I went for a walk the other morning, quite early, and had another of those "moments". The straight town road was in front of me, and at the end of it a cloudy horizon. Above me the sky was clear, slowly brightening. And behind me at about 40° elevation, a nearly full moon. The road ran East-West. There was a scattering of small long clouds just above the denser ones on the horizon. And there was Venus, above and to the right of where I imagined the sun would rise shortly. The light from the hidden (to me) sun hitting the moon's surface.
The moment that I had was that if we were not used to such sights (if we would not take them for granted), it would feel as if we were living on "another planet", or in a science fiction film maybe.
And inside that moment was another feeling of what I was really looking at. From space, and not to scale, it was this:
From space, and more to scale, this:
(I don't know what device you're reading this on but in the above image, (to scale), the Earth and Moon are two tiny dots on the left of the image, over to the extreme right is the Sun, and Venus, another tiny dot is 3/4 across the image, closer to the sun. I've found that in an image of 600 pixels it is almost impossible show the inner Solar System to scale.)
And in this science fiction film, who were the baddies? Hmm. Too simple for a film, let's turn it into a novel. In this novel the baddies are (in rough recent historial order), the Nazi Party, the Soviet Communist Party, Chairman Mao and his lot, White Fundamentalists, Pol Pot and his lot, the Religious Right, the North Korean government, and finally (last but not least) ISIS.
All of them ignoring human pain and scientific reality. In favour of … having faith. Faith in things written by humans. Faith in ideas from really quite primitive humans at that. So how would they be treated in a science fiction novel? As the baddies. And enlightened humanists would come out on top. I hope the novel comes true, and that it comes true sooner rather than later.
Anyway I take comfort from my moments and in the amazingness and hugeness of the universe. And the mystery of it. So remember to look at things freshly every time. Who are you giving advice to Owen? Hmmm, looking at the stats for this blog, myself mostly.