It seems that now would be a good moment to pause and recap exactly how things stand at this point in history. Such an understanding of the present is vital in order to comprehend that which has gone before, that which will come after, and - indeed - that which will never happen at all.
The Earth is, of course, roughly spherical in shape, and composed largely of a variety of substances. Some of these substances are more interesting than others. Nonetheless, it seems important that every one of these be given proper attention, hence the systematic inclusion of all the substances in Appendix C.
Having considered these substances, now let us turn our minds to those most vital inhabitants of the Earth - the people. People have been and continue to be immensely important, not least in the eyes of people themselves. There are at least seven distinct types of people. This classification is not based on anything so crude as race, colour, creed, or any other physical or intellectual manifestation - distinctions which, on the contrary, cross all seven types freely. No, I talk now of the seven fundamental frequencies at which any sentient being may resonate. We may reasonably expect to find all seven types in any alien species we encounter in the future, and can be fairly certain these types are repeated again and again throughout the Universe. A description of these types can be found in Appendix F.
People constitute around 65% by weight of the mass of the earth, a figure which is only going to grow. This is because humans are slowly but surely becoming more dense. By way of comparison, non-human animals constitute 12%, and emotions only a paltry 1.4%. This trajectory will have to change in the next century or so if we are to stand any chance of maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
But when trying to place the story of one’s life in the context of the world in which it has been lived - which is, after all, what this chapter is all about - one must consider the geopolitics and general culture of the time.
I was born into a world that was very different from the one we know so well today. It was a period of great unrest. But also, paradoxically, it was a simpler time, a less hectic and cluttered time. Hardly anyone had mobile telephones, for instance; and those who did would often keep them on silent for days at a stretch. Europe was beginning its long, slow slide into stultification and decay; India and China were on the rise. America was still (re)emerging as a leading world power, after having been largely submerged in The Outer Darkness for twenty five years in the wake of the disastrous Summoning at the turn of the last century. It was a strange time, and all in all, perhaps the less said about it the better.
Moving on, one must not forget the role technology has had in shaping our society. Technology is widely regarded to have been invented by Mr Tesla in the 1800’s. Nevertheless, there is some evidence that it existed as early as the late 1780’s. Still, it did not come into its own until the discovery of High Technology in the second half of the 20th Century. This ‘put the foot on the accelerator’ as they say, and before very long at all we had computers, space travel, and the rudimentary ancestors of the artificial life-forms we all take for granted today.
So, to sum up: we live in (or on) a world that drifts (or floats) in space (or vacuum), small creatures (or people) living brief lives (or lathes) which are difficult if not impossible to quantify. Is it not ridiculous, therefore, to think that one man, one solitary man, can make any sort of real impact on the Universe? Of course not. In the next chapter we will explore why.
 Cheese, for example, is frightfully complex and fascinating. Cucumbers, on the other hand, are rather rudimentary, and can scarcely be considered to be of any interest to a gentleman of taste.
 This is one of the things that make people unique. Tulips are not especially interested in tulips, nor are clouds fascinated by other clouds. Man, therefore, is unique amongst the order of created things with regard to his own self regard.
 Of course, this figure is somewhat ameliorated by the slowing of the earth’s rotation and the subsequent decline in gravity as it is experienced by the planet’s inhabitants. But this is a minor consideration.
 Which was only possible, of course, with the invention of the car. This is an example of how advances in one field open up whole new vistas of potential research.
 Cows and estate agents being two of the most prominent examples.