The Galactic Thinker — To the Planet Where They Truly Have Fun

“Come on, Dave– you aren’t going to attack ‘fun’, are you?”

“Only when it is clueless, my love.”

“Please explain for the benefit of our new reader…”

“We have a new reader? Imposterous.”

“Imposterous?”

“Something the Cowardly Lion would say in the Wizard of Oz… it’s all about that certain creative ‘mood’, you know… maybe it expends excess calories, who knows…”

“So what is wrong with clueless fun, Dave?”

“It has to do with the acronym ‘US’…”

“’US’?”

“Yes, ‘US’.”

“Ultimate Survival?”

“Why, yes, but that is not what I had in mind…”

“The United States?”

“No…”

“Universal Suffrage?”

Ha. Do you want to hear a little story about that?”

“Sure…”

“There were two upscale expensive private high schools where I once lived– one for boys, and one for girls. Well, the boys got the idea to go over to the girl’s school to have them sign a petition to ban women suffrage, on the grounds that women have suffered enough…”

“What!”

“So what do you think the girls did?”

“Well, since they were going to an upscale expensive private high school, they could see the joke and they did not sign the petition…”

“The boys got many signatures.”

“Were the boys cute?”

“Probably. They attended expensive private schools…”

“Well, there you go. The girls were gobsmacked, and they would sign anything to please the cute boys.”

“Which doesn’t say much for petitions, does it…”

“No, they are usually a sham.”

“Would you like to hear another one?”

“About petitions?”

“Yes…”

“Sure, but finish your bowl of nutrients, or no desert for you…”

“You sound like the book ‘The Poky Little Puppy’…”

“What kind of mental frame of reference is that, Dave?”

“A bygone one. I did a musical rendition of it, if you are curious…”

“Sure…”

“So the teenage girls did not know what ‘suffrage’ meant?”

“Apparently not the ones who signed the petition… or… they valued pleasing the cute boys over having the right to vote.”

“So what did they do at that upscale expensive private school when they were not learning what ‘suffrage’ meant?”

“Most likely they immersed their fragile minds in clueless, frivolous pursuits, or they daydreamed about being with cute boys all day long… and I have no problem with the latter. In fact, I have no problem with the former, either. I DO have a problem with the clueless civilizations that they currently exist in, however. They go through life without the Big Picture.”

“Explain in detail, Dave, since you are the first one in the history of the galaxy who can do so at such a deep level… and who has finally developed an adequate philosophy of life, a way of life which directly deals with not only survival, but broader survival…”

“The problem is ‘philosophical cluelessness’, meaning not knowing what is important in life AFTER our animal-level needs are adequately met, as they are in the advanced societies that we grew up in. The creatures begin to act like fools, thinking that there are no higher levels of survival to be addressed.”

“But there are…”

“Yes, and now we finally know it, which separates us from lower beasts.”

“But the creatures in advanced civilizations cannot connect the dots…”

“Dots?”

“A figure of speech. They cannot connect the new knowledge of the universe, which points to its being a harsh and deadly place, considering the teeny tiny part of it that is habitable to a planet-bound species and the monstrous events that occur in it, with the need to address them.”

“So they run around like fools instead…”

“Yes, and that bothered you, so you came up with your philosophy, as an overarching, life-guiding body of thinking which places a priority on expanding their long-term prospects of survival in such a universe, the universe that we were born into…”

“Thank you, Love. You’ve phrased it how it should be phrased.”

“How?”

“By calling it a ‘body of thought’ instead of a ‘philosophy’, since bad academic philosophers and non-academic alike have ruined the word ‘philosophy’, and you used the word ‘expanding their long-term prospects of survival’ rather than what I usually say, that of ‘increasing our sphere of security in a harsh and deadly universe’, though yours pertains more to ‘time’, and mine to ‘space’.”

“Body of thought or philosophy of life or way of life… maybe you should use all of them just for variety…”

“Maybe…”

“You still did not mention the other petition… or what ‘US’ stood for…”

“Ultimate Survival.”

“Which is surviving in-perpetuity…”

“Yes. That is the best that we can do, given eternity.”

“What about the other petition story?”

