I stole this cartoon from Google and put in a new caption:
(Translated excerpts pertaining to the era of 20,000 b.p. to the present)
Section IV: Advanced Information Processing Species
A. Human Beings
1. Ecological Type (check one): Non-dominating and integrated ___; Dominating and integrated ___; Dominating and non-integrated __X__.
(for non-integrative dominators only) Ecological sustainability: None–rapidly decreasing biodiversity at the macro level causing increasing threat of microscopic pestilence as per Nyordyork’s Principle of Planetary Bio-Equilibrium.
2. Economic System: balanced exploitation
a. Most frequently bought & sold item (excluding food and fuel): weapons
b. Second most frequently transacted item (measured in monetary units): jewelry and shiny metals
c. Most frequently transacted type of literary culture (excluding news and current events): Religion and superstition
3. Energy System: non-renewable
4. Political System: fake democracies and actual dictatorships
5. Cultural/Aesthetic Systems: mostly species-specific
6. Justice System: biased towards the wealthy, even-handed towards the middle classes, and oppressive of the poor
7. Potential for Selection/Advancement: little to none because positive human mental traits do not correspond to any genetic groupings
RECOMMENDED COURSE OF ACTION (check one): Maintain protective guardianship ____; Allow catastrophic selection event(s) ____; Remove keystone species __X__
(Moral of the story: We’re fucked, and rightly so!)
All in all, the 13th baktun (AD 1618 – 2012) was a mixed bag. If you ignore the heavy casualties (and we all do) it was a pretty good baktun.
But still, I’m glad it’s done. So let’s address the important issues of the new baktun, like space:
Unfortunately, Mars is shot.
It’s over, over there… So over.
And forget about the Moon. Pay it no mind.
What you want is the Lost Dutchman’s Asteroid–a 200-ton nugget of pure palladium. It’s out there and I got the secret maps from a salty old drunk guy.
Beyond that, one of the biggest obstacles to more distant space travel is the mysterious problem of Deep Space Paranoia. DSP causes two overwhelming ideas to fixate in the astronaut’s mind:
1. What the fuck am I doing out in this horrible shitty Void?!
2. Everyone back on Earth is laughing at me for being the stupid schnook who agreed to get stuck out in this horrible shitty Void. They only pretend we’re heroes!
That’s why it’s important for mission control centers not to be overly jovial around the microphones, or to talk about the astronauts’ spouses too much.
To completely avoid DSP among astronauts, space agencies sometimes hire sociopaths–people who genuinely don’t care about their fellow Earthlings and the stupid shit they think. Or people used to being laughed at anyway.
But the use of “trekkies” and “trekkers” has proved disappointing. They really freak out.