Planet of the Faceless Nothings
Earlier this week I consumed thoughtlessly a post that Boonville’s own Jeff did about how the true goal of space exploration is not to discover new things but to essentially humanize the universe. The memory of the post crept in and out of my thoughts and then brought one full into bloom as I watched Alien Planet, the faux documentary series about a pair of artificially intelligent probes sent to the recently discovered planet Darwin IV to investigate possible bacterial life and instead finding something possibly intelligent. The part of Jeff’s quote of Stanislaw Lem’s book Solaris (which I have not read) is
We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors.
That’s because the creatures on Darwin IV evolved without eyes or jaws and suck the juices out of their prey with long pipe-like mouths and darting mosquito tongues. All I could think the whole time was “Well, this mission was a wash, nothing interesting on this planet.” even while watching a ten-story animal that looks like the Aggro-crag walk across an ocean-sized amoeba colony
Because said ten-story tall creature didn’t have an orc face or something CGed onto it.
That’s when I realized that the day any space agency discovers a planet of faceless creatures is the day that all space agencies lose pretty much all their funding.