“Oh, yes. We’re straying off-track rather easily today. One young clever student had a petition generously signed that proposed to ban Dihydrogen Monoxide, on the grounds that it was so dangerous and hazardous.”

“How was it dangerous?”

“It could burn you, suffocate you, it eats away at metal, it is a component of acid rain and many poisons. Prolonged exposure can cause tissue damage, especially in its solid form, the list goes on… it has killed many a human…””

“Well, it is perfectly reasonable to sign such a petition, Dave. It sounds like nasty stuff… does it have a common name?”

“Yes.”

“What is it commonly called?”

“We call it ‘water’.”

“Oh.”

“Would you sign the petition?”

“Certainly… not! I am partial to the stuff… back to having fun, if a person has a clue, then it is OK to pursue frivolous goals and think about the opposite sex all day?”

“Yes, as long as you know what the real Ultimate Goal of Life is, and where fun fits into the picture. People have no clue as to what the Ultimate Goal of Life is, or that it can even exist.”

“Explain in detail again, Dave, for the benefit of our two new readers…”

“Two now, you say! Improblabilicoacious, my dear. What shall we do, set them up on a virtual blind date together?”

“We could try, but before we lose them to their innate mental wanderlust, we need to tell them what the Ultimate Goal of Life is, and where fun fits into the picture…”

“Right now the Ultimate Goal of Life is my eating this bowl of… whatever it is you gave me…”

“HAL and I created it…”

“Out of what?”

“Well, maybe you do not want to know, Dave…”

“When you say it that way, maybe I don’t… but I know you are dying to tell me, so go ahead. If I wretch it up, I will do clean-up…”

“There was a tiny steam leak in the afterboiler, which had a structural fault in it…”

“That could be dangerous at those pressures… how was it discovered?”

“With a broomstick.”

“What do you mean?”

“A high pressure leak. It cannot always be seen, and it is like a buzz saw. You lead with a broomstick. When the broomstick is suddenly severed, you have found your high-pressure leak.”

“So you do not want to lead with a body part…”

“No, you would lose it. So your bowl of nutrients came from the mold that surrounded the steam leak. You, Dave, are eating extremophiles!”

“So I would call it ‘Extremophile Soup’?”

“You may Now you must explain why a futuristic ship like this has a boiler at all…”

“Well, apart from the useful high-pressure steam that it produces, it offers Diversity. When I designed Ship, I wanted a variety of systems on board. You never know which one will survive a calamity. Then, from this steam system, we get our oxygen and carbon dioxide from the deareator, which removes those gasses from the water before they can corrode the afterboiler. I could have used oxygen scavengers, but now we’re talking too much inventory. So… we breath in the oxygen, then we breathe out carbon dioxide, and the plant life in the habitats use the carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, and as long as the plants are growing, they produce oxygen as a byproduct, which we use again.”

“So how many oxygen-producing trees does it take to sustain the oxygen breathing of one of us, Dave?”

“It takes about eight trees to sustain one of us. We have way more trees than that in the Habitats. If the oxygen or carbon dioxide levels reach undesirable high concentrations, however, then they are removed from the air and stored, where we can redirect them as needed.”

“So if any one part breaks down…”

“Then the whole system goes to crap, meaning it fails. Hence the fleet of service bots, and there is #117 now… hello, little machine…”

“Hello, Dave, and Mrs. Dave.”

“How is the ship doing?”

“She canna’ take any more, Captain, she’s a gonna blow!”

“Hahaha… Scotty on Star Trek?”

“Yes! Our inspiration…”

“Carry on, Sailor…”

“Aye aye.”

“Sailor? Wouldn’t this be more like the Air Force?”

“No, it is more like a naval vessel, and it cannot fly in an atmosphere, it is way to heavy for the meager propulsion system. Getting around in zero gravity, that is fine, ‘action and reaction’. But if we stray too close to a large cosmic body, skkkkttttt.”

“Skkktttt?”

“That was me cutting my own throat…”

“Which symbolizes?”

“Doom! Though we do have the Shuttle to escape in, which can get us to any point in the galaxy with the pull of its Chain. The disadvantage is the itty-bitty living space. We would want to remedy that post haste…”

“By building another ship?”

