Scale

Under one square metre of undisturbed ground in the Earth’s mid-latitudes there might live several hundred thousand small animals. Roughly 90% of the species to which they belong have yet to be named. One gram of this soil – less than a teaspoonful – contains around a kilometre of fungal filaments.

~ George Monbiot from, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/07/secret-world-beneath-our-feet-mind-blowing-key-to-planets-future

There’s mind–boggling complexity in the microscopic realm.

Here’s a quick zoom towards the macroscopic: If you imagine the Earth the size of a peppercorn, then the moon would be a pin-head about 2.5″ inches away. At this scale, the sun is an 8″ ball, sitting 14 yards from the peppercorn Earth. How far away, at this same scale, is the next closest star? It’s thousands of miles at this scale to the Centauri star system (a 4 year trip at the speed of light.) How far is it across our just-average-sized Milky Way galaxy? …and how many stars are here, with our cozy Sol? …and how far to the next galaxy? …how many galaxies? Frankly, I’m confident there’s other life—even other intelligent life—out there. But, will we ever meet each other across such vast gulfs of emptiness?

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This is not amusing

I grew up with maps showing how cities would be obliterated by a nuke. They’re back.

~ Clive Thompson from, https://clivethompson.medium.com/the-return-of-1980s-era-nuclear-strike-maps-a7aa292f7702

As did I. And, The Day After, for those who don’t know what that is, … well to be candid, I’m not sure how to describe it. Absolutely, scientifically and viscerally real. I know what it looks like when civilization collapses; and it’s not some kitschy zombie scenario. Disease disables, maims and kills. But nuclear war would return us to Medieval times. I would have been 12 or so when The Day After aired on TV, and I’m confident we watched it. I know I’ve also seen it several times on VHS, (and possibly on Beta as we had one of those for a while too.) There’s an interesting, unresolved question about why don’t we see signs of other intelligent beings… and one legit thought is that, quite possibly, all but vanishingly few races obliterate themselves in a sort of technology limiting event.

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