kaffyr: Weeping angel peers through "clock" (Time's no Angel)
[personal profile] kaffyr
What Once Was Wrong, the Inevitable Will Crown Right

When I was a little girl, I used to read comic strips in my daily newspaper. One of them was a would-be Buck Rogers strip called, if I remember correctly, Brick Bradford (which information I had to retrieve from Wikipedia. It certainly ran a long time.)

One of the adventures in that otherwise forgettable strip has stayed with me ever since. The hero sets down on a planet with a toxic atmosphere, with beings he at first thinks are unintelligent beasts. He and his colleagues eventually come to realize that this is a planet that was once like Earth, but which has become so polluted that it now has a completely different ecosystem, to which all those of the planets beings who survived have adapted. To them, Brick's obligatory scientist colleague narrates, Earth's atmosphere would be deadly.

The story fascinated me for two reasons: a) the idea that something we would consider absolutely wrong - an environment, say - would be absolutely natural to other beings, indeed necessary and non-toxic. I considered it compelling both environmentally (although I didn't think of it in those terms back in 1966 or 1967, which may have been when I read it) and philosophically; b) the idea that our world could end, that we would end, but that it might be OK, because something equally important or intelligent or what-have-you, might grow to take our place in a vastly changed world.

All of which leads me to this: Thanks to [personal profile] ljgeoff  for alerting me to this article. For all that I've just said, I'd much rather we managed, somehow against all logic, to stick around. I guess I'm not quite mature or enlightened enough to take the approach of the writer. And he's right, not me.



Date: Monday, 18 November 2013 04:28 am (UTC)
shanghaied: (dino feathers in amber)
From: [personal profile] shanghaied
What an amazingly lyrical wordsmith. And yes, welcome to my viewpoint - although this blogger is far more hopeful than I have ever been.

Lovely planet. Shiteful, incurably destructive species. We do belong dead. And the tone of the neighbourhood will go up when we're gone.
And no, I do not find this prospect in the least disturbing.
Edited Date: Monday, 18 November 2013 04:29 am (UTC)

Date: Sunday, 24 November 2013 06:51 am (UTC)
shanghaied: (baobabs in a wheatfield)
From: [personal profile] shanghaied
I'm not going to ask you to be more realistic, but I will always (gently) jab and jab because I feel strongly that if there is anything about us that qualifies as a 'we have a duty to...', it's 'we few who have trained ourselves to think critically have a duty to ourselves and our society to keep up that critical thinking'. This is why I said ...the tone of the neighbourhood will go up when we're gone. And no, I do not find this prospect in the least disturbing above. I used to get upset about our species' inbuilt tendencies to court fuckups and fails. Now I accept that getting upset about species!fail! won't change the way we evolved, so I mostly just accept it as The Way We Are.

No, we're not 'born monsters', but as a species we are born with a number of behavioural proclivities that, if expressed, can lead to monsterhood (note that I said can, not will). The sad and often heartbreaking part is that it takes only a small number of monsters to foul up systems, sometimes beyond repair. And so it goes. The best way to ameliorate that, to some degree at least, is to encourage every new generation to think - to think wide], to think realistically, and, yes, to think hopefully. Teach yer children well, y'know... :-)

Edited Date: Sunday, 24 November 2013 06:53 am (UTC)

Date: Sunday, 1 December 2013 12:47 am (UTC)
shanghaied: (dino feathers in amber)
From: [personal profile] shanghaied
I've run out of comment-answering time for the day, so can I just say THIS for now? You keep hoping, I'll keep jabbing, and here's to more nonstupids arriving on this lovely planet before the vast hordes of stupids wreck the whole gaff!

Date: Monday, 18 November 2013 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ljgeoff.livejournal.com
Back in '06, I planned to have a piece of land by 2020, but I think I can swing a land contract by 2015. There are several parcels available right now that fit all of my check boxes.

Which is to say, the message I got from that essay was that it's not that things will change, it's that things have changed. And that was an affirmation, a validation, not an epiphany.

Back in '06, I woke one morning from a very real dream. I was up high, in a plane, I think, looking down at a city on fire. A man was sitting next to me. "It wasn't the droughts and floods that killed everyone," he murmured. "It was the wars."

My tenth grandchild will be born next spring. He is a boy, a third Michael -- they'll call him Mac. By the time he is grown, it will be a new world. Quite literally. And though I am terrified, and his parents think I'm a little nuts, and I don't know if any of this will be good enough -- still, this is, it seems, my job.

Viam Invenio! Did I tell you that at our October Birthday Bash we got together and devised our House crest and motto?

On a field of blue, a central tower with ivy upon it, a rampant stag dexter and a rampant fox sinister. Beneath the tower is a line of marsh reeds (for Moser) and above the tower streaks a comet.

Viam Invenio: I find a way.

Four minutes? Bring me knitting! Really, though, I believe in us, in people. Yes we are stupid and crazy, but we are also so amazingly beautiful, clever and wise. We have a few years left of things staying pretty much the same. A decade, perhaps, maybe two. There will be disasters, heartbreaking disasters every year. There will be famines and floods. Here in the US, the poor will get poorer, and the middle class will get poorer and we will all be told that it's Our Fault.

And then, rather suddenly, things will be much, much worse.

I will be up north by then. Think of me.

Date: Monday, 18 November 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-phoenixdragon.livejournal.com
Whoa...that is...rather unsettling and mind-boggling. We've been predicting our own future for quite a while now. I wonder why it is so hard to believe it for most of the world. Scifi has given us so many wonderful things - and so many dire warnings. Why do we revel in one and ignore the other so often?

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