Wednesday, January 22, 2014
If you look into history you'll find it's pretty much the story of people who weren't like us at all, working and striving, a little improvement here, a little improvement there, until they got to be like we are today. Now that we're the way we are, we can look back on all those other generations and realize how backward and stupid they were. That's progress.
And it's not just history, either. It's prehistory. Like, you take dinosaurs. Clearly they were a mistake. Can you imagine us getting anywhere with a bunch of dinosaurs in the way? So naturally they died out. Now their skeletons are in museums and we look at them and say, "Dinosaurs, cool." Dinosaurs never looked at each other's skeletons and thought they were cool. Just one more example of progress.
The great thing about progress is you don't have to know where you're heading to end up there. Like Columbus. He didn't know he was coming to America, he thought it was India. True fact. But once he was here, he made the most of it. Now think about this, Columbus was Italian, his ship was Spanish, and this whole place was full of Indians. Crazy right? But now it's full of Americans. You know what that is? That's right. Progress.
And a lot of those people back then, if they were around today, wouldn't be all that thrilled, but that's just because they can't keep up with progress. Like those super-religious Puritans. They'd look around and say, "This is not what we had in mind." Or the founding fathers, with all that unreasonable search and seizure jazz, they'd have said, "This is not what we had in mind." Or the Indians, they'd sure have said, "This is not what we had in mind." Or even Columbus, he'd have said, "This-a not-a what-a I hadda in mind-a." Because he was Italian, get it? But that's how it is with progress, keep up or get left behind.
Which is what's so great about Mankind. And by the way, that includes Womankind, too. (See, progress everywhere you look.) Wherever we end up, and whenever we end up there, and however we ended up there, we look around and decide we like it this way and call it progress.
And if there's a nuclear war, the survivors will have learned their lesson, you betcha, with their grotesque mutations and running sores. And that'll be progress too, because they'll say, "Thank God we aren't as dumb as the knuckleheads who got us into this." And if there are no human survivors, then cockroaches will probably develop intelligence and take our place and that'll be progress. Like with the dinosaurs. And with cockroaches there never will be nuclear weapons because they don't have opposable thumbs.
And in another few billion years, if we don't kill ourselves first, the sun will turn into a red giant and swallow up the inner planets. Then all the stars will burn out one by one and the whole universe will be a dark, cold, ember.