Barber’s Adagio for strings
Don’t hate me for posting an orchestra that isn’t racially blended…
The Tau Ceti System
11.9 light-years from Earth
An Heir and a Spare
For I Dipped into the Future –
Far as human eye could see,
Saw the vision of the world,
And all the wonder that would be;
Argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight,
Dropping down with costly bales;
And there rain’d a ghastly dew
From the nations’ airy navies
Grappling in the central blue; etc.
A New Fictional Short
I sat in my bag in zero gravity, reading from my lenses in subdued lighting. There has been a religious revival on Earth, driven by thin evidence that the Garden of Eden was never there. The theory holds that God transported Adam and Eve from somewhere else to Earth. Following the line, humanity as we know it began somewhere else and somewhen else. At the same time, the planet we called home had been terraformed, recrafted, and recrafted again with elements and DNA in harmony with humanity.
The discovery of a terraforming engine of apparently extrasolar design deep in the North American Plate/craton and its excavation created sufficient will to construct and launch three generation ships, Grissom, White, and Chaffee, to travel through the void twelve light years distant to Tau Ceti, a single yellow star spectrally similar to the Sun. The armada, aimed at Tau Ceti F, which has a moon named Eden, had been launched a solar year apart to create redundancy against failure.
As a clone, I rested in a sack of life-sustaining fluid until three years ago when the ship’s AI mind began growing and birthing the small human crew. Perhaps I should be grateful to the designers for including humanity in a mission that never needed a biological crew. A sentimental remnant felt that humanity should be available to multiply and replenish Eden without the oversight or direction of the Supreme Being. The heavy lifting would naturally be accomplished by an army of androids that took their marching orders from the ship’s mind. The humans, including me, were free of direct AI control. The biological option was low on mission priorities. We were more of a boutique option than a subcomponent of the hard mission package.
As the sole male clone to be birthed, I had been scheduled to work with five females who did not share my parental DNA to offer biological diversity to any offspring of our unions if and when it came to that. If this sounds very formulaic, it is. If I were to be seriously damaged during the mission, they’d wake another clone biologically identical to me. If the biological crew from Grissom failed, more would arrive with White a year later and Chaffee a year after that.
Probes launched decades before Grissom, my generation ship, confirmed a saltwater ocean similar in all respects to that of Earth occupies ninety percent of Eden’s surface. One continent sits astride much of equatorial Eden, far from the polar ice caps. Its atmosphere, rich in Oxygen, Nitrogen, and trace elements of methane, indicated life, now confirmed by probes that orbited, surveyed and landed. The biological material found matched that found on Earth in a distant genetic sense of the concept. It meant that humans would be compatible with life in Eden, and Eden’s residence would also be compatible with us. Would it mean that we could be eaten and enjoyed by the locals? It only stood to reason that consumption could go in two directions.
All three SpaceX ships and probes were designed with interchangeable components and subcomponents to make the likelihood of survival in Eden a greater possibility. Without knowing what sort of viruses and bacteria existed on the biologically rich moon, the biological crew would wear suits designed to isolate us when exploring the planetoid, outside of Grissom. The android crew had no such restrictions, and they would come and go from a different part of the ship, isolated from us, without having to go through exhaustive decontamination procedures.
The psychological training and evaluation package that became active and was responsible for teaching me expressed concerns that even a genius-level intellect I had been given through my genetic inheritance might not be enough. It prepared me intellectually for the possibility that I could be little more than a sperm donor who would impregnate my female crew. The AI sensed that biologicals born in Eden’s environment would be better able to cope with the life present than I would be.
I crawled from my zero-g sleeping bag, drifted to the sanitary facility to relieve the biological imperative, and looked in the mirror at my face and name tag, Elon.
** When you’re ok with naked strangers dancing in front of children but go apocalyptic when adults pray to God, you’re on the side of evil, and we’re done pretending differently.
** The war over rights – LOS ANGELES (AP) — The estate of George Carlin is suing the media company behind a fake hourlong comedy special that purportedly uses artificial intelligence to recreate the late standup comic’s style and material.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday asks that a judge order the podcast outlet Dudesy to take down the audio special immediately, “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead,” in which a synthesis of Carlin delivers commentary on current events. Carlin died in 2008.
Carlin’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, said in a statement that the work is “a poorly executed facsimile cobbled together by unscrupulous individuals to capitalize on the extraordinary goodwill my father established with his adoring fanbase.”
** Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life, the idea came to him of what he called ‘the love of your fate.’ Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, ‘This is what I need.’ It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge.
If you bring love to that moment–not discouragement–you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments that seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels like a negative crisis at the moment, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes. ~Joseph Campbell
(Book: Reflections on the Art of Living [ad] https://amzn.to/3U8IyvY)
** Army nurses returning to the United States in 1945 took the opportunity to sunbathe on the transport ship’s deck. Behind them, several of the crew pretend to work on a 40mm Bofors twin mount.
** I’m following the situation on the Texas border closely, as are many of you. I haven’t weighed in on this blog in a big way because it’s being covered well elsewhere and developing rapidly. It’s a knuckleball. Nobody knows where it’s going to end up.
** Communism is evil, not because it is collective. It is evil because it is evil: it is the sin of envy. Collectivism without envy is not evil. Monks in a monastery live as a collective, without money, without private property. But they put God before property, so they thrive. Communists want to be monks without being monks, worshipping an abstract concept of the proletariat or the Aryans. One’s sexual misbehavior becomes a tribal totem.
** A Gun with an airplane…Do you want to take a guess?
Identify the Armor