United or Dead

Nothing to kill or die for… ("Imagine", John Winston Lennon)

Content 18+ Not sure if you've heard about the Fermi paradox - why we haven't met aliens yet. There is one possible answer to it, and in modern reality it seems to become more and more The One - [1].

Now I am going to step on many toes, but there is no easy way to tell this.

Yes, there is a probability that all other civilisations simply killed themselves - just like we are all struggling to do now[2]. All those millions of aliens proud of their nations, of their flags, of their songs, of their politicians - died. Killed in nuclear wars (discovery of nuclear power is a logical way of development of physics, regardless of where it will be); scorched by their own star due to the global warming, induced by burning fossil fuels; killed by an asteroid coming out of nowhere as they were too busy naming the river/town/street properly; paralysed and went back to medieval ages by the solar flare (ok, star flare) as they were too busy developing hypersonic rockets to blast opponents to heavens a few minutes earlier than they will blast others.

All those millions, billions, trillions - dead. Wasted. No flags. Or.. you've seen an alien walking?

Getting back to Earth… we spend trillions on developing weapons that will provide a better, faster, more efficient way to kill. Stop using euphemisms - any war is actually killing, turning living and thinking human (and not just human) beings into rotting flesh. There is no such a thing as "beautiful death". It all comes to rotting (or burning). It all comes to bitter truth - being an altered carbon alive.

We possess the ultimate known gift - gift of consciousness. Even being an altered carbon it takes a wandering mind to understand this, and by understanding the complexity and uniqueness feel the absolute and unimaginable heresy, the ultimate idea that can make many people wake up at night sweating, that can turn things upside down, that can diminish political mountains - simple understanding that there are no real borders, flags are just imaginary and fictional symbols without any real meaning and all great and not-so-great nations are actually identical from each and every point of view.

This is the bitter reality. Enslaved by those artificial symbols people follow flags and symbols just like others follow pop stars, fueled by a national identity that corrodes human feelings, driving countries back to the primeval "us" and "them", allowing very few to thrive on the expense of the rest, pushing the humanity further towards the Great Filter.

Are we doomed? I don't think so. I do not think we cannot make it through the Filter, but I believe that this is the hardest turning point in our self understanding - whether we think of ourselves as one single Humanity, without any flag or nation, trying to solve problems, cure illnesses, explore other planets (as, by the way, there is not enough place already on this one), or decide to be proud of the nations and flags, fighting wars and ignoring real threats, finding miniscule differences that will once again divide, and be finally…conquered by the destiny that, most probably, other civilisations faced.

We have examples here, no need to look further. Each and every eventually falls. Yes, nothing is eternal. Borders fluctuate, countries merge and split and disappear. Great nations of the past become poorest, and their pride turns to dust of distant steppes, and wolves howl now where cities stood before.

There is still a chance. There is only one real Civilisation here that can stand - and this is Human Civilisation. Maybe it is time to look closer and see…just one common planet we share, naked apes crawling on the thin crust[3] above kilometers of molten rock, apes that became self-aware only recently and lived 65 times less than dinosaurs[4] did.

Looks scary, I know.

In unity we thrive. Artem Kovalev.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Filter
  2. Nice explanatory video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNhhvQGsMEc
  3. "all life is confined to the space between the snow of the mountain tops and the heat of the Earth's interior. This narrow stratum as compared with the diameter of the Earth is but one half the thickness of one leaf of a thousand-page book." (Morrison), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_structure_of_Earth
  4. Dinosaurs lived from -250mln years till -65mln years, making it roughly 185mln years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur, while earliest Homo appeared -2.8mln years ago, which makes us look like a mayfly https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human
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Last updated February 01, 2018


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