“This moment will just be another story someday.”
—Stephen Chbosky, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
It would seem obvious to me that, based on our accepted mainstream bedrock of scientific belief and philosophy, that there are other creatures than us in the Universe. How is that such a bananas concept to accept?
Well, I know why it’s such a bananas concept to accept…it greatly reduces our collective sense of “control.”
But really: if the Universe is truly as huge as Carl Sagan told us it was…it would be more crazy to believe that Earth is the only host of complex life within all that vastness and infinity, instead of something more along the lines of the “Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations” scenario as laid out by Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek.
If Earth was “it”…well, then one of two possibilities would be very likely:
- There really is this God-type thing with the “created in 6 days” scenario. And we should probably get our collective selves in gear because I think God is probably very pissed at us at this point.
- We are all living in a simulation. And, you know, in a video game, the parts that you don’t see on the screen? They’re not really “there.” They’re just code, they’re just potentiality.
And here is a third tantalizing possibility: that there really is a God-type thing and we are all his MMORPG.
(Fourth scenario: there is the “Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations” scenario as laid out by Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek…and everything, in all its infinite multiplicity, is, in the end, still just God’s MMORPG. Which…if I’m to be perfectly frank…is probably the scenario I lean towards the most.)
That all being said, the most likely reason for last week’s the closing of the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico is, in my estimation, probably espionage and not aliens or a civilization-ending solar flare. It’s because you have the FBI there, the post-office was closed down, they’ve got technicians checking the equipment, and so on. Nearby is a sensitive missile range, there’s rumors of electromagnetic weapons being tested, the telescope & other equipment could have been hacked by a foreign operator, and so on and so on.
We are on the precipice of an unprecedented period of space exploration in the history of humankind—driven largely, unfortunately, by the twin desires of expanding potential battlegrounds to outer-space + the unimaginable riches to be derived by asteroid/moon mining. In short: the current driving impetus of this new wave of space exploration is not extending “the new frontier,” as it was in the 1960s (if not completely in truth but certainly in spirit), but strictly the military-industrial complex.
Add to that the increasing reliance by countries like the United States on The Internet Of Things to run their most sensitive infrastructure—things that can be hacked, used in terrorism, etc.
That is not all to say that aliens aren’t somewhere in the mix, because certainly the more advanced we get with all this, the more chances we get to discover if they really exist or not; and if they do exist, we also run the possibility of increasingly getting their attention.
Anyway, there is a “space race” going on right now, my friends, and it’s global and there’s probably a whole bunch of espionage going on and a whole bunch of stuff we don’t know; and stuff that is known is put in science journals and websites that nobody reads because they are conveniently continually distracted by the media circus & the Giant Squid.
(This is all not to discount the possibility that one day the Earth is going to be on the receiving end of a solar burp, a heavenly-body collision, or other pants-poopingly terrifying scenario. In fact…given our accepted mainstream bedrock of scientific belief, the fact that our current civilization has gone on this long without such an event smooshing everything is so bizarre that again I turn to the God’s MMORPG theory.)
Meanwhile, the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico’s website hopes that all this hubbub about the closure gets you really psyched about coming back to the facility:
“With the excitement this closure has generated, we hope you will come and visit us when we do reopen, and see for yourself the services we provide for science and public outreach in heliophysics.”
The souvenir shop is towards the back; they have some great t-shirts there.
And now for ABBA: