What Came Next

Size will be a problem

We all equate size with virtue.

This isn’t a premise for a kinky adult film, it’s a kink in our psychology.

One of the most profound and unexpected spiritual experiences I had was during my first visit to the giant Buddha statue inside Todai-ji temple. I felt instinctually overwhelmed standing before something towering and humanoid. I swelled with awe before the titan, and in that moment understood the power of vastness to instill religiosity among the heathens.

I received a similar set of chills a couple years later, standing in front of a large construction crane.

What i’m suggesting is that we are suckers for huge things.

Again, I promise this isn’t a porn thing.

Whether we’re gathering beneath the Aurora Borealis to feel the ineffable enormity of the universe in our bones, or paying employees $800 more per year for every inch they stand above average, we give offerings to that which makes us feel small.

With this in mind, I’ve reached the following conclusion: should we encounter intelligent life among the stars, I damn sure hope they are taller than us.

Let’s imagine two scenarios: in both scenarios we contact alien life forms that are not only intelligent, but demonstrate far greater cognition than our own gelatinous equipment allows. These two alien races look and act exactly the same, except the first race, the Roussimoffians, are fifty feet tall, and the second race, the Devitotians, are twenty inches tall. Roughly the same height as a chicken.

Please play these movies out in your head, side by side.

Spoiler alert: we begin to worship the Rousimoffians. We start an galactic war with the Devitotians. We don’t win that war.

Here’s our one possibility for survival, should we encounter Devitotians. Blessed with superior intellect, they observe us prior to contact and discern that we are obstinate size-reverent monkeys. Seeking a peaceful and productive interaction, they construct colossal sock puppets through which they communicate with humanity. With their guidance, all diseases are cured, interstellar travel becomes common. Legroom in economy class of spaceships continues to be a hassle. We follow the giant sock puppets into a thrilling golden age of humanity. Privately, the Devitotians snicker as we dance to their interstellar marionette show.

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