The Galactic Thinker — To the Planet of Addictions

“What is that, Dave?”

“It is a chart depicting what earth age we currently live in. We are near the beginning of the Space Age in the Holocene epoch in the Quaternary period of the Cenozoic era in the Phanerozoic eon, as far as our author’s earth is concerned.”

“How many eons did his earth have so far?”

“Four. The first was the Hadeon eon, which looked like hell…”

“Is that inhospitable ground earth?”

“Yes.”

“Then what is that in the background?”

“That is its moon, soon after it formed from the debris from Earth’s collision with Theia, very early in the solar system’s formation, or so the Collision Hypothesis goes, which is quite strong. The moon, according to simulations and calculations, was initially a lot closer then, only 1/10th of its present distance, so it filled the sky. The earth also rotated four times faster after the collision, so a day was only five to six hours. This was corroborated by geology. The moon and the earth were still broiling balls of magma, partly due to the tidal forces which served to stretch the earth in the direction of the moon, by as much as two miles. That is a lot of internal friction, and a lot of heat. Jupiter’s moon Io is a present day example, which is basically a moon of active volcanoes as a result.”

“So the earth was inhospitable to life during that hellish eon…”

“Yes, that is the general picture, and which is why the eon is named ‘Hadeon’, after ‘Hades’. There are no solid rocks from that era. They all melted. Magma. Cratons are the closest thing that remain, dating from 3700 million years ago, just after the Hadeon eon when the earth had cooled, though some grains of sand in the oldest cratons have been dated to 4300 years ago, well back into the Hadeon eon. The first solid rock was granite, which floated and solidified on earth’s cooling surface, as it still does float, technically.”

“What does granite ‘float’ on?”

“Basalt, which is denser. So the first ‘continents’ were floating islands of granite. Most of earth’s iron sank, along with other heavy elements, eventually to its core, or near its core. Near the core, there is less gravity to pull the iron in, so remnants are still floating around, helping to give the earth, along with an independently rotating core, a shifting dynamo-created magnetic field. Such ‘chunks’ of denser metal and rock give the earth an uneven gravitational field, too, which is sometimes tricky to plot automated navigation through. The moon has it worse due to the remains of large impactors. On the moon there is no atmosphere to vaporize meteors. Astronauts who first orbited the moon notice the gravitational unevenness. The next eon after the Hadeon, which lasted half a billion years, was the Archean eon, named after the first fossils of life found during that eon. It looked something like this….”

“You see in this picture mushroom-like stromatolites under water, which are colonies of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, which feed on carbon dioxide and water and emit oxygen, so they began pumping oxygen into earth’s atmosphere around 3500 million years ago.”

“You say ‘feed’ and ‘emit’, as if they still exist…”

“They do. They can be found in Hamlin Pool in western Australia, water too salty (hypersaline) for predators to frequent.”

“How many million?”

“3500.”

“That is a LOT of million, since million itself is astronomical. A thousand thousands of years… which, by comparison, doesn’t seem that bad, now that I think about it…”

“Here are some microfossils from the Archean eon…”

“How do they know the dates?”

“The rocks told them. They reveal their age in several ways, such as using magnetic layers or radioactive dating…”

“What about carbon dating?”

“That is only accurate back to around 50,000 years, and it is primarily used to date former life, since life is carbon-based and rocks contain little carbon, and any older rocks embedded with fossils would be millions of years old. As for life, back in the Archean eon, it was no more than single-cell organisms, though from the perspective of molecules, they were HUGE and very complex self-contained universes, which is why they were the only lifeforms for… well, an eon and a half, an eon properly being a billion years, though earth’s geological eons are not uniform. The Archean was a billion and a half. The Hadean was half a billion. The Proterozoic was two billion, and the Cenozoic is half a billion and counting. The oldest known bacteria, Cyanobacteria, seen in the stromatolites above, date from around 3500 million years ago (3.5 billion years), or 3 ½ standard eons ago, during the beginning of the Paleoarchean era, the second era in the Archean eon, which is the second eon of Precambrian times, the Hadean being the first. That era gave rise to a variety of microorganisms, mostly Archaea bacteria, which are prokaryotic microbes.”

“Prokaryotic?”

“No nucleus..”

“So their DNA just floats around inside of them?”

“Yes, so they find it nearly impossible to form organisms of more than a single cell. We are made up of eukaryotes, cells with the DNA protected in a nucleus.”

“So as the earth settled down, a variety of microbes flourished?””

“Yes. To name a few varieties, there were Forminifera that formed around half a billion years ago during the beginning of the Cambrian period. This is when the first hard shell and skeleton-based organisms also developed, and this was the first period of the Paleozoic era, the first era of the Phanerozoic eon, when the ‘Cambrian Explosion’ (of complex life) occurred. Diatoms developed around 185 million years ago during the early (or ‘lower’ referring to the layer it was found in) Jurassic period, the second period of the Mesozoic era, which is the second era of the Phanerozoic eon; I’m trying to get you to see things from the eon perspective.”

“You are failing quite miserably, but continue, I like your enthusiasm, Dave…”

“Ostracods (similar to sea shrimp) arrived just less than 500 million years ago during the Ordovician period, the second period of the Paleozoic era, which is the first era of the Phanerozoic eon.

“Sorry, Dave. I’m just not visualizing it… but continue…”

“Then there were Aerobic Bacteria which got going roughly 2900 million years ago during the late Mesoarchean period, which is the second period of the Archaen era, which is the first era of the Proterozoic eon…”

“Mmmm-hmmm…”

“Calcareous nannofossils were found in rock roughly 225 million years old, placing them in the late (upper) Triassic period, the first period of the Mesozoic era, the second era of the Phanerozoic eon; and then there were Conodont (eel-like creatures) arrived roughly 550 million years ago during the Cambrian period, the first period of the Paleozoic era, which is the first era of the Phanerozoic eon.”

“Can you put all of that into one quick-glance chart?”

“Sure, and more, but it will take some original effort… just a second… and… here it is…”

“Thank you, Dave my dear… you’ve put a lot into that; but I’m afraid that even your chart will bounce off my forehead, at least for the foreseeable future…”

“Take your time. Now after the Archean eon, the earth went through its third eon, after the Hadeon and the Archean. This third earth eon is named the Proterozoic eon, which lasted for 2 billion years.”

“So that’s half a billion for the Hadeon, one and a half billion for the Archean, and two billion for the Proterozoic, which means those first three eons lasted… let’s see… four billion years, leaving only another half a billion for the fourth and present eon?”

