Hell-Bent for Abzar

This is a diary I never really wanted to write, because the thoughts in it are almost suicidally depressing.

In H. Beam Piper's Paratime Patrol stories, he posits three outcomes for the human race. The one in which his stories are set is a low-probability lucky accident in which paratime travel is discovered just in time to salvage humanity from one of the other two fates.

The "better" of the bad outcomes is designated as the "Dwarma sector", where a handful of survivors renounced technology, progress, curiosity, privacy, and interpersonal confrontation to live a Neolithic (at best) lifestyle where every day is exactly like every other and everyone's business is everyone else's business. The occasional Paratemporals who vacation there think this is "quaint" and "charming" and the people are "so gentle" but such incurable busybodies that about a week there is long enough. (The Dwarma folk are probably also on a slow drift toward extinction, but that point is never raised.)

The Paratemporals generally forget about the Abzar sector, because there is literally nothing there. No human life, no animal life, nothing - just bare empty sands between crumbling buildings. The people there fought each other for the last crumb, the last grub, the last drop of water - and then they all died. (The air remains breathable, so perhaps some unicellular life survived in the oceans.)

Back in the real world, where paratemporal travel is not an option, we have an outside chance, at best, of achieving a Dwarma-like existence based on only renewable materials and whatever scraps of metal can be scrounged from the ruins.

We are far more likely to follow the Abzar path -- and destroy ourselves and all other living things. Even the oceans might be barren of life by the time we are done with them. No future space visitors, should there be any, would believe that this lifeless globe with its toxic atmosphere could ever have been the home of an intelligent species.

And perhaps they would be right.

PS: Piper committed suicide.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...to this site.

This is no exception.

In my brain, I have an insert reel that continuously runs fiction of this sort. It acquires special meanings and deep parallels when it is projected inside of our own wetware theaters. The parallels are indeed mind-expanding. Perhaps this fiction is the dark matter in this universe, which I've noticed is particularly thick in this sector. A few brains have unusual access for the self-referential and self-reflective nature of dark matter.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
magiamma's picture

are stupidly selecting for extinction... sigh

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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lotlizard's picture

@magiamma  
in the current system seem to think that “life,” and the meaning of life, is in the “game” represented by all those numbers and graphs flashing by.

So much life on this planet is withering and dying, but the elites, hypnotized by their own abstractions, do not care as long as the financial numbers grow and the trend of the graphs is up.

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dkmich's picture

No future space visitors, should there be any, would believe that this lifeless globe with its toxic atmosphere could ever have been the home of an intelligent species.

And perhaps they would be right.

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10 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

@dkmich has its own intelligence.

Humans use theirs for too much evil.

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3 users have voted.

dfarrah

detroitmechworks's picture

Because I'm just getting my life back together. I look around at the people I train with and the people I talk to and I refuse to accept that humanity is doomed to either eternal boredom or eternal oblivion.

Because I have found so much joy in things that are already "Known" that I don't need to discover more. I could spend countless lifetimes just exploring the trash heap of knowledge which modern humanity has thrown by the wayside for "Convenience".

Predictions of the future tell much about the author. While sad, I see that this author felt there was no hope.

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7 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@detroitmechworks

perhaps the underlying pessimism played a part too.

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7 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Bollox Ref's picture

@detroitmechworks

Franz Schmidt's Prelude and Fugue in D major, via the organ of Cologne Cathedral.

A nice discovery.

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6 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

snoopydawg's picture

No future space visitors, should there be any, would believe that this lifeless globe with its toxic atmosphere could ever have been the home of an intelligent species.

... the little grey aliens can't believe that an intelligent species could deliberately destroy their planet. I've often imagined a more intelligent species watching us from afar and laughing at our stupidity of permanent war and the other stuff we do. Kinda like Under the Dome for any King fans.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery