Is America at a crossroads? Or are we on a one-way trip to hell? Big, heavy questions for a Sunday! But, then, aren′t Sunday′s meant for that? Asking big, heavy questions? Yesterday I wrote a somewhat sour outlook on our current trajectory as a nation. Barack Obama said yesterday that America is ″not as divided″ as some people would have you believe in light of the recent violence on our streets. Its not just White police shooting Black men, or Black men shooting back at cops. Far more Blacks are being murdered by other Blacks. Chicago is more deadly than some war zones in other countries. Then we have the whole radical Islamic terrorist thing going on. But even that is nothing compared to the normal violence we see everyday in unhappy homes. Even in wealthy, White, suburban neighborhoods, more people die annually from domestic violence than from terrorism. If you think this is bad, just wait until the ′Rise of the Mutants′!
Ah, mutations! They happen all the time, folks. I forget which cable channel airs the series, but our old buddy Stan Lee of Marvel Comics hosts a show where human mutants demonstrate their powers and abilities. Mutations happen all the time through the regular course of natural selection. Nowadays, however, our science and technology have reached a level where artificial evolution is possible. Some lunatic billionaire or national leader can develop an army of augmented humans. What do we, ordinary humans, do then? The Serengeti Plains are loaded with the bones of earlier human species whom annihilated each other while trying to coexist.
They didn′t go away quietly, though, and not entirely. We still carry some of the DNA of species who came before us. These traits enable us to survive. For all we know, the Common Cold was a major killer a few hundred thousand years ago. Now, thanks to a successful mutation from long ago, the Common Cold is just an annoyance. About 75% of those of us of European ethnicity can trace their DNA back to one of three Bronze Age males from Europe. Those 3 guys must have really got around!
Thanks to science, augmentation no longer is limited to manipulating the gene pool. We are in the Age of the Cyborg. Many people are already overcoming diseases and other health issues thanks to implants. Old Dick Cheney is still alive and kicking thanks to an implant which keeps his heart beating, much to the ire of many. A few people are already toying around with implants to wire their brains to the Internet. Some can control robots remotely. It will not be long until this technology becomes more wide spread and potentially more dangerous. Again, I ask the question, what will we ordinary humans do?
Friday night, I retreated from watching the news and switched over to the History Channel for some ″Ancient Aliens″. I watched two episodes. The first one dealt with how some early civilizations viewed the universe as an illusion, that our existence was more thought than substantive. Turns out that this may not be far off the mark. A Japanese quantum physicist has run the numbers and has declared that our entire universe may just be a hologram! Even Greg Gutfeld may just be a hologram! Shocking to say the least. Are we just an app being run by some alien who exists on a totally different dimension of existence? Sort of reminds me of the last scene in ″Men In Black″ where our universe is just one of many marbles being played with by some alien children.
The second episode of ″Ancient Aliens″ was about the classic UFO lore on ′The Council of 9′. Nine aliens who have been watching Earth for thousands of years, perhaps much longer, manipulating our gene pool and guiding our development. Many ancient religions may be based on these characters. Then the show takes us to the 1950s with the famous lore about Valiant Thor. He was the blonde, blue-eyed alien who visited with President Eisenhower to deliver a warning from the Council of 9. They were getting irritated with our fooling around with nuclear weapons. Think ″The Day The Earth Stood Still″. After 3 years of getting nowhere, Valiant Thor left, or did he? A recent image from the International Space Station shows what may be an alien satellite orbiting the Earth. Known as the ′Black Knight′, this satellite has been picked up on radar and even HAM radio operators have heard signals from it since the 1950s. Long before Sputnik!
Regular readers will know that I often talk about two potential outcomes for our civilization, ′The Great Culling′ and ′The Great Awakening′. Naturally, ′The Great Culling′ has to do with a massive die-off of humanity. America, in many ways, is the linchpin which holds our modern world together. If we go down, much of the world goes down with us. Just as when Rome collapsed, a large chunk of the world descended into anarchy. True, Constantinople lasted longer, but even it shrank was diminished after Rome fell. It took a couple of centuries until something else began to fill the power vacuum left, namely, Islam.
