Somewhere on the west coast of the United States in the near future there is a university with great renown and plenty of funding. It’s summertime and the coastline shimmers like a lit fuse. Windmill propellers are spinning far out at sea, turning gyres in the boiling air. The deep wide moat that surrounds the bay has turned the shoreline into a great waterfall, draining the ocean underneath the earth’s crust, where it will find its way out again further inland, through towering pipeworks far beyond the valley.
On a windy day the university is near enough to the sea to smell of brine. Today it smells like a fish market. Many students and faculty choose to wear their filter masks in case a yellow smog should roll in, and so aren’t bothered by the smell of rancid fish. On some of their masks there is the university logo, a yellow seal and red crest, and motto streaming across the banner: humani nihil a me alienum puto. Nothing human is alien to me.