(This article was sent to us not long ago; in it Chaos describes some events that, controversially enough, take place in other realms even beyond the ken of Internomic, realms which almost seem not to be Nomics at all...until recently.)
About two weeks ago, the nomickiest thing happened here.
A little background information is in order. There's a constant battle here (probably everywhere in the United States) between big cities and the affluent outlying areas that hover just beyond their borders (the suburbs). People do not want to live within Memphis city limits. The schools are rotten, taxes are high, and crime is rampant. However, one can live just outside Memphis and drive each day to a workplace in the city.
The trend is a little sad. Those who can afford to move out do so, and the city is left with a weaker tax base. Conditions worsen.
Living in the suburbs is a pretty blatant loophole surf. You reap the benefits of living near a big city, drive on their roads, and earn money in your job with a company lured there (at some expense) by the city-run Chamber of Commerce-- without paying city taxes or taking any interest in the city's community, which decays in its neglect.
So cities like Memphis are always trying to expand their borders by annexing the outlying areas. This closes the tax loophole at least, although not in a way that anyone really likes. (The inner city is still doomed, and everything Memphis City Schools touches turns to slime.) Naturally the suburban loophole surfers don't want their communities to be annexed, but the state law has always been on the city's side on this one.
This spring, the Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee proposed some legislation to help a little town (in his district) avoid annexation by a nearby city. It flew through the Tennessee state legislature. No one bothered to read it.
The amendment to state law repealed a rule that previously prevented any new city from being established within three miles of an existing city. It also lowered some population requirements so that now, any group of 225 citizens can write up a list of services and a budget, hold a referendum, and (depending on the results of the vote) incorporate themselves as a new city. The amendment furthermore gave such proceedings precedence over annexation by existing cities.
So there's a new loophole to surf. If the city of Memphis is breathing down your back door, grab some friends and incorporate. Once you're in a city of your own, Memphis can't touch you.
The thing is, no one understood all these changes at the time. No one dreamed of their repurcussions. And the loophole sat in the books for several months before anyone noticed.
Imagine the shock, the horror, and the joy of being the one to discover it!
Suddenly, within the past two weeks, three rich little munchkin havens popped up just east of Memphis, all clamoring to incorporate. The city, blindsided by the news, watched in horror as hundreds of acres of phenomenally tax-rich real estate slipped through its fingers. The mayor called for a special session of the Tennessee legislature to change the law back before any of the referenda could be carried out. One suburban lawyer and activist retorted, "I really think it's shameful that so many people are calling for the special session for the sole purpose of denying people the right to vote."
The whole situation is exhilarating in a way. There is ridiculously slanted rhetoric on both sides. There is suspense-- for the Tennessee legislature will convene again next year, and no one seems too sure about what will happen. Careful political plays are being made. There is the ironic humor of seeing urban forces, formerly unstoppable, suddenly impotent while the little guy scrams gleefully for shelter. And behind it all, there's the man who pulled the most collossal egg plant in the history of the state, slipping this little logic bomb right under the noses of an entire three-ring bipartisan circus of politicians and bureaucrats. (Still no comment from him.)
But then, the revelation hits. We're playing Nomic with people's lives out here. This can't be a good trend.
The results follow:
This reporter must confess that he didn't realize that Mr. Lunatic Fringe (the erstwhile snowgod)had buried so many treasures. Malenkai's top placement was less surprising, perhaps because so many of his treasures remain unfound.
/dev/joe's top placement on the list is also not surprising, although perhaps the size of the gap between first and second place is. But there is no question as to who is the champion treasure hunter in Ackanomic.
The Exquisite Dead Guy has also been unearthed again, by /dev/joe, and it seems likely to this reporter that it will soon equal the inhumation record of No Tea. While /dev/joe satisfied the conditions of the map by determining that no "Ackanomic-inspired pangram" existed, Alfvaen has informed us that the search remains for other pangrams inspired by Ackanomic. He has also made cryptic comments about "anti-pangrams".
-Karma (Tattoo You)