"It’s rather like a puddle waking up one morning - I know they normally don’t do this but allow me, I’m a science-fiction writer. A puddle wakes up one morning and thinks, "This is a very interesting world I find myself in. It fits me very neatly. In fact it fits me so neatly…I mean, really precise isn’t it? It must have been made to have me in it!" And the sun rises and [the puddle] is continuing to narrate the story about this hole being made to have him in it. The sun rises and gradually the puddle is shrinking and shrinking and by the time the puddle ceases to exist, it’s still thinking - still trapped in this idea - that the hole was there for it.
If we think the world is here for us we will continue to destroy it in the way we’ve been destroying it because we think we can do no harm.
…We are behaving as if this planet - this extraordinary, utterly, utterly extraordinary little ball of life - is something we can just screw around with anyway we like. And maybe we can’t. Maybe we should be looking after it just a little better.
Not for the World’s sake. We talk rather grandly about saving the world. We don’t have to save the world, the world’s fine. The World has been through five periods of mass extinction - 65 million years ago a comet hit the earth at the same time as there were vast volcanic eruptions in India, which saw off the dinosaurs and something like 90% of the life on the planet at that time. Go back 150 million years before that to the Permian-Triassic boundary another giant, GIANT extinction. The world has been through it many, many times before and what happens invariably after each mass extinction is that there’s a huge amount of space available for new forms of life to suddenly emerge and flourish into it - just as the extinction of the dinosaurs made way for us. Without that extinction we would not be here.
So the world is fine. We don’t have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself.
What we need to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it. That’s what we need to think about.”
So, something patently amazing happened to me yesterday.
I love to read, but I haven’t had much time to read in the past few months because I was taking 19 credit hours in college. Yesterday was my last final, so just before I left to go take it, I found myself drifting to my bookshelf,…
Paul Waldman at The American Prospect points out that nearly every American president eventually bombs something. And on average, we’ve bombed another nation at least once every 40 months since 1963. “If you’re wondering why people all over the world view the United States as an arrogant bully, reserving for itself the right to rain down death from above on anyone it pleases whenever it pleases, well there you go.”
I was at the fan expo last weekend by myself. It was first time and it was great. My favorite part was when I got to see 2 cosplays for Arthur dent. I wanted to tell them that they were hoopy froods. I got to talk to the hosts of inner space. I sorta accidentally made eye contact and then they came to talk to me. It was kinda funny. I had brought money for things but I had no idea what to get, so I picked up a random 5 dollar comic from an artist. I had no idea autographs were so expensive. I wanted Richard dean Anderson’s and Colin bakers. But hopefully they live till next year :)
Lister - Sometimes, I think it’s cruel giving machines a personality. My mate Petersen once bought a pair of shoes with Artificial Intelligence. ‘Smart Shoes’ they were called. It was a neat idea. No matter how blind drunk you were, they could always get you home. But he got rattled one night in…
“Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”—Douglas Adams (via frightfullyfantastic)
Cookies by Douglas Adams (author: “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”)
This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I’d gotten the time of the train wrong.
Arthur Dent:You know, it's at times like this when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young!