Keeping things of value:
When sunlight strikes the far side of the moon it is reradiated mostly as low grade heat leaving behind a trifling amount of dust.  When it strikes the earth it makes gondoliers, luminaria, pagodas and grandchildren.  In the end the energy goes out as heat leaving behind dust.  There is life here.  Life is a process that dynamically preserves partially ordered systems, and they are often wonderful.  The fact that it happens at all is a cosmic mystery even if the details of the process are known.  Science has yet to address this.  I have not the time to go into my own thoughts on it.

Admittedly, the process is not confined to life.  There are sunsets.  I do not mean the pale light now fading outside this window beside me.  I mean old fashioned summer sunsets all shades of red, yellow, orange, gold crimson violet, purple, indigo, blue and other colors I do not know and subtleties unnamed.  I mean towering thunderheads and radial beams.  I mean the kind of sunset you might have seen through this window decades ago.  I see them no longer so it is as if something magical has turned her back on us.  I do not know why.  But most of the wonderful things we see come into being through the process of life. 

When a small boy builds a tower of blocks there is a good chance that another small boy will deliberately knock it over.  Both wind up poorer for the event, one because he has been outshined in creativity and the other because he has learned that the world is a harsher lonelier place than he had thought.  But mostly we create more than we destroy.  Life is the preserving of creations both natural and artificial.  Everyone knows that we need to preserve things of value.

The reason I am putting effort into the present project is to preserve things of value.  It appears that the entire human race is in peril.  The chance may be small or large.  I could argue it either way.  But the risk is of little consequence considering the amount that may be lost.

Secondarily there is the preserving of the treasures of civilization.  These are in greater danger than survival itself but still so important that it amazes me that anyone can learn about the problem and not throw enormous amounts of energy into addressing it. 

Third I would like to preserve my own style of life, to preserve people who think like me, look like me, act like me and share my values.  I would also like to render the same service to anyone who shares none of the above.

The things we care most about, our loved ones, get separated from us.  This seems to strike almost nobody but me as a tragedy.  I would like to preserve those most close. 

We can have it all.  We can keep our cultural achievements and we can keep our little nests.  Right now we are set to lose both.  We probably cannot keep either unless we keep both.  If we have no nests we have no babies and no civilization.  If we have no civilization, we have insufficient productivity to allow the survival of more than a small fraction of the people who are alive and who will be alive when the civilization fails and our nests are emptied. 

I am not in the business of telling people what to do.  All I want to do is make the truth known and let people make free choices.  But it seems to me that if life has any point at all, the point is keeping such things.

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Linton Herbert

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