By Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ December 25, 2020
Standing on the shore at sunset in the last days of the year. My chosen time and place to say goodbye.
The winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is past and the traditional holidays originating in Europe are here. Such things evolve and merge over centuries marking the mental calendar of families and societies. It throws us a curve, another obscure reference, when we must leave the planet of our birth.
I still like the feel of winter arriving and the thought of trees and food and family time even if the geographic links are finally broken. My departure time is in an hour but how do you wrap up a lifetime extending back beyond thousand centuries?
But that is an intellectual escape. It’s my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles going back in my memory with our children and their spouses, grandchildren going forward factored by the new branches of our species’ tree. The kids would leave home but not change in form. Some never come back but this is different.
The offshore breeze carries the scent of new evergreen forests but nothing that would mark this shore as human. We have almost completed the dry land cleaning. We didn’t really do any of the work as our newest generation are still completing that and will be for several hundred years. Their view of a multicentury project is difficult to understand so we don’t. We somehow decided to just accept the species change and go on.
Flashes of light painted across the sky and the constant glitter of the low orbital planetary mesh in the growing dusk, are the signs of that work. Their management network both implements and records all changes with individuals and groups dedicated to hyperobjects rather than geographical regions that we understand. They are able to understand chaos when all we can do is look at incredibly detailed fractal images and sigh.
Like all aging parents, we had to accept our limitations and acknowledge the necessary transition to our offspring. We struggle to feel good about it as parents feel happiness and pride at the success of a child.
I can feel that pride but many cannot. Each generation is new with ideas, tools, and goals that disrupt their parent’s and grandparents. But for our long history on this planet, each generation was still baseline offspring of their parents. But we are the point of divergence. We did accomplish that or at least begin it and then had just enough maturity to let it go.
Many cannot accept this and refuse to acknowledge our non-biological and mixed heirs even though they have assumed control. We had to accept that to survive. The loss of three billion people with many of the cities in which they lived and the steady marginalization and loss of habitable regions left the survivors, us, with no options.
The anger is much more than the embarrassment of losing the parental facade of omnipotence. For some it is the inherent rejection and denial of change that has come to be such a plague crippling our species and helping trigger the destruction of our atmosphere.
There are others still clinging to old cultural patterns that deny large parts of our species and rejects the diversity of genders as wrong. The logical absurdity of those ideas makes no difference to them. But this is an old and well known problem that we have struggled to manage, with some success. by beginning to define people by attitude to change.
Funny how these things lead to other things that suddenly become possible as groups accept their attitude to change as their primary affiliation on a rapidly changing planet. That was an early break formalzing evolutionary attitude as constitutuencies rather than geographic origin. The was only possible on a fully networked planet.
The old geographies as nations could not be maintained on a planet of refugees searching for survival. Identity became borders rather than geographic borders locking in identity.
Fifty years of massive automated effort, and only some areas are clean. The oceans are difficult, but our children have that figured out. They will maintain the schedule estimated over the next few centuries. Trapping and neutralizing the planet-wide curse of plastic required we take a chance. Can it be done without killing everything?
But the heat and the programmed life forms that were designed may leave only a fraction of life on our planet in the oceans and the wild. Some will survive, and the restoration will begin naturally before the next century, but we have the DNA and all related coding to return all previous life when the time is right.
That will not be for us because we must leave. That is the price we pay for destroying our home. Many have already left, but there are many still to go. This is tied to the final ocean cleaning and the steadily increasing temperatures. It is just not healthy for us to stay.
Our children are asking us to hurry, so they have the freedom of the planet. They are always polite but must complete their tasks. They talk to us constantly, but the final question is always, why do you remain? We have built both identity habitats and open habitats in earth adjacent solar orbits so you can feel close to home.
We have millions of words in discussions of whether that is subtle humor, emotional ignorance of our AI offspring, naive well meaning, or a chilling indicator of disdain. That neatly defines our current contituencies with the later attitude linked directly to the trains taking select populations to death camps in the horrors of the mid 20th century. But the great majority know better but it is hard. We have always fooled ourselves so easily and we can no longer allow that to happen whatever happens to us.
At least our populations are stable. We could live here comfortably on our restored planet if we limit our numbers, but that is a decision for another two or three centuries. What will we want then?
There are many, and I am one, who are saying goodbye for good. The chains are now broken and our solar system is a massive resource though brutally unforgiving. Yet being able to hand off to our offspring who represent an evolutionary split, we think the first of many, opens the universe in ways that is only a dream to us now.
With the power and resources that our newest generations are providing, we can take our astroid habitats wherever we want. Potentially we can take them whereever we dream. But that is us and we are the old, dreamers and doers who cannot always tell the difference and confuse dreams with illusions. But for us they are very much the same.
Our children have much better control but see us, together, as the honored ancestral seers who enabled them. But, until we broke the evolutionary chains of our species and our inability to see beyond our own emotional world, we couldn’t save ourselves. But, yet, we did by enabling our children to evolve.
It’s time to go, my favorite niece just arrived to accompany me. She’s laughing at my cold hands and sad face. Why am I mopping on the beach? Everything is possible and we are not alone anymore. We are becoming an alliance of related species.
Happy New Year!