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Everybody knew this Spallanzini guy, but that's not too surprising.
Everyone who lives or works in Pink City pretty much knows everybody
else who lives or works there too. It's not really even a city; it's more
like a prefabricated community that practically popped out of a kit.
There's a Green City too, and a Yellow one and a Blue one. Everything
you need is right here. You’ve got your individualized habitat, your
cubicle, your coffee shop, golf carts and scooters that take you
everywhere you need to go. Most of the people work for the General
Corporation, doing whatever it needs them to do. They’re all
unspecialized workers, jacks of all trades, masters of none. This way
nobody bends the pay scale too far. It's easier that way all around.
Spallanzini was always an outbird. This is what they call those few who
work inside but live outside the confines. Inbirds of course are just the
reverse. Outside Pink City, things are different - values, priorities,
concerns. Most people prefer to belong, and to belong completely.
When you’re in you’re in and it’s cozier that way. Outbirds never quite
fit in all the way.
As an outbird, Spallanzini had commuted several years without
becoming entrenched. He filled his slot. Every institution needs its
mascots. He was Professor of Defunct Sciences at The New Harbinger
College. Some questioned the utility of instructing students in outdated
and discarded scientific theories and techniques, but overall the
College decreed that learning how to fail, how to learn from failure,
how to improve, how to overcome, was a valid and even instructive
exercise. Spallanzini was a perfect fit for the job. He was somewhat
overweight. He wore a thick beard. He was exceedingly impressed with
his own intelligence. In short, he met the job requirement for a fat,