The invisible…

What if, as a global community, we were collectively building a machine that was designed by a long dead genius? The machine took billions of people of people a number of generations to build and once done, the device would promptly explode, doing harm to the generations then present.

Now, some might argue, the comparison isn’t a good one.

What if more than 95% of the world’s leading engineers and physicists insisted that the device was a type of bomb the likes of which our species has never seen before? What if the policy driven rebuttal insisted that building the machine employed billions and thus was essential for the global economy? Historians might rebut that this dead genius showed no signs of malice, so we ought to trust the machine for our inevitable benefit.

Would we continue, without exploring other, less risky options?

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One thought on “The invisible…

  1. Oooh! great discussion.

    I think Kurt Vonnegut told of a space traveler crossing the Universe, Where suddenly he broke down near Earth. He called back for a small part to be replaced in his broken craft – but since actually sending a replacement would have taken far longer than just starting up an intelligent civilization to spring up and build the part. After all, what is a million years or so? So that becomes the sole purpose here- to build a small device shaped like a can opener so our intrepid traveler can resume its trip. So now maybe we have fulfilled our duty and we are now playing out.

    My personal favorite calamity-cosmology is more nefarious. It seems to me that hostile alien forces want to lay conquest to our planet – and we are in the way – so instead of sending monster cinematic battle cruisers through space- they sent an infectious virus – or a meme virus that propagates among us – Its only task is making a sizable fraction of our population into either psychopaths or blundering idiots bent on species self-destruction. Kind of like that feline and rat virus that makes them crazy. Such a generic virus just needs to impart random stupidity in just a small fraction of the population – maybe another virus in the rest of us that makes us accept it.

    Again, the effort involved with this weapon is so small that it is tremendously effective and widely deployed. Its obvious to me, but not everyone agrees we are under external attack. Most people prefer to blame it on other people. .

    Like

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