The Appliance of Science – a story in 100 words

Case notes. Planet #3, Star-System #495177230648683. Deep archaeological analyses indicate rapid evolution of intelligent primate species followed by sudden decline/disappearance. Unlike previous extinctions, appears self-inflicted. Evidence from widely-scattered artefacts suggests that the early social-cooperation instinct universal to all advanced species was – for reasons yet unclear – supplanted by an overwhelming urge to compete. This set individual against individual and group against group, leading to chronic over-consumption of resources. Undervalued and depleted natural-science investigation meant rear-guard efforts to shepherd/conserve environment too little, too late. Full contact with remaining species awaits detailed linguistic analysis but positive  signs observed in early encounters with ants and cockroaches.


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Image: The Taxman

7 thoughts on “The Appliance of Science – a story in 100 words

  1. Cockroaches were around some 50 million years before man, If I remember my facts right, Dave. Odds are, they will be around 50 million years after humanity has vacated the planet, assuming we don’t totally destroy it. Question is whether man’s survival instincts will click in in time to recognize that he is destroying himself, and everything else. I am not optimistic. But there is always room for hope. –Curt

    1. Indeed. Maybe we could take a few leaves out of the insect rulebook. Not often I quote the Bible but this bit could be relevant – perhaps with a little poetic interpretation:

      Go to the ant, you sluggard;
      consider its ways and be wise!
      It has no commander,
      no overseer or ruler,
      yet it stores its provisions in summer
      and gathers its food at harvest.
      How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
      When will you get up from your sleep?
      A little sleep, a little slumber,
      a little folding of the hands to rest—
      and poverty will come on you like a thief
      and scarcity like an armed man.

      1. I read an interesting story on a particular species of ants that makes their living raiding termite nests. The termites, of course, don’t like these large invaders and fight back, with bunches chowing down on a single ant. On their way back to the nest, the healthy ants stop ant pick off the termite and carry their wounded mate back to the nest, so it can heal and fight again another day. Pretty neat. –Curt

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