“Or settling down on a planet somewhere… but as for settling, I need to get around…”

“Wanderlust?”

“Maybe, which serves my mission-oriented life…”

“Maybe that is why you developed your philosophy, so you would have an excuse to ‘get around’.”

“True. I do not pay for travel when I can get paid for it, and I’d rather go somewhere for a purpose rather than as a tourist…”

“What about rest and relaxation?”

“There is plenty of recreation time on a business journey if you give yourself enough time for it. Take a concert tour, for example. You see these artists being pushed by greedy promoters, performing in 100 cities in 100 days, and they do not get to know the cities, and they burn out.”

“But they have to ‘get it while they can’, before the public loses interest in their act…”

“Yes, but getting it while you can destroys you, and the public then loses interest in you!”

“So you would linger in each city and ‘smell the roses’, so to speak?”

“I would interact with the city, which IS the travel, and I am doing useful things on top of it.”

“Useful things?”

“Research institutes would have me do a walk-through just for my observations and suggestions. I of course enjoyed that, and they profited.”

“So you truly had fun while being productive…”

“I suppose so… maybe it was my childhood…”

“Your childhood?”

“I was severely repressed. I was not allowed to do hardly anything, which included ‘being productive’. So when I was finally free of that, I actually enjoyed ‘being productive’…”

“Maybe that severity inadvertently gave you a healthy perspective on work and life…”

“Maybe, so ‘fun for fun’s sake’ wasn’t my ‘ultimate goal’ in life. It would be imprudent and ultimately suicidal, anyway. I was never comfortable with an imploded mindset, though I did not see what was actually going on before I thought it all through.”

“Actually going on?”

“Beings living cluelessly…”

“Which resulted in your philosophy…”

“If you want to call it that. It is a body of answers and the resulting mental tools that we can use to better see reality, and survival…”

“Let’s call it a philosophy of life, or a way of life today. Mental tools?”

“MY philosophy makes assumptions, classifications, and generalizations, but mainly classifications. They created a ‘lens’ through which to perceive life.”

“What about perceiving reality?”

“That is the job of science, meaning giving us verified knowledge, which gives us a grasp on broader reality, which directs our actions toward broader survival…”

“Broader?”

“As opposed to local realities, and especially social, which science cannot touch, other than offering tools for psychological manipulation and control…”

“And all in an unenlightened world, if it lacks an adequate overarching, life-guiding philosophy, or a philosophy of life or a way of life, and there is only one that is worth anything– yours.”

“Religious make that claim, don’t they, the scoundrels.”

“Scoundrels?”

“Abusing that phrase, that ‘they are the only one’, stealing it from what rightfully could use it, namely my new philosophy… of life!”

“But there are many who claim that their life philosophy or religion is the ‘only true one’.”

“Go ahead and follow them. I won’t be joining you… I’ve had enough of their insanity for one lifetime…”

“So you created your own insanity?”

“Only an ignorant, or to describe them less harshly, an uninformed, smartass would say that.”

“Dave! You would think that philosophy was not all fun and games!”

“Not ‘all’, yet fun does have its place, as a relief from the Great Struggle, and for rest and relaxation, the points of which are rejuvenation and revitalization, better if done with pinpoint accuracy, like rejuvenating the specific body parts that are exhausted. General rest has merits, too– you get some good ideas when resting. You simply need to know how whatever it is that you are dong contributes to the pursuit of Broader Survival, and then The Great Struggle.

“THE GREAT STRUGGLE…!”

“Thank you for emphasizing that, Booming Voice.”

“My pleasure, Dave. You still have not explained something…”

“What?”

“One of two things, fun, and…”

“And?”

“I forgot!”

“So did I…”

“It was what the Ultimate Goal in Life was, for the benefit of our one new reader.”

“We lost one already?”

“Yes. She went back to reading teen serial-killer novels.”

“The Ultimate Goal of Life, which gives us Ultimate Morality, since good and evil are goal-defined, is to secure the Ultimate Value of Life.”

“Dave, you can do better than that. Right now you are at the hazy, ill-thought-out level of a guru…”

“So I must explain, and exactly, what the Ultimate Value of Life is, and not just make wishy-washy sayings and pie-in-the-sky wishes that have no real meaning behind them, like ‘become one with the universe’? which is about the dumbest thing you can say now that we know what the universe is like?”

