posted January 17, 2007 02:06 PM
I'm not sure how accurate the doomsday clock is. Actually, I kinda expect that we'll all be destroyed in some weapons test rather than a war. A war we might actually survive, though humanity would enter a new dark age in every way.
Anyone else heard or read about the Manhatten Project? There was the possibility (and bets) that a permanent sun would be generated and it would destroy all life in that state to the entire world. Still, the tests went on.
I wonder what happens when there are tests with microscopic nanites that self-replicate and attack humans? Or even a crafted virus? Or when some fusion weapon really does create a sun? Or some testing with an earthquake machine cracks the planet like a clay at a clay shoot? And the kicker is we might not even be aware of how the taxpayers funded our own destruction, and maybe don't get to realize anything is wrong at all before our entire world is destroyed.
But for what it's worth, I had this dream inspired, I think, by this Tao story. While a bit sad, it was also somehow hopeful to me, and maybe it will be to you, too:
As of November 9, 2004, I had recently read this Tao story:
There was a farmer who found out his horse had gotten away and run off. His neighbor commiserated only to be told, "Who knows what's good or bad?"
It was true. The next day the horse returned, bringing with it a drove of wild horses it had befriended in its wanderings. The neighbor came over again, this time to congratulate the farmer on his windfall. He was met with the same observation: "Who knows what is good or bad?"
True this time too; the next day the farmer's son tried to mount one of the wild horses and fell off breaking his leg. Back came the neighbor, this time with more commiserations, only to encounter for the third time the same response, "Who knows what is good or bad?"
And once again the farmer's point was well taken, for the following day soldiers came by commandeering for the army and because of his injury, the son was not drafted.
Who knows what's good or bad?
And apparently, I thought about this on a cosmic scale. In my dream I recorded on November 10, 2004, I was a member of an alien species. We were all pretty human in a way, only we weren’t (dream thing I guess). Our planet had colonized our system, but we stood to destroy each other with incredibly powerful weapons. We didn’t know if we’d ever make it beyond the star system, and now people were fighting to rule it all.
Then a craft came in. It revolutionized us. It was one of the two Voyagers that had been launched from Earth as a greeting to any who might it in the deep reaches of space. It was a godsend. It was made public before any agency could cover it up. It fueled the imaginations of many. There was life out there, and they had sent us an alien artifact!
Within 20 years, our entire system and species, inspired by this achievement, put aside differences and instead contested on who could make the best inventions, the best crafts that could visit this system.
Orators of all kind said that if a species could put aside its differences that it could send out messages into the void, we could do the same. Indeed, they must’ve known about us to have sent us this message. We heard bits of their bizarre lanuage, and their hauntingly beautiful music (once some of the damage had been cleaned up).
The technology was primitive, but it was but a subtle message: That we were squandering what technology we had.
Our species, revolutionized, the threat of war nearly gone, and we wanted to visit these Earthlings and thank them for helping us. We imagined they were benevolant and wise. And within a century, or two, it happened. We launched a craft that could travel using artificial warps.
Making it to the Sol system, we weren’t sure what to expect. We were a bit disconcerted when we saw little sign of any activity. Finally, making it to Earth, it finally became clear what had happened. Several doomsday devices had been employed. There was little left than a radioactive slag, and they had only reached a little ways into colonizing their system.
While we explored, this sad but beautiful darkwave song by Bella Morte (Funeral Night) played for me to hear, something I guess our sensors picked up somehow (but I'm not sure) that was like a requim for our [humanity] species:
with night fading fast
Warmth is but a memory of youth
As our day grows old
I can't bear to part
With so many things I hold so dear
But all things must fall
How well I know the grave
We must stand strong
And face our fears until the end
'Til the day when truth is found,
When at last we can rest
With night fading fast
Let us walk to keep the time away
My heart is so cold
I know what is right
What to do when all has passed away
Will you still stay strong?
Steadfast when will has gone?
As here we stand hand in hand
In this funeral night
Can't I see that we both will fall
Can't you see my dry tears
On this skin so cold
Even now the Reaper comes
Though you are here I am afraid
I am afraid, my love...
The news of the annihilation of the species that had saved ours caused us to collectively mourn them. Perhaps, it was theorized, that craft had been sent to us before the final, self-destroying wars were truly began, so that we would remember them.
And since they saved us from a similar fate, we always did. The Earthlings never knew of us, but we mourn them, and their bad example and last desperate act saved us from making the same mistake. We used our new crafts to find other worlds, to save them from the same fate. We had been transformed from a militant warrior race into an intergalactic mission of mercy, attempting to inspire other worlds to turn away from the path of self-destruction.
Many worlds came to owe Earth a debt of gratitude, and Venus and Mars were cleaned up and colonized by various species, and became a world for enemies to come and make their peace (as did multiple space stations). All these meetings included a tour of what Earth had become, a sight that would haunt many species and inspire them to turn away from relentless warfare.
The destruction of Earth's native sentients and life was incredibly tragic to look upon, especially given the irony of how they saved us from doing the same thing.
As the person I am, I sometimes wonder if I didn't touch something in the far future and that I downloaded this dream as a result. But, if so, I can take comfort in being remembered and that many other worlds were saved as a result. This dream has made me more sensitive to the destruction of our species and our relentless warfare, but there is a bit of peace that comes contemplating this, too.
After all, who can say what is good or what is bad?