Tuesday, August 4, 2015
experiments in science-friction
drat! i'm aghast at having done nothing to prevent the human species from destroying itself. nibble, nibble, nibble, the earth being eaten away. after a fairly long life and lots of attempted creativity and a fountain of ideas, i've come up with nothing to add. truly, i'm overwhelmed by the number of human beings in existence, much as i try to forget them.
i do have a sense of responsibility, though it may merely be an example of vainglory, the desire to be a god. let's say it's genuine. my mother kept telling me when i was little, "you are destined to be great, to make a difference, to make me proud." i suspect the last her real motive. that said, i took it at face value, hoping i'd live up to her expectations.
alas, a prescription for failure, if i've ever met one. though i've played king of the mountain for over fifty years, i've done little more than call fire! fire! a variety of crying wolf. when one of the fire kids asked what i'd gleaned from watching the skies so long, i spontaneously answered, 'enjoy your job, and if you can't, find another one.' practical for the individual, but for humankind?
sure, i'm convinced we are being used by the species for its own ends (survival), each pushed into a corner where we dig ditches for the whole. on the other hand, a species can be too smart for itself. take the lemmings. what on earth possesses them to run for the cliff?
anyway, i do have a version of salvation, yet it could backfire. from my laboratory at the bottom of the sea, i could release a powerful anti-depressant which would bond with every oxygen molecule in the atmosphere. being happy and satisfied with themselves, people would dance instead of slit each other's throats. i'd do this completely anonymously, like an act of nature, so no other idiot would think to counter-act my action, attaching bad drugs.
to change the fate of humanity, i would alter the atmosphere in which it lives. sounds pretty cool, pretty easy. unfortunately, my plan might backfire. when i took too much dopamine enhancer, i lost all empathy for others, a tight knot of anger. damn right, scared myself. and when i took too much serotonin booster , increasing my sense of well-being, i had three dangerous falls. i lost my instinct to preserve myself.
Heraclitus said, 'everything arises from contention,' and Taleb said, 'more progress has come from wars than peace.' maybe this new world of cooperation would lead to the warriors being turned into swine. as it is, EVERY HUMAN CONFLICT, LARGE AND SMALL, A DISPUTE OVER TERRITORY. the emperor grabs the kingdom next door, the child sneaks into his sister's room and breaks everything he can.
the rational person says, 'if human beings lived in peace, they'd die out from ennui.'