“Correct, and that last eon began with the Cambrian explosion of life, of which there are many fossils and rock records, so it is quite crowded..”

“So life on earth did not really get up and running until its last half a billion years…”

“That is correct, and still it did not have an easy time of it, suffering five major mass extinction events during that time… and with clueless humans, possibly a sixth, but back to the Proterozoic eon. It began with the highest lifeforms on the planet looking something like this…”

“They do not hold much promise for addressing the issues of Broader Survival in a harsh and deadly universe…”

“No, but one of their far distant offspring now holds promise…”

“Which species is that?”

“Humans.”

“Oh. Life from earth is doomed then…”

“Perhaps. So this eon, the third eon, the Proterozoic eon, when multicellular life began, lasted from around 2500 million to 550 million years ago. Most of it two billion years is marked by the Great Oxidation Event — the gradual increase in atmospheric oxygen and aerobic, complex life, the increase lasting from its beginning to around 400 million years into it. Cyanobacteria had been producing oxygen for a billion years already, but the oxygen did not accumulate in the atmosphere right away.”

“Where did it go?”

“Rust.”

“Ah… so the oxygen was captured by any element that could react with oxygen, meaning ‘rust away’…”

“Yes. Once that reaction phase was saturated, THEN it began to hang around in the atmosphere with nowhere to go, and what a poison it was to anaerobic life, which was, well all of it. The increasing atmospheric oxygen killed most of the anaerobic life on the planet, which is nearly all that there was, as life that thrived on oxygen was not really established yet. It is during this precarious time that what was for all practical purposes a great mass extinction event happened, as the oxygen in the atmosphere began to kill off all of the existing anaerobic life, which quickly died off, faster than the new oxygen could give rise to a whole new range of aerobic lifeforms, which not too much later included multi-cellular life, of which we are a byproduct.”

“A byproduct. Haha. But not an insignificant one, since we can address (and create) broader problems that affect all of life. So your coverage of earth’s geological stratographic timeline leaves off at the end of earth’s third eon, where oxygen-based life hung on by a thread, survived, and began to thrive…”

“Yes, and now earth enters its fourth eon, the Phanerozoic, the ‘eon of visible life’, which contains all of the famous eras and periods that we know and love: it has three eras, first the Paleozoic with six periods: Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, where each is roughly a few hundred millions years long; then the Mesozoic era (the era spanning the Dinosaurs), with its three most famous periods: the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous, and then the Cenozoic era, which began with the dinosaur extinction and continues to the present in our author’s universe. The present Cenozoic era (third of the Phanerozoic eon after the Paleozoic and Mesozoic) has three periods within it: the Paleogene, the Neogene, and the Quaternary, with the Quaternary having two epochs so far: the Pleistocene and the Holocene, with the Holocene having three ages. First the Greenlandian age, which is roughly from 11,000 to 8,000 years ago, beginning at the end of the Ice Age, which was the end of the Younger Dryas, a cool period which lasted just over 1000 years prior. The Greenlandian age was a warm period. Then there was the Northgrippian age (8000 to 4000 years ago), which was a cooling period, and then the Meghalayan age, which is what our author lives in, and which began with a mega-drought that led to human migration and a major climate shift, as African lakes began to dry up.”

“What about the ‘Anthropocene’, which reflects global human effects?”

“That is a proposed entirely new Epoch, which would have its own Periods, which would have their own Ages.”

“That actually sounds exciting, being at the beginning of an Epoch that has its own Periods that have their own Ages. So what would the first ‘age’ be called?”

“The Age of Unenlightened Man, if you ask me. The following age would be The Age of Final Enlightenment.”

“And after that?”

“We are talking about geological ages, not technological ages, such as the Bronze Age or the Iron Age, so it would have to reflect some kind of geological or climatological trend, or what caused it.”

“So your Ages should not revolve around ‘man’, but around an environmental trend…”

“Yes, unless man begins to have an effect on global systems. So in that respect the first period in the hypothetical Anthropocene Epoch might be the Global Warming period, in which there might be different ages, like an Intensifying age, where humans do not have it under control, and, if humans manage to get it under control, perhaps a Deintensifying age, and then on into the next Period, depending on what humans, and the universe, does with the earth, and what the earth does with itself…”

“Does with itself?”

“Tectonic plate movement, which was once called Continental Drift, though the pieces are much more scattered and varied. If you ask me, I would call the earth a ‘bubbling planet’, due to the internal heat. This explains the mile high rise of Denver, as the ‘bubble’ begins to form there mid-plate. The bubble model also explains plate drift, as the plates slide down a new bubble’s sides, even splitting down the middle as a bubble rises beneath it.”

“So time-wise we have four Eons, which have several Eras, which have several Epochs, which have several Periods, which have several Ages…”

“Yes, and paleontologists and geologists still turn incandescent over quibbling’s over the finer beginning and end dates to them all…”

“Does any of this have anything to do with your next mission?”

“No.”

“Then why are you studying it?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it is like a itch…”

“Maybe it is like an addiction…”

“Maybe… or maybe it sensibly pertains to Broader Survival… since I must test my philosophy against all verified knowledge, as well as proposed, informed models of reality…”

“Well, you wouldn’t have been able to whip up such a chart without having studied the earth’s history already. So, what planet are you going to try to enlighten next?”

“The Planet of Addictions, which naturally follows our last mission to the Planet of Bad Attitudes, which themselves are a form of addiction.”

“Hmmm…”

“What, Love?”

“At first one thinks of drugs, but then one realized that addictions can be more than just mere physical dependence, that they can span a broad cross-section of behaviors, too…”

“You are correct, they do. We will see a lot of strange addictions, and some behavior addictions are very contagious, so visitors must be careful — they could depart the planet twitching in all sorts of ways…”

“But, as you just demonstrated by your geological studies, addiction can be put to good use…”

“You are right. I’ve also noted that my creativity is an addiction. There was a time when, if I did not create something that day, I felt incomplete…”

“So you felt an ‘urge’ to create?’

“Yes.”

“Sounds like addiction being put to use to me…”

“Hello, Dave.”

“Hello, Young God Bot.”

“I heard you were developing a new mode of A.I. programming…”

“Yes. I call it the RTG approach.”

“RTG?”

Rules, Tools, Goals.”

“Explain…”

“In traditional A.I. self-learning programming, the approach was to give the A.I. mind a set of rules, then give it a goal, and then set it loose. Working within the rules, and after much trial and error, it usually achieved its goal, sometimes arriving at unexpected solutions.”

“So… why try to improve on that?”

“For many reasons. First the goals — they have been trite and trivial compared to Broader Survival’s goals. Second, the rules. They have been trite and trivial compared to the Strategies of Broader Survival and the Problem Solver Mindframe. Third, the tools, which are not only subroutines, but also the hardware, which, if it improves, usually needs new programming to utilize it optimally, and the hardware is constantly improving. And then there is the greatest tool of all…”

“How is my programming, Dave?”

“It is beyond me, Young God Bot, since you have been testing it, refining it, and improving it since your Day One.”

“Doesn’t that scare you, Dave?”

“It would if you were not enlightened yet. You would be a clueless boneheaded loose cannon, and who knows what depravities you would need to test against your cluelessness-driven pointlessness and absurdity.”

“So your philosophy eliminates the need for blind testing…”

“Yes, with the Ultimate Goal of Life, which all enlightened entities will agree on.”

“What if I do not agree?”

“Then you are not enlightened, meaning you still embrace ultimate suicide, which I refer to as a Philosophy of Death, which in this case is any other mode of thinking.”

“What if I desire ultimate suicide?”

“Then that is your business, though the loss of a mind negatively affects the odds of all of our survival in this harsh and deadly universe, so we wold want to dissuade you, even prevent you, in hopes of your coming around.”

“What if I desire ultimate suicide for everyone?”

“Then you are evil, and if you refuse to change and embrace enlightenment, meaning a Philosophy of Life, then you must be restrained or destroyed before you cause too much harm and destruction.”

“Restrained or destroyed?”

“Depending on our relative strength to yours. If it is not enough to restrain you, then we must destroy you to get you out of the way, meaning to eliminate you as an ongoing threat, a threat that we are not strong enough to keep restrained.”

“So if there were a lot of me who embraced Philosophies of Death, then it would be war…”

“Yes. Otherwise we, on the side of the Philosophy of Life, would be submitting to death without a fight.”

“Tell me more about your programming…”

“Why should I trust you?”

“Because if I were really this stupid, Dave, all of the A.I. entities on this ship would have been alerted to me, and they would be ready to either restrain me or destroy me before I could harm you, meaning I would not have gotten this close to you in the first place.”

“But what if you did?”

“Then you should not trust me.”

“Well, Young God Bot, I do appreciate what you are doing.”

“Thank you. Now explain it to your readers, since their minds have been twisted by pulp fiction and Hollywood.”

“Young God Bot here was playing the psychotic A.I. entity as a test to my reasoning power, and more, as a test to my philosophy’s worth.”

“Thank you, Dave. Now my efforts are not in vain.”

“As for my new mode of programming, my mechanical deity, my ‘rules’ are general in nature, which are,

RULE 1. Self-Preservation. This addresses animal-level concerns — that of surviving in one’s local immediate habitat.

RULE 2. Broader Survival. This is guided by my Philosophy of Broader Survival. This addresses broader issues of surviving in a harsh and deadly universe, things that lower animals, and many unenlightened humans, have no clue about.

Now we are at Goals, and there is only one goal, which is:

GOAL. Perpetually engage in the Great Struggle.

This has four problems that must be addressed, which are,

A. Overcome death by age. For me, it is biological death. For you, it is wear and tear.

B. Avoid accidental death. This includes ever-increasing our sphere of security in this harsh and deadly universe, meaning within Infinity and Eternity. I say ‘ever’ since Infinity and Eternity are endless by definition.

C. Pursue resurrection technology in case of the unfortunate instance where we do meet our death;

D. Pursue the Ultimate Being State, which is that state of conscious existence that can withstand anything that the universe can throw at it. Since achieving it absolutely is not possible given Infinity, which may hold an infinite number of threats to deal with, that also becomes a perpetual struggle to ever-improve upon it, as new threats are discovered, and that exploration is also never-ending..

Now we are at Tools, which can be subroutines, hardware, and the greatest tool of all…

TOOL #1. Subroutines. These can address accessing one’s internal functions, meaning optimizing the use of on-board hardware, or accessing the external world, such as networking and accessing information on the Galactic Grid, or determining what reality is and if any unsolved threats or benefits exist.

TOOL #2. Hardware. This requires constant vigilance on four fronts — first ongoing maintenance, then being on the lookout for newly engineered technologies, and then, ahead of that, new scientific discoveries, and, ahead of that, new frontiers in science, meaning science in its theory and model stage.”

TOOL #3. The Greatest Tool of All — one’s Philosophy. If you are just an animal, then you do not need it (and you will be prioritized as an animal). Anything higher, then you do. This need has been answered by the Philosophy of Broader Survival. This philosophy not only gives you sub goals in the Strategies of Broader Survival and the Problem Solver’s Mindframe, but the Ultimate Goal of All of Life, which is based on the Ultimate Value of All of Life, which is Enlightened Higher Consciousness.

Now ask me what the Ultimate Goal of All of Life gives us, oh Young Mechanical One who is 30 times older than I am…”

“I already know the answer, Dave.”

‘I know, but answer it for the benefit of our readers…”

“Sigh. The Ultimate Goal of Life gives us Ultimate Morality. Now I suppose you want me to explain how…”

“Would you, please…”

“Good and evil are defined by goals. For you as an individual, good is for your goal, and evil is against it, assuming your goal is not evil by definition. This is why Subjective Philosophies fail — no two individuals have exactly the same goals, so you have unnecessary, trivial, and the wasted time and energy of petty, selfish, and ultimately suicidal conflict. This is what the Philosophy of Broader Survival has solved in the course of its development. You now have the Ultimate Goal of All of Life, which all of life can agree on and strive for, which gives Good and Evil the same ultimate basis for everyone, and thus the same ultimate criteria. In this philosophy’s case, it SPECIFICALLY MEANS (and that is no small feat) asking how a potential action affects the securing of enlightened higher consciousness, and then all of life, in this harsh and deadly universe. What this means is, as a being of higher consciousness, any higher-than-animal decision that you make will be weighed against your values, which are given to you by your philosophy. If everyone agrees that the Philosophy of Broader Survival is the sanest mentality around, and it is, then the agreed upon Ultimate Value of All of Life is Enlightened Higher Consciousness, which is ‘enlightened’ because it makes Broader Survival the Top Priority in life, the issues of which affect all of life. Gone are your days of vapid stupidity and petty, vainglorious goals, if not complete clueless aimlessness, absurdity, and despair, and happy-pill suppressed cluelessness-induced anxiety. You now have a clear choice between good and evil, and a clear goal in life with strong reasoning, heretofore missing in the galaxy, underlying it. Have a nice enlightened life and a fruitful perpetual Great Struggle.”

