Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Typical Mistake

From:  Orion Spur Civilisation Review
To: Earthlings
Re:  You've made a typical mistake

Greetings Earthlings,

We are a local pan-species research group looking at civilisations within the Orion Spur of the galactic structure.  We monitor over one hundred thousand civilisations across thousands of systems.  We are contacting you today to review your unfortunate situation.  Current estimates put the current human push to diaspora near the eightieth percentile for failure.

Unfortunately, an abnormally high number of civilisations fail at the stage you are likely about to fail at.  Your technological adolescence has given you dominion over the natural processes within your ecosystem, but you have failed to develop an adequate understanding of the consequences of your actions.  You've encouraged technological growth in order to satisfy basic animal needs for protection, procreation and comfort, without adequately accounting for their true costs.

Even though the data is very evidently in front of you, and becoming more obvious daily, your species' tendency towards wishful thinking over rational thought (and the fact that those beliefs often justify your immediate needs while injuring those out of sight), have put you in what we call a 'dead end'.

Typically, this plays out as a collapse of resources under the groaning weight of a ridiculous overpopulation.  Your species has, unfortunately, walked right into a classic 'dead end' scenario.  I/we estimate you have less than a century before your species undergoes a violent reduction in numbers at your own hands; 'a natural regulation of population to counter declining resources' is the technical terminology.  Your own species have undergone this cull in regional cases (Easter Island, your Roman Empire, among others), but this will be the first time it will happen on a global basis.

Evolutionary logic is quite clear: participating in a diaspora beyond your world is the logical goal of any species when they gain dominion over their local ecosystem.  If you overpopulate the only place in the cosmos you are able to reach, you will collapse within your own gravity well.  Your species' inability to grasp this simple truth, and instead squander your resource rich world on tribalism and personal comforts has resulted in a species particularly unsuited to the challenges of interstellar life.

I/we initially hoped for a stronger push towards sustained development and a rigorous, species-wide appreciation of the challenges of technological development.  Instead what we got was a few brilliant hairless apes coming up with very advanced technology and pushing it onto the rest of the population for their own gain.  The vast majority are more than happy to remain ignorant if it offers them an easy life.  They are even willing to ignore the disaster they are passing on to their own children in order to enjoy their ease.  The idea that people could benefit from technology without knowing anything about it (and therefore not being able to recognize its true cost) has buried your drive for the stars.

The problems with 'dead end' scenarios do not end with your (81.1% likely) immanent cull.  The damage caused to the ecosystem and the resource depletion of your initial failure make it exponentially harder for any future iterations your species' civilisation to achieve diaspora.  There are a number of civilisations we monitor that can offer little more than physical labour as their own innovative drive has been bred out of them by life in a resource depleted, depressed ecosystem.  These species are left to peter out, or are eventually tapped as a labour resource.  In either case, failing to develop your own species beyond your world puts you in a poor situation.

You won't ever experience an invasion, but interested parties monitor your world for your (increasingly immanent) failure, for their own benefit.  Dropping a heavy transport on your world to pick up docile, evolutionarily bankrupt humans will (likely) one day be your world's only export.

I've been observing your world since your 'great step forward', something now lost in your species' history.  It saddens me that a species that has created the arts and sciences you have in such a short time will flare out, but such is the nature of these brief bursts of light on the galactic rim.  Overcome by your own success, you will (likely) choke on your own lack of foresight.

I live in hope, but I fear for the future of my homo sapiens.

Please try and do better, time is of the essence.

Agralcabolac176, Hive-mind
Senior Research Associate