Pawkey Seneschal is a misanthropic life scientist who struggles with his own xenophobia, his fear of others unlike his family and close associates, as well as his miserable marriage. Being an avid people watcher, while attending a conference in the city, he observes others on the subway, women at the conference and hotel. Pawkey does not having a scintilla of prejudice in his heart, but he can't suppress his first thoughts that are racist and sexist. He also mentally debates, in one of many streams of consciousness in the book, how people are manipulated by the propagandists and government that actually rule his world.
In this allegory, which is framed as a Bet between Wind & Water, Water causes neurotransmitters to be released in Pawkey's brain while he is sleeping one night after the conference. Because of this change in brain chemistry, Pawkey awakens with an idea for a eugenics program that will resolve this xenophobia.
After ending his marriage, he implements this idea. Pawkey designs and executes experiments over many decades, solving the questions of cellular aging and death, the nature of thought and sentience, as well as the genetic origins of hate, love, greed, jealousy, rage, charity, and all the other aspects that distinguish mankind from other species, both good and bad. With this knowledge now at hand, he has the power to save or destroy mankind completely.
This report prepared by Janet Dawson