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The Perception of Humanity

I watch a lot of science fiction movies and TV shows and there’s a trend that I’ve noticed within this genera more then others, scifi writers tend to see Earth and humans as being bad/destructive/something to fear ect. This is of course fine with me as I happen to share the view that humanity is an awful species and should really be destroyed before they destroy Earth at the same time as destroying themselves.  It does make me wonder though what it is that makes scifi writers share a rather dim and similar view of humanity. Obviously you’ve got the shows like Stargate SG1 where people from Earth are running around saving the universe (from an enemy they’ve often pissed off or alerted the presence of humanity to said enemy) from whatever alien threat but there are a lot more that have little hits or obvious declarations that perhaps humanity isn’t all they think they are.

One of the shows I noticed this in was Lexx, the whole last season of Lexx was set on Earth. Earth was in the Dark Universe (as opposed to the Light Universe where season 1 opens) in the very darkest part of said Dark Universe. Earth was described by Stan as a “type 13 planet in its final stages” and was expected to be characterised by a  rush for scientific knowledge that will end in the catastrophic destruction of the planet. In fact when the afterlife planets are destroyed all the souls go off to Earth and Prince (the equivalent of Hades or a guardian of the underworld) has good fun encouraging it to self destruct. Basically we’re told Earth is a bad evil place with evil people that will destroy it’s self in one of a few different ways (war being the most likely).
Sanctuary is a Canadian show where abnormal beings are kept safe by Dr Helen Magnus in her Sanctuary, it includes all sorts of different beings some which are commonly seen in fiction like mermaids, vampires, witches, huge animals ect. while others had been made up specifically for the show. The basic premise behind the whole show is that if the general public where to find out these abnormal beings existed there would be lots of experimentation and exploitation. Toward the end of Sanctuary this does happen and the human military behaves exactly as predicted and starts a huge war. We’re not given a very nice look at humanity here either.
Both Doctor Who and Torchwood have elements of distrust of humanity in them. The first few episodes in which The Doctor is played by David Tennant he defeats an alien in order to save Earth, after he has fairly won the safety of Earth and the aliens plan to leave Earth shoots the retreating space ship. The Doctor then gives the Government that ordered the strike a lecture telling them that he’d sent the wrong message “I should’ve told them to run as fast as they can, run and hide because the monsters are coming. The human race.” Similarly Jack Harkness in Torchwood is shown to be completely  appalled by humanity at times, he’s far more likely to kill a threat then The Doctor but we do see times when he becomes angry with the exploration of aliens at the hands of human beings. He shuts down the fighting ring using wevals and the whole team becomes angered by the brutal treatment of an alien who is butchered alive (because it stays alive but keeps growing) in order to create cheap meat.
Warehouse 13 is a show in which a team of people go around the world collecting artifacts which cause rather nasty things to happen and the ‘good’ ones that the show explores come with bad down sides. Again here we see the need to protect these powerful things because humanity is far too likely to misuse them and there are a few characters who do try to kill people or end the world with these artifacts.

I’m sure if I really stopped to think about it a bit deeper I would be able to think of more, Blakes 7 comes to mind as does Battlestar Galactica and The X Files, however I think I’ve made my point. I wonder what it is about the scifi genera that makes this perception of humanity so common, is it the culture or are people who are drawn to scifi more likely to see the bad effects humanity has? Perhaps its because scifi writers are always looking forward that they’re better able to see that humanity has systematically gone about destroying lots of things especially those which it is fearful of. As I say I tend to agree with this view, I hardly see humanity making friends with aliens, in fact when I did get up to the episodes in which Lexx finds Earth I was all for letting Lexx eat/blow up Earth (primarily to save the rest of the universe) but because I’m interested in thought patterns and beliefs I find this topic very interesting.

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Our Own Worse Enemy

This is actually going to be a bit more light hearted then my other blogs but I do still believe that this topic is philosophical in nature, no matter how skewed people may think this hypothetical may actually be. I’m a fan of many scifi shows and I’m currently watching one of my more favored ones Stargate SG 1. So I believe 100% that somewhere in the universe (which is so big that we can’t even comprehend the size of the universe) aliens are out there. No matter what anyone says about statistics or whatever other arguments there are against the idea of aliens existing, I’m still sure that in a universe so big it’s not only pointless but it’s also statistically impossible that there is no more intelligent life out there.

