Well, sorry... but you know, this all reminds me of so much of these old tales:
"The Schildburgers, it has been already remarked, are the Gothamites of Germany, and the stories of their stupidity, after being orally current for years among the people, were collected near the close of the sixteenth century, the earliest known edition being that of 1597. In a most lively and entertaining article on "Early German Comic Romances" (Foreign Quarterly Review, No. 40, 1837), the late Mr. W.J. Thoms has furnished an account of the exploits of the Schildburgers, from which the following particulars and tales are extracted:
"There have been few happier ideas than that of making these simpletons descend from one of the wise men of Greece, and representing them as originally gifted with such extraordinary talents as to be called to the councils of all the princes of the earth, to the great detriment of their circumstances and the still greater dissatisfaction of their wives, and then, upon their being summoned home to arrange their disordered affairs, determining, in their wisdom, to put on the garb of stupidity, and persevering so long and so steadfastly in their assumed character as to prove 'plain fools at last.'
No way inferior is the end of this strange tale, which assumes even somewhat of serious interest when the Schildburgers, after performing every conceivable piece of folly, and receiving the especial privilege of so doing under the seal and signature of the emperor, by the crowning act of their lives turn themselves out of house and home, whereby they are compelled, like the Jews, to become outcasts and wanderers over the face of the earth, by which means it has arisen that there is no spot, however remote, on which some of their descendants, who may be known by their characteristic stupidity, are not to be found."
Their first piece of folly was to build a council-house without windows. When they entered it, and, to use the words of the nursery ballad, "saw they could not see," they were greatly puzzled to account for such a state of things; and having in vain gone outside and examined the building to find why the inside was dark, they determined to hold a council upon the subject on the following day.
At the time appointed they assembled, each bringing with him a torch, which, on seating himself, he stuck in his hat. After much discussion, one genius, brighter than the rest, decided that they could not see for want of daylight, and that they ought on the morrow to carry in as much of it as possible.
Accordingly, the next day, when the sun shone, all the sacks, bags, boxes, baskets, tubs, pans, etc. of the village were filled with its beams and carefully carried into the council-house and emptied there, but with no good effect. After this they removed the roof, by the advice of a traveller, whom they rewarded amply for the suggestion.
This plan answered famously during the summer, but when the rains of winter fell, and they were forced to replace the roof, they found the house just as dark as ever. Again they met, again they stuck their torches in their hats, but to no purpose, until by chance one of them was quitting the house, and groping his way along the wall, when a ray of light fell through a crevice and upon his beard, whereupon he suggested, what had never occurred to any of them, that it was possible they might get daylight in by making a window."
All I can say is that Schilda indeed lives and that the Schildburgers appear to have multiplied like Zombies -- the place is crawling with them! (aaarrrgh!) ;-)
More original Schilda stories: http://www.sacred-texts.com/etc/bon/chap03.htm
And for another modern Schildburger story of the day see http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/qu ... 05517.html
I know it looks off-topic, but to me it is the same symptom of the same malaise, and it affects people who were given an education that is second to none in all of human history -- all these people have been taught to know far far more than any other generation and manage to be pig ignorant whilst thinking they know it all.
Just look at the news and count how many times you figure that a story is way beyond good or bad, or perhaps, just in your normal day-to-day life you probably already have enough examples already of complete breakdown of common sense and the inability to consider the future results no matter how obvious and imminent they are.
Would we be able to put together another Bletchely Park or Manhattan Project?
Nops, because we don't have those kind of people of this quality amongst us anymore in a quantity that has enough sane influence on their surroundings. That crazy law maker in Australia who is about to enshrine the duty making a profit on house sales genuinely believes that this will solve the problem(bless) -- she thinks the law is some kind of spell that compels reality to conform, and there is no-one around to instill normality either.