Recycling, Space Travel, and 11:11

I have found myself watching a few Youtube videos made by a couple who live on a canal/narrow boat. I won’t be more specific than that, but yesterday’s offering was about them arriving in a particular city via the canal network; they talked a little about the history of the area, and also complained about the litter and some other eye-sores they saw along the way.

They showed examples of the littered areas and it got me thinking: “why didn’t they do anything about it other than just complaining about the problem?” It sort of annoyed me how they went to the effort of including the visuals in the video but didn’t consider getting out there with a bag and picking it up.

If I was someone who leaves comments on Youtube videos I would have considered tactfully broaching the subject there and then. Since I’m not, I raise the topic here.

I don’t mean to profess to be all high-and-mighty on this issue of litter but here are some points of consideration:

  • If some litter blows into my garden or outside my house then I would pick it up.
  • When I find myself out walking the country lanes where I live, I have a habit of picking up litter along the way; I found myself first doing this when I was out blackberry picking since I was surprised, once I started, just how much there was (I ended up with more litter taking up my bags than blackberries). When I’m out running or cycling through the same area I wouldn’t do this (too much stopping and starting and no way to carry litter when running), people in cars have the advantage of just driving on by.
  • Why not consider the area where I live to be “my garden” also? Why don’t those who live on the canals consider those areas to be “their garden”?
  • Some litter is from those that have little respect; I often see discarded takeaway and service-station packaging after Friday and Saturday evenings, painting a picture of the types of people who do this.
  • Some litter is just that which has escaped the recycling boxes on collection day; it can be windy here.
  • Some areas are more prone to litter, either because of the services and people in the area, but also because of how the wind can collect stuff there, just like some beaches.
  • One person doesn’t have to pick up all the litter in a particular problem area, but if everyone who passes by a heavily-littered area picked up some of it, then over time it would be cleared, and maintained.
  • Litter wont pick itself up. Sure, local councils may provide people to go round picking up litter, but why assume someone else will, and why pay for this service as part of our Council Tax?

When I went to bed last night I was thinking about how this planet is our home and may be our only home. Some are making strides to perfect space travel with the view to visiting other worlds (which negates the need to look after this one) but my thoughts last night left me unconvinced.

The reason being was because of evolution.

I’d taken Volume 6 of Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopedia to bed with me with the view to completing the current chapter I’m on, although I didn’t make much progress. This particular one was about species of birds and I have read a number of these topics now which bring up the topic of how certain species of this plant or animal have evolved this feature or that. These instances are generally explained with an air of wonder and magnificence; how part of an anatomy can develop for a particular use always seems so neat with the end result (if it’s ever the end) being something that appears fit for purpose.

Our hands, our eyes, and our ears are remarkable things and it is a blessing how they have evolved to what they are today and what they enable us to do. But so to has our consciousness evolved leading us to push ourselves seemingly beyond an evolutionary path as guided by nature. Birds evolved wings to enable them to take to the sky, but we manufacture complex and complicated machines to enable us to travel further than this. Ants and bees work as teams towards a goal yet human society is fragmented with this business or that manufacturing one aspect of this complex system, but seemingly all for the greater good; not only the machine itself but everything else that needs to work together in order to make such a craft take to the heavens.

It’s a hodge-podge. The outer shell of a space craft or airplane might look sleek and elegant as it sores into the sky, but this is deceiving. Is natural evolution also deceiving by a similar degree? Is a naturally evolved creature that has developed a useful technique similarly complex under its skin? I’m not so sure. Sure, the inner workings of a body are complex and alien to the uninitiated but there still seems to me something wonderfully orchestrated about it, not like that engineered space craft. Therefore it seems to me that we are almost certainly doomed to fail; we are heading down the wrong path. I say almost because it looks to me like we only have one last shot at this. The harm we are doing to our planet while we are pursuing this path will mean that should the time arrive where we are truly able to make machines that can take us from this world to another, to live on those worlds, we will have completely ruined this one in the process.

The path that we’re on is all working together for this aim. It’s not the right path; it’s not elegant or pretty.

Why do I think all this now?

Because of a dream.

Following on from those thoughts I set the Encyclopedia to the side and turned off my lamp. The next thing I knew I had awoken from a dream about clearing up other people’s crap, or rather, my cat’s. It was still dark in my room, my alarm hadn’t yet sounded, and so I knew it was still early, therefore I lay there for a few moments longer to ponder all of this before switching my lamp on to see what time it actually was: 5:55, and 11 seconds.

5:55 is claimed by some to be one of those magical, or angelic numbers, like 11:11. A moment of synchronicity if you will. If you find yourself looking at the clock at these times or seeing such numbers then it is said you should perhaps take stock. I’d recently watched a Youtube video by a guy called John who sees the significance of 11:11 and I too have written about it before because, sure, I see 11:11 from time to time (no pun intended), but on this occasion 5:55 was quite a new one to me, but the fact that my digital alarm clock’s second digits are smaller on the display and were 11, gave me the impression that 5:55 was one of those 11:11 moments, which is why I put this post together, since it was all that was on my mind surrounding it.

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