The movie 2001 begins with early humans discovering that bones can be used as tools. Of course, they turn their discovery into weapons. Since our furry beginnings, we have invented all kinds of weapons and harmful tactics.
Why do we inflict pain? Humans get angry and need to physically express negative emotions or defend ourselves/others. This violence can escalate so far that it involves every nation (a world war.)
What is peak violence? On 16 July 1945, the Manhattan Project Trinity test released a 22-kiloton nuclear explosion. Since that date, we have created the ultimate level of violence. What is the lowest? How about saying, “You’re mean.” With these two single acts, we have a defined aggression range. From mild words to thermonuclear bombs. As a writer and a human, this knowledge provides relief. Why? This knowledge allows us to relax because there is no greater fear. As a writer, our plots cannot go below foul language or above nuclear war. Aggression is now fully quantified.
What about biological or chemical weapons? Those destructive technologies do not contain the same fear. For example, there is no such thing as a chemical weapons shelter. How about a meteorite impact? Humans did not invent meteorites and have no control over them.
What is the difference? A nuclear bomb can only destroy one city, and if we do not live in this city, then we survive. However, we still fear a nuclear attack. A significant meteorite impact would be so destructive that worldwide existence would change. Because we have not experienced this event before, we do not fear it. IE, we have not set the destruction bar that high.
How about the scene in Star Wars when the Death Star blew up a planet? This event is fictional, but let’s pretend it is possible. I place this fear into the same category as a meteorite impact. The possibility is so remote that we do not have to think about it until somebody flies a Death Star into our solar system.
Limits provide comfort, but we are at the most risk when we are comfortable. Is now a good time to buy meteorite insurance?
You’re the best -Bill
March 04, 2021
BUY MY BOOK
Read my next blog