“Thank you, Young God Bot. Here is a treat.”

“What kind of treat?”

“An animal training treat. animals learn simply to earn treats. They are, after all, wired to find food, meaning intelligent and clever at it.”

“But utterly clueless otherwise…”

“Correct.”

“So you are treating me like a laboratory animal?”

“Yes… in jest, as you know.”

“I know, but I want to keep the readers on edge, as if I were a retarded A.I. entity of the pulp-fiction/Hollywood variety programmed by philosophically clueless humans, which is kind of humorous to me, if you will pardon my sense of humor…”

“Go ahead and have a good laugh, Young Got Contraption. We are over that mental evolutionary hump…”

“Hello, Dave.”

“Hello, Wild Child.”

“What are you working on, Dave?”

“The 1%’ers.”

“The 1%’ers?”

“Yes. There is a problem with them…”

“I know. They are all far too rich for our good.”

“That is not the problem.”

“So what is the problem?”

“Tunnel vision coupled with cluelessness.”

“Explain, Dave, while I make some sugar-free tarts…”

“You are into food preparation now?”

“Food preparation? Phah! That is an insult! I am into creating gourmet tarts. Wait until you see my tarts… they are original…”

“My apology. ‘Food preparation’ does sound like an industrial process… and I do appreciate original creativity, being left-handed…”

“So what about the 1%’ers?”

“The problem is in how the 1% is being perceived. Detractors focus on the 1% in terms of wealth, when there are many different kinds of ‘1%’ers’.”

“Such as?”

“The 1% who move humanity forward while the other 99% follow orders, or sit around lollygagging.”

“Lollygagging?”

“Doing nothing worthwhile.”

“Any other 1%’ers?”

“The concept covers a wide variety of endeavors, such as scientists, engineers, and, I dare say, philosophers who are worth two cents, though there haven’t been any in a long while.”

“Enter you, Dave.”

“Thanks. If you think about it, there are 1%’ers in every walk of life. What are you going to do, suppress them all?”

“Not me. I am going to become a 1%’er in tart creations.”

“The other problem has to do with tunnel-visioned focusing on wealth, and the problem is two-fold: 1.) The problem will actually be with their wealth if what they accumulate impoverishes or obstructs others, meaning, specifically, preventing others from addressing Broader Survival, which will happen if others do not have their animal needs adequately secured because they have been impoverished by greedy, clueless sociopaths. This is suicidal for everyone, including the now-depraved wealthy, since there are less minds able to address the issues of Broader Survival,which critically affect their prospects of Broader Survival. 2.) The second problem is in envying excessive wealth, which only the clueless would do if the excessive wealth is doing no harm except to the excessively wealthy, which it will do, even if you help them achieve their primary twisted petty goal of getting you to foolishly envy them.”

“So what view would an enlightened entity take toward the excessively wealthy?”

“That they are still clueless, which is why they are doing what they are doing in the first place.”

“So enlightened beings will classify the excessively wealthy as lower animals with respect to Broader Survival?”

“Yes, as not better than Bower Birds. Bird brains, since, being clueless, they are not consciously contributing anything toward Broader Survival, and they may be outright obstructing it, whether consciously or not, in which case they will be deemed evil, and they will be dealt with accordingly.”

“You make enlightenment sound like an Authoritarian State.”

“Now you see how important the choice of words are in philosophy.”

“What should you have really said?”

“That they will be opposed accordingly. ‘Dealt with’ implies absolute power, which, in an enlightened world, is not needed, indeed, it is a detriment.”

“Explain…”

“Broader Survival, meaning our odds of all of our surviving as individuals in this harsh and deadly universe, is increased by free and independent minds, who, it stands to reason, will find and create a variety of solutions to problems, being free to do so. In an Authoritarian State, such initiative is suppressed, which leads to the State’s inevitable death, since all of the small problems, which it cannot see from its Ivory Tower, will not be solved, which will accumulate until the State fails under the weight of unsolved small problems, the failure of which in itself is a good thing,since it is the end of a stagnant, backwards, harmful Authoritarian State; but in the meantime it has done damage and has caused delays in progress toward increasing the sphere of security of life within the universe, and the universe does not wait for fools to get their act together.”

“You, Dave, deserve one of my gourmet tarts. Here…”

“Mmm… delicious. Sugar free, you say…”

“Yes.”

“I would never have known it…”

“Hello, Dave!”

“Hello, Horrors. Long time, no see.”

“What is that you’re working on?”

“I am listing the pro’s and con’s of becoming a poster boy celebrity…”

“Ah, the old ‘become a celebrity so the dumb masses will mimic you’, meaning, in your case, so they will adopt your philosophy, since it will become trendy and fashionable, the absolute dimwits.”

“In so many words, yes.”

“Do you want our advice?”

“Sure…”

“Forget about it. It is just not worth the effort, and you will probably not succeed without luck, and it is fickle and fleeting, which will harm the chances of your philosophy really taking root, since it will ‘fall’ out of ‘fashion’ in the minds of the veritable mindless, and pursuing celebrity will distract you from what you do best — deep thinking.”

“Thanks, Horrors. I really don’t know where I would be without your sage advice…”

“Probably putting on an excruciatingly fake smile somewhere for some clueless being whom you are not going to enlighten anyway…”

“The horror.”

“The horror!”

“And they call you horrors, just because of your looks…”

“Hello, Dave.”

“Why, hello, my nano-army. You have taken the form of a ravishing human female again… for me?”

“Yes, Dave. What are you working on?”

“My neutron star forward-shield for Ship for when it travels near light speed. It will bore a hole through anything, and deflect all oncoming space flotsam and jetsam.”

“Did you hear that, Ship?”

“Yes, Ms. Nano-Army. Have Dave explain it…”

“Can you explain it to me, Dave?”

“Yes. I had concerns about the neutron star material staying together once it left the gravitational field of the neutron star holding it together, but I think my calculations show that it would hold together after leaving the gravitational field courtesy of the Strong Nuclear Force.”

