For just one moment, let us take a brief break from the ‘immediate gratification’/’low attention span’ reality we’ve been enmeshed in
for some time now in our beloved Westernworld. Allow ourselves the eccentricity of entertaining a different sort of observation from a distance, of not only our own earthly world, but our solar system, galaxies and universes containing our tiny little spec of dust we call earth. For just one capricious moment, allow ourselves to wander into non-linear areas of thought and attempt to imagine that all the major events (natural and cultural) that shaped and transformed earth and humanity (at least in this present incarnation), were probably not all the result of natural forces and/or fashioned by human effort and ingenuity as we have been taught or lead to believe.
I recently read an interesting and captivating short novel imagined by Charles Stross, entitled ‘Palimpsest’, which posits a reality by which an organization known as ‘Stasis’, have been responsible for transforming, manipulating and egging ‘our’ planet along since pretty much the dawn of time (i.e. for millions if not billions of years!). The ‘Stasis’s’ fantastic endeavours are not solely limited to our own planet, but also extends to modifying and controlling our sun, neighbouring planets an other heavenly bodies in our cosmic vicinity. The Stasis an advanced and extremely well organized technological culture, is engaged in the sole quest of assuring the self preservation of ‘humans’ or ‘humanity’ in perpetuity. To achieve their goals, Stasis is endowed with the complex task of having to repopulate and revive our dear old planet from time to time, as not all iterations of our planet and mankind survive natural and man-made disasters alike. The Stasis seem to have a dislike or disuse for societies that tend to evolve into blind energy-consuming industrialized civilizations. So, when things don’t look very good from above, the plug is pulled, and a so-called ‘natural’ upheaval or civilization-ally created apocalyptic disaster is manufactured by Stasis in order to conveniently clean the slate as it were. The latter carried out and spawned by armies of agents working on behalf of the Stasis organization, aided by the clever use of technological marvels such as wormholes, time and dimensional travel and most importantly, the gathering and storage of historical data relating to every human being and event that ever existed since time zero; magic the likes of which we would assign to the power and domain of the gods.
What does the concept or term of palimpsest have to do with any of this anyway you may ask? First off, what is a palimpsest? According to our most trusted resource, WikiP: it “…is a manuscript page from a scroll or book from which the text has been scraped off and which can be used again. The word “palimpsest” comes through Latin from Greek παλιν + ψαω = (palin “again” + psao “I scrape”), and meant “scraped (clean and used) again.” Romans wrote on wax-coated tablets that could be smoothed and reused, and a passing use of the term “palimpsest” by Cicero seems to refer to this practice.” Okay, there’s more to it than that, but in a nutshell one can also interpret a palimpsest in another light, as a city street that once was paved in cobblestones then covered and repaved some years later in asphalt. Over time, through decay and erosion, the asphalt surface crumbles and breaks-up thus revealing remnants of the initially paved cobblestone surface. There is something poetic about this process, as if layers of time passed are revealed and intersect with layers of time present. I’m reminded of a cubist drawing or painting whereby different planes or perspectives intersect and somehow occupy the same picture space. The process in Stross’ novel ‘Palimpsest’ is something altogether quite different though. The Stasis have encountered problems though with things like time travelling and historical data collection. It would appear that every time an agent leaves or emerges from a wormhole, ‘ur-historical’ (i.e. bogus or false) data is recorded and collected as a result. In other words, agents must constantly go back and forth through time and dimensions in order to ‘repair’ anomalies as it were that would seriously affect the lives and paths of their own future selves and other people. Quite an undertaking I might add and not an easy thing to do! This generates all kinds of strange protocols going way beyond our ethical comprehension that would have to be observed by agents, such as having to terminate (in cold blood) an alternate version of yourself that you may encounter seconds after emerging from a wormhole! Agents are forced to ‘spy’ even on their future selves in order to insure their integrity and that of the Stasis’s version of the space-time continuum. Failure to do so would most certainly create a situation where a palimpsest of an