Thursday, March 2, 2017

Writing - On Wonder

Writing - On Wonder

We spent thousands of years looking up at stars. Naming them, calling them, creating stories around them and weaving myths. We promised them to one another, and dreamed, is anyone out there? We were hoping and wondering and imagining.

We're a species of a billion, and we're all alone. We're so lonely and we want to know it's not all cold silence out there. Endless and eternal in the dark. We want to talk to another species, another group, another people, another anything. We want to learn from them, and stop being the only people in the universe.

And our world...well our world isn't doing so well. We as a species are strange and diverse. We want different things. And there are people here that push the envelope at how to get those things. Some of those people are okay with blowing each other up. Some of those people are okay with making bigger weapons, scarier weapons, and the definition of people it's acceptable to use those weapons on gets wider. It scares us. It scares us because they don't care that we're alone.

It scares us that we realise in a hundred years, fifty years, we are going to all be dead.

We're all going to be dead, because they built the scariest of weapons and didn't care about using them on each other, on us, on ourselves.

And that if we are all dead, that even if there are other people out there, we are never going to get to meet them.

So we built robots. We built robots and gave them brains. We made them in our image, we pretended they were people. We told them to explore the dark for us. Because we couldn't. Because we need food, and water, and air. To send us back pictures, because we're so fond of seeing pictures of things we will never see. To tell us stories, to do research for us. To explore, to LIVE.

We gave them dreams. Our dreams. We gave them wheels, and rockets, and engines. We gave them lights, and life, and wonder. We told them to venture past what we knew. That they should find things we'd never seen before. That they should forever be the best of us.

Because back here, on our Earth? In fifty years? In a hundred years? We might not be around anymore. That the planet they were made on, won't be the same anymore. It might be empty, and quiet, like the space above our heads. That we might be all dead. But we built robots. With solar panels, and silicon brains. We built robots who take care of themselves, who repair themselves, who explore the stars for us.

We built robots in our image and have names. And if they do. In the long fading dark, if they do meet other people who come to them and say "Who were those people? What were they like? Why aren't they here anymore?"

Our robots, they can reply "They made us. They made us and they called us discovery, they called us explorer, and spirit, and curiosity, and opportunity. They must have thought that was important."

"And they wanted us to tell you, to tell you that even though they aren't here. That there those among them who did awful things...that they were also filled with wonder. Hello."

((A rewrite from another piece of writing I read by swanjolras))