RW132 - Earth Sciences

This week, Dan and John talk about:

  • John being sick and not wanting to throw up (Aging)
  • John not sleeping well (Sleep)
  • John’s neighbor being out with a flashlight (Neighborhood)
  • Listeners connecting with each other (Podcasting)
  • Walking with a marketing person (Currents)
  • Letter from John’s great-uncle Tom (Family)
  • John’s current situation (Depression)

Bonus-content for Patreon supporters:

The show title refers to some of John’s friends on Twitter who were not interested in politics in the past because they were Earth Scientists, but all of a sudden they start being political.

John was reflecting on all the different ways that a life can go, all the sort of Thanksgivings that were happening all at once, some of them sad or sad and unhappy, but there were some that were amazing and marvelous where people all came together who hadn’t seen their aunt Betty in a long time. John’s Thanksgiving was kind of in the middle and then he had to go to the bathroom at the end of the day.

Draft version
The segments below are drafts that will be incorporated into the rest of the Wiki as time permits.

John being sick and not wanting to throw up (RW132)

John had a little bout of sickness, but he doesn’t let himself throw up. He keeps it inside like his emotions and lets it turn into Wolverines which means that he often feels bad for hours at a time. The reason is not that he doesn't like the feeling of throwing up, but he doesn't like the feeling of not being in control of his body processes and he is a violent thrower-upper because he doesn’t do it very often and when it finally does take him over, it turns him inside out.

He also does not like to go to sleep and will fight it like he is fighting a Wolverine until he absolutely cannot keep his eyes open another second. In the morning he doesn’t want to wake up with the same ferocity either. John loves sleep, he has no reason to fight it, he doesn’t have any nightmares, but he just fights it because: ”Fuck you, sleep!”, just like ”Fuck you, throwing up!” John knows that once you do it you are much better, but he just doesn’t want to.

John not sleeping well (RW132)

John didn’t sleep very much last night and who knows why. He was going to get up at 8am to take his daughter to school and at midnight he thought to himself that he was going to be able to get 8 solid hours of sleep. He turned the light off and laid down but at 2am he was still tossing and turning which wasn’t very good and so he did something for an hour until he was tired enough to go to sleep.

John’s neighbor being out with a flashlight (RW132)

Around 11:30pm last night when John was in his underwear walking around his house he heard a bang outside in the night and immediately went into his bang-in-the-night mode. The first step is to turn all the lights off to get his eyes to adjust to the dark. He looked out through the windows into the dark, wondering what is going on and saw a mysterious light across the street in front of his neighbor’s house that looked like somebody had their flashlight on on their phone, which was not normal.

John put on his go-out-into-the-autumn-night costume, a ninja thing with Habi boots except it is a robe, a sword and a Cowichan hat. He went out into the night, but without the sword because he can do it with his mind bullets (see title of RL38). John walked toward his neighbor’s house and halfway across the street he said ”What the hell is going on over here?” and all he could see was the light. He didn’t see any person but then he heard his neighbor’s voice saying ”Oh, hello! It’s big Mike!” - ”What are you doing in the middle of the night, looking at your own house with a flashlight?” - ”I bought an extra security camera, it arrived today on Amazon and I was putting it up” Okay, problem solved, but for a minute John thought that there was going to be some excitement and he was going to have to go into some kind of combat posture.

People don’t want to fight a naked person or a guy in a robe with his bare ankles sticking out, it is just another one of the many ways of inhibiting violence. People don’t like a naked person and the robe could fly open in the wrong way and they could end up touching your pipi accidentally, which is not what a fight generally is supposed to be about. The only fights where touching your pipi is the number one thing are pretend fights.

Listeners connecting with each other (RW132)

Talking to their listeners breaks one of John’s cardinal rules of podcasting to not break the fourth wall, but earlier this year he asked their listeners to tweet them (see RW112) and got all these lovely tweets in return. Still there is no Road Work community where people interact with one another. For Roderick on the Line people are constantly trying to get something going. They will start a website, or they did that thing about (Roderick Revelations), they do memes and they are hoping they get other people on-board, but unfortunately people who listen to this type of show don’t want to talk to other people and don’t want to make friends with all the other weirdos.