Civilization is a fragile thing. A Russian anthropologist once said that we are only three days away from cannibalism at any given point in time. A seemingly minor, ′Black Swan′ event, could bring down the whole house of cards very quickly. In the physics of fission, the time interval between a block of U-235 being reasonably stable and completely flying apart is described as ″3 shakes of a lamb′s tail″, about 900 nanoseconds, 900/Billionth of a second. Social unrest can quickly turn into civil war or total chaos within a matter of days. The timbers upon which our society and institutions are built is rotted and quite dry. It would not take much of a spark to ignite them into a roaring blaze.
I was at work on September 11, 2001, and our office came to a standstill as the terrorist attack unfolded. We all gathered in the lunchroom watching the news on TV after the first plane flew into the World Trade Center. At that moment, it still looked like it might just be some horrible accident. We all watched as the second plane hit and then it became clear that this was no accident. That it was a deliberate attack. I immediately said that Osama bin Laden was probably behind this, being well read on world affairs. After the Pentagon got hit, there was no doubt about it anymore. Another salesman asked me what was on my mind? My answer was simple. We are either going to have World War 3 or ′The Great Awakening′.
Ah, ′The Great Awakening′! That moment when we wake up and realize that the universe is a hologram, or something else which we hadn′t considered before. Its happened before, plenty of times. Like when we finally figured out that the Sun does not orbit the Earth but the other way around. It was not a new idea, it had been around for a while. It took the Catholic Church to figure it out because their calendars for calculating when to celebrate Easter were often wrong. So they tasked some clerics, including Nicolaus Copernicus, to sort the whole thing out.
A good book on the subject is ″The Day The Universe Changed″ by former BBC science correspondent, James Burke. The way we perceive life and our surroundings changes frequently. Sometimes suddenly like a lightning bolt, other times gradually, slowly, over time. Take time, itself. People have always needed good calendars and clocks. Useful things for knowing when to plant or harvest crops, or for when one should pray. Clock technology developed slowly. From sun dials and hour glasses to large, atrocious mechanical devices. By the 12th Century in Europe, a sort of industrial revolution was underway. Just living by the height of the Sun was no longer sufficient in some communities. People in towns who weren′t engaged in agriculture had to know when to work, when to eat, when to go home and sleep. After a few centuries, we now live by the clock. They even tell us where we are in the world as a navigation tool.
Whether you are a Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian or even an Anarchist, we all know that things are not right. Our civilization has some flaws which need correcting. The flaws and solutions may differ based on your politics, but we all sense that we can and should be doing things better. So, ′The Great Awakening′ is that moment when we finally decide that it is time to actually do something to change the way we live. We all want peace, respect and even comfort. So why aren′t we getting enough now?
I have often written that we are on the verge of Infinity. Thanks to people who are actually good at mathematics more so than diversity studies, fusion energy is just around the corner. Unlimited, cheap power! Cheap, unlimited energy makes plenty of things possible, like water desalination, turning deserts into gardens. Cheap food for all! We are very close to a revolution in healthcare. A practical, medical tricorder like on ″Star Trek″ may be on the market within one year. Life extending drugs and technology are in the works that may make us immortal. Some say that children born in last decade or so will be the first immortals. Robots may eliminate the need to work. Technology like 3-D printers will turn every home into a factory or a supermarket. New methods in drilling and mining oil and minerals will create an economy of abundance.
So is America, and the world, at a crossroads? If we can get through the next few years, even a decade or two, without ′The Great Culling′ taking place, then we may finally reach that junction where we can change our direction. Take the path towards ′The Great Awakening′ instead of a path straight to hell. That is when we may need Valiant Thor and the Council of 9 to stop by again to make sure we make the right choice. Given how we exercise choice lately, we may not fair well. Bad enough we elected one Bush, we elected a second one after 8 years of the corrupt Clintons. Then we replace Bush 2 with Obama! UGH!!! Even after that, we have plenty of fools who want either another Bush or another Clinton. If we want ′The Great Awakening′, then we need a new, fresh approach. Somebody who can hold things together long enough for the wondrous future we all dream about to become realized. That somebody is Donald J. Trump!
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