Monday, November 2, 2009

Life After People - Humans vs. Nature

My exciting life involves going to Costco once a month to get some good bulk deals.  I always buy myself a treat while there.  Usually it's hot chocolate or raisin bread, but this week I saw the History Channel series "Life After People" for $20.  For those who don't know, I don't have cable.  My TV gets nothing but fuzz and so I generally am clueless as to what is available on TV to watch.  I didn't know about this series, but when I read the back of the box I knew it was something I would enjoy, as would Kevin, Lilly and Madeleine.  So, I bought it with high hopes.

After watching the first episode, I can say that I don't think I will be disappointed.  Many of the points they make are very thought provoking.  In the very first episode, they mentioned a vine in Texas that would take over if we were not here to keep it under control.  This vine is not indigenous to Texas but was brought over from Japan to be used as feed for the livestock.  This vine can grow up to one foot each day.  They are having so much trouble keeping it controlled now, during people, that should we just disappear it isn't hard to speculate that the vine would become the dominant vegetation in Texas.

This got me to thinking about just how smart we humans think we are.  We see something that looks like it could solve the problem of not being able to feed livestock and just bring it over without any thought.  Instead of thinking that perhaps we as a species may not need to eat so much meat and thus reduce the need for so much livestock, we figure out ways to keep up with out lifestyle and pat ourselves on the back about just how smart we are to come up with it.  But, now this vine is taking over.  It is doing what it has been designed to do through how ever many millions of years of evolution.  We humans consider ourselves an intelligent race, but one vine can bring down the destruction of what we build.  Weeds and water destroy our roads and we keep patching them up.  Humans are a mere blip on the evolutionary line while plants have been around for millions of years.  Who are we to think that we can outsmart them?

The force of nature is one that humans can never compete with, it will always win.  It may take years, decades, centuries or millenia but nature will win.  We can wipe ourselves off the face of the planet through a nuclear war, and life will still go on on the planet. 

There is a satellite orbiting the planet that contains the DNA sequences of Steven Hawking and a few other people of note*.  The idea behind this is that should something happen to us, the DNA sequences of these people will help any alien civilizations to understand or even rebuild the human race.  But, what this documentary shows is that this hypothetical alien civilization will need to find Earth fast because that satellite will enter the atmosphere and crash to the planet after we have been for for 150-300 years. 

All of our best efforts to ensure our survival as a species cannot compete with the forces of nature.  I say we embrace this fact!  Know that the human race, when it dies, is gone.  Know that we are doomed.  Then we can stop looking at what we will do to ensure our survival and start looking at how we are living today.  I would like to see the end of poverty and war more than I would like to know that when whatever is going to happen finally does happen humans will have left their mark.


This somehow involved NC Soft.  Their name and logo were on a piece of equipment during this segment.  They currently have a new MMOGRP out called Aion.  I have left World of Warcraft for Aion and I am never looking back.  Check it out and join in the fun!

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