Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Too Scary to Write About

Today's prompt has not yet arrived in my email. At last I looked it up. The question is What is too scary to write about?

This question falls at an interesting time. I just finished Calculating God by Robert Sawyer, and it did leave me afraid. I am afraid the world is ending. Maybe we have passed the tipping point in the changes we have made to our planet. Maybe the universe is quiet because someone or something removes intelligent life when it notices it. Maybe we are doomed, by our own unconsciousness to what we are doing, or by the malevolence of something out there.

What really scares me is the Drake equation. Those numbers seem to show so plausibly that there should be many worlds with intelligent life out there -- unless the span of civilization is very small. So if it is -- how does it end? What becomes of burgeoning technological civilizations -- why can we not see them? Are we and those like us inherently too much a danger to ourselves to last? Are we doomed? Is the sky empty of those who can look out and be conscious of its beauty? Or did some civilization make it beyond their own shores and now jealously guards against another civilization expanding?

In a short time, I will go back to doing what I can do, moment by moment. The fear does not help me do anything useful.

There it is, though. That is what scares me.

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