The Knowledge Economy
It is the year 1611. Bengip, a scruffy Groom, stands in the scruffy market square holding a scruffy horse on a scruffy piece of string. Agraa approaches him.
Agraa: Groom, I’ll pay the date of the battle of Bannockburn for that horse.
Bengip: By the pantaloons of the Almighty, thou thieving loon, do I resemble a fool? Art thou trying to take the bread out of my children’s mouths?
Agraa: It’s a very ordinary horse. Head, tail, four legs, nothing special. I’ll not pay a nepit more.
Narrator: Nepit is a real word. It means a unit of information. Look it up in Wikipedia if you don’t believe me.
Agraa: Johnson, with a fact of such rarity, thou couldst buy a return trip on the sedan chair to Her Majesty the late Queen Elizabeth I.
Narrator: I’ve already been there. It’s not worth the recipe for cheese on toast, if thou askest me.
Bengip: Raise thine offer, customer Agraa, and thou canst have the horse, his name and his favourite food.
Agraa: Very well, then, I’ll keep the date of the battle of Bannockburn and buy a jug of mead and two biscuits with it. For the horse, I offer thee the date and place of the Field of the Cloth of Gold. But I am generous only because I wish thee well.
Bengip: Verily, now art thou talking. Deal done and sealed! Here is the horse. His name is Fishbouncer and he eats cornflakes.
Agraa: In the wrong order, at the English Pale of Calais in 1520.
Bengip: Hast thou nothing smaller?
Agraa: No. I just dug some currency out of the knowledge mine and it’s still in big hard lumps.
CASH REGISTER KA-CHING!
Bengip: Therefore I must give thee change. The mathematician Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia devised a generally applicable formula for solving all cubic equations in 1535. Make thou thy mark hereon, please. (Points to his own nose)
AGRAA WRITETH A SOSHUNISSAN HIEROGLYPH ON BENGIP’S NOSE.
Bengip: Look thou well after him, customer Agraa. His value riseth daily as he learneth much and speaketh little.
POLICEMAN STOPPETH AGRAA.
Policeman: Good morrow, good morrow, good morrow! Where dost thou fink thou art goin’ on that ’orse? This is Market Fissure. It’s a one way street
Agraa: Is that a fact?
Policeman: Yes, it is.
Agraa: I will lodge it carefully behind my ear so that later today I may afford an extra biscuit.
Policeman: Oh, no, thou shalt not. Therewith shalt thou pay the fine.
AGRAA GALLOPS OFF INTO THE DISTANCE.
Policeman: Oy! Come thou back ’ere!