I realized there that the four forces were, at root, economic in nature, but that, when observed on the quantum level, they weren't recognizable on the observational scales conventionally used in the financial world. Capital economies fixate upon large masses of funds; they never consider that the fundament of money--unaccountably small fractions of pennies, for example--might also be the fundament of matter. The physics community, likewise, failed to recognize the link."

Professor Fury's General Theory predicts that astronomical observations will identify in the structure of the universe common economic principles of organization, including franchising. The franchise Earth, provisionally called "Earth F" by the Kipling team, shares with our Earth a common "matter plan" and "marketing scheme." "If you look at the profile and content of signals Earth F is sending out, you'll see that they're following the same communications strategy that we are," notes Kipling's Polt. "Their message to the universal market is the same as ours. Together we should be achieving some market synergies that non-franchised planets can't."

In the wake of the recognition of Earth's franchise status, the race is on to discover our corporate headquarters. "Now that there is some real observational data to confirm the General Theory it makes sense to look seriously at some of the corollaries of franchising," concedes long-time Fury critic Professor Angstrom Ship of the Harvard Institute of Technology. "If these data are right, and if the General Theory is right, there's a lot to be learned from headquarters, a lot that will explain the formal and physical constraints that have shaped our short planetary history."

Some other respected public figures continue to dispute Fury's work, including the fairly widely accepted Special Theory of Unifying Monetary Force. "The Special Theory reeks of a suspect animism," points out Hillary Ja, an out-spoken lay-critic. "It talks about these primordial quantum 'monies' which determine the way we are, the way the whole universe is. Does that make sense to you? Is it all about money?"

"There is quite a bit of resistance in the public imagination to the implications of the Special Theory," Professor Fury responds. "But, as untold experimental observations have confirmed, the universe is, fundamentally, economic. Whether we despair at the realization, or profit by it, is up to us."

filed in:future science gearbox
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