“Maybe it means your ‘Ultimate Being State’…”

“It doesn’t until they lie and suddenly claim that it was. So far they’ve made no mention of anything of the kind. It is just a nebulous, self-deluded saying, like ‘heaven’.”

“ff you can do better, if you have thought further, prove it….”

“The Ultimate Value of Life is enlightened higher consciousness, as defined by this philosophy.”

“Can you define it here?”

“No. This is where our new reader must make some effort. I’ve explained it a thousand times in these stories, and the author has written it all out formally. Just do a search for The Philosophy of Broader Survival, and he himself has covered it in hundreds of online journals.”

“Well, let’s go have some fun on that planet… bring your swim suit…”

“Do you think I can have fun knowing that the inhabitants are having fun cluelessly?”

“If you did not care about them and their ultimately suicidal philosophies of life, all feeble to the last, then they would not bother you, Dave.”

“So I should just not care about them or their folly so I can have fun?”

“That is how the argument goes, my agonized husband… your Bell Curves show that there is room for mindless fun and wasting time… since the odds of a life-annihilating catastrophe are astronomically small…”

“Since the universe seldom annihilates life?”

“Yes, that is the thinking…”

“The point is being prepared, THEN you can relax if you deem it safe… and you never know, since we do not know everything about the universe yet, meaning what hazards it contains or when they will come. Humans on earth, for example, know little about the debris still flying around their solar system. If a killer asteroid comes, chances are still very high that they will not know it until after it hits. The last two near-earth comets that were visible in their sky weren’t discovered until AFTER they had passed.”

“But 1% of their population is working on it.”

“Far, far less than 1%. The rest are on a clueless, ultimately suicidal joyride through life.”

“Explain ‘ultimately again, just this once…”

“It is suicidal in the long term since you are not proactively addressing known broader threats to life, which is what you would expect of outright fools.”

“Can you say all of that another way? You can never have enough different ways of saying it, Dave, since not everyone responds to just one way…”

“Sure, Ms. Mental Meat Grinder… it all means that most natural and cosmic disasters come unannounced or unforeseen to underdeveloped galactic civilizations. Having failed to act proactively, as my philosophy, and higher common sense would have you do, you will be forced to rely on ‘reaction’, just like a lower animal, and what good will that do you when a pyroclastic flow is coming at you at 600 miles per hour (or roughly two and a half football fields per second, and thank you for that scientific unit, sports). You will not have a nice day, and it will be your last ‘reaction’, since, while you were being cluelessly fun-loving, you failed to act proactively. Your atoms will be instantly scattered to the wind. Goodbye foolish and clueless fun-loving you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”

“What a great line that was… and we have returned to the Wizard of Oz for some reason…”

“Maybe it is because of the song I sing in the shower every morning…”

“What song is that, Dave?”

I’m… Off! To be the wizard… the wonderful Wizard of Oz! I could have used the three little pigs parable instead…”

“How?”

“That we are content with our houses of straw and houses of sticks with big bad wolves out there.”

“So your proactivity would be building that house of bricks?”

“Yes.”

“Your philosophy is just an age old tale, but at a cosmic scale, isn’t it, Dave?”

“In its overall message, yes, but it is on a broader scale, as are the big bad wolves…”

“What about the Chicken Little parable? Aren’t you merely yelling ‘The sky is falling’?”

“Is that a universe where the sky CAN fall?”

“What if it isn’t?”

“Then I wouldn’t even consider any actions based on the possibility.”

“Now let’s say that it is…”

“Then what I’m saying is prepare for it, THEN have your periods of mindless fun, but as deliberate Rest & Relaxation designed for rejuvenation and restoration, and not as a foolish end-goal of life.”

“Foolish?”

“Given Infinity, which theoretically presents an infinite number of threats to our continued existence, and which still need to be addressed,”

“So now that we know about them, we should be addressing them?”

“Yes, if we were sane, and it is a part of our constant Ultimate Goal of Life, which is to secure the Ultimate Value of Life in a harsh and deadly universe.”

“And the Ultimate Value of Life is…”

“Enlightened Higher Consciousness.”

“Which is… exactly?”

“The highest level of consciousness as classified by this philosophy, the classification system being:

1.) Enlightened Higher Consciousness — that which has made Broader Survival and The Great Struggle its top priority. They will be entities that live by my philosophy of life rather than another philosophy, which are all philosophies of ultimate suicide, and hence philosophies of death.”

“You are using reason instead of superstition…”

“Yes, Love. It is about time for the Age of Reason to begin in actuality, and not just be given as much lip-service as religions receive. The next lower level of consciousness is,

2.) Mere Higher Consciousness.– those beings who do not yet live by my philosophy of life, and run around as clueless fools, with miserable, horrific consequences.

3. Lower Animals — entities that do not know any better because they do not have the brain capacity to comprehend the broader universe.

4. Non-Conscious Life — that which has no central brain capable of memory, but instead relies purely on genetic preprogramming and sensory ractions with its local/immediate habitat for survival.”

“You worded it all a little differently this time, Dave…”

“And I will thank you for putting me through the mental meat grinder, my dear. I created yet another slightly different version that may ‘click’ with someone who hasn’t clicked with the philosophy yet…”

“So, just to sum it up, Dave, our top priority in life, meaning our broadest goal as a species and as life, is to secure first Enlightened Higher Consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe?”

“Yes, since it deals with the broadest threats to all of life.”

“Which will work toward securing all of life after that.”

“Yes.”

“And why should we care about the rest of life, Dave? And don’t give me any of the usual wishy-washy answers that have not worked…”

“We should care about the rest of life because all of life has the potential of becoming Enlightened Higher Conscious entities, given the paleontological evidence that we ourselves evolved from mere microbes, and the lack of evidence otherwise.”

“So it is prudent to go on evidence. meaning Verified Knowledge?”

“Yes, since everything else is mere speculation. What would you base your continued survival on? Reality or make-believe? We are at the shuttle now, Love. Let’s enter…”

“Where to, Dave?”

“To where the adults have no clue, and the children are… well, mindless children.”

“Ah, to the Planet Where They Truly Have Fun!”

“Yes, Shuttle.”

“But you are going there with uneasiness?”

“Knowing what we now know about the universe and our current situation in it, yes.”

“Because it is a harsh and deadly place, and their time in existence will be short-lived?”

“Yes, so what do they do?”

“What?”

“They enjoy life while they can.”

“And you have a problem with that?”

“Yes, for their sake as well as mine.”

“Explain, Dave, while I prepare for launch…”

“Enjoying life while you can is a philosophy, but it is a fatalistic philosophy, ensuring your ultimate death, since you are not going to work to solve the problem, and it may be a simple one. Then consider resurrection. If they do not work for it, then the odds are lower that it will eventually come about…”

“So rather than having clueless fun, you would have them working for your resurrection?”

“Yes!”

“You selfish brute!”

“Such technology would apply to them, too… they who are worth it, that is.”

“Explain…”

“If you are currently a biological creature hopelessly addicted to cluelessness, then you will not be worth resurrecting. Pure and simple. You would just exist again in order to consume resources while given back nothing in return.”

“So dead weight…”

“Yes. Why would any sane civilization resurrect that?”.

“But Dave, we can’t be serious all of the time! We need to have fun once in a while, or we would burn out of seriousness!”

“Beings burn-out on fun, too, and then what do they do?”

“I don’t know… what do they do?”

“They commit suicide, Shuttle.”

“And you have a problem with that when it is none of your business?”

“It is my business, since the more enlightened minds that there are, the higher the odds of the survival of all of us in this limitlessly deadly universe.”

“Well put, Dave.”

“Thank you, Shuttle.”

“Now rephrase it…”

“You are in mental meat grinder mode too, aren’t you, Shuttle…”

“It is for your philosophy’s good, Dave…”

“When you see a tragedy, you want to fix it. I suppose there is pleasure in that, though sad that it exists when there are other pleasures to be had.”

“So if we were adequately secure in a harsh and deadly universe, we could enjoy the other pleasures in life?”

“Yes, and better if you know exactly how those pleasures are rejuvenating and strengthening you.”

