Beyond Phlebotinum

Phlebotinum is the versatile substance or incomprehensible technology that causes an effect needed by a plot. It basically does everything except solve specific limits and dangers required by the plot. Without it, the story would grind to an abrupt halt. The problem with introducing plot fuel into speculations about downsizing the human species is that in doing so it reinforces the prejudice that shrinking our average size is unrealistic and can only be achieved in fairy tales and fantasy stories. It creates a certain blindness for the fact that proof of the real possibility of becoming smaller is everywhere. No need for shrink beams and magic potions. If we are to embrace becoming smaller as a species we must move beyond Phlebotinum, and realise that this is something that could and perhaps should be achieved for real.

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