John's new shows Omnibus and Friendly Fire both have Facebook fan-groups where people interact with each other, compare notes, and share their experience, strength and hope. Those communities are interesting for somebody who is producing content and John will go over there and read what people say. They are not just tweeting things or emailing him, but they are commenting on one another. There is no such thing for Roadwork and whether it is the nature of this show or what, but people seem to be very siloed in their enjoyment of this program and stay in their bubble. The After Dark thing (Patreon Bonus Content) they have been doing lately is very enjoyable to John and to the people who are there, but getting people to cross a paywall is a hard sell and a pain in the ass. There is no way for them to know what they are missing either, which might alienate them further.

John wishes they had a Facebook group where people could talk about stuff, but the problem is that Facebook is an awful place and the only reason John goes there is to look at those fan groups that are natural message board-y kind of environments like the message boards of old. It is very hard to manage whether or not to be on Facebook or Instagram because it feels like you are contributing to bad things in the world. Why am I giving the people who are profiting from it this amount of energy? John does not profit from his Instagram, but Instagram is somehow profiting by selling freaking advertisements on it.

Walking with a marketing person (RW132)

When John was in New York City recently, he had an interesting walk-and-talk with an advertising guy. It felt like Hollywood because the guy had to take his daughter in and he wanted John to walk with him, so they walked from his office at 55th and 6th to Grand Central station. It was a cold night on a holiday, but the sidewalks were crowded and they were walking and talking, bobbing and weaving through all the normal Americans who were trying to get things done. The guy was trying to catch his train to Rye, the richest ZIP code in America, and he was trying to pitch John on the overall vibe of his company and what they do.

John has known a lot of marketing people in his life and he was really struck by the fact that marketing people are just like low level computer programmers: They are a kind and when you get up to a high level they are that same kind, only higher. Marketing people are always the same kind, whether they are just starting out or are the president of the company. They are marketing people all the way down.

Letter from John’s great-uncle Tom (RW132)

Someone sent John a letter that was written in 1918 by John’s great-uncle Tom Roderick, John’s grandfather’s brother. He was a captain in the infantry and wrote a letter to their family saying that their son had died under his command. He was sorry for their loss and he said some nice things about their son who had been a great soldier and his right-hand man. Tom Roderick stayed in the army after World War I, became a general on Eisenhower’s staff and served in the North African Campaign during World War II where he died in 1944 of meningitis or something. His name was Thomas Edison Roderick (grave).

John knew his grand-uncle Al Rochester really intimately and he was like a grandfather to him growing up until he died in the 1980s. He was a larger-than-life figure in their family, a former Seattle City Council man and a keeper of the flame, but John never met any of the other Rodericks, his maybe four grand-uncles. John didn't know anything about his grand-uncle Tom until this interesting person on the Internet who had this letter in their family for 100 years that they always cherished because it is such a nice letter, realized that maybe John knows this person. This letter is the only thing John knows about his grand-uncle. They also sent a couple of letters that his relative had sent home about the fighting they were doing.

Now John has a couple of letters from this young soldier Harry Bursan, home to his family in New Britain, Connecticut, writing from the trenches about his experiences saying ”We just got done with the battle, I am sitting next to a dead German right now, but I am not worried about it because there are dead soldiers all around me. The Red Cross just brought us cigarettes and candy”, that kind of thing.

He is saying in that cheery 1918-voice that he cannot lift his head up or he will get it shot off, but anyway, how is mom? A couple of times he said that he will also write grandmother a letter in Jewish, he must have meant Yiddish, but it is probably just a colloquialism of the jews of that time who had been in America for a while and just referred to their language as Jewish. John’s uncle Tom wrote them that Mr Busan, who was a sergeant, had been a great aid to him, had gone with him on many adventures and was someone he greatly admired. He was killed instantly by a 77mm shell.

John’s grandfather David Morgan Roderick, the older of the two, was also an officer in the army in World War I but there was never any real reference to his brother Tom in his papers. John has no idea whether the two brothers ever ran into each other during the war. You would think they were all there together, but John doesn’t know what their relationship was like. Uncle Tom is buried in Arlington on the national cemetery, where all of the soldiers and heroes are buried, together with his spouse Gertrude Sidway. John assumed that they were somewhat strict about who was buried there. He is trying to take it all in.

John’s current situation (RW132)

John is a bit all over the place right now, partly because he is not 100% sure why he would describe this as a difficult time in his life and why he is struggling. Dan says that this seems to be the consensus right now for a lot of people. There were long stretches of time in Dan’s life where things just were. He had a job to do and he went to the thing, but something is different now and Dan doesn’t know what it is either. It is an epidemic of some kind. John feels very estranged from people and from the world at large. He doesn’t feel it is a friendly world, and he doesn’t feel connected to it in the ways that he wishes he were.

