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The Astrophysics of Violence
Are we a stable yellow giant or are we headed towards a supernova?
I grew up wanting to be an astronomer. I was obsessed with space and learned all about it as a kid. But as I’ve grown older I’ve come realize that while understanding space is important, it is not going to save us from anything, despite what Elon Musk tries to sell you on Twitter.
The future of humanity lies in our ability to ensure our individual access to a shared, objective reality, not on Musk’s liquid-fueled phallic symbols getting us to a cold, dead planet.
His obsession with Mars is paired with genocidal great replacement theory and climate denial for a reason. It’s all a story to distort everyone’s reality into his own. So he can gain control.
Earlier, I wrote this article about the increasingly apocalyptic visions being expressed by nightmarish QAnon account “ULTRA NUCLEAR MAGA Q.”
One theme of the account is wishing for a massive solar event that will spark an apocalypse on Earth. In many ways this is not that different from Musk.
This is pseudoscientific nonsense used to predict things like “The last BOOOM will be MAGICAL.” It seems so silly until you realize 225k people in this one Telegram channel believe it. This is an intentional reality distortion field leading people towards accepting mass death.
Nonetheless, there is a useful astronomical analogy here. Consider American democracy to be a forming star. Forgive the geek in me peeking through, but depending on a few factors, predominantly mass, a young star can do a number of things.
If the star is too large and too hot to stay contained, it will burn its energy up within a few million years and implode, causing a massive shockwave outward called a supernova (which incidentally creates all of the elements heavier than carbon) and leaves either a dead neutron star or a black hole behind in the middle.
If the star is small, like a red dwarf, it may last a long time but will simply run out of energy, slowly losing heat until it turns into a cold cinder and will have never created life.
However, medium-sized stars are stable enough to support life for billions of years. But they also have the grizzliest fate. Yellow giants like the Sun eventually turn into monsters called red giants that convulse in and out killing any life around them.
When our Sun dies, for example, it will ultimately be wider than the orbit of the Earth and spill its guts into surrounding space, creating a beautiful but entirely dead nebula that will then begin to coalesce into new stars, starting the cycle again.
However, to be clear, our Sun has billions of years left in the tank. Despite what you might hear on Telegram, the Sun is not our problem. We are.
What does this have to do with violence?
In my opinion, we are at a point where we are going to find out, by analogy, what kind of “star” we are.
The pressure that has been created from within our society by people like Musk — including on our system of governance, our moral framework, and our psychological well-being is too great to avoid a major disruption to release it. Which means I cannot think of a scenario that does not end up with a different system of some kind when it’s over.
This is not necessarily a bad thing in the long term, and it doesn’t mean that we are going to end up in an authoritarian or undemocratic system. But the initial growth of our nation and the world is at a clear point of inflection. Forces opposed to the system we’ve relied on for 250 years have added so much structural stress I don’t believe it can stand as it is.
One party in our two party system has turned into a fascist, anti-democratic insurgency. Russian intelligence has infiltrated a wide swath of our political and media ecosystem. Neo-nazi ideology is mainstream. SCOTUS is prepared to destroy the last 150 years of progress, having stripped women’s rights away and are coming for LGBTQ+ next. And we have tens of millions of Americans in an apocalyptic death cult while a fifth column run by former military officers organizes militias, compromises politicians and corrupts law enforcement to prepare for violence.
Unfortunately, we’re not getting out of this situation easily. The question is, what kind of “star” are we forming?
Are we headed towards a supernova — a spectacular cataclysm that will leave nothing behind but a black hole?
Are we a red dwarf, at our peak magnitude already which will slowly but inevitably head towards extinction?
Or are we a yellow giant, going through a final, chaotic evolution into a new more stable system?
Personally, I’m a fan of the third option. And I choose not to be a bystander in the process of choosing.
In order to stabilize our civilization, we must relieve the unsustainable pressure created by forces that intentionally distort reality, or we will collectively bow to those forces as a permanent feature of the world.
We cannot coexist with separate realities in the long-term and retain our individual freewill. Either we will share a common, objective reality as a species which we can use to make decisions or we won’t — it’s a binary choice between freedom of choice and a mechanized reality devoid of empathy and independent thought.
Without a shared reality to rely on and protect us, reality will be controlled by others, effectively making human beings cogs in someone’s machine. If you cannot access objective reality, an alternate reality will be created for you which can make you believe and do anything.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.
Weaponized disinformation has been getting perfected for centuries — but it has now captured tens of millions of minds in America and hundreds of millions globally. The internet is a vector for an infection, an intentional virus that we need antibodies for.
Regaining control of our shared reality will require innovation and conflict because a shared reality will require collective protection and enforcement which puts us at odds with the most powerful people in the world who profit from control.
The people who control the reality of others will defend their distortion fields to the death — because that is the golden goose that makes them rich and guides their narcissistic vision for the future. That’s why the most powerful psychopaths in the world run all the social media companies, and increasingly mainstream networks.
Control of information is control of reality is control of humanity.
We are in a war for control of reality. We should start fighting it. The good news is that the Sun is giving us plenty of time to win it.
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