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It is ironic how the search for perfection and order can be such a destructive force. Those who look for perfection will often end up achieving exactly the opposite: creating chaos. They will destroy everything, with the rationale that it wasn’t perfect. It needed to be rebuilt from scratch, bigger and better. Humans destroyed so much of wild nature because they considered it imperfect. They thought that they could do what nature does much better, because they themselves are better. So they set out to demolish Earth and its species and rebuild it from scratch: more beautiful, more perfect than ever, using their scientific tools and perfect measurements.
They cracked the genetic code and sequenced the genomes of thousands, millions of species, while at the same time making them extinct. They made beautiful parks and botanical gardens with colorful flowers in their cities, growing them with the water that they stole from the “imperfect” forests and wildflowers that needed them. They created seed libraries filled with every variety of wheat and corn that ever existed, yet made the majority of the planet unfarmable. They optimized and perfected the conditions for growing lettuce inside their vertical farms, while making the planet uninhabitable for lettuce.
Perfection is a form of greed. It leads to a lack of appreciation for what you have, a blindness to what’s there. Perfection is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you see the world as imperfect, you end up making it imperfect. You end up destroying it by accident, without even getting to know it, and without ever understanding what your place was in this world.
Perfection makes one feel that they are separate from others, separate from the world. This also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because in the end, they become permanently divorced from the world. Humans thought they were perfect. They had nothing left to do therefore but retreat into their vertical farms, into their air-conditioned apartments, and never see the light of day again. The world would never forgive them.
from the upcoming novel A New Earth
to read from the beginning, go here
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books