There are so many commentators out there on life, love and friendship and everybody got a fucking theory. There are groups of people who have longstanding friendships, who are paired off, who have dinner with one another, but they are also friends with other couples to go on ski vacations together. They are normal people who live in communities where they know their neighbors or their best friends from college. Some of that intimacy protects them from the world when the world gets ugly and when they decide to shut the blinds on the outside world it doesn’t really affect their day-to-day because they are getting a lot of their energy from their intimates and the people close to them.

John used to get a lot of intimate energy from interacting with the larger world. Even his close friends were people he knew in the wider world and a lot of their interactions were public, a lot of his friendships were with other entertainers, and although they spent a lot of time in private they would also take their relationship on stage. Every time they would communicate online it would be a public performance in a way. Every time John would watch them perform he would feel intimacy with them in that way.

Feeling estranged from his friends

Now that the public world is in shambles and the outside world is a wreck, John cannot pull the blinds on it because his closest friends are not immediately around him, but they are all out there in the world struggling. Most of them aren’t retreating, but they are virtue-signaling like crazy on Twitter, hoping that people won’t yell at them about something, they are desperately trying to stay relevant and stay on top of whatever the latest concern or outrage is motivating people to get up in the morning and have anxiety attacks on the Internet.

John does not feel intimate with them when they do that, but he feels even more estranged when watching them perform these contortions. He can't talk to them about it side-bar either, like write them and say ”Wow, you really were up in arms about a thing I know for a fact you don’t really care about and you were performing for what you perceive to be a world that is waiting in the wings to judge you harshly if you don’t say the right thing” Everybody in the contemporary world is super-terrified of being called out as a fraud or as not actually that freaked out about it, because if you are not freaked out about it you love Hitler.

The radicalization that has happened through the process of trying to project virtue in their online-lives so that they aren’t piled on has created a distance between John and a lot of people he loves. Five years ago they were all having super-fun, making weird sideways-jokes on Twitter, but now they either can not make any jokes or their jokes are super-careful and super-monitored. They spend three quarters of their time retweeting political blogs and expressing outrage about things happening in some Oklahoma school district. None of that is native to them, it is not natural, it is not what they are here on Earth to do, they are suffering at feeling forced to do it because it is their duty to be yelling about an Oklahoma school district event because if they don’t they are complicit in their silence and all this Dr Zhivago level of indoctrination.

Little by little John draws the blinds, almost as a form of self-preservation, losing his connections and his friends. Five years ago they all sat around, going like ”Can you believe this? Look at this letter I just got!” and it would be some letter in that school or that family and they would all just roll their eyes and go ”What’s going on?” Everybody had to make their own peace with that and a lot of people made their peace by deciding that if you can’t beat them, join them! Those aren’t their convictions but there is almost a hysterical energy in order to project that these really are their convictions.

John feels lonely, he feels separated and although he knows this can’t last forever he doesn’t see a path in the short term. A lot of his friendships are going by the wayside and it has certainly affected his professional relationships with people. It has even affected his desire of being a public person. Once you are on that horse and you are choking at the range, you feel like you are pot-committed to see it through, which is a bit of a mixed metaphor, like you are playing poker on a Bucking Bronco.

Wanting to write essays

John walks around, picks stuff up off a table, looks at it and puts it down, walks over somewhere else, absently wandering around, asking himself what he is here for. He composes essays in his head about various topics all day long that he would never write, because he couldn’t publish them, and then he chastises himself for not being brave enough to write and publish the essays that he thinks would solve the world’s problems. If only it wouldn’t mean that he would be in Twitter-jail for the rest of his life!

John thought of himself as that kind of essayist when he was growing up. It was during a time when you would get your essay published in the newspaper and all people could do if they were mad was write letters to the newspaper. They couldn’t shame you to death behind their egg-avatar anonymity! John has all the thoughts, he writes the essays in his head and he imagines the response to them, but that isn’t going to help him being a better dad, being a better normal person, or waking up in the morning.

That article John wrote about Punk Rock in 2013 still haunts him because every time somebody finds it they publish it again. Some 50-year old Punk Rocker saw it the other day and said "This really pissed me off, but you got to admit, he has got a lot of good points” He published it on his Facebook page and tagged John, so every time John went on Facebook there were 75 comments under this guy’s post from all his old Punk Rock buddies, like ”This guy doesn’t know shit! What a dumb-ass!” and more intelligently worded versions of that. John is too sensitive for being called a dumb-ass 50 times for something he meant as a humor-piece. John thinks about writing all those essays about contemporary life but he doesn’t want to wake up to 50 new angry tweets every morning.