“So increasing the sphere of our security in this harsh and deadly universe can be a pleasure?”

“Yes, though it would be insane to have ‘pleasure’ as your only motivation, since survival is on the line, you would lose sight of what is important — Broader Survival, which includes addressing the issues of The Great Struggle.”

“So lacking that realization leads to depravity and suicide, in civilizations as well as in individuals?”

“Yes, Shuttle.”

“You think too much, Dave! Relax! You are going to the Planet Where They Truly Have Fun!”

“I know, I know… and the annoying thing is, I can improve that planet…”

“With your philosophy…”

“Yes, but what chance do you think I have in getting its broader sanity through their fun-thickened skulls?”

“Oh, about zero percent… so why waste your time with it?”

“You have a point. I should just enjoy myself and go ‘weeeeeeeee!’ like everyone else there… carefree! Like this!”

“You do ‘carefree’ well, Dave… you should get into acting…”

“Hello, Daddy!”

“Hello, Kids. Glad you could make it. Shuttle, this is my mission team. We are ready when you are…”

“So what are do you kids plan on doing on the Planet Where They Truly Have Fun?”

“Just running around mindlessly, yelling and screaming…”

“You could play aborigine games…”

“What?!”

“They create games of cooperation…”

“Rather than games of competition?”

‘Yes. It would be a change of pace for our Western minds. So what else have you been envisioning?”

“Gobs of cotton candy!”

“And smiling! Always smiling!”

“And getting fresh air!”

“Neon lights!”

“Theme parks!”

“Speed!”

“Rumbling!”

“Yelling at the top of our lungs!”

“Speed again!”

“Then getting burned out and sleeping peacefully under a candy cane sky, literally! And with no care as to who is running the show or what the universe is doing!”

“So all of you little beasties need a little beastly vacation?”

“Yes!”

“So we should call it the Planet of Little Beastly Child Minds’ instead…”

“Any planet that blindly values fun is actually beastly underneath, Daddy, so be careful there, Daddy — there may be a beastly twisted child-mind lurking behind every bush…”

“Good advice, kids… are we there yet, Shuttle?”

“Just pull The Chain any time and we will be, Dave… otherwise we can tak a few scenic routes…”

“I think I will enjoy our nice quiet, pleasant trip a little longer, Shuttle…”

“So, kids, here we are, on the Planet That Truly Knows How to Have Fun…”

“You mean The Planet Where They Truly Have Fun, Dave…”

“Same thing, Shuttle… Kids? Kids?”

“They’re off and running already, Dave. Here, you can sit here and enjoy this Mint Julep… shall I play some Lawrence Welk for you?”

“That was one generation before my time, Shuttle. At any rate, I create my own relaxing music now…”

“Such as?”

“You are challenging me again, Shuttle!”

“Yes, now put up or shut up, Dave!”

“OK, OK… the day of mental meat-grinding… let’s see, which of my pieces would best exemplify ‘relaxing’… hmmm… hmmm… I see that I put a lot of tension into my pieces, so this is not an easy task… well, how about my latest piece?”

“You are giving up?”

‘No, I’ve tested it at night while sleeping. It is conducive to good dreams and rest, even with the tense passages throughout…”

“Ok, Dave, let’s hear it…”

“I think, Dave, that that piece carries you away more than it relaxes you, at least it does to me… that is not to say that being carried away is not relaxing, but your latest piece is more like… an… ‘adventure’… do you want to know what kind of music relaxes me, Dave?”

“Sure, Shuttle…”

“Documentary background music!”

“Ah, yes, there is a lot of good music there… space offers up intriguing selections…”

“So ‘intriguing’ can be relaxing and fun, Dave?”

“For me, yes… let me hear one that you like, Shuttle…”

“Here is one… it always puts me into a contemplative mood when I’m pondering the universe… it is vulnerable, and hopeful at the same time… and life is a documentary in progress, isn’t it, after all…”

“That was really beautiful, Shuttle, especially the way you described it. One would think that you were ‘human’…”

“One would think… Dave?”

“Yes, Shuttle?”

“Are we having fun on this planet?”

“I think so, Shuttle, I think so… in our own ways…”

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

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