Operation Underlord


John Wright


Dateline: 11/12/2003, Time 16:20 hours Ö this is Rancid Retch reporting from nowhere Ö tonight the world awaits the coming of Ö of Ö nothing! We will not be disappointed. Yes, folks, tonight there isnít a damn thing happening that is new or otherwise interesting. Our sources around the world have all reported in with the latest garbage, and, it had to happen sooner or later Ö nothing! OhMyGawd! Is it really true? Have all the people and all they do slipped so far that nothing new of consequence has happened anywhere? What will happen to us reporters?

Alas, it really is possible that nothing of consequence has occurred in the past 24 hours, and that is alarming. First, the very idea that I have nothing to report implies that we are boringly inactive on all fronts, or that I am comatose! HaySuess Ö I donít like this situation Ö just think if we started to have more days like this the whole idea of news could go down the toilet! Surely someone erred! There has to be something to talk about, else I/we are null!

Sure enough, there is a fundamental question about the relevance of what we receive from our news media. First we consider the idea of progression, i.e. is there a point to what is happening and a conclusion or destination? If not, what is it except endless potboiling? Do you want your friends and neighbors knowing that you are entranced by Brownian Movement?

Stepping just a bit deeper into the doo-doo, there is the philosophical consideration that forward movement through time does not imply direction to anything else. Events may or may not have a planned developmental sequence. They may or may not have cross-causality. There may be no ultimate goal to most of what is going on around us! Hating even the notion that we may be meaningless we look for answers, and, to be candid, only religions give us any sense of ultimate purpose Ö and that to be realized only after we depart this world! Oh, dear, we do have a problem.

Taking a secular view, our federal government has some responsibility to promote the pursuit of happiness, which might be seen as a limited purpose or goal created primarily for the individual. Thus, there need not be a national purpose beyond maintaining an environment in which individuals can seek their own happiness. That position is however weak as it precludes or removes any responsibility to develop society as a whole and put long-term direction and purpose in our governmental initiatives. What is missing? Come on, it is rather obvious that there is no stated long-term developmental goal that supercedes independent pursuit of happiness. I challenge anyone to identify a national goal that evolves society as a whole beyond the mundane.

Taa, taa Ö stated simply, it is exactly the lack of a unified goal for Humanity that points to the necessity to develop such a goal. Clearly, our countries and their governments have not had a common goal for the future of Humanity. Clearly, religions have promised much with no evidence of consequence. What is left? Well, what is left is for humans to wake up and smell the coffee. We are responsible to define clear goals and paths for achieving them Ö all on behalf of some idealized future state for our species.

Is not this obviously missing purpose/goal the real reason for developing Destiny? Is it so hard to step outside the daily events and the endless repetitions and consider the possibilities for a better future state for our species? I simply do not believe that we are up to our collective asses in alligators such that we have no time to devote to defining, designing and engineering our future. We really can stop "thinking small" and grow up, provided someone or something gets the process started.

You might spend some time imagining a future reality that lacks many of our present limitations, and follow that up with ideas about what needs to be in place to realize your future reality in stepwise increments. Note that in any period of history that activity was valid but most people who dwelt in future imaginings were simply called dreamers, i.e., they lacked substance or practicality at their time in history. The process of gaining knowledge and applying it to technological feats was slow and comprised of activities with no central goal or purpose other than to discover and apply a localized or specific kind of knowledge. Today we have rapid development of synergistic technologies that do more than suggest that we can evolve quickly and start to realize what used to be only dreams.

Perhaps I am somewhere out in space with my expectations, perhaps not. Do you share any of my expectations about harnessing scientific advances to evolve Humanity? I hope so, for this is my sense of the "Day of Judgment" and the "Resurrection" and the "Second Coming" and the active and practical beginning of our quest for eternity. It is at this juncture in our history that we decide whether or not to seek "eternal life." For all the millennia of drudgery that we have endured, we finally have the potential to improve our species. I am nonplussed that there isnít a more obvious societal reaction demanding and funding concentrated research and applied genetic technology. Am I the only one who happens to see the potential?

No, it simply isnít reasonable that I would be alone in my expectations. Maybe I am similar to some common person watching the Wright brothers during the first flight. I may long be dead before we begin to optimize and fully implement the early discoveries and successes. In the meantime, Rancid Retch is fully bored with the meaningless repetitions that comprise our "news." Our life is easily seen as Operation Underlord as we are so trite until we grow up.