Sage Advice 78: Own All The Things

Probably the most interesting tendency of human civilization is the acquisition of land. It’s an important part of being a person in so many cultures; owning a chunk of the earth usually means a great deal to people. I guess it makes sense when you consider how easy it is to say you own something that isn’t sentient. People just look at the ground and say, “Yup. This is mine. I’m gonna call this Finland and it’s gonna kick ass.”

They don’t actually own it, of course. It’s just land, and it’s been there long before whoever claims to own it has been. It will continue being there long after anyone who claims to own it will be. Their ownership over it is temporary, but people tend take that fleeting possession to a degree of seriousness that is usually reserved for drunken football crowds and Twilight fans.

People have killed over land. People have conquered other people over land. People have constructed very tightly worded contracts over land. I’m pretty sure the word ‘pillaging’ exists solely to describe the kind of violence that can go on over land-disputes. All that rape and murder over being able to say a chunk of rock is yours.

That kind of human behavior is why I really hope I get to see mankind colonize another floating rock out there in space. I realize it’s not going to happen in my lifetime, but it must be fascinating to witness the initial acquisition of a new flat surface. Unfortunately, there won’t be anyone to rape and pillage the hell out of, but you know people are still going to fight over it. Mars Wars? Yeah, I’ll buy front row seats for that.

The universe is infinitely massive, and it would be incredible to see how audacious people will be in their ability to claim ownership over it. I’m already naming chunks of infinite vastness in the sky after dead presidents and my middle name. After all, when we rape and pillage everything to the point of nothingness on this planet, we need to direct our aggressive acquisition towards something. Why not make that something infinite space?


-Matthew Fugere

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