“It was inevitable that the first comprehensive redrawing of school assignment boundaries in more than 40 years would produce sharply different reactions among the perceived winners and losers of the process. The current system is riddled with problems: Convoluted feeder patterns allow a wide swath of the city to attend Deal and Wilson, both located west of Rock Creek Park, resulting in overcrowding at these schools while many in the eastern part of the city suffer from underenrollment. But any attempt to resolve this imbalance requires cutting off access to the city’s most popular schools for certain neighborhoods—where, intensifying things further, people may have bought homes with the expectation that their children would attend those schools.”—
It’s funny how science fiction universes so often treat humans as a boring, default everyman species or even the weakest and dumbest.
I want to see a sci fi universe where we’re actually considered one of the more hideous and terrifying species.
How do we know our saliva and skin oils wouldn’t be ultra-corrosive to most other sapient races? What if we actually have the strongest vocal chords and can paralyze or kill the inhabitants of other worlds just by screaming at them? What if most sentient life in the universe turns out to be vegetable-like and lives in fear of us rare “animal” races who can move so quickly and chew shit up with our teeth?
Like that old story “they’re made of meat,” only we’re scarier.
HOLY SHIT THEY EAT CAPSAICIN FOR FUN
YOU GUYS I HEARD A HUMAN ONCE ATE AN AIRPLANE.
A HUMAN CAN KEEP FIGHTING FOR HOURS EVEN AFTER YOU SHOOT IT
humans are a proud warrior race with a pantheon of bloody gods: Ram-Bo, Schwarzenegger, etc.
REMOVING A LIMB WILL NOT FATALLY INCAPACITATE HUMANS: ALWAYS DESTROY THE HEAD.
WARNING: HUMANS CAN DETECT YOU EVEN AT NIGHT BY TRACKING VIBRATIONS THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE
WARNING: HUMANS CAN REPRODUCE AT A RATE OF 1 PER SPACEYEAR. DESTROY INFESTATIONS IMMEDIATELY
THE HUMAN MOUTH HAS OVER THIRTY OUTCROPS OF BONE AND POWERFUL JAW MUSCLES.
HUMAN BITES CAN BE FATALLY INFECTIOUS EVEN TO OTHER HUMANS
WARNING: HUMANS CAN AND WILL USE IMPROVISED WEAPONS. SEE CLASSIFIED DATA LABELED J. CHAN.
HUMANS CAN PROJECT BIOWEAPONS FROM ALMOST EVERY ORIFICE ON THEIR BODY. DO NOT INHALE
OH GOD THE HUMANS FIGURED OUT DOOR HANDLES OH GOD OH GOD
More seriously, humans do have a number of advantages even among Terrestrial life. Our endurance, shock resistance, and ability to recover from injury is absurdly high compared to almost any other animal. We often use the phrase “healthy as a horse” to connote heartiness - but compared to a human, a horse is as fragile as spun glass. There’s mounting evidence that our primitive ancestors would hunt large prey simply by following it at a walking pace, without sleep or rest, until it died of exhaustion; it’s called pursuit predation. Basically, we’re the Terminator.
(The only other animal that can sort of keep up with us? Dogs. That’s why we use them for hunting. And even then, it’s only “sort of”.)
Now extrapolate that to a galaxy in which most sapient life did not evolve from hyper-specialised pursuit predators:
Our strength and speed is nothing to write home about, but we don’t need to overpower or outrun you. We just need to outlast you - and by any other species’ standards, we just plain don’t get tired.
Where a simple broken leg will cause most species to go into shock and die, we can recover from virtually any injury that’s not immediately fatal. Even traumatic dismemberment isn’t necessarily a career-ending injury for a human.
We heal from injuries with extreme rapidity, recovering in weeks from wounds that would take others months or years to heal. The results aren’t pretty - humans have hyperactive scar tissue, among our other survival-oriented traits - but they’re highly functional.
Speaking of scarring, look at our medical science. We developed surgery centuries before developing even the most rudimentary anesthetics or life support. In extermis, humans have been known to perform surgery on themselves - and survive. Thanks to our extreme heartiness, we regard as routine medical procedures what most other species would regard as inventive forms of murder. We even perform radical surgery on ourselves for purely cosmetic reasons.
In essence, we’d be Space Orcs.
Our jaws have too many TEETH in them, so we developed a way to WELD METAL TO OUR TEETH and FORCE THE BONES IN OUR JAW to restructure over the course of years to fit them back into shape, and then we continue to wear metal in out mouths to keep them in place.
We formed cohabitative relationships with tiny mammals and insects we keep at bay from bothering us by death, often using little analouge traps.
And by god, we will eat anything.
We use borderline toxic peppers to season our food.
We expose ourselves to potentially lethal solar radiation in the pursuit of darkening our skin.
We risk hearing loss for the opportunity to see our favorite musicians live.
We have a game where two people get into an enclosed area and hit each other until time runs out/one of them pass out
We willingly jump out of planes with only a flimsy piece of cloth to prevent us from splattering against the ground.
Our response to natural disasters is to just rebuild our buildings in the exact same places.
We climb mountains and risk freezing to death for bragging rights
We invented dogs. We took our one time predators and completely domesticated them.
