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Honestly? King Neptune’s Nets

Most people aren’t interested, but a good biological historian will tell you that you that our species evolved on a planet two thirds of the surface of which was covered with water but, oddly enough, our ancestors lived and attained sentience and technology, walking upon land. As a consequence their range of motion was for all practical purposes limited to two dimensions: forward, backwards, right, and left. Their planetary brothers and sisters — called “fish” and “octopuses” and “whales” and “seals” and other odd monikers — were not limited in this regard, being able to move freely in three dimensions: forward and back, right and left, up and down. As a consequence water — the ocean — fluid — even space itself — has for us, deep in our cogntive-aesthetic-emotional wiring, a connotation of mystery and freedom. The chance of going forward and then suddenly taking a turn in an under-theorized dimension, up and down. And this is why, also, death seems to us a bit like a mysterious ocean, and so do all endings, and it is, at the end of the day, why our imaginative resources for dealing with the Infinite, upon whose edge our glorious array now stands ready to do battle, are like those of land-dwellers embarking upon the sea. We know we will step forward, one foot ahead of another, but our feet will soon lose contact with solid ground and we will float free. Yes, we will float free after the heat death. And the next direction we will travel on, all of us, from the tiniest computer to the galaxy-sized information hub, will be down.

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2 thoughts on “Honestly? King Neptune’s Nets

  1. Interesting as always, though to do justice to the issues you raised would take a long time and a lot more space than a blog reply.

    One point has always intrigued me: We know that life on earth originated in the oceans, and people in the Ancient Near East believed that the primordial world was made of water. It would be too much to suggest some kind of inherited subconscious memory that passed down through evolution, but it’s a fascinating coincidence.

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