• Styles Yugen

The Great Human Project


We are all part of the great human project. Billions of us. The rich, the poor, the disabled, the able bodied, even those who swear off all contact and shared culture. For all our existence as a species we’ve built and learned, succeeded and failed. Every action an individual takes defines their personality just as their lives define the human fingerprint.


Imagine if there were xenos lurking out there that we hadn’t met yet, just observing everything we do. Individuals won’t really matter to them, no, it’ll be the identity of our species as a whole that interests them. That identity is a culmination of everything we’ve ever done, all the choices we’ve made as a whole. Hamlets to villages, villages to cities, cities to planets. Each step up in scale represents more individuals and their effect on the whole. We only have the planets and cities and villages and hamlets that we do because our ancestors thought it was a good idea to do something. It’s a glimpse into the past of our own species, and conversely, a peek into our own future. Each brick we put in to place is part of the great human project, just as every brick we take away, destroy, steal, or imagine is a part also.


And what would those lurking xenos see? Well, we’d like them to see a strong and united species, capable of many great things. We’d like them to see the greatest things we’ve ever accomplished, everything that puts us in the best light.

But they’d see a species divided by frivolities. They’d see humanity clawing and scraping through their lives while others sit on high, sipping martinis and remarking on the weather. We’ve segregated ourselves. Take your pick how so, but money is an easy one. Some humans live opulently in their high towers while others starve in the gutters below: it’s shameful.


Can’t we even take care of our own?


Or are we all too selfish and one dimensional as to not see the suffering of our fellows?


It’s shameful, and I know we can do better. Just because you look out your window, or door, or cardboard flap, and don’t see a human suffering, doesn’t mean it’s not out there--doesn’t mean you should just ignore it.


As we all know, the world will crush you if you get in the way. Call it the wheels of progress, or the machinations of a terrible machine; either way, an individual can hardly make a difference to the great human project. But maybe, and just maybe, a magnificent bastard like you lending a hand to another in need will persuade those lurking xenos that we aren’t hopeless.


Styles Yugen, signing off.


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Science Fiction and the pursuit of escapism, 2020.