Lokal Stops: We Good

Good news: near-death experiences are overwhelmingly peaceful. Also, the asshole who comes in the office every morning touting all he’s already accomplished that day is less ethical at night than you, who woke up at a normal time.

Bad news: I’m drowning in soccer.

Although there may possibly be 10 quadrillion civilizations out in the universe – how come we haven’t heard from any of them yet? For god’s sake, where is everybody? Whatever the reasons for Fermi’s Paradox, us humans are doing the best we can to reach out to the abyss. If there’s anything you’ve been burning to tell distant, alien lifeforms, now’s your chance. After stopping at Pluto, a NASA probe will leave the comforts of our solar system, carrying digital messages from the people of Earth. How do we want to be remembered? What kind of a species do we want to be known as?

I, for one, propose we send out this Game of Thrones intro from the ’80s-that-could’ve-been:

I suppose the aliens would need context, so we might as well just send out all of Game of Thrones. I want to be remembered as the species that produced good television. Please dear god no one tell the aliens about Uber weddings.

And let it never be said that we are not a species that is constantly evolving.

Now, let’s take a step back from the vast cosmos and peer into the vast human brain instead. Despite the fact that everything we know, feel, and do is a direct result of our brains, we know little about how it works. And what do we do when we don’t know something? We examine it. We learn about it. We revise. We send probes into deep space, we study human creativity. We are a curious species.

Sometimes, we even solve some of nature’s mysteries.

We have our problems, but we’re okay.

We good, we good.


Lokal Stops: Just Trynna to Be Optimistic Here

It turns out that our school librarians were right: books are the greatest weapons. Too bad the novel keeps dying on us. Because of Twitter and stuff.

Whether or not a civilization without novels still needs grammar, FiveThirtyEight found that people who think they’re smart use Oxford Commas. I can’t help but remember how the average American thinks he’s smarter than the average American.


The average American is also generally optimistic, according to a Gallup survey. And the most optimistic of all is Texas. What does this say about Texas? What does this say about optimism?

Well, it’s surely also alive and well in Canada, where next month, a robot will attempt to hitchhike across the country, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. HitchBOT can talk, but he can’t move on his own. It’s unclear whether he eventually intends to turn this adventure into a memoir, but he will be tweeting and instagramming, so that’s memoir-ish.


We can’t all roll through Canada, fueled by the kindness of strangers’ cigarette lighters, but most of us can properly marvel at the beauty of our planet thanks to the kindness of Google. And we can all confirm that reality is a lie thanks to OK Go. Also a lie: soccer. If you’re new to the whole sports thing and that comes as a shock to you, take comfort in the fact that at least some of these guys are being punished.

Though soccer season abstinence might seem unduly cruel, no one had to tell Voldemort not to have sex. Someone probably should tell video game developers that women do more than sex. Or maybe just quietly think about it, since when you constructively talk about gender politics, you get death threats.

But let’s end today’s post remembering that good things and good people still exist in the world. All is not lost.