Thursday, January 8, 2015

We are all we have

If I could say one thing to try to bridge the conflicts amongst humans:

We are all we have.

Pointing to Stephen Hawking's plea:

"We must continue to go into space for humanity," Hawking said today, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We won't survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet."
"Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain lurking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space."
It doesn't matter how important or powerful we believe we are, we inhabit one simple tiny insignificant blue dot in the immensity of the universe.

It could be a plague, global environmental catastrophe, an AI uprising, an intergalactic alien invasion, or even something as mundane as a world war.  At the power levels we can play at, the stakes are all or nothing. Nothing suggests extraterran forces would be LESS powerful than the most powerful nation. A passing intergalactic empire might not be at "god-like" power levels but it might still wipe us from existence. Without pausing.

Well, except these guys.

Even the most improbable events would bankrupt our future at catastrophic value levels with a simple expected value equation:

E(x) = (0.00000001) * (-10000000000000) +  (1-0.00000001 )* (1)  < 0

Doubling our planets might double our chances, roughly speaking.

All that we have, all that we know, all that we have made, all that we value. It disappears like Ozymandias and his feared empire if we are extinguished.

In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:—
"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
"The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,—
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.[9]

How can this be a less persuasive argument than any article of faith?

We are all we have.