We live on a giant molten rock hurtling through space.
At this time, we do not have any control over the speed or direction of this rock, nor do we even have any significant degree of control over the rock’s inherent characteristics. We are able to live because the outer edge of the rock is no longer completely molten – it has formed both a crust and an atmosphere. In relative terms, our deepest oceans only represent a thin film of condensation on this rock, yet it is enough: it signifies the presence of liquid water – essential to life as we know it. And this rock is teeming with life.
But it’s a rock. A giant rock, to be sure. But it’s still just a rock.
Changes on the planetary scale, across geological epochs which dwarf our own brief history of existence, have given rise to systems and processes that favor life. Our species evolved and matured, developing more complex societies that claim to have established a semblance of civilization while establishing technology that helped us cope with, mitigate and – in some instances – tame these processes.
We have yet to develop to a sufficient technological level to control the processes essential to life: we can influence some of them to varying degrees, but we cannot control them. We are unable to effectively extend our reach beyond this rock – we can throw small objects, and have them return, but we have not yet developed the capacity to effectively reach out and grasp other resources within our celestial neighborhood. And we are unable to migrate, individually or en masse, to other rocks.
We are, in effect, stranded.
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