vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
The best stupid pun ever.

But I don’t want to stop there. There a few deeper and more mysterious applications of this. The Lamb slain at the foundation of the world as a type of evolution.

That said, another, biologically more, philosophically less cf. colonials: more* ambitious take on the Nth Men story.
(Also he has thought out giant spiders :O :O :O||||~)


*2014-08-21 EDIT: The more I think about it, the more I think Bogleech is right. This is better in every way: humane where MAM was profoundly misanthropic, humble where F&LM was arrogant and certain, hopeful even in death where MAM and F&LM are ambivalent. This is what science fiction ought to be.
vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
Imagine there were people on another planet very close by. The planet is about our size, has water, generally livable (unless we caught some awful disease or couldn't eat the food or something), and orbiting far, far away from a very bright pair of stars in a busy cluster.

We'd never see it with our telescopes.

We probably would not be visible to them either - they would see Sol, Jupiter, Proxima Centauri, the Oort Cloud, any stars between us and them, maybe they might infer there are other gas giants in this system. They might even make a mistake about the scale and think there could not be any small rocky planets in between because they'd get pulled apart by gravity or something - and thereby stop looking.

First contact would require that we already be capable of interstellar travel, just to get close enough to notice anything like what we'd be looking for. But why develop interstellar travel if we know of no destination? This very moment we are living the brutal unravelment of the naive notion that scientific advancement and technological mastery of the universe are self-evidently good things that will be pursued and promoted as such. There must be economic impetus to drive us to the stars.

An interstellar story must start with that impetus.

What could it be?
vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
So I got schmuck baited into TVTropes and ended up reading this again.

I can't help but think they're missing five important points they must communicate to keep people out:
  1. It is waste, garbage, filth.
  2. It is dirty and will make you sick if you come near it.
  3. The dirtiness will pass through most materials, so your only protection is the hundreds of man-heights of dirt burying it.
  4. It is dirty not because of demons that can be exorcised but dirty the way shit is dirty - physically.
  5. It is an inanimate substance that does not move or live, and therefore the danger it poses cannot be subdued by force of arms.
Without these points, I can only imagine someone trying to break into the place long after we're all dead, thinking it is some weapon to be wielded against others or a monster that can be defeated for glory and renown. Whatever triggers the eww-dirty-don't-touch part of the brain is good, whatever triggers the hey-enemy-fight-kill part of the brain is bad.

Some technical information following the main message as an addendum would help, in case the future finders really are at our or a higher tech level. If they can read the message at all, then surely they could figure out if something's meant to represent an atomic number and a star alignment (paired with a CE year which I'm sure anyone who can read the modern language being used would have encountered already).

All keeping in mind that being at our or a higher tech level does not imply that the "dirty garbage, not a demon or a monster" clarification would not be necessary.

There's still a taboo appeal, but I can't for the life of me think of how to word advice on how to handle the waste safely that won't be misinterpreted as a holy recitation or a Zen-like koan, or in a way that could lead to cargo cult safety equipment being used.

All the while I would avoid any non-linguistic cue that the stuff being described is underground. If people don't get the sign and are enticed to the area, but assume it's got something to do with the area itself and don't bother digging down, that's imperfect but non-horrible.

That all said, maybe Cass's comment about an "isolated dump site in a relatively unpleasant area" seems to be the best. Though perhaps the work in trying to build the perfect keep-out sign is worthwhile on its own.

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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