Monday, December 02, 2019

Fear of the Unknown

Is cowardice a virtue? Were the Luddites right? Should we hunker under our beds, afraid of what might happen if we take a risk?

"I really think the mainstream idea that we can always make a mad dash for the black emptiness in the sky if things go to s**t here keeps us from truly confronting our urgent need to preserve the ecosystemic context in which we evolved, and which there’s no evidence that we can live without.
I mean, we don’t even know that space colonization is possible. As of yet we have no evidence at all that humans are sufficiently separate and separable from Earth’s biosphere for survival apart from our ecosystem to be a real thing. Humans aren’t really separate 'things'; they’re a symbiotic collaboration of organisms with ecosystems of their own, all of which as far as we know are entirely dependent on the greater ecosystem from which we blossomed. So far all our attempts at creating independent biospheres have failed miserably, and the closest we’ve come to living in space has consisted of nothing but glorified scuba excursions: visits to space stations fully dependent on a lifeline of terrestrial supplies. That’s the difference between flying and jumping. It might be as delusional as our brains thinking they can hop out of our skulls and live independently of our bodies, or some river eddies saying they’re moving to dry land." ~ Caitlin Johnstone*

And, she might even be right. The best way to find out is to try it. Not everyone, but some. Voluntarily. But she shouldn't be robbed ("taxed") to finance it. No one should.

One thing I know for sure is that the Earth has a hidden expiration date-- probably a very long time in the future, but we can't know that for sure. Most dangerous asteroids are discovered about the time they go whizzing past the planet-- far too late to do anything about them. And if you learn anything about cosmology you'll see that asteroids aren't the only planet killers lurking out there waiting to sterilize the surface of this planet.

Maybe I'm silly, but I want the human species to survive as long as possible. That can be longer if our species spreads beyond this one planet. Yes, Earth is wonderful and should be preserved. The Black is scary and dangerous and will try to kill you. But all discovery worth anything has risks. Would you be better off if you'd never left your crib?

"We don't even know... we have no evidence... as far as we know... might be..." So get out there and find out one way or the other for sure! Refusing to move because you don't know (yet) is not praiseworthy. You don't know until you try, and using fear as an excuse to not try is just sad.

*I find some of the best, and some of the most pathetic, quotes on The Enlightened Rogue's blog. They are always interesting in one way or another.


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