As I sit here watching Stargate it occurs to me again (this is something I think about often) that we’ve really done a good job of telling aliens how not to invade us. It’s true that our signals don’t go very far but for all we know something could be sitting out there watching our TV shows and movies working out how best to attack Earth. I realise this sounds a bit far fetched and I’m not saying it’s true however I do find the concept fun to think about, the same way we think it’s fun to make a movie about similar concepts. So anyway it occurs to me that the other thing that could happen is again ship sitting up there watching and they could decide that human beings are far too dangerous to let out of planet Earth…after all in most of our shows we display the fact that human beings are cruel, hateful and destructive but worse still we’re very bossy. In most exploration type scifi shows we get out into the universe and we start policing the place the same way we do in our world, they might decide that it’s a much better idea to ensure we can’t leave our own solar system.

So anyway just a light hearted topic that’s fun to think about, I have no doubt that aliens exist as I’ve said before it’s pretty impossible for them not to so I do enjoy thinking about the various ways that we could all interact together. It would be quite funny to think that there’s a massive space ship sitting up there watching our movies, TV shows and the like and learning how humans would react to invasions of different types.

Humankind is Egotistical

Yep I believe this with my whole being, humankind as a species is incredibly egotistical. I arrived at this conclusion long ago there where so many things that just seemed to be stupid that humankind declares, things like we where made in God’s image or animals are not as important as us or someone is inferior because of the colour of their skin ect. There are two main things that really stand out to me and I find it very frustrating that there are so many people who seem incapable of seeing what I see so clearly.

The first thing that really bugs me is the insane notion that we are alone in this absolutely massive Universe, the idea that in a place so big (to the point that we’re unable to comprehend how big it actually is) that we could possibly be alone is just stupid. Every single star in the sky is a sun with it’s own planets and moons and atmospheres ect. and that’s only in our galaxy, you then think about the amount of galaxies that are out there and the amount of suns, planets, moons, atmospheres ect. it’s just impossible for us to be alone. I’m not saying that there’s little green men running around on Mars, it’s actually highly unlikely for intelligent life to be so close to us but given the vastness of space it’s impossible that there is no other intelligent life. I also think that it’s more or less unlikely that all other intelligent life will look like us(humanoid in appearance). There’s so many other types of life and the potential types of life that could be around which is just beyond our imagination and comprehension, just because a human being is unable to survive in a gas environment doesn’t mean that something non-human is unable to. While I do have my fair share of strange dreams a psychological problems I can assure you that I’m not a raving loon or conspiracy nut I just logically can’t see how we could be alone in such a large space. To me it’s like saying you’re the only person in the world, it’s just not logically possible regardless of what we have or have not been able to find.

The second thing is the idea of a food chain, which has a top and a bottom of which we as human beings are on top of. This is biologically impossible and it’s scientifically proven that there are plenty of things that do in fact eat human beings, thus meaning that there is more of a food circle  then of a hierarchy. Again I just can’t see why there are so many people who don’t realise that we’re frightened of animals like crocodiles, lions, tigers, bears ect. because they attack and eat people. When you look at what a person is at a biological level you see that human beings are nothing more then really smart meat and thus we are in fact eatable. Looking a lot smaller, parasites, fungises, bacteria and viruses are continuously eating us in some form or another, when you get a tape worm or an infection or a viruses they are essentially eating the cells in our bodies in order to live and reproduce. Then when we die our bodies are eaten by all sorts of bugs and organisms again making us more or less meat/food, so how people can be under the deluded idea that we’re on the top of a food chain I don’t really understand.

The only explanation that I can think of for these two mass over sights and demented declarations is that human beings have a self absorbed egotistical view of themselves and their importance. Human beings are really not as ‘awesome’ as they seem to think they are, we’re not overly amazing and we’re not a whole lot better then other animals…what we are is rather smart and good at inventing ways to kill other things at a safe distance. If it was not for the fact that we can invent things to kill other things at a safe distance we’d be unable to survive in the wild, humans are in no other way overly special…so where this egotistical behavior comes from I really don’t understand at all.

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