SPACE IS LIMITLESS YET CONFINING - 03.02.2022
March 2, 2022
Hello! Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMANN SERIES' weekly post. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California.
The research for my upcoming novel SKYWARD has led me to believe that humans seek and need freedom by nature. I have also discovered that the colonization and exploration of space limit human freedom. While the universe (all space and time and their contents) is vast, exploring it is claustrophobic to humans who require a friendly, breathable atmosphere. Until we find a new Earth (Yes, I believe there is one or two out there), our Moon and Mars colonies and the spacecraft we use to get back and forth from them will limit livable space to that which can contain the atmosphere we require for life.
As the principal characters in SKYWARD are Millenials, my research led me to think about "freedom" and "millennials." That led this "old-timer" to an unfamiliar word and an expanded definition for a familiar word. Those words are – "adulting" and "burnout."
These two words are the center of the book "Can't Even" by millennial writer Anne Helen Petersen. If you want to understand millennials, I strongly suggest reading her book.
Peterson suggests that millennials feel the concept of "freedom" does not exist for them because of "adulting," which has led to "burnout" She further suggests that millennials are "so tired that mindless scrolling is all we have the energy to do."
Her book also clarified why I was suddenly moved to writing SKYWARD, a far cry from writing the FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMANN SERIES. It's because of the change I felt about our society and concerns about where we are going.
"Adulting" suggests that we have overstructured our society to where "freedom" has been put in a straightjacket.
A general definition of "freedom" is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. In my research, I stumbled on a religious website (from the abbey) that had a definition of freedom that I liked.
"Simply defined, freedom is the function of the will that empowers rational beings (humans) to choose their actions. Freedom allows us to
• Act contrary to our instincts, emotions, and desires
• Control our emotions and desires
• Choose among various potential goods
• Choose between physical and spiritual goods
• Choose who we want to become"
Then "adulting" comes along - The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.
Here are Petersen's words about the advent of adulting - "I saw how 'concerted cultivation' parenting trends in the '80s and '90s connected to the shift from free, unstructured play to organized activities and sports leagues. . . . Adulting – and, by extension, completing your to-do list – is hard, then, because living in the modern world is somehow both easier than it's ever been and yet 'unfathomably' complicated. Within this framework, it was clear why I was avoiding each task loitering on my to-do list. Every day, we all have a list of things that need to get done, places where our mental energy must be allocated first. But that energy is finite, and when you keep trying to pretend that it isn't – that's when burnout arrives."
She compares burnout to exhaustion in the following way – "Exhaustion means going to the point where you can't go any further; burnout means reaching that point and pushing yourself to keep going, whether for days or weeks or years."
Burnout has led the characters in my novel SKYWARD to space, where they believe they can improve upon what their parents have developed. I hate to say this, but the concept of capitalism does not transfer well to space. At least initially, survival in space requires close teamwork by young, scientifically oriented humans.
One of the methods they use to overcome the confines in space is the metaverse. Sorry, Elon Musk, but the metaverse is more than a marketing buzzword. It does have a practical concept, at least in the extended exploration of space and building of space colonies. It allows for freedom of the mind. It becomes the place for education, vacations, entertainment, etc. In my novel, the education of little Moonies will be provided through the metaverse and, as they grow, extended to include mentorship. The little Moonie does not have a human teacher, nor a lot of books to read. It's homeschooling through the metaverse. Physical schools and libraries would just take up space the moon colony needs for non-claustrophobic growth.
In prior posts, I have commented that PETA would go nuts in my moon colony. Pets are not desired because they take up needed space, deplete precious oxygen, and cause accidents. Additionally, the husbandry unit raises chickens, rabbits, etc., efficiently in the limited space available. This goes against the millennials' thinking about pets, according to one article I read that indicates millennials pride themselves on treating their pets like children (or better than children, in some cases). I was reminded of this by an article in the March 7th edition of the NEW YORKER magazine titled "The Elephant in the Courtroom" by Lawrence Wright. It suggests that animals may be given the same rights in our court system as humans. This is because of our increased relationships with them. The interdependence of the animal and human kingdoms is growing. I can attest to this based on my walks down San Fernando Road, here in Burbank, where I see more and more people of all ages pushing strollers with a dog or cat in them.
Maybe I'm writing SKYWARD because I'm ready to go to the moon. And I didn't even mention what the crazy old white guy in Russia is doing.
I'm ready for March Madness. College basketball, that is.
Until next week.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
2022 by Richard V. Rupp