(Repost) Thoughts on Cassandra and me

For those who don’t know the story, Cassandra, in Greek mythology, was
a woman who had the gift of unerring prophesy, but the curse of never
being believed.

That’s how I feel.

Don’t believe me? Well, there’s the proof.

Shouldn’t that be the end of it?  I mean, if no one is ever going to
believe, or even understand me, why do I keep talking?

Beats me. Part of the curse, I guess.

My brother, with whom I seem to disagree on all things political,
recently suggested he was probably crazy to carry on debates with
anyone crazy enough to want to send pond scum to mars.

That was prompted, no doubt, by my expressed desire, and fervent hope,
that humanity might succeed, at some point, in successfully
terraforming another planet sufficiently well enough that we could
successfully get green algae to survive independently there.

His thinking probably went something like, “green algae?  That’s,
like, ‘pond scum.’  Who would want to send pond scum to another planet?”

Well, I would.  But the emphasis is not on what it is.  Rather it is
on being able to send it at all.

That, and its potential as a terraforming agent itself.

Nor should the destination seem important.  I’m not vested in mars.
Anywhere would be fine with me.  But, frankly, I see almost no other
place than mars that there’s realistically any chance of our (humans) ever successfully migrating.

But wouldn’t even that be, somehow, reassuring?  I mean if, like me, you
saw the threat that our species presents is not just to ourselves, but
to the entire life-force on earth, wouldn’t you agree?  If we, every
last living earthling, were not going to make it–if the only chance
of seeing any of our living brothers from earth survive was to send pond scum
to mars, and have it survive there–wouldn’t that be a good

Yeah,  I’d love to send pond scum to mars and have it survive on its
own.  But there aren’t any ponds on mars, so, as it stands at the
moment, it wouldn’t.  That’s how desperate our situation is.

To me, changing mars enough so that pond scum’s survival was possible,
would be enough of  “terraforming.”  That would be a wondrous and
heroic achievement for our species.

Cockroaches would even be better, for they require far greater
terraforming, and doing that much would show we were much further down
the path to the time when the terraforming process was complete in
the usual sense–i.e. to the point where even humans would be able to

But, as it stands now, there is virtually no hope of our ever being
able to get green algae (pond scum) off the planet.  Or anything else.

But the chances of our effects on the environment being so great a tragedy that this
beautiful planet becomes as hostile to all life as mars or Venus are now is
not so small.  Even far less well educated people than I routinely
imagine it.

How did the “more educated” get less imaginative?

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One Response to (Repost) Thoughts on Cassandra and me

  1. Fred Drake says:

    I believe my comment was “crazy enough to set himself afire in order to convince people to send pond scum to Mars “.

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