Speed bumps

Carrier

Came across a paper on the net that is kind of a different twist. It postulates that humans could be possible future agents of an interstellar mass extinction event- when we find another intelligent species, we will seek to kill them.

This, of course, is a sorrowful thread that shows up throughout my trilogy.

I don’t think it’s far off from the truth. The peak lifeforms from any given planet or exocivilization will by definition be ultra evolutionary competitors- these theoretical aliens will have overcome millions of other species to be the apex lifeforms on their worlds.

We will not tolerate other competitors in our hypothetical future domains.

Of course, it can only be that I view this subject from a human perspective, and as a witness to our nasty little internecine conflicts. As a species we have not only subjugated nature and other lifeforms, we also gleefully slaughter our own kind for any given reason. Some of these reasons are quite silly when you stand back and look at them. The color of another’s skin, the god they worship, their political leadership. It seems that humans will jump at any chance to kill the “other.”

Would this not count doubly so for exocivilizations? Mass media is full of violent encounters between us and aliens, such encounters have been a staple of science fiction since its founding. If you’ve never read it, see “War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells. As a child, I was indoctrinated by a cartoon series called Robotech, which featured an ultraviolent clash between human civilization and invading alien hordes. The spaceship pictured above came from this series.

We’ve been hyping ourselves up for a confrontation like this for a long time. I’m not going to bother listing the long, long list of movies that feature violent confrontations between us and aliens.

If and when we develop interstellar travel, and if we exploit distant planets (which will surely happen), any encounter between us and the “other” will probably not go so well.

We’ll treat other civilizations like speed bumps.

 

Took some time off

_DSC0595

Hey all. Been a little while, I know. Well, the fam and I took some time to visit some of the prettier places here in the eastern US, namely the Appalachians in western North Carolina. So I’ve been offline for about two weeks, as some of you may have noticed. Before that I was working like mad to complete a walk-in shower before my mother-in-law came to visit, that happened in the nick of time. ┬áSo it’s been a busy June, just not busy in the writing sense, which is what you guys care about.

The vacation was fun. Above you can see a view of the Blue Ridge, it’s really pretty. However, it was also fairly busy, especially when compared to places like this in the western US.

It was, however, a decent chance to recharge our batteries after a couple of years without a vacation.

But now I’m back, and it’s time to get back to things.

Like posting and writing. I’ve checked the blocks this summer with household construction projects and recreation, now it’s time to get to it.

You’ll hear from me soon.

The worst hit

Unknown

Just came across an article with very good news- John Hopkins Hospital has just performed the world’s first successful total genital transplant on a wounded soldier. An unknown donor gave someone an amazing gift- the chance for normal urological and sexual function.

This is very big news, and I decided to write a bit about it.

How can I describe what it is like to advance into a wall of lead, knowing you could be hit at any second? How to bring across the night before a fight, the dread that you may be hit and maimed, or killed?

Guys would sit and talk about all the ways you can be hit, and the conversation inevitably came up about what is the best, if you have to be shot or shrapped. Me, I always preferred a hit to the upper arm or lower leg. Not in the hand or foot. Definitely not in the inner thigh. Gut shot is bad, spine shot is worse. Some feared blindness or a maimed face, but all feared, without exception, being hit in the groin.

One time I was blown up by an RPG- what was the first thing I did? I reached between my legs and felt for my balls. When I felt them, I blew a sigh of relief, picked up my rifle, and pressed onwards. Everything else could wait, and it did.

That hit ranked highest in terms of fear factor. Losing your penis and testicles- the absolute worst for a male soldier. And up until now there was no real fix for it.

But now there is, sort of.

Of course, what’s best is not to be hit at all. Or never to be in a firefight. But sometimes your luck just runs out.

Three cheers for those involved in medical research.