Anyway… The human body is a space suit for the brain. A way for the brain to link to the world yes, but primarily a way to survive in said world.
There are three ways to expand your sphere of influence in this context. To adapt the environment to yourself, find an environment already suitable and travel there, or adapt yourself the environment. Everything that has meaning about a person is in the brain. I am firm on that point. I am not my arms or legs or liver, but I most definitely am my memories, my feelings, and my experience. The only reason my body is remotely me is because what is really me extends into those things. My nerves.
Ok so we can look at a person and we are so used to looking at people that we come to think that this is what people, which are brains as I just explained, look like. But what if another kind of brain evolved? What if other brains took different options? What would a brain in a suitable setting look like? What would a brain adapted for life on land look like? The answers are terrifying because these models of life aren’t fantastical or alien they are ubiquitous and completely disregarded at best or shamelessly exterminated or consumed by us.
Indeed I’m having the worry that intelligent feeling life on this planet might be more common than unfeeling life if you simply expand your scale a bit. I am not the first to have this idea. It’s in fiction everywhere. But this is the first time I thought about it from a purely anatomical perspective. If you hardened my neurons against the elements and made them more physically flexible, or maybe even blended them with muscle tissue so they could individually contract, what would that look like? A blob? A large moving mold? A jellyfish? And aspen grove? I’m looking around at my world from the brain’s perspective and I’m realize that half of what I see could be brains that have found various ways to dispense with their body.
What if the skull has cut us off? I don’t like where this is going.
As I’ve realized before the only thing special about us in this context materially is the ability to exit our biosphere completely. But what if that’s only because our condition leaves us totally blind to a far superior method of escape? What if the answer to the Fermi paradox is that radio is completely crappy as a communications tool, and that space ships or physical travel is an equally crappy travel mechanism? What if they are watching us for resurgence? Would you bother talking to an anthill? What if the thickness of the skull prevents reception? What if that’s why ancient cultures cut holes in their skulls and did other gruesome things to their heads? What if that is the real purpose of a crown? What if that is the source of power and divine right? What if that is how warriors came to be rulers again and again not because of the fighting but because of the head injury?
I’m tempted to not share these things since each would be a story idea maybe and I’m not supposed to share and I’m so powerfully broke. But whatever, I love writing and I love talking and fate has kept me alive so far. Failure to gain is not the same as loss. Maybe someone will help me.