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A LUCILIUS PARABLE: SELF-REINFORCING DELUSION

September 30th, 2018

Lucilius celebrated his 4,000th birthday deep in the Yahwelian System where he was captain of a starship set with the task of exploring unknown reaches of space.  He was looking at a drawing he had mounted on his cabin wall depicting Spock playing a game of chess with R2-D2, when he was called to the bridge by the first mate.

 

He got up and walked the short corridors to the command room and was briefed on the situation.

 

They had come across a binary planet system.  Each planet was effectively in a geostationary orbit around the other, spinning together like dancers in a bigger orbit around their local sun.

 

What was curious about this pair of foggy planets was that on the sides facing one another, each had an elaborate, luminous design that covered nearly one half of the entire planet and was bright enough to show through the fog.  It was an incredibly beautiful spectacle to see from the vantage point of Lucilius’ starship, and he could only imagine how magnificent it would look like from the surface of each planet.

 

Lucilius instructed his first mate and the bosun to take teams to each planets and find out what was causing these magnificent designs.  Both teams teleported to the respective planets and went about their missions under the guise of invisibility cloaks.

 

Lucilius spent the time simply watching the magnificent designs, perfectly arrayed, almost dancing in the darkness.

 

It wasn’t long before both teams returned and recounted their discoveries.

 

According to the first mate, the planet he had visited was inhabited by a humanoid race of people and the entire civilization was geared towards creating and maintaining the elaborate design on their planet, which was achieved by burning enormous amounts of plants and tree-like creatures.  The civilization was incredibly organized and all resources were slowly being hauled from one side of the planet to the other for the design.

 

 

The other team also reported on a similar humanoid species on the other planet. 

 

At that moment the Astro-archeo officer chimed in with his analysis about the makeup and geologic origin of the planets.  The two used to the be the same planet and had virtually the same exact make up, and even many of the same species survived the split from long ago, including a very recent common ancestor for this humanoid species, which explained their presence on both planets without the aid of advanced technology.

 

The exact same process of burning resources for the design was occurring on the twin planet.

 

Lucilius was confused.

 

“But why are they both doing the exact same thing?  According to analysis, they are going to totally run out of resources very shortly.  Their civilizations will collapse”

 

The first mate responded.  “The designs have slowly been changing over the years to match the other planet.  The people on both planets both believe that the design they see in the sky is their god, and they are trying to communicate with it in order to get answers to their problems.”



Podcast Ep. 168: A Lucilius Parable: Self-Reinforcing Delusion

from
Tinkered Thinking