Editorial – January 2023: Humans are a concept that will never work.

The Law Of Averages


Humans are a concept that will never work.


Hello everyone,

Looking at the title above, I can see mixed reactions. One is bound to be ‘humans are people not a concept they are organic beings’. Duh!

Getting past the organic aspect, the real focus is on being human as a concept. It often gets confused with being humane, which basically means showing kindness to other members of your species. That ‘e’ makes all the difference in meaning. As the General Semantics concept goes, ‘human’ is a wide defining word that fits all but doesn’t fit everybody. Its too wide a definition that everyone slips out of simply because ‘average’ doesn’t fit.

Are we talking appearance. Physically, we have a limb at each corner but then does those with amputations or other means to have not have them all any less human? If we are talking mental capacity, are we talking how smart we are against some with mental incapacity. Already the ‘yes, but’ should be stirring in some of your heads. Define yourself and get others near you, physically or digitally, and compare. Obviously, there will be some characteristics that will match and probably several others that don’t but we still end up calling it ‘human’. Are we any different for those differences? Skin colour and religion should come pretty low on differences although, oddly, higher by some people. Odd world isn’t it? The single word ‘human’ is just too narrow a definition to fit everyone.

Editorial – January 2023: Humans are a concept that will never work.
Editorial – January 2023: Humans are a concept that will never work.

Even being a geek has become pretty acceptable now, simply by means of cultural usage and the need for us variants who are good with computers to our specialised knowledge in a variety of subjects now giving us an air of respectability that wasn’t there a couple decades ago. Yet, we are at one of the extremes of intense interest in things and at the other end of the curve are people who clearly don’t have much interest in anything for long.

The point is the term ‘human’ is an encasing word covering more than just a few aspects of what we…you think you are. To just call yourself ‘merely human’ is doing yourself an injustice. If you want to see yourself as an individual, then you need to look at what distinguishes you from other people. This is not about egotism and all about being an individual. Where in the various many Boolean Mexican hat arcs are you?

It also distracts from the first part ‘The Law Of Averages’ and that mankind is built up on extremes that the people in the middle would either like to emulate or, at its most vicious, would rather not copy. Either way, there is an element of attraction or newspapers wouldn’t concentrate on the worse of human lives. The old adage, there but for the, put your own deity, goes I. Except in many case, the odds of the same events happening in exactly the same, short of transport and weather condition accidents, are quite low. The only thing that is certain with organic life is birth and death and even the latter can be cheated, ask any defrosting iguana.

Whatever, all average curves are still those Boolean Mexican hat curves and the world becomes translated into statistics. If this applies to the human race, then we would also find similar things in other animals. If that is true here, then we would have to consider the same is true off-world and with extra-terrestrial species. This should move aliens away from being one note species like with, oh for the want of another species, the Klingons where even the toilet cleaner is a warrior. That’s not to say all fictional aliens are the same, we have examples of the original Visitors, with Willie (actor Robert Englund) from the first ‘V’ TV series and the Centauri, Vir Cotto (the late actor Stephen Furst) from ‘Babylon 5’ to attest to that just in case anyone thinks I’m generalising, although the rest of each species appeared smarter.

To some extent, writers felt they need to have one or two basic descriptive words to make identifying an alien species easy. Go back to the original ‘Star Trek’ and we discover Spock (the late actor Leonard Nimoy) is not a typical Vulcan, unable to keep his emotions in check but enabled a connection to the human viewer that only hybrids can make and failed miserably when applied to a certain Time Lord when the attempt was made to americanise him. Pure Vulcans that have appeared since just tend to be inscrutable and harder to relate to.

It still shouldn’t distract from the common statistical curves and how do you work them out. Oddly, it is rather simple. Anything that has a range certainly qualifies. The obvious one is IQ. It doesn’t have to start at zero, probably around 40 to its highest, somewhere around 210, although very few are recorded that high. Being average just means you are somewhere in the middle not that you can’t have your bright or low moments from time to time.

The Laws Of Averages certainly enters our domain when it comes to talent. The people at the extremes don’t belong to the averages although, oddly, it is possible to transcend them, even with minimal talent providing the work is put in. Even those with talent have to practice. It’s an important lesson that even within such curves, things are not static, so there are also different levels within the ‘average’. It’s always down to determination as to where you are placed and the determination to improve. You just can’t expect to do it instantly. Everything is a learning curve, more so after formal education. You never stop learning.

Trying to work out what is ‘human’ is as difficult as working out skill sets. Once Man was thought to be the only animal capable of applying tools. These days we know better and various members of the animal kingdom are equally adaptable and even pass such skills to their next generation. We can’t even lay claim to being artistic when even some types of birds and fish create elaborate designs to attract a mate. It is possible that what makes Man stand out is the talent to write and place word images in other people’s heads that they can see. Well, pretty much what you’re doing right now. Even in this computer age, this is a skill that is still needed. Having information is one thing, being able to interpret deeper meaning or interpretation is more than just facts.

Actually, that’s not necessarily true of what distinguishes Mankind from other primates as, as far as I know, that cook our food. The differences it made to the proteins and digestive systems, helped us trim our jawline by not needed to chew so much, making articulated speech and communication better and develop the intelligence, for better or worse, we have today.

Of course, there must be these statistic curves in the non-organic world. Picking an example at random, an active volcano with lava spewing out, just bubbling over and dried up would fit the pattern. So one would have to see if you can apply it or not. Saying that, you would have to question whether we are fitting things to the pattern or the pattern existed in the first place. Logistically, its probably true for both sorts. The equivalent of mixing fact with fake and a need for verification as to which is which.

If we can’t understand differences within our own species then how are we going to accept some differences in an alien species? If such species have socially developed.

If you don’t want to be just one in the crowd, then you must place more emphasis in developing some talent you have to move you further along the curve of one of those averages. It will affect other curves you’re probably in and who knows where it might lead. Don’t be complacent if you want to succeed.

Thank you, take care, good night and you do have to wonder if extra-terrestrials are built the same way and how would we tell the difference?

Geoff Willmetts

editor: www.SFCrowsnest.info

A Zen thought: Nature is not tidy or perfect so brooms to sweep under the carpet don’t work.

What Qualities Does A Geek Have: To know we aren’t just one in a crowd.

The Reveal: The reason why so many painting and illustrations have their figures with open-eyes is to allow them to engage with the viewer. Look at your reaction when you don’t see them looking out of the picture.

Observation: Watching the first episode of the 1970s series ‘UFO’, it occurred to me that it wasn’t so much the Rolls Royce crashing down the hill that caused the explosion but Straker’s briefcase exploding that caused it. All right, so the contents didn’t explode but the primary charge did detonate.

 Observation: Back to ‘Alien’ again. (I blame having them as part of my laptop’s wallpapers.) How would Dallas, Kane and Lambert think it might be useful to carry a tripod and cable in case they had to have a look around in the hold? I mean, its hardly standard kit.

 Feeling Stressed: There’s always another year to look forward to.



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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