26 July, 2011

[SFAP] Chapter 8:2

This is the second section of the eighth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.

“So where are we then” he asked
“Just skirting Mars orbit”
“Excellent I’ve been wanting to do this for years”
“Where are you going?”
“The kitchen to get a teapot”
“To dump it out of the airlock”
“Aggravating a centuries long question”
“Are you going to explain or do I have to use violence?”
“Violence clearly.”
“Give me a while to think of something creative.”
James laughed at Alice, he didn’t like the look he got back from her though. “What now?”
“Just you, is this your way of ignoring the real issues?”
“What are the real issues?”
“You know full well.”
“Not really. Two lovers squabbling think that who left the toilet seat up is the real issue; two nations fighting over who really has the right to annex a piece of land think that’s the real issue; we now think that the Habitat and AIs are the real issue. What if it’s not, what if this is just another pointless squabble in the grand scheme of things.”
“Almost certainly is. I sincerely doubt it’s the first conflict to truly matter if that’s how you want to look at it. but it can’t always be about the grand picture. In thousands of years of human history the only thing that really matters are the people and the lives they lead. If you’re not true to yourself and standing up for what you believe in.”
“But what if Genghis Khan hadn’t stood up for what he believed in? What if he had left well alone. The history of western Europe and therefore the whole world would probably be completely different.”
“Perhaps and perhaps not, historical forces were also at play in that situation. Any empire needs occasionally toppling, and even if it doesn’t need it, corruption, waste and exploitation will always build up eventually. Everything ends.”
“Even us?” He asked.
“We’ll die if that’s what you mean.”
“Not that, I meant us. If two people can be matched to each other then why can’t you have an eternal Ying to someone’s Yang?”
“Because people change. yes they can change together and effectively become one person, but then that’s not because they should be together, that’s habit, not love.”
“You’re saying we’re together out of habit and convenience?”
“I never said that, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you, but you’ve got to ask why I some people stay together so long. I think it’s often a mixture of habit and fear of change, fear of the unknown and what would be better for them would be to grow as a person by a change, but like a swollen empire they can’t and won’t do what’s best for them. Now that might mean coming back to that person, but I think you’ve got to develop as your own person or you become stagnant. Now that wasn’t a problem when life spans were shorter, but in this day and age getting married at twenty locks you into something for the rest of your life which could be a century or even more at the are we’re going when what might be best for your development as a person would be to move on.”
“Are you trying to break up with me?”
“Of course not, but can’t you see the similarity here between what we’re trying to do to the status quo of humanity and an old married couple. I’m saying we’re trying to move humanity on from it’s love affair with the post scarcity society they have on the Habitat and that’s the same as a happily married couple saying they have to break up to develop as people. I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
“What are you saying?”
“Look at it another way. Look this bothered me when I first thought of it, but ask anyone who is currently in a couple, ask them if they would rather be with their ex. Almost no-one will say that they would.”
“Right we learn from our mistakes”
“Or we delude ourselves, whatever, the point is that the point is that you are always happier with your current partner than you were with your ex, then the logical next step is that you should always move onto the next person.”
“Repeat for infinite happiness. By that logic those who have one night stands should be the happiest people on the planet.”
“Which we know isn’t the case, but don’t you see something here. There’s a balance. Settling immediately and indefinitely does not lead to the most happiness, neither does constant changing.”
“So what’s your point?”
“I’m not sure I have one. I think it’s just an interesting thought.”
“So is this a warning that I can be dropped at any time.”
“Not at any time, just at some time in the unknown future.”
“That’s quite mean you know.”
“Good job you love me then isn’t it.”

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