Blue Sky Thinking

February 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Cave Johnson here, bringing you the latest news from the world of Science! That is, the world of Aperture Science, anyway. And what other sort of Science is there? Boring Science, that’s what the other Science is. Who cares about gel plates smeared with proteins? I’m talking about taking Science by the throat and staring it down like it’s a cheap hooker holding a knife to my throat. Nobody stares like ol’ Cave Johnson.

I’ve had some emails from curious people. There could be a hundred, or maybe a million emails. Who knows? I am too busy with Science to deal with stuff like that. That’s what Caroline is for. Anyway, the emails ask how I manage to get the best from my people when we live and work in what is essentially a depressing concrete and steel underground silo with access, exit, and external communication heavily restricted. That’s a complicated question, curious people! I make my people deliver non-stop innovation until they drop, 24/6. The key techniques are simple, but elegant. First is a little thing I like to call “Blue Sky Thinking”.

Blue Sky Thinking is the thinking you get when an egghead is never allowed to see blue sky. Blue sky is wasteful and inefficient, so I built my first Enrichment Center in an abandoned salt mine. To save on lighting costs we pipe sunlight through special ducts in the ceiling, but only after carefully filtering it through a variety of patented Aperture Science filtering and bleaching processes to remove any trace of warmth or natural qualities. We also store sunlight in huge mirrored bottles during the day to release at night, so it’s all free. We have no need (and no way) of shutting it off, so this is the best-illuminated damn salt mine in the world. It’s absolutely, perfectly, 100% safe for long-term exposure.

You know how long it takes someone bathed in this constant sterile light to develop full-blown psychosis? Neither did we. 25 months. That’s how long it took our first batch of full-time live-in workers to go from sane to psycho. That’s why these days we let them eat lunch in the above-ground glass-roofed cafeteria. Every 23 months, or they’re put on probation. Two months to spare. Now nobody tries to set fire to the carpet or turn off the air recyclers or drink liquid nitrogen. Turns out liquid nitrogen isn’t as refreshing as it looks. Poor guy. They never did find much of his throat. So that never happens these days. Except for a few outliers, like the guy last week who thought he could fly. He tried to prove it by flying over the mercury boiling vats on Level 229. We had to sluice that whole batch of boiled mercury. But he provided valuable data. We have promising insight into the unpowered human flight project for future research, so it wasn’t a complete wash.

So you see, here at Aperture, we’re all perfectly sane. We have a company psychiatrist to make sure of that. He’s a busy man! He works four days a week to make sure the thousands of employees here don’t go absolutely nutso wacko. He doesn’t get up to the upper levels much. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen him in the cafeteria for a while. Or ever. He’s been here six years. Caroline, make a note to send a security team down to check on Dr. Gams. Tell them to take the sedative dart guns and wear the bite-proof aprons.

This is Cave Johnson, signing off. Someone get me resumes for a new psychiatrist. We’re going to need one to take care of the old psychiatrist.


Caroline, take down this note:

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