Humans can’t fly. Why don’t you to try. Even if you don’t there are plenty ways to die. The question is why?
Don’t get hung up on the awesome rhyming, okay? My point is that there are limits to our existence that may never be explained. It is true that we can’t fly. No mammal can. Unless you think of air as a fluid, and compare us in our fluid to a whale in theirs. Then a mammal can, in fact, fly. No fair! Often I think about how it makes no sense that there are limitations to anything. Then I quickly realize that ‘making sense’ of anything is just a matter of convention. There is nothing to make sense of in terms of reality. It was here first. What is most experienced is most normal. Take time for instance … (get it?) Time is the most defining limit I can think of. It constrains us to move forward and never back. The time I spend writing this with never be returned. It is our baseline for everything we measure and do. As far as I understand, we perceive time moving forward because of the motion of the universe in a particular constant direction. I’m not going to pretend like I understand the greater concepts of time, but as far as I know, it can’t go backwards. I am going to make a bold prediction here and say that there will NEVER be time travel. Got is nerds? NEVER! The dinosaurs are dead! Maybe a Jurassic Park thing might happen. I’m not going to rule that out.
Another constraint that nature, as we understand it, puts on us is our finite life span. Life is related to time in that the passage of time is the standard by which we measure age. Every second that passes brings us closer to the most dreaded constraint of them all. The question as to why humans, or other animals, do not live forever is a little easier to understand. As living things evolved we have always been dependent on finite, local, resources. The sun is an exception, but as humans, we need far more than just sunlight. Trees rely mostly on the sun. That is why they live longer for the most part, I think.1 Somehow nature, or whatever you might call this system we’re in, knew that population density being out of control would be a tremendous problem. I’m kidding of course! Nature doesn’t ‘know’ a fucking thing. We die because we are being chemically consumed by our environment. It’s not fancy, or romantic, but when is the truth ever? Oxygen is most likely a key culprit. We need it to live, but reactions with oxygen give off lots of energy, so we decay and get cancer as a result.3 Pretty funny there, Clod, uh, I mean God. No no, Clod will do. Back to the sun. The sun is a bountiful resource. At least it is for now because guess what!? There are limitations to the sun’s life too! In the meantime (a giant meantime) we need a whole lot more than the sun. Water, food by way of plants, animals -including ourselves sometimes-, nuts and twigs, are all limited resources. Should it be our mission to try are solve these finite resource problems? Are we able to become a multi-solar system species before it’s too late? I doubt it. We don’t seem to be doing a very good job of it on Earth anyway.
Surely finite resources are a limitation to our existence, but not an overarching kind like being consumed by life itself. While we are alive, though, there are plenty of limitations to keep us perplexed. We can’t jump infinitely high, nor run infinitely fast, hold our breath, or instantly be asleep, etc. etc. We certainly can’t know all there is to know2 -even though some assholes think they do- there are capacity limits. Everything seems to be bounded somehow. Infinities are interesting, but that’s complicated conceptual stuff. There are pretty obvious answers to our physical limitations. We can only pump blood so fast and our muscles can only grow so big because of the scale of our environment. Theoretically, there might be a robot able to move so fast we can not see it. Of course there will. I think that is a long way off though. We may extinguish ourselves way before then.
Light has some very interesting properties. Like the fact that is is a wave but also a particle. But, powerful and necessary as it is, light also has it limitations. Light travels through space at 299,792,458 m/s. If you want that in mph, sorry, get with metric, chump! The conversion factor for meters is 1m meter to 0.000621371mi mile, and there are 3600s seconds in 1h hour. I’m not going to do the math for you. I urge you to learn it. It’s good. If you can’t do unit conversion, I feel sorry for you mother. Anyway, nothing can go faster than light. Nothing. Photons traveling in a vacuum is referred to as the cosmic speed limit. That pretty much ends the interstellar debate right there. Special relativity aside, it would take countless generations to go on a business trip to another galaxy. Unless sentience embodies another form, we’re pretty screwed. It’s cold out there in space, too. There are limitations to what we stand tempraturally (new word bonus!) also. We, for all intents and purposes, (no eggcorn bonus!), are bound to this planet. The speed of light is the bars to our prison cell it seems. So there is more reason to cherish each other and the planet we’re on. And don’t get me started on fucking Mars. I’m with Bill Maher on this one. We need to get our shit straight here before we go fucking up somewhere else. Elon Musk is a fine person, and I appreciate where the research sometimes leads, but c’mon! I’m team Earth.
There are limitations on our speech too, all self-imposed I might add. We made speech up in the first place. Why is it okay to say ‘W.T.F.’ anywhere you are, and you can’t say what the fuck? It means the same fucking thing! Everyone knows that. I find that to be pretty stupid. So stop saying W.T.F. you goddamn idiots! If you can’t swear don’t say anything at all! Fucking child! Whew. It’s good to get that out. Where was I? Speech! What if we all could say anything we want at any time, but also we were all smart enough to know when to take said things seriously? Take the ol’ ‘fire in a crowded theatre’ yarn. No one does that! And if they did, I would hope that there would be actual fire. And if not, that person should be severely beaten on an instant by instant basis. Or put in jail if you’re a civil type. Just because there are laws does not prevent someone from doing anything. Let’s get over the speech thing. We can all be smart enough to check ourselves and others, can’t we? Maybe not. I lose faith in humanity daily. Part of the problem is that people have a hard time carrying their own weight. They can’t clean up after themselves and they end up being an unnecessary burden for everyone around them. Those kinds of fuckups are why there are rules and laws. They ruin it for everyone, and make me want to not even bother with living. Laws and order are both good things. I’m not advocating for the absence of law because the world is full of dirty fuckups There have to be self-imposed limits or it would be the purge all day every day. But I think the idea of accountability of oneself is fading. Maybe we rely too much on laws to do the work for us. Humans tend to throw blankets to solve problems rather than deal with them on an individual basis.
It’s fun to think about these things. The answers aren’t easy, or, often, even existent. But ultimately it all points my feeble brain to the same conclusion. We are an exceptionally rare accident. There really is no point to us being here. How can there be? If it is true that something made us, then that thing is a fucking GIANT moron. We are loud, dirty, and dumb destroyers of our environment. But we are capable of so much more, and yet can’t achieve it on a majority scale. The real question is: why can’t we get our shit together? Beyond time, that seems to be the biggest limitation of all. And just because I am calling attention to all of these things does not mean I would ever exclude myself! I can’t get my shit together either! Life is hard! These limits are real. Somehow we just have to find a way to enjoy this weird rare event we call life. A square can never be a circle, a man or woman can never be truly a woman or man. I’ll never have a hot rack. Sorry guys.