Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them. - Laurence J. Peter

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our future among the stars

The life you're used to and the body you control are not the full scope of the organism of which you are a part.

You are 100 trillion cells in each of 6 billion human beings. Your cousins, a thousand times as numerous, are cells comprising the tissues and organs that make ants work. The other 99.9% of you is bacteria, and you've been here for 4 billion years. You are older than the mountains, older than the asteroid belt.

And during this 4 billion years, you have never died. Not all of you. Not once. Some parts of you became damaged and were lost, but you carried on. If your parents hadn't made it, you wouldn't be here right now.

During this 4 billion years we transformed a hostile world into a comfortable one. Or it transformed us. We made the atmosphere breathable and we adapted to breathe it. We made fur, and later, we made other parts of us make fur for the human parts. And the human part of you made tools. Rocket tools that will be of use to all of us very soon. With the help of this human organ, your cellular descendants will leap off this mote of dust into the vast sea of resources beyond. A sea that can support us hundreds of trillions of times more richly than our current home. A sea for our home, to make liveable or to force us to adapt again, as Earth once did.

Rejoice, human, and keep moving forward! You're on to something very big for all of us, though you may not yet know it. We will all reap the rewards of your efforts, soon. - tuber from Reddit

I like tuber's expansive concept of his ingroup.

Did you know that the universe is enormous? Well it is. There are about 1023 stars - that's 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That's about 14 trillion stars for every person alive today. We've got a lot of exploring to do.


Blogger Patri Friedman said...

Screw immortality through my genetic relatives. I want immortality for this conscious person I am!

I mean, the idea of being part of a larger group seems comforting, and there is some truth to it. I am glad that if I die, humans and carbon-based life will go on. But I care enormously whether I die or not, whether or not the race does. And whether I go to space or not, whether or not the race does.

11:49 AM

Blogger Michael said...

Hey I want immortality too, but I'll take what comfort I can get!

7:29 PM


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