Recipe for Disaster

Photo by Beth Macdonald on Unsplash

The captain’s tentacles shuddered as he looked at the dead planet below. “What happened here?”

“Primates. Every time they evolve a technological society it ends up like this,” replied the scientist. “Their hypercharged social structures favor brains that are good at winning arguments, not discerning truth. To them, power equals truth. So the most powerful monkey wins all the arguments, and he consumes as much as he can to cement his status. All the other monkeys scramble to outdo him, until everything is stripped bare and they all die out. They usually manufacture oversized personal transports right up to the point when the climate collapses. It’s a recipe for disaster. Granted, they evolve fifty or more times faster than societies of solitary agents like our own, but their consumption always outstrips their progress.”

“They never manage to engineer away their insane greed?” The scientist flung a limb over his back, making a rude slapping noise.

“Even if they can, they would never consider it.”

“Do you think we could help one survive if we arrived in time?” The scientist gave him a disbelieving look.

“Why? Are you curious how long it takes to burn down a galaxy?”

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