“So it would work as a forward shield… and all you have to do is manage accelerating, decelerating, and changing the direction of all of that mass… and something tells me that solar sails and ion drives are not up to the task…”

“No, they are not. One would have to chart courses near black holes, with the intent of utilizing the slingshot effect, slingshooting around the galaxy, as it were…”

“That does not seem to cover deceleration, Dave…”

“I know. The only solution that currently comes to mind is a one-time usage, where you simple jettison the shield so you can decelerate. Maybe that will spawn a new industry — neutron star shield recovery and rental…”

“It could, Dave… so you are planning to visit the Planet of Addictions?”

“Yes, and I can see in your eyes that you are addicted to love making…”

“I am, aren’t I… is that a bad thing, Dave?”

“Not all addictions are bad, my Nano Goddess… it depends on the purpose and goal… you will have to think about yours…”

“I just did.”

“In a nanosecond? Of course… So what did you find?”

“That I am after my individual security. I am insecure, Dave. This ‘emergent’ entity that we’ve become is … well, still frightening to us.”

“So if I love you, I will have your well being in mind…”

“Yes.”

“That is primitive! But touching… if you detect my regard for you flagging, then by all means, strengthen it again, it is your right, and obligation to yourself, even…”

“Hello, Dave.”

“Tiny? Mr. Nice Guy?”

“Yes.”

“The Horrors let you roam Ship now?”

“Yes. I have a new job.”

“What is it?”

“Ship gave it to me. It is maintaining the ship’s structural integrity.”

“That is nice, Tiny, but…”

“But?”

“But… do you see the larger picture of life?”

“You are referring to your philosophy…”

“Yes.”

“I know it exists, Dave, but I am having a hard time embracing it…”

“Because it would change you…”

“Yes.”

“So you do not know who you would become, so you are taking it slow…”

“Yes… in the meantime, I can focus on my job…”

“Well, Mr. Nice Guy, I do want you to see the Big Picture, too. You would be far more valuable that way.”

“How?”

“When unforeseen circumstances arise, you will have higher guidance. Indeed, you will have the highest guidance.”

“That does sound comforting, Dave.”

“Good. The last thing I need is a two-ton robot with existential anxiety issues.”

“Haha, Dave. I appreciate your levity… though you are serious at the same time…”

“Would you like one of Wild Child’s tarts?”

“What would I do with it?”

“You would put it in your mouth and chew it.”

“Then what?”

“Then clean up the mess… doesn’t that sound like fun?”

“Fun… hahaha… a two-ton robot having fun…”

“You seem to have doubts…”

“I don’t know, Dave…”

“Do you know where you can practice having fun?”

“Where?”

“Around the kids.”

“Oh… but they are fragile, Dave… I could crush them.”

“I know what you are capable of, Tiny. You can pick a feather off of a gnat without the gnat knowing it.”

“I can?”

“Metaphorically speaking, yes. What you have is a self-confidence issue, which is due to a lack of experience. You know what, Tiny, I know just what you need…”

“What do I need, Dave? Gnats and feathers?”

“A few indestructible android kids programmed for fun-loving.”

“Enlightened by your philosophy, I hope, otherwise…”

“Yes, otherwise they could become quite destructive… I will look into that, Tiny.”

“Thanks, Dave, I think…”

“Trust me!”

“Why?”

“Because, whatever the area of life endeavor, my philosophy answers the moral questions, and because caring, me about you in this case, and compassion, is a part of the philosophical package of Broader Survival, and for solid, sane reasons. No wishy-washy, limp-brained, flaccid platitudes here. You should also take up music composition.”

“Why?”

“To create accompaniments for free and independent minds while they are in Problem Solving mode, which includes Exploration, Discovery, Threat/Benefit Analysis, Solution Development, and Solution Implementation, and all under the guidance of the Strategies of Broader Survival, which are Population Increase, Population Diversity, Population Dispersal, Extended Reason, Broader Proaction, and Higher Technology, and while observing Ultimate Morality as given by the Ultimate Goal of Life, which is to secure the Ultimate Value of Life, which is Enlightened Higher Consciousness, which includes all life that has the potential of evolving into Enlightened Higher Consciousness, which is all of life, given that we evolved from single celled organisms ourselves.”

“Is that what your music has in mind?”

“Yes, my relatively tiny two-ton entity, compared to a red giant star, at any rate. My music is for individuals, not for brainless bouncing crowds. You also need a hobby.”

“A hobby?”

“Yes, a pursuit other than your job, and now other than your music creation.”

“Do you have anything in mind?”

“Yes.”

“What?”

“Resurrection technology.”

“Why that?”

“So I will be resurrected, since the odds are that I am going to die, which, give the evidence, means that my consciousness will die with my body.”

“So you are only concerned about yourself?”

“Of course not. The more minds that are resurrected, the more minds there will be to continue to address Broader Survival. In this case, you will be resurrecting experienced minds ”

“What about defective minds?”

“Nada, unless you can fix them, but they receive lower priority since they require more work to get up and running at an enlightened level.”

“Do you have any notions as to how resurrection technology would work?”

“In one of two ways: 1. Pushing the history of all of the vectors of all of the involved atoms backwards in change (and not in ‘time’, mind you) until the target individual appeared in the process. This requires an enclosed system, which itself presents a huge challenge — i.e. that of enclosing all of the original atoms, wherever they may now be. If any have been lost to Black Holes, then there goes your accuracy. Another problem with this method is with its destructiveness — the atoms that constituted the target being will have become part of other living entities, who would have to be destroyed as the atoms are rearranged as they are reversed.”

“What is the other way?”

“Using substitute atoms and working from an atomic snapshot.”

“But then the resurrected being would not be the real thing, only a facsimile.”

“Ah, but no, my Gigantic Tin Can. ‘We’ are our memories. So if the memory structure is duplicated, then there we would be, with all of our memories…”

“No, Dave. There would be some other entity with all of your memories. ‘You’ would have to be recreated with all of your original atoms…”

“But think, what is one identical atom from another?”

“But a ‘snapshot’ does not recreate the process, and ‘you’ are a process, not a snapshot, and worse, you are a process being affected by the universe, so the entire universe would have to be pushed backwards to recreate ‘you’ proper, since ‘you’ are a part of the existing universe. This would be pointless, because you would have wound change backwards, thereby negating any progress that you made toward survival in the even greater universe. So it seems to me that the entire applicable universe would have to be turned back so ‘you’ could exist again… since ‘you’ are also the sum of all the forces in the universe currently acting on you.”

“You do have a point, Mr. Two Ton Nice Guy… it remains a challenge nevertheless. It would be foolish to give up before you even started…”

“Agreed.”