agent or event would appear at any given time in one time-line or another. In other words, traces of a former self or event can seep into one or another reality and cause confusion and mayhem. Thus presenting problems for the Stasis. As mentioned above, when things are compromised and cannot be totally controlled according to the plans, the reset button is pressed, but not before examples of the best of the best of humanity (i.e. mostly tribes people over urban-ites) are safely carted away and preserved for future reseeding ventures on yet another incarnation of dear old terra firma, sometimes billions of years later. Of course, I don’t want to spoil the whole story for you, as there is more to this ingenious piece of writing which I cannot do any justice here in this marginal post (you’ll just have to sample the novel yourselves), The notion of seeding humanity in a new epoch on a future earth with humans taken from a distant past earth reality is unsettling, and also is an example of a palimpsest. A weird form of human epochal leap-frogging. I wonder, has this happened to us. Is it happening to us now? Preposterous you may think, but the premiss is certainly very interesting to say the least. Take a closer look at Dr. Michio Kaku’s theory concerning civilizations zero to three: whereby zero represents a civilization with the ability to alter and manipulate its local environment, negatively or positively, kind of like us in a way (though, minus zero may be a more accurate description of our current human civilization) and a level three civilization that can exhibit such capabilities as moving, transforming and creating entire worlds, solar systems and perhaps even universes! So, from a theorical point of view, this mind-blowing reality can be a possibility, and apparently it can even be a probability in our universe(s). But, I must take a short break now before getting too ahead of myself.
So, what is it you may be asking again that I might be getting at with all this? In light of the fantastic and unbelievable ‘historical’ events that have unfolded in what appears to be in a frenzied succession until now, and especially since (as a contemporary point of departure) the impossible mega event of 911, I am reminded of the world-manipulating activities and agenda managed by the Stasis and their agents in Charles Stross’ novel. To say that since the events of 911 the world has never been the same, is an understatement of vast proportions. I will go out on a limb and propose that something weird and unsettling occurred since the 911 disaster as far as our own space-time continuum is concerned: it is as if reality itself shifted and the course of history had been nudged or artificially altered into a new and different trajectory. Witness the strange quality of unbelievability and surrealism when viewing and re-viewing the trade towers disaster video clips. Perhaps the phenomenon can be attributed to a form of individual and mass denial. But I argue that the scene of the collapsing buildings itself feels ‘unreal’ or out of place, as if this horrible result was not in the cards so to speak. In other words, I propose that we (this current iteration of humanity) find ourselves now in an altogether different dimensional reality track. Our future and history have been co-opted as it were. But for what end, what purposes and by what or who: who or what is doing the mixing and editing? Is it possible that a Kaku-sian level three civilization is responsible for the plethora of natural and man-made disasters we have been accustomed to witness now in ever increasing numbers? To the point, I may add, whereby anesthetized people live there lives as if all is normal: “pass the pablum please”. As preposterous as this theory may sound, take a closer look at the series of geopolitical events (e.g. the Irak and Afghan wars, tsunamis, the Fukushima meltdown, etc.)
and the bizarre policy directions (e.g. homeland security, erosion of civil liberties, etc.) our governments have adopted especially since 911, which have taken on a rather one-dimensional – as I like to put it – ‘Marvel comicstrip-like’ scripted quality. Could it be possible that agents from an advanced ‘intra or extra planetary’ organization are stealthily carrying out missions designed to alter and re-shape our planet, humanity and the course of history itself? Creating as it were new and unprecedented historical and geological palimpsests? Definitely food for thought and by Dickens, sure why not! Nothing surprises me anymore anyway. Once humanity decides to pull their heads out of the ostrich hole and stop consuming mainstream’s mind-numbing pablum, maybe we will collectively see things as they are. If you think this type of speculation is ‘flax’ (i.e. fucking crazy), then please go away.
PD Cafargo, August, 2011.
Link to Charles Stross’ diary
Book review link from Rumblings From the Speaker