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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

In Over Our Heads

Someone threw humanity into the deep end of the pool and in spite of all our swimming lessons, we’ve lost the ability to live in water and there is no shore in sight. The best we find ourselves able to do is tread water until we’re too exhausted to keep our heads above the surface. Then we’ll sink back into the depths from which so many years ago we crawled.

Now if I’ve mixed enough metaphors in that depressing beginning, let me go on to say that we’ve found a sense of nobility in struggling against the insurmountable odds. We’ve re-imaged ourselves as a race able to conquer the universe—able to find the one weakness in imagined superior races to rise victorious over all. Nobility, by our own definition, is struggling against insurmountable odds and if necessary, laying down our lives for the betterment of humanity. That’s good and noble.

But let’s face it. Even the simplest act of nature will defeat all our superior technology—witness most recently the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan and Burma. My little pea-sized brain hasn’t been able to deal with that at the same time that I was preparing the release of Steven George & The Dragon. Now that the book is out, I find the news overwhelming. I see the passing of humanity in the light of archeologists a million years from now as no more than the dinosaurs that we displaced.

“No wonder they didn’t survive the (fill in disaster of choice)!” these cockroach-like denizens of future earth click to each other. “Look at the tiny size of their brains compared to the rest of their bodies. They spent all their brainpower simply trying to get food, shelter, and sex. They had no brain cells to spare for the survival of their race. We can’t even be sure they had a concept of the human race outside the little villages they built.” Most of them didn’t even have the physical strength to lift their own body-weight. They had to invent ways to (fill in technology of choice). If they had just…”

I’m not saying that we should stop trying. Of course we have to work on the elimination of dreaded diseases in third world nations (thank you Mr. Gates). But what good will surviving malaria do if you die of starvation? Each time we solve a problem, we uncover another layer of the horrors nature has in store for us. We create a reliable source of energy and a simple wave of the ocean turns it into a long-term disaster affecting worldwide health. And I’m only talking about the big issues here. Every law and social program we create reveals another layer of social responsibility that we either accept or to ignore to our peril.

We’re in over our heads, folks. It will take a superior race to save the earth.

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