Nick Nelson

from Questionnaire

question #25: powerville

25.) there are an even number of people in powerville,

every person is either an "a" or a "b".

all "a's" have power over all "b's"

every person is either a "c" or a "d".

all "c's" have power over all "d's"

every person is either an "e" or an "f".

all "e's" have power over all "f''s"

and every person is either a "g" or an "h".

all "g's" have power over all "h's"

there are 16 possible combinations.

what then is the power structure in powerville?

obviously, the a-c-e-g's have the most power, as no one has power over them.

and the b-d-f-h's are at the bottom, as they do not have power over anybody.

but what about the others?

which of the following statements do you think makes the most sense?

1. the persons with three "plus"attributes ( a-c-e-h's, a-c-f-g's, a-d-e-g's and b-c-e-g's) rank above the persons with two "plus" attributes ( a-c-f-h's, a-d-e-h's, a-d-f-g's, b-c-e-h's, b-c-f-g's and b-d-e-g's) who in turn rank above the persons with only one (a-d-f-h's, b-c-f-h's, b-d-e-h's and b-d-f-g's)

2. there is no way to tell who has power, except for the highest and lowest group

3. determination should be made as to the relative potency of the 4 groupings (a-b, c-d, e-f, and g-h, ) and the 16 combinations could then be ranked in order.

4. power is an illusion

5. all power to the people

questions by cathy aragon

illustrations by penmarq studios


alan was a person.

he lived in a city, in a ten story apartment building with a total of forty-four apartments.

he had a job, which provided him with his entire income, as he had never inherited any money and had no prospects of ever doing so.

the job was difficult to explain to people who did not do it themselves, and he never tried to do so.

he lived on takeout and deli sandwiches. he had never cooked anything in his life.

he had no friends, and never went to restaurants as he did not like going to them by himself.

he never saved any money.

when he first came to the city after graduating from a small state college, he had indulged in one vice — playing the lottery. but after one year, he realized that he could not afford to keep doing so, so he exerted his will power and only bought an occasional single ticket when the jackpots got very high.

he had not been brought up in any religion, and had no interest in any. he had only a vague idea of what a religion was.

he worked irregular hours, and in some parts of the year very long hours.

he watched a lot of television. sometimes he went to a movie in a theater, but he preferred watching television shows and movies at home.

he had no interest in politics or the news.

he never opened a book after he left school, except books he was required to read for the classes he had to take at work in order to keep up with the changes in the job. he had read three novels in his life - all assigned in high school.

he yearned for adventure, but none ever came his way.

television crime shows were his favorite viewing, but he never met a homicide detective or any kind of detective.

he never handled a firearm of any kind in his life, and had never seen one except in the holsters of policeprersons. policepersons purchasing coffee or donuts or pizza or energy drinks or beef jerky.

he never murdered anyone, or knew anyone who who murdered anyone or had been murdered themselves.

he never held up a casino or a bank, or even a convenience store or a bodega.

he never met a spy, or a trained deadly assassin of either sex, or a professional hit person.

he was never involved in any conspiracies, and never encountered any evidence of any.

he had never met a guru, or joined a cult, or been kidnapped by a cult.

he was never abducted by aliens, or transported to distant planets or galaxies.

he never encountered any vampires, vampire hunters, zombies, or werewolves.

sometimes he wondered if life was a dream.

on a scale of one to ten, how much does your life resemble alan’s? one being not at all, ten being totally.

Nick Nelson is another member of the Pessoan ensemble that is the horace p. sternwall stable of writers who also have a number of books available on lulu as by the 'total dissatisfaction press'.
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