As the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel glimmers concerning our lockdown – thanks, scientists and vaccine team – my mind turns to what the future may bring us, and what role I may play in this dream.
It appears I am not the only one. The world’s richest science fiction fan, and indeed the world’s richest bod, one Jeff Bezos, is pulling back from his role at Amazon to devote his time to his space exploration company, Blue Origin.
If you want to know why Jeff is doing this and what he has planned for humanity, there’s an illuminating Blue Origin video which details his plans for our future over at https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Basically, it’s getting to the Moon, using the incredibly low gravity there to push out mineral resources for starships and orbital habitats, while treating the Moon as a refuelling station (converting the water trapped in the lunar ice into oxygen and rocket fuel).
I think there comes a time in every person’s life, normally when you push past 50, and you’re seeing your parents, aunts, and uncles shuffle off this mortal coil, that the Demon spectre of your mortality arrives and twerks its evil arse in your face, reminding you that your own time here is increasingly limited and there is more behind you than there is in front.
This is when you wonder what your legacy to the world might be. Your children? Your work? Your art? All your acts of kindness and contributions to society, such as they may be might? You imagine what your obituary will read.
In my Jackelian fantasy-scifi books there is an atheist religion without a god called ‘Circlism’. The basic premise is that there’s a Sea of Sentience, and each soul is cupped from this sea and poured into a body at birth. After death, your energy is returned to that sea, co-mingled, and poured out once more. The basic premise is that should be nice to everybody else… because you are everybody else.
It’s not that far from the hard scientific truth, given that in your body you contain a few atoms of Julius Caesar, Mitochondrial Eve, and statistically, almost everybody else who has ever lived before you. And you know what, so do I.
What goes around comes around.
Catch you next week (hopefully). And if not, don’t worry, we’ll be together soon enough.