"The Dwindling Sphere" , een kort verhaal van Willard Hawkins , ook het (niet-geaccepteerde) antwoord op de oude vraag Toekomstige mensen bouwen met vuil, gaan ten oorlog over kleine hoeveelheden van het ; voor het eerst gepubliceerd in Verbluffende science-fiction , maart 1940 , beschikbaar op het internetarchief .
I was amused on my last day by a question asked by a ten-year-old boy, the son of one of the supervisors. We stood on a rampart overlooking one of the vast production pits, several hundred feet deep and miles across—the whole space filled with a bewildering network of towers, girders, cranes, spires and cables, across and through which flashed transports of every variety. Far below us, the center of all this activity, could be discerned the huge conversion plant, in which the rock is reduced to plastocene-B.
The little boy looked with awe at the scene, then turned his face upward, demanding, "What are we going to do when this hole gets so big that it takes up the whole world?"
We laughed, but I could sympathize with the question. Man is such a puny creature that it is difficult for him to realize what an infinitesimal thing on the Earth's surface is a cavity which to him appears enormous. The relationship, I should say, is about the same as a pinprick to a ball which a child can toss in the air.
[. . . .]
On one occasion it was the legend that, instead of being twin planets, our earth and Luna were at one time of differing sizes, and that Luna revolved around the earth as some of the distant moons revolve around their primaries. This theory has been thoroughly discredited. It is true that there is a reduction of the earth's mass every time we scrape its surface to produce according to our needs; but it is incredible that the earth could ever have been several times the size of its companion planet, as these imaginative theorists would have us believe.