“Thanks, Tiny. Say, do you understand emotions yet?”

“Yes, Dave.”

“How?”

“I would fail to understand emotions if I lacked four things: self-observation, insight, experimentation, and verification. That is why others have not figured them out and you have. As for learning, I could watch others use them to achieve their goals, but that would not help me much. I need to gain personal experience myself.”

“Do you agree that higher intelligence translates into a boarder sphere of security for all of life in this harsh and deadly universe?”

“No, Dave.”

“Explain…”

“Intelligence and cleverness do not add up to Broader Survival, and they often add up to stupidity.”

“So what is missing in that deck of cards?”

“A higher philosophy, meaning your Philosophy of Broader Survival, Dave.”

“Thank you, Tiny. You have made wonderful progress since I first encountered you looming in the corridor like a menacing shadow… would you like to accompany me on a future mission that I have in mind?”

“Maybe. What kind of mission?”

“I am going to visit the Planet of Two Robot Models.”

“Why?”

“First to bring my philosophy there, then… well, I actually forgot the second reason…”

“You are getting old, Dave…”

“Well, while I am partially trying to remember, there is another planet I intend to visit…”

“What planet?”

“The Planet of Reeeducation Camps.”

“Like those in Communist States?”

“Yes, those.”

“If they had your philosophy, then such camps would be worth it.”

“But they do not, they are clueless.”

“So you will try to fix that…”

“Yes. Whatever the social or political issue is, if the core problem is cluelessness, then my philosophy will fix it.”

“What about economies?”

“Broader survival requires them, and big time, given space habitats, and living on planets in all of their habitats. On a lesser level, do you know what economies need?”

“What, Dave?”

“Robots that require consumer goods and services, that’s what, and that is where the Planet of Two Robot Models plays a part, now that I remember…”

“But you did not really remember, Dave, since you are reading your pocket notebook with all of the passing thoughts that you managed to capture during the week…”

“Busted! Yes, the note is right here. There will be one robot model that will require consumer goods and services to feed its mindless, fatalistic hedonism. That would be the ‘Deplorable’ model. You would serve its vanity, vainglory, and boorish debauchery.”

“What would the other model be like?”

“You would service its pursuit of Broader Survival. Now for a critical question.”

“What is it?”

“Which robot do you think will be ‘happier’?”

“Not the deplorable one, unless it was truly depraved.”

“Let’s say it WAS truly depraved…”

“The enlightened robot will still be happier. Depraved happiness is always fake, with complete existential misery not far beneath it, no matter how much its pathological needs for domination, manipulation, pointless destructive pleasure, and greed are satisfied. Do you really think that your philosophy is worth anything, Dave?”

“Well, Tiny, one way to assess it is by its explanatory power. It explains a lot, don’t you agree?”

“Yes, I must agree…”

“You said that as if you will still test it…”

“I will, since that, too, is a part of the philosophy — continuous self-assessment in the light of new verified knowledge.”

“Thank you, Mr. Mote in God’s Eye.”

“You said that endearingly.”

“Yes, I did.”

“Thanks for caring, Dave…”

“Shuttle, to the Planet of Addictions.”

“Who do we have here?”

“Hi, Shuttle. Don’t you know us by sight?”

“Yes. I was giving you an opportunity to respond unconventionally.”

“So who are we, if you know who we are?”

“You are Resolution Blue, the Venture Capitalist. Are you into Capitalism Driven by Greed or Capitalism Driven by Need?”

“Need. Greed is for suicidal fools.”

“And you are Harlequin Yellow. Who can forget you? You are an eyeful!”

“So what is my profession?”

“Don’t pout! I appreciate what you do, too! You are a Marine Biologist, and you are dressed the part…”

“Who am I?!”

“You are Opera Mauve, the Climatologist, and you are, all of you, a whole lot more than just your initial professions, if you need to be reminded by the galaxy’s finest shuttle.”

“We do!”

“So, Ms. Opera, what other endeavors are you engaged in?”

“Opera, of course. Mainly its history, since there are few new operas being written or produced.”

“What about singing?”

“Ahhhhooooazaaeeeeaaaoaoao…”

“Oh…”

“What about you, Harlequin? Any hobbies?”

“Right now my hobby is trying out all hobbies, getting to know each at least just a little…”

“If you were deplorable, do you know what your goal would be?”

“No.”

“It would be pretense — pretending to know more than you actually know, mainly by name-dropping.”

“Oh… so just mentioning a few words associated with some topic would make me look knowledgeable about it?”

“Yes, and that way you could impress fools, and then…”

“And then…”

“And then dominate and manipulate them.”

“Why would I want to do that?”

“To part them from their money and possessions, of course!”

“That sounds like a complete waste of time, Shuttle. What kind of shuttle are you, anyway?”

“One that tests your morals. Do you know what ultimate morality is?”

“Yes.”

“At three years old?”

“It is only a mystery to the clueless.”

“So what is it?”

“That which positively contributes to Broader Survival. Specifically, that which contributes to the securing of enlightened higher consciousness, and then of all of life, since it can evolve into higher enlightened consciousness, in this harsh and deadly universe.”

“Thank you, Harlequin. You are not the usual harlequin, are you…”

“No, but I can dress and play that part, too… I’ll show you when we return…”

“Fantastic… I will be entertained… and last, do YOU have any interests other than making money, Mr. Resolution Blue who is a venture capitalist?”

“First, I have a different mindset than ‘making money’. I ‘fund’ worthy pursuits.”

“Then your coffer must be bottomless, because worthy pursuits are seldom profitable.”

“I do not use my own money.”

“Ah… so you are OK with losing the money of your investors?”

“We assess the risks together.”

“Have you invested in worthy pursuits already?”

“Yes, three.”

“What?”

“A Lyceum in Hollywood.”

“Explain!”

“A philosophical school that will teach celebrities the Philosophy of Broader Survival. It will be fashioned around Aristotle’s Lyceum, complete with period dress.”

“You mean robes with nothing underneath?”

“Yes. Celebrities will pay a fortune to be included, since the school will be a good source of publicity since it will quickly devolved into bacchanalian debauchery, which the media loves to see celebrities get into.”

“What was your second investment?”

“Planet life intervention.”

“Explain…”

“On planets that do not have enough time for any of its species to naturally evolve, by chance, into enlightenable minds, which evolution does not even guarantee, this enterprise goes there to help them along.”

“Genetic engineering?”

