They sing before the Pope, this man and child, and it is absolutely wrenching, you wonder how this work, it’s only music, sounds, voices, the words you will never understand, can bore so deep into your gut, change you, but it does, and you wonder next, what of deaf people, they’ll never know, and then you wonder how are we all deaf but for other senses, senses no human has ever known, can ever know, not in our present form, and you think the universe must be just crushingly beautiful to God.
I have leftover sentences, hundreds of them, all at the tip of my brain, unable to come out, because they go with nothing, like one note stripped from a song, all alone.
Sometimes, the medium for our message is not ready to avail itself to us. We push, twist, try, fail, but the world isn’t ready for exactly who we are at exactly this time.
Sometimes, it pushes us far, farther than we wish.
In America, in the early 21st century, an Olympic hero, now in his 70s, publicly declared himself a woman. He was not ridiculed for this, no one demanded he be placed under psychiatric care. He was, instead, lionized, so to speak. At the same time, the very people who rushed to declare that they supported this former Olympic hero first and most, before and more than anyone else, similarly declared the hijab a progressive fashion garment, a statement of individual female empowerment, despite the truth that in many countries, a woman must wear this. Must.
Sometimes, the culture is brought back in line with the views and values of the many, despite the howls and gnashing of teeth amongst the anointed.
Most presently embrace a culture of death.
This is a deep, moral failing.
Wired magazine takes a respite from its primary role as PR to the tech stars, seeking instead clicks from its list of the top 10 threats to human life. Spoiler: we’re to blame. Humans. AI, tyranny, spreading disease, choking ourselves to death with pollution, eradicating all life with our nuclear power, all the big hits.
A complete self-destruct this century is unlikely.
Humans are reckless — but are at least as resilient, probably more so.
Odd, however, that Wired doesn’t lobby for a DNA vault for all humans, a repository of our skin, blood, saliva, digital record — all easily available personal traits — securely stored, well preserved, in the event of our demise.
And what if?
Will the future resurrect humanity?
Is that its job?
Any discussion of the ways humans are all likely to die, forever, ought to at least consider our role on this planet, in this solar system, in this galaxy.
Elephants have at least one role. They transport seeds farther than any other land animal, farther even than many birds.
The African savanna elephant holds the prize for largest living terrestrial animal, and now it apparently just set another land record: the longest distance mover of seeds. The pachyderms can transport seeds up to 65 kilometers, according to a study of elephant dung in South Africa. That’s 30 times farther than savanna birds take seeds, and it indicates that elephants play a significant role in maintaining the genetic diversity of trees on the savanna.
Plants make fruit to encourage animals to eat and then move their seeds to new locations.
What seeds are we humans carrying?
I like to imagine there’s some divine force in the cosmos, us humans playing a part — important, even if small.
Is it to carry God’s word to distant solar systems — when we become ready? To show up at the figurative doorstep of new planets, smartly dressed, politely knock, and evangelize?
Is it to create an AI which creates an AI which creates a solar-spanning, maybe even galaxy-spanning — thing — designed to aid and nurture or destroy or merge with other forms of intelligence, robotics, computers and or energies?
I believe humans — en masse — have a purpose.
I know you do.