ET phone home. or just get up off of that damn couch!

May 13, 2007

In Nyack with dear ol' Major Mom... as my dad would say from the pulpit, "Hello to all you mothers out there!"

Thought of the Moment
Thoughts on one final Dangerous Idea: Geoffrey Miller thinks that Runaway Consumerism explains the Fermi Paradox, that maybe we've never been contacted by alien intelligences because they get very self-absorbed and lose some their drive and energy once their culture reaches a certain narcissistic point.

He points out
We don't seek reproductive success directly; we have always sought tasty foods, which tended to promote survival, and luscious mates, who tended to produce bright, healthy babies. Modern results: fast food and pornography.
(I wish I could google up this one article I read about researchers who made up a crude parody of a female fish, but sexed up... to a human it look nothing like a fish, but its oversized tailfin and waggling motion made it more attractive to the boy fishes than any girl fish could ever hope to be. That sometimes seems like a rich metaphorical landscape for our celebrity-obsessed culture.)

Miller then goes on to argue that the survivors will probably be fringe groups who combine "the family values of the religious right with the sustainability values of the Greenpeace left" (Heh, you know... that just reminded me of Heinlein's writing, especially Lazarus Long) who find the pop-culture abhorent. He further argues that this might already be happening with Christian and Moslem fundamentalists.

Video of the Moment

--OK... Likely (but cleverly) faked, and even secretly advertising for Ray Bans, but still... very goofy appealing. Wouldn't that be an odd superpower?

The irony, or appropriateness, of posting this kind of stuff right after that last bit about the Fermi Paradox explanation is not lost on me.