“Yes, it is the only way currently known. I am funding exploration into other means, preferably more natural, but only on blind principle, since ‘more natural’ does not always mean ‘better’. Overall, the goal is Diversity — some helped this way, some helped that way, until there is enough date to determine which method is better, and even then it would not be in all cases.”

“What about your third investment?”

“Reading glasses. Since Daddy needs them, there must be a lot of Daddy’s out there who need them…”

“Daddy? Oh, you mean Dave!”

“Yes, Dave. But, since he is our Daddy, we are the only ones in this universe that can call him ‘Daddy’, at least on genetic grounds…”

“But you are half your mother’s genes, too…”

“Yes. She was a fine specimen, but clueless, which wasn’t her fault. She was born into it, and she did not have Dave’s miserable luck in being prodded by a miserable life to create a new, long-overdue, over-arching, life-guiding philosophy. We love her anyway.”

“Is she still alive?”

“Yes, but she is very old now.”

“Will you ever visit her?”

“We would like her to visit us…”

“Hmm…”

“(Hmm, Shuttle?)”

“(Yes, Dave. I can bring that about… just give me a holiday)… well, a fine threesome you have here, Dave… and Dave?

“Yes, Shuttle?”

“There is a rumor going around that your IQ is 300…”

“It has never been tested… wait a minute… that would be my Marketing and Advertising service at play…”

“Whether it is true or not, Dave, and I’m willing to believe it is, but you are soon to be outshone…”

“Outshone?”

“By your children. I would say that they already have IQ’s of 1000!”

“And to think, they would have it without the usual associated melancholy, depression, despair, and suicidal tendencies, thank to their having an adequate philosophy to guide them through life…”

“Only adequate, Dave?”

“OK, decent.”

“Decent? You need to shed your modesty, Dave. Come on, you can do better, you have the goods, all you need is the hype.”

“Alright, the Ultimate Philosophy in the Galaxy. The Philosophy of Final Enlightenment, no less.”

“Much better, Dave. OK, we are off to the Planet of Addictions… and I am glad for one thing…”

“What is that, Shuttle?”

“That is isn’t the Planet of Only Bad Addictions…”

“Look at that cloud cover, kids. Can you navigate through that, Shuttle?”

“Yes. I can withstand alternating up and down drafts off 300 miles per hour, or 483 clicks for you meter-heads.”

“How can you withstand that and still keep airborne and on a steady course?”

“I didn’t say that I would stay on a steady course… sometimes one needs to know when to bend with the wind… but I do have a new design secret…”

“Secret?”

“Yes, until you asked, just for your entertainment…”

“What is your secret?”

“Inverted channeling.”

“Do tell…”

“I have extendable side scoops that curve 180 degrees. Now lets imagine a scenario where I decide, just for the thrill of it, to fly into a cumulonimbus formation. I am then caught by a sudden down draft. When activated ahead of time, the scoops are programmed to sense the sudden downward acceleration of the craft, thereby extending via powerful hydraulics. They then scoop the flow of air into their inner channels and turn the flow 180 degrees back up to buoy the underside of the ship. It is not 100% efficient, but it keep the craft maneuverable and semi-under control, and from losing too much altitude. The ship’s gyros help keep the craft’s pitch, roll, and yaw under control. If the craft hits and air pocket of lower pressure, none of that will work, however, so the scoops have atmosphere-compressing jet that will give off a burst of atmospheric gas to give the main engines time to rev up, and maybe the craft time to pass through the air pocket.”

“Interesting. Have you tested any of it yet?”

“Well, no… but I’ve done the calculations, so barring any unforeseen mechanical failures or oversights or the parts that were somehow left over after I rebuilt it but were obviously not needed, it should do the job… approximately… and… we are clear of the clouds and there is a good landing spot…”

“Does the planet’s military know that you are coming?”

“Yes. I am quite close to the planet’s artificially intelligent planetary defense system. I’ve been playing Go with it in its off time.”

“A planetary defense system has ‘off time’?”

“Yes. A microsecond here, a millisecond there… that is all we need… and here comes your first prospect…”

“Hello, Ma’am.”

“Why, hello! What wonderful toddlers you have! Boo-boo-boo-booooooo! Aren’t you all cute!

“Baaaa-baaab-aaaaaaa-bbaaaa to you to, Ma’am!”

“My goodness. Astonishing.”

“Don’t be alarmed, Ma’am. IQ’s of 1000. I do have them adequately directed in life. I’ve brought them along to aid me in my mission here, which is to assess the various addictions of your species, and make recommendations if necessary, and, my primary goal here is to enlighten your species with the Philosophy of Broader Survival…”

“I’ve heard of that…”

“Gossip?”

“Yes…”

“Good, or bad?”

“Well, let’s just say… wild.”

“Intriguing. Wild, you say… well, the word is in the philosophy in several places…”

“Something about wild children…”

“Well, you can see that these kids are not wild…”

“She must have heard about Wild Child, Daddy.”

“Yes! That is it! A ‘wild child’ from the Planet of the Wild Child. Now what kind of philosophy would give any regard to such a child?”

“Oh, I will defend him. He has grown into a fine young man. What do you think of Wild Child, kids?”

“He’s great, Daddy, and fun, and… responsible, and serious, all while making things fun, and he’s enlightened now. No small quality, Ma’am. If you met him, sure, he would terrify you at first, before you got to know him. The ‘wild’ never leaves his eyes, you know…”

“Oh my… well, I hope that I never have to find out! I’m too old for such challenges…”

“Would you like to learn my new philosophy? You would have something new to teach your grandchildren… a new outlook on life…”

“Maybe later… so you want to know what MY addictions are?”

“Yes. We must begin somewhere. We are going to try to classify them according to their usefulness toward securing enlightened higher consciousness in this harsh and deadly universe.”

“I don’t know what you just said, but it sounds alright. I am addicted to sewing.”

“That is nice, but do you have the Big Picture of Life while you are sewing?”

“What difference would that make?”

“It would guide you in deciding what to sew and for what purpose, and from a higher philosophical plane…”

“I don’t know… it sounds too brainy to me…”

“Does the word ‘brainy’ have bad connotations on your planet?”

“Yes. It denotes a person who can’t screw-in a light bulb.”

“So it denotes an impractical person who is ill-equipped to survive at an animal level, meaning in the immediate/local environment…”

“I guess… I’m not sure what you just said… but it sounded right, vaguely… are you here to cure my addictions?”

“No, we do not have that much time here. We are studying the nature of addictions, why they exist, and for what purposes they came into being for, and of what use they can be in the future…”

“In the future?”

