“Mirror mirror in the sky
Who could possibly be brighter than I?”
Ah yes, vanity— The pride of the 7 deadly sins, a narcissistic belief in one’s own abilities that blinds the individual to the grace of Gaea. It is the sin master in the party room, the source of much shaking in the sin making department, but what tune are we dancing to? A score from an epic movie victory scene or a Louisiana Death March?
One of my favourite science fiction movie quotes of all times is from Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcom in “Jurassic Park” as the automated electric car tour sets off for the dinosaur paddocks:
“God help us, we’re in the hands of engineers.” (cue voice clip )
Don’t get me wrong. I love engineers. I am one, my son is one, and my father is one. I will depart this world with the blood of an engineer in my veins…(unless of course I experience death by vampire.)
What? You have a problem with that!!? I dare you to prove me wrong…you’ll lose. I have the data…lots of data…more data than anyone could possibly need.
In fact, we absolutely “kill” the room in public speaking so to speak…well with boredom anyway.
Just think. If the world were run exclusively by engineers there would be no sin. Vanity the sin master would have nowhere to place the disco ball.
But personality aside, you know you are in the home of an engineer if the stainless steel fridge doubles as a mirror. Real mirrors are too valuable to use for grooming. Uh what? grooming? They are much better suited to a home-made surveillance system, various spy gadgets, a tag-team lighting system that saves on electricity yet at the same time brings sunlight in from windows down to the secret basement lab, and the latest most awe-inspiring invention that is sure to save our planet from global warming and mass extinction…
Mirror-bots in space!!!
It sounds like a science fiction B-movie doesn’t it?
The sad reality is however: “Gaea help us, our future is in the hands of engineers.” And may I add the new super-human brand of engineer— the geoengineer!
This can’t possibly be the answer Gaea is looking for on How To Cure A Low Albedo? The Greenland glacier which has done the deed for millennia is waning and attracting more heat from the sun for it. So what is a geoengineer to do but to invent an ingenious and complex contraption to conquer new intellectual frontiers and flaunt their nerd power?
If geoengineers spent more time looking at the source of the “challenge” rather than the challenge itself, then the speed at which humanity would wean themselves off fossil fuels causing the global warming in the first place would get a nitrous oxide boost. Or is there a darker evil force at work in the subconscious mind of the applied scientist?
OK. I concede. I fibbed earlier. The vain engineer does exist but his/her self-enamoration comes in the form of perceived IQ rather than appearance. That’s why the mirror-bots are to be pointed AWAY from Earth. Which is a good thing. Can you imagine looking up on a clear summer’s day and seeing millions of copies of Pat from Saturday Night Live staring right back at you? Shudder.
Geoengineering is fast becoming the mirror of humanity. Are we going to obsess over our limited magnificence or will it reflect the grace of Gaea within us and guide us to the real challenge we face — ourselves?
Space Mirror Memorial – jjackowski on Flickr – Some Rights Reserved