His friends have the same motivation, but - in lack of a better word - they drank the Kool Aid. John doesn’t want to be contemptuous of them and of their politics, but he is a little. Many of them were never interested in politics! It is not that they are dumb people who all of a sudden got radicalized, but they are smart people who were interested in stand-up comedy or in literature or they were Earth Scientists, or whatever it was.

They have taken their political cues from people they follow on the Internet or they are Twitter radicals who have gotten politics 140 characters at a time with links to outrageous events and hot-takes from commentators. It is clear which side you are supposed to be on, how you are supposed to respond to these things, and how indignant you are supposed to be about small things and large. John is not talking about Trump, but perceptions of the world behind the world, the meaning of things, the significance of small things and the truth behind the curtain, not conspiracy stuff, but theoretical stuff:

A world of ideas

Why is the world like it is? Because it is controlled by people who are like this and we need to break those systems in order to be free. The people will rise up and be free by the power of their unified conviction that things are unfair and: Justice! Those are notions, theories and ideas that are untestable and unprovable. You can’t hold justice in your hand any more than you can hold gravity in your hand. We talk about gravity all the time like we know what it is, but we don’t know what it is although we know what it does and we can see its effects.

The same is true of justice: What is it exactly? You know it when you feel it! A lot of that is ”put a name to a feeling” and then you walk across the street, point at the name and say ”That’s what it is!” If there wasn’t a name for justice, you could take what we nowadays think of as justice, split it into 10 different feelings and call each one by a separate name. It is a thought technology, a human invention. There is no guarantee of justice, there is no justice in nature! It is entirely a product of our emotional lives and our senses, which is true of a lot of things.

Much of the world today is constructed around theories that produced theories and those got turned into adages or mantras. The initial brilliance of Marx was that he perceived history through a brand-new lens and you could interpret almost any political event through his idea that there were owners and workers in an eternal struggle. This was brand-new at the time! Before that we were trying to discover what the nature of man was, whether there was good and evil, and where consciousness came from. All of a sudden Marx dropped this bomb on the world that was an extremely interesting idea, but even that were just some thoughts that a guy had, a way of seeing, like ”Wait a minute, have you ever looked at it this way?” - ”Yeah, right! That is a great way of putting it!”

Marx laid it out as a prescription or as a system and John would do it in the same way if he were writing essays about his thoughts. Here is what this means and here is how you would order the world differently now that we have this insight. But that insight is incomplete because you can’t have a theory that encompasses all human interactions! Every single thing is not a constant struggle between a have and a have-not, that is not how power works or dynamics work, the world is just far too complicated.

John doesn’t mean that to say that Marxism is super-true, but it doesn’t account for all the fringe cases and it is a theory of interaction, not a true description of the world any more than anything else. As soon as it got written down as a set of rules, all of a sudden it started to feel like it was a system that would resolve all these problems if we just adhered to it.

If you were a perfect Christian and everyone else was a perfect Christian, the presumption is that this would solve all of our problems. It wouldn’t, and not just because we can’t all be perfect Christians, but there is always going to be one person who doesn’t want to be. How do you have a system that includes the fact that 50% of the people don’t agree? You can’t, you would have to force them, either by baptizing them in blood or by putting them in prison, or are we going to free the half of the population that lives in chains by putting the other half of the population in chains?

150 years later the history behind those ideas and the super-convenient failure to acknowledge the dark history of those ideas gives them an added degree of power: They still feel new, it is just like Ska music: Every year a new generation of 15-year olds discovers Ska for the first time, which is the most amazing music ever, why isn’t everyone listening to Ska? It is the same with Ayn Rand and with Marx: Every year a new generation acts like no-one has ever seen this before and thinks these are simple solutions to complicated problems and why don’t we just get onboard?

That stuff has now been through several filters and when you tell people that the world dynamic is between the rich power people and the poor masses, it sure seems right. There are rich powerful people and there are a lot of poor people. Marx’s insight is what makes it so effective. It is true! But along the way it gets perverted in small and big ways and it becomes the only way you can perceive dynamics of all shapes and sizes. Any time two people are interacting, there is a way to look at it as an interaction between one person who has more power and is therefore the oppressor.

