Saturday, 23 March 2019

On mass extinctions.

"If you look at our current technology level, something strange has to happen to civilizations, and I mean strange in a bad way. And it could be that there are a whole lot of dead, one-planet civilizations."

Elon Musk

No doubt stimulated from the new evidence that suggests that there are more than a hundred thousand million stars with planetary systems in this galaxy, many of which are in a potentially habitable 'Goldilocks zone' and yet no sign of alien civilizations. So why? And how does it affect us? Mr Musk clearly thinks that it does.

Incidentally, less focused individuals think that Elon Musk has a slightly random collection of transport companies in his portfolio. If you look more carefully what you see is that he is collecting the skills and technologies needed to colonize Mars (and other planets and satellites) in a large scale.   Not just rockets (SpaceX), but electric vehicles (, solar power and energy storage. Enclosed, high performance mass transit systems (Hyperloop), tunnel and subterranean structure making (Boring company), through to Neuralink and OpenAI - none of it is random.


  1. Yet while normal and understandable, this is also something that's addressable. (Not entirely fixable, of course, but at least addressable.) But facts aren't the way to do it -- simply getting better at announcing the who, what, where, and when of things won't really convey the flavor of this lively place. For that you need stories.
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  2. That is two millennia of knowledge, civilization and human achievement razed to nothingness by Fascist aggression. Like a terrified Aeneas on the run, Eliot flees the burning shores of Europe to seek reparation to the damages, caused by Western imperialist violence, in the ancient spirituality of the Upanishadas, in its enduring message of peace, compassion and generosity. The coda of The Wasteland is a random series of neurotic visions of a disintegrating reality that is finally salvaged by the incantatory chanting of 'Shantih'.
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