The rather long short story that has been accompanying you over the past two months or so is coming to an end. Sure enough, matching the written expression, the audio and the video episodes has taken some time, but let's say it's quite all right now, as long as you kept downloading the episodes and listening to them again and again. And even if you don't say so (which would have been an expression of acknowledgement I would have highly appreciated), I do hope you got the message of all this: that learning means, for better or for worse, accepting linguistic reality. But well, the merit is all Daniel Keyes's!
Flowers for Algernon (11)
May 29—I have been given a lab of my own and permission to go ahead with the research. I’m on to something. Working day and night. I’ve had a cot moved into the lab. Most of my writing time is spent on the notes which I keep in a separate folder, but from time to time I feel it necessary to put down my moods and my thoughts out of sheer habit.
I find the calculus of intelligence to be a fascinating study. Here is the place for the application of all the knowledge I have acquired. In a sense it’s the problem I’ve been concerned with all my life.
May 31—Dr. Strauss thinks I’m working too hard. Dr. Nemur says I’m trying to cram a lifetime of research and thought into a few weeks. I know I should rest, but I’m driven on by something inside that won’t let me stop. I’ve got to find the reason for the sharp regression in Algernon. I’ve got to know if and when it will happen to me.
Dear Dr. Strauss:
Under separate cover I am sending you a copy of my report entitled, “The Algernon-Gordon Effect: A Study of Structure and Function of Increased Intelligence,” which I would like to have you read and have published.
As you see, my experiments are completed. I have included in my report all of my formulae, as well as mathematical analysis in the appendix. Of course, these should be verified.
Because of its importance to both you and Dr. Nemur (and need I say to myself, too?) I have checked and rechecked my results a dozen times in the hope of finding an error. I am sorry to say the results must stand. Yet for the sake of science, I am grateful for the little bit that I here add to the knowledge of the function of the human mind and of the laws governing the artificial increase of human intelligence.
I recall your once saying to me that an experimental failure or the disproving of a theory was as important to the advancement of learning as a success would be. I know now that this is true. I am sorry, however, that my own contribution to the field must rest upon the ashes of the work of two men I regard so highly.
June 5—I must not become emotional. The facts and the results of my experiments are clear, and the more sensational aspects of my own rapid climb cannot obscure the fact that the tripling of intelligence by the surgical technique developed by Drs. Strauss and Nemur must be viewed as having little or no practical applicability (at the present time) to the increase of human intelligence.
As I review the records and data on Algernon, I see that although he is still in his physical infancy, he has regressed mentally. Motor activity is impaired; there is a general reduction of glandular activity; there is an accelerated loss of co-ordination.
There are also strong indications of progressive amnesia.
As will be seen by my report, these and other physical and mental deterioration syndromes can be predicted with statistically significant results by the application of my formula.
I feel that this, in itself, is an important discovery.
As long as I am able to write, I will continue to record my thoughts in these progress reports; it is one of my few pleasures. However, by all indications, my own mental deterioration will be very rapid.
I have already begun to notice signs of emotional instability and forgetfulness, the first symptoms of the burnout.