You could make a critique of any conversation according to those terms, like the one between John and Dan right now: They are talking and there are people listening to it. It is easy to make critiques, it is easy to get a foundation in one of those systems of thought and then feel like you nailed it and understand it completely and you are empowered to go out and start making critiques of things. Twitter allows these to become conventional wisdom and people read these critiques applied enough ways until it feels like this is how we think on the Left, as if we made this kind of critique based on this shared knowledge that we know to be true. But it isn’t true! It is not false, necessarily, but it is not true!

Each particular instance requires the respect of taking it on its own terms. Power is flexible and malleable! A rich person is not always immune and 100% in power all the time and a poor person is not always a victim. Even during the same interaction power can switch and change from beginning to end, it is not immutable. We do ourselves and the world a disservice if we put it all into this function machine. Instead we have to question it and shine a light on it. Before we repeat it we have to internalize it first so it doesn’t feel like parroting, but like something that it belongs to us, either as an original thought or a thing that was said by other people we respect that comports with our community standards and also feels true to us.

What is your plan?

All these smart people who were not political before and who now are very political are not conscious of the fact that they don’t understand the system they espousing and they haven’t thought it all the way through to what their end game is. What is the plan exactly? What does a perfect world look like to you? Who is out of power and how do you accomplish that? How do put the people you don’t like but who you perceive to be in power out of power? How do you do it, practically? Kill them? Arrest them? Arrest them how? Who are the cops? What is the legal system? What is the law they broke and who made that law? Did the people who are in power make that law and does that invalidate that law? Do we go right back to the very first law and start re-adjudicating them all based on who made them, based on the fact that they maybe were made in a cauldron of power-imbalance? Do we imply dialectical materialism to everything, past and future? How do you accomplish what you are trying to accomplish, if you aren’t just complaining?

John knows what his opponents are trying to do and what their end game is, but what is ours? What is yours? If you are talking about politics all day, if you are prepared to sit and be smug about justice, walk us through the process! As soon as you disallow the fact that 50% of the people in the country don’t agree with you, then you have abandoned democracy for sure! In the absence of democracy, then what is the plan? An enlightened autocracy or an enlightened oligarchy? Are the people who believe the same things as you do #thepeople and are the people who disagree with you #thebadies, the ones we can safely ignore?

Unfortunately there are people who express that kind of doubt and who also identify as members of groups that John would consider his political opponents or who identify as members of the cultural elite or who just identify as white dudes, or whatever it is that they identify with. In our current climate just their identity invalidates their ideas and by association it invalidates John’s ideas because one time he said something that was the same as this other person. They are a legitimate thinker somewhere, they are people who have opinions and are putting them out in the world, but they are the wrong opinions and John disagrees with these people, too, but: Guilt by association!

John is talking about Marxism in a way that isn’t laudatory and therefore he must be one of those aging Liberals who is becoming more and more conservative in response to the ascendant radicalism. John isn’t any more conservative than he ever was and he has watched radicals his whole life. He was one when he was young, as you would expect, and he read a lot of books and went to a lot of protests. He has a sense of what the thought technologies are and how you are obligated to walk yourself through your plan. The Democrats currently don’t have a plan and are 100% reactive to what the polls say is the fashionable cause. They are not projecting a future more concretely than just ”We are in favor of the disenfranchised”, which you should be doing 100%, but what is the plan?

Meanwhile the conservatives have done a great job of doing small ball groundwork stuff: Redistricting, spreading paranoia in churches, going where people are, going to gun ranges or Facebook, even, doing the easy work, which is making people feel scared. It is the simplest thing in the world to do! Put little shit places and make people feel scared, put little flyers around that say ”Did you know that your water has fluoride in it? It is killing your children!” That takes nothing, it takes no imagination and it is super-effective. The Left needs to have more imagination, but instead they have even less. They are putting flyers around ”Fluoride? Have you heard about it? Is it good or bad? Answer our poll!” What?

We always used to think that education was the solution. The Liberal American ideal is that education is the solution, but the situation right now is a product of lazy education. There are more college graduates in America now than have ever been at any point in time, so you can’t point and say that we need more education. We need better education, but nobody knows what that means, nobody is prepared to make the hard call, which is that better education means more concentrated education. It doesn’t mean diffuse education, it doesn’t mean 40 colleges in the city of San Francisco, but it means fewer colleges and more acknowledgement that education is a thing that requires discipline and you cannot make 200 million political scientists and expect politics to be comprehensible. Politics is a job, it is a profession, a life’s pursuit, just as electrical engineering is not a thing we expect to be crowdsourced.

