Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ask Dr. Vector: He Knows More Than You!

Dear Dr. Vector -

My parents, my teachers, and my counselor have all repeatedly assured me that “everything is going to be okay.” Is this true?

- Anxious in Alameda


Dear Anxious -

Your skepticism is well founded. In a word, no. It’s time to face some tough facts that we all have to grapple with sooner or later, viz. you don’t know what viz. means. Most of your genome is noncoding. Your body is programmed for senescence, so no matter how smart the doctors get, they won’t save you from 4 billion years of built-in obsoletion. You will never really ‘get’ the Krebs cycle. Your shoulder girdles are configured in such a way that it is impossible for you to shave your own back, so you’re going to have to find some help or spend the rest of your life toiling under a pelt that would shame a musk-ox. Your ‘friends’ have never alerted you to the fact that your underwear is almost always visible, regardless of your attire or the social occasion. There will always be at least one person in your life that you can’t stand, but can’t avoid. It is highly unlikely that you will ever get through even the first chapter of the Kama Sutra, especially if you try it with someone else. You often brag about things your acquaintances have done to try to make yourself sound cooler. Most of the time you’ve spent thinking about ‘Plus ca change’ has been focused on pronunciation, and all of it has been wasted. Every pillow you ever have or ever will sleep on was or will be covered in an invisible layer of microscopic dust mite feces.

Your country is ruled by the rich and their elected puppets and has been for ages; your life, liberty, and potential happiness are inconsequential byproducts of their self-interest; and almost everyone you will ever interact with will be either too idealistic or too stupid to grasp this. Your planet’s flora and fauna are being burned and eaten by people who are hungry, often to make room for more cows. You will constantly be distracted from the foregoing by advertisements for soda pop, feminine hygiene products, and automobiles that you can’t afford. The word ‘extreme’ will continue to be misapplied until it becomes an article like ‘a,’ ‘an,’ and ‘the.’ Despite the skyrocketing availability of ‘data,’ you understand less about yourself and your place in the world than the average hunter-gatherer, and although you may live longer, you will worry more and laugh less. If you have kids, it is a statistical certainty that you will come into physical contact with vomit, urine, and excrement on countless occasions before they ever say a single word. As you try to keep them physically safe and mentally uncontaminated in an increasingly septic world, you will realize that you are morphing into your parents.

You will spend more time checking your e-mail than having meaningful conversations with your significant other. Your chances of getting a job in your chosen field suck. Even if you are successful, you will sacrifice your time, money, health, and sanity at the altar of employment. You will constantly be advised to ‘think outside the box’ by people who clearly can’t. No matter how much you accomplish, you will either be forgotten, recalled only as an object of ridicule or source of shame, or hated and feared for generations: the fondness of your memory will scale inversely with its durability. Every species is destined to go extinct, yours included. Really amazing things will evolve in the future, and you won’t be around to see them–in fact, no one will. Your only real shot at immortality is to become fossilized, and your chances there are slim. Whether you succeed or not, any last traces of your existence will be vaporized when the sun goes nova.

And when you drink to try to forget all this, you’ll be killing the very brain cells that represent your one slim shot at happiness.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Vector

2 Comments:

Blogger lastneanderthal said...

_where_ do you find the time?

7:33 PM  
Blogger Mike Taylor said...

Not only that: nothing you do is statistically significant.

1:54 AM  

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