On a planet full of lions, tigers and bears, we managed to advance further and faster than any other species on the planet.
Klingons and Krogan and Orcs ain’t got shit on us
We drink ethanol (in concentrations high enough to be used as an effective as microbicide or a solvent!) for the express purpose of achieving blood toxicity and disrupting normal brain function… AS A RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY!
On the same subject, we also deliberately incinerate assorted substances and then inhale the particulate-heavy smoke and vapor resulting for the same effect. EVEN IN THE FACE OF SAID SUBSTANCES BEING CARCINOGENIC, BECAUSE WE JUST DON’T GIVE A FUCK.
Humans do not have biological castes. Kill their commander and another will take its place. Soldiers left alone on a planet will start farming and manufacturing to survive. Farmers and manufacturers will take up arms and kill you if pressed. Just because two humans look different doesn’t mean they cannot do each other’s jobs.
Breeding does not kill them. A single human can mate dozens or hundreds of times in a lifetime. They often do so as recreation. Xenobiology team six believes they do not have a mating season but this is too strange to be true.
Their appendages are not designed for hitting, so they developed special training to make them very good at hitting anyhow.
The proteins making up their bodies are toxic and cause prion disease. Do not touch anything humans have touched. Do not consume earth foods. Fire does not adequately remove this contamination.
Humans perceive sixteen times the colors we do. Do not hide in bushes or vines from humans. They can distinguish your pelt from the foliage with ease.
We tried venting waste gas into the tunnels to kill the humans when they attacked. Turns out they breathe it.
Everything on their planet came from a single biological strain. They developed comprehensive genetics BEFORE they developed space travel.
They lack radio receptors and cannot be brought into compliance with right-thought simply by broadcasting to them. Even after we learned how to translate it into sound-waves one of their hatchlings drove the Great Authority mad by responding to every demand with a single question: “Why?”
I love every single variation on this post, whenever it scrolls across my dash.
Although bipedal and nominally terrestrial, humans are also capable of highly efficient climbing, brachiation, and swimming without mechanical or technological assistance.
In times of plenty, humans will ingest surplus food and metabolize it into a form of stored nutrition which permeates their tissues and forms a protective, thermally insulating layer under their skin. Even a human with minimal ‘fat’ reserves can go for several Terran days without appreciable food intake.
Humans are highly neuroplastic, and retain the ability to learn throughout their life cycle. Indeed, geriatric humans rely increasingly on the synthesis and application of their accumulated knowledge as their physical condition declines.
The human olfactory system is notoriously insensitive, and scents which may incapacitate other species have no appreciable effect on them.
Humans are effectively psy-null. They possess no psionic abilities of their own, and attempts at one-way psionic contact have resulted in severe trauma to researchers due to the alien structure of human minds.
The human skeleton is composed of a hard, resilient mineral-biological composite. This renders them capable of withstanding heavy loads and impacts, and of delivering devastating blows with all extremities. Although somewhat brittle, the stone-based tissue of human bone retains the ability to heal when injured.
“Today’s belief in ineluctable certainty is the true innovation killer of our age. In this environment, the best an audacious manager can do is to develop small improvements to existing systems— climbing the hill, as it were, toward a local maximum, trimming fat, eking out the occasional tiny innovation— like city planners painting bicycle lanes on the streets as a gesture toward solving our energy problems. Any strategy that involves crossing a valley— accepting short- term losses to reach a higher hill in the distance— will soon be brought to a halt by the demands of a system that celebrates short- term gains and tolerates stagnation, but condemns any-thing else as failure. In short, a world where big stuﬀ can never get done.”—
1) Why do you need to teach a 9 year old how to fire a weapon?
2) Why does that weapon need to be a fully automatic Uzi?
3) What fucked up justification does one use to teach a 9 year old how to fire an Uzi?
In 1814, as the Americans lost the Battle of Bladensburg in a hideous rout, the British stormed Washington. What followed was the burning of the Navy Yard by the Americans, and then the sacking of the Capitol and the White House by the British and Canadian troops.
Political decay thus occurs when institutions fail to adapt to changing external circumstances, either out of intellectual rigidities or because of the power of incumbent elites to protect their positions and block change. Decay can afflict any type of political system, authoritarian or democratic. And while democratic political systems theoretically have self-correcting mechanisms that allow them to reform, they also open themselves up to decay by legitimating the activities of powerful interest groups that can block needed change.
This is precisely what has been happening in the United States in recent decades, as many of its political institutions have become increasingly dysfunctional. A combination of intellectual rigidity and the power of entrenched political actors is preventing those institutions from being reformed. And there is no guarantee that the situation will change much without a major shock to the political order.
“No government—not the federal government, and not the thousands of municipalities that give their police forces license to use deadly force—wants you to know how many people it kills and why. It’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence. What evidence? In attempting to collect this information, I was lied to and delayed by the FBI, even when I was only trying to find out the addresses of police departments to make public records requests. The government collects millions of bits of data annually about law enforcement in its Uniform Crime Report, but it doesn’t collect information about the most consequential act a law enforcer can do. I’ve been lied to and delayed by state, county and local law enforcement agencies—almost every time. They’ve blatantly broken public records laws, and then thumbed their authoritarian noses at the temerity of a citizen asking for information that might embarrass