Always remember: the universe doesn’t care (Editorial – December 2012).

Always remember: the universe doesn’t care.

Hello everyone

No, you’re not mistaken. The position of the Zen line hasn’t moved. For those who follow the Mayan calendar, there are expectations that December is the end of the world. It’s even happening before Yuletide, which was very considerate of them after so many seem to be putting up their decorations early this year to help the early advertising binge. Then again, considering that with only three of Mayan books left and translation might be a little off, it could have been last year (nope, still here) or even next year (came back in my time machine, so I know it’s not then neither). In which case, this editorial is a year early or that is purely arbitrary. Mine you, the Mayans didn’t think it was the end of the world, only that they had ran out of numbers and were going to start again, probably believing that numbers weren’t infinite.

Always remember: the universe doesn't care.

However, as much as this editorial could become a discussion about how pessimistic mankind is about its own fate and seems to be trundling on forever, let’s discuss my opening line: The universe doesn’t care. Of course, this could imply that the universe is sentient which would suggest it has god-like qualities than merely the results of an on-going multi-explosion and that life was created as a tiny bi-product in the aftermath. If the universe was sentient, then we would have more talking burning bushes, which seems like a phenomenon that only happened in ancient times to biblical folk. But what would the universe have to say if it did and why single out particular individuals who would be regarded as crazy as to admitting to such a thing but that’s a different story and that could be what it really was anyway taken out of context.

As pointed out above, the universe isn’t an entity but an expanding spread of galaxies laden with stars and planets where some have life and most don’t from an arbitrary single explosion or big bang. It’ll keep going forever, unless something stops it. Quite what that would be is hard to say. I doubt if there would be a gigantic black hole singularity waiting to absorb everything at the other end. If anything, life is just a minor event to happen in the expanse and doesn’t really make any difference on the galactic scale. Ergo, the universe doesn’t really care what we do and we’re just along for a small part of the trip.

That isn’t to say the cosmos isn’t a wonderful thing to behold. The photos from the Hubble telescope must surely humble us as to how massive it is and how tiny we are on the galactic scale of things. If we weren’t here, then what we see would still be going on. A clear indication that the observer has little effect on nature’s galactic events. As I said, the universe doesn’t care what we do but does that mean that we should give up caring for ourselves?

In many respects, we are the caretakers of our own ecology and if we fail that, then we fail ourselves and then can only hope that the Earth can recover and natural selection will grant sentience to a species more worthy of occupation. Considering how we are rapidly depleting our own natural resources, there is still not enough being done around the world to recycle our wastes, often letting our rare metals become even more rarer by poor recycling methods or letting other countries do it for us and then making greater financial benefit of it themselves. The end result could one day seeing the western world becoming the new third world, as the former third world takes ascension. Waste is something we could easily sink under unless we make better use of recycling methods ourselves.

There is so much we could do better, even in this financially struggling times which would establish better habits for more prosperous times. Often the right choices can be initiated purely by what we buy because it causes manufacturers to re-orientate than lose business. Voting with your feet or wallets can only give a better stamp on needs over frivolity.

If the universe doesn’t care, then why should we? That’s easy. We live here and it’s up to us as to whether there is a habitable world here for the generations to come. If we go under, the universe isn’t going to care. We’ll just be a footnote in some alien archaeologist’s notebook one day, wondering why we didn’t believe in ourselves to go on. In the meantime, the Mayan calendar will click over to another cycle and won’t even notice we were noting it. Such is life. No more precious than what we give it.

Thank you, take care, good night and may I be the first person to wish you a happy recycling new year.

Geoff Willmetts


A Zen thought: A blink of an eye is too fast for us to rarely notice.

A second Zen thought but as a potential new year’s resolution: Be gracious and remember no one is perfect when they make a misteak.



Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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