….in your heart,
What goes on in your mind,
You are tearing me apart,
When you treat me so unkind.
Tap tap. Is this thing on?
Recently, my commute has involved significantly less public transport and worse, less walking from the pool to the home office. Hence I am finding fewer opportunities to write here and my consumption of podcasts has increased.
A pleasant diversion from my usual Chem Trails, Pizzagate, lizard invasion podcast themes has included a couple of good astronomy channels.
I’ve heard some interesting discussions on the Drake Equation and Fermi’s Paradox, where the speakers have been wrestling with the juxtaposition of the magnitude of the number of possible life-bearing planets yet the deafening silence emanating from them.
So… possible scenarios;
- We’re alone
- We’re the only intelligent life
- Intelligent life is so incredibly rare we may never meet or even exist simultaneously
- We’re like animals in a zoo, observed by a vastly more advanced civilisation
There’s precedence in human history for scenario 4…. it is similar to how we treat the inhabitants of North Sentinel Island.
What a terrifying concept it would be to learn we are being watched by a civilisation that might solve our energy, health, longevity problem and perhaps remove many of our triggers for deadly conflicts…. yet they don’t lift a finger.
If you were a child on the North Sentinel Island, and at this very moment you became aware that in the same world you were living, there were hospitals, dentists, pain relief, cures for diseases that may have recently killed your family, education, warm clothes, supermarkets full of nourishing food, candy and Xboxes, etc, would you be happy with the alien zookeeper’s decision to keep you in the Stone Age on North Sentinel Island?
Let’s give the child a name, so we might think less abstractly; Sebastian.
How do you think Sebastian would feel once that knowledge of a safer, less precarious life was gained?
Hard to know, but I’m going to guess anger is up towards the top of Sebastian’s list.
And yet, here we are, leaving Sebastian to the mercy of situations we solved as a species hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of years ago.
But, of course, the North Sentilese are a unique case, right?
We generally prioritise the well-being of children in remote and isolated communities. It’s morally the right thing to do, if we know we can vastly improve their physical well-being and longevity.
Or, is it a lot more common than we’d like to admit?
It’s not completely comparable to the North Sentinelese, but it’s analogous.
In the meantime, a lot of airtime and Canberra hours (they’re like normal hours except they cost YOU money) are being expended on a campaign called The Voice from the Heart, which may culminate in a referendum laster this year.
What is the campaign lobbying for?
Ok. Any more detail on what legal form that might take, maybe what it means practically to aboriginal people or even the taxpayer?
If you can find something more, good luck.
In fact, one of the main members of the campaign has explicitly said we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the details.
Well, that’s ok then.
I will admit to two changes of opinion with this. Firstly, I was against it, because it looked like another lipstick on a pig solution that wouldn’t address the health and well-being of all the Sebastians living hundreds of miles from a modern hospital.
Then, after some discussion with a good friend who is close to the campaign, I thought “why not?”.
Now, I find myself wondering about Mary Kane and her son, Charles Foster. She knew she couldn’t provide for him on the farm and, once gold was discovered, she arranged for his education and well-being away from their remote community.
Perhaps we should use The Voice discussion to have a conversation about the morality of choosing not to bring Sebastian into town?