Trying to control our language

John got an email from a 22-year old Earth Sciences major telling John what words he can use, based on hearing him on a podcast. He had that smug certitude of ”We don’t use these words anymore” - ”Oh, we don’t, do we? Are you a biology major?” He said that we don’t use the word ”lame” anymore, even though no-one has used the word lame to describe a disabled person since 1910. You describe a horse as lame, but that might offend the horse! You would not ask anybody ”How long have you been lame?”, which is a thing that John’s grandfather would have said, it would have been a valid question in 1910 and it would not have been offensive.

This kid didn’t come up with that himself. He has the right to say whatever he wants, but he has no way of enforcing his ideology other than through social media shaming, which requires that more people agree with him than who agree with John. It is the ultimate democratic side of this social media universe. In the past, no-one in the world would take a 22-year old Earth Sciences major seriously on the topic of anything, even Earth Sciences, because that person has not yet earned the right to speak on any topic. When he is 35, maybe the Earth Sciences community will feel like he has paid his dues. He has no authority in the world of how language is used. He is parenting a thing that he heard. Someone up the line came up with the idea that this is a thing that we don’t do anymore, guaranteed not a disabled person, but a virtue-signaling young theorist who based that idea on the work of people who came before.

There are some words that we don’t say anymore, like retard or fag. Those were common words 10 years ago but we don’t say them now. We successfully eliminated those words from the lexicon and some people went kicking and screaming. It took a long time to convince people who said ”When I say fag, I don’t talk about gay people, but I am talking about that guy! He’s being a fag!” - ”Yeah, but we don’t do that anymore”, it is not fine, so much so that even John saying it on the show in this context is singing some people’s ears. They were recording an episode of Friendly Fire where one of the characters in the movie used the N-word. Discussing their use of it, John used it and one of his co-hosts brought the show to a screeching halt and said it is not okay to use that word even quoting someone else. You cannot speak it, it cannot pass your lips, just like a Hebrew saying the word God out loud: It is verboten 100%!

Eliminating those words from common parlance was based on earlier work where people theorized that words had power in which they were imbued with oppression and authority, with power beyond their descriptive power, because they were coined or used by oppressors and their mere use victimized people. The idea of sticks and stones may break our bones is invalidated, because you cannot fight language. Language is the primary instrument of consciousness. The people who were doing this work in the 1960s, the Noam Chomskys and the Derridas, came up with linguistic theories how language shaped the world, more so even than work.

Those theories became very powerful, which turned into subsequent theories which turned into rules which turned into laws. It all tumbles down the mountain until it arrives on this kid’s desk. He listened to a show and heard John say ”That guy is lame!” and this is his moment as the revolutionary and he is going to correct this. John using this word is perpetuating a power-imbalance between able-bodied and disabled people and he can justify it 1000 ways. He hasn’t worked through the fact that if you want to get down into language that way, you have to reinvent it. You could find some evidence that the root of 40% of the words in the whole dictionary, maybe more, have problematic qualities.


What is the end game of protecting people? Is it possible to accomplish a world in which no-one’s feelings are hurt? Is it possible to accomplish a world in which everyone is perfectly equal and there is no ”want”? If you roll your eyes at that question and say that this is not what you are trying to do, but you are trying to do some medium ground work where we make the world better, not perfect, then you have to work out where the line is where you stop. Is that clear? Is that a line we all agree on? At what point is the world fair enough? At what point is there enough justice? At what point are the imbalances redressed enough?

John is not saying that there is or isn’t a place, he is not saying whether that hasn’t become the human mission. The human mission is no longer to explore space or to cure disease, but it is to make everything fair. Frankly, that will not last, because that is not enough of a mission for us. We are capable of bigger things than making the world fair, because making the world fair doesn’t produce much and it is not possible, because all you have to do is hand the clicker to somebody on the couch. It doesn’t matter who they were before, but now they are the one with the clicker and now they become an asshole. You can be in a room full of adults and hand the clicker to a 4-year old and all of a sudden the 4-year old is driving the ship and the 4-year old is a monster.

There is no virtuous nature of mankind where anyone is ever satisfied with their lot, it is just not how we are. If you took all the money in the world and spread it equally among everyone, someone would immediately find a way to get the money out of their neighbor’s hands. They don't need to be a schemer, but they felt they deserved a little extra because they were lame.


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