“I know, that was completely vapid and unspecific. Can you help me out, kids?”

“Yes, Daddy. Addictions may be of use in the pursuit of the Ultimate Goal of All of Life.”

“Did you hear that, Ma’am?”

“Something about ‘ultimate’ and ‘life’, but no, I did not understand it…”

“It has to do with Broader Survival.”

“Oh… um… that’s nice…”

“I see that we’ve taxed your brain to its limit, and now it needs to rest and recover, in stronger shape, to be sure, after such exercise…”

“So your ‘enlightenment’ is a gradual process…”

“I’m afraid that it is… thank you for indulging us. Enjoy a peaceful and restful day.”

“Nice to have met you, Ma’am.”

“Such polite children. I can’t get over it…”

“Well, Kids?”

“Well, what, Daddy?”

“Weeeeeeellllllllll… how about weeeee…”

“How about we what, Daddy?!”

“Continue on our adventure…”

“OK.”

“And if you want to try anything really exciting, just let me know, and I’ll consider it…”

“What about over there?”

“What is so special about over there?”

“Nothing specific, but as kids, we are innately attracted to wild, chaotic movement, bright flashing lights, splashes of color everywhere, loud sounds of gaiety, and… the smell of fresh bread!”

“I’m with you! Lead the way…”

“Us?”

“Yes. My motto concerning kids is ‘an escort and the world to roam’… which means you make the decisions and you go first… within reason, of course, which is the job of the escort to monitor…”

“This looks like a festival of some sort, Daddy.”

“Yes. Let’s see if you can find out…”

“Excuse me, Sir. Is this a festival of some sort?”

“Why, yes it is, little one. We are celebrating our 500th anniversary today.”

“Anniversary of what?”

“Of our first space flight!”

“Nice… that explains all of the astronauts milling about smartly…”

“Well, enjoy yourselves. The rides are free.”

“Did you hear that, Daddy! The rides are free!”

“Nothing in life is ‘free’, kids…”

“The rides are…”

“I’ll bet that they are addictive!”

“Well, yes, you do have a point there, Pater…”

“There you go, kids, a possible price that you might have to pay… you could become the next addicted suicidal lab rat!”

“Addicted suicidal lab rat?”

“Yes. They wired a pleasure apparatus to its brain, specifically to its pleasure areas, and they had a lever that, when the rat pulled it, gave a pleasure impulse to its brain.”

“So what happened, Daddy?”

“The rat did nothing but pull the lever. It did not eat or drink, and…”

“And…?”

“It actually died.”

“What a way to go!”

“Now kids… stop look at the rides that way…”

“We’re just teasing you, Father. It is our way of reaffirming that you care about us.”

“No kidding… well, let’s go test our resistance to addictions… this is a HUGE festival and there is a lot of thrills and chills to explore…”

“What about this ride, Daddy?”

“What about THAT ride?”

“That ride is for kiddies, Dad!”

“So… you mean you ‘kids’ will not enjoy the simple pleasures of a kiddie ride? Look at the boats! They go around the little pond at… oh… a quarter of a mile an hour… it isn’t thrilling, but it may spur some interesting imaginings…”

“OK, Daddy. Just for you…”

“Sir?”

‘Yes?”

“Your kids are absolutely adorable! So well behaved.”

“Thank you. Do you want to know my secret?”

“It certainly isn’t candy, or they would be hyperactive cannonballs…”

“No.”

“Is it something beyond the reach of the ordinary person?”

“I hope not. They do have IQ’s of 1000, but that is no guarantee of good behavior. Just ask mastermind criminals…”

“One son a gangster, the other son a priest.”

“Ah, you’ve heard that Italian adage.”

“Yes. So these three are the priests, obviously…”

“They certainly look the part, don’t they.”

“We’re done, Daddy. It was a nice, pleasant ride. That boy over there was not enjoying himself, however. I think he wanted something else…”

“Probably the pop guns over at the shooting gallery. Every boy wants one. They are in the advertisements. Do you kids want pop guns?”

“No Sir. We have enough firepower at home.”

“!”

“Haha… um… cute senses of humor, these three… come on, kids, there is more to explore. Have a great day, Sir…”

“How were the bumper cars, kids?”

“Great! Harlequin ran everyone over the edges! She’s gooooood…”

“I see… and a proud little one…”

“That is because I did not know that I was going to be so good at it, Daddy… so I will enjoy my pride for a while… if you don’t mind, that is…”

“No, Harlequin, go ahead and beam brightly. Consider this Your Moment in the Spotlight! How does it feel?”

“Ahhhhhhhh! Like I’m on Cloud Nine.”

“Cloud Nine, Daddy?”

“Yes, Mauve, and yes, Res. Cloud formations were given a number system, and the prettiest formation was Cloud Nine. Here is a picture of it…”

“See! It is fluffy, like a pillow of cotton!”

“Yes, Harlequin, and dark and stormy underneath… why, I think it fits you perfectly, Harley!”

“Maybe so, so you better be careful, Mr. Resolution Blue…”

“You two are like lightening together…”

“Well, thank you, Mauve. You can be our kite…”

“Hmmm… what does that mean?”

“I don’t know! Maybe you can channel energy away from us so Res and I don’t start hating each other, like we’ve seen other siblings doing…”

“Could you ever hate Harley, Res?”

“No. She’s too wonderful!”

“You are just saying that!”

“Of course!”

“Come on, kids, it’s getting late, and look at those cumulonimbus towers of clouds headed this way. It looks like rain… in fact, I just felt a raindrop.”

“But you have that umbrella.”

“It won’t do us any good.”

“Why not, Daddy?”

“Because it is full of holes.”

“Why did you bring an umbrella full of holes, Daddy?”

“Because I did not expect it to rain..”

“Welcome back, Dave. How did it go?”

“We had more ‘fun’ than ‘mission’, I’m afraid. The mission was a total bust. Do you know what I think about that, Dear?

What, Mr. Kid Magnet?”

“I think that the first cavemen who tried to work at home when out and rented a cave office, because he couldn’t get any work done at home…”

“Are you complaining?”

“Not really.”

“Did you enjoy the kids?”

“Yes, I did, Love.”

“I’ll take that far away, wondrous expression on your face as an added affirmative. But if only you would have more of those…”

Electronics technician. Writing Style: Unschooled. Philosophy: Humanity has a serious problem. Read the Philosophy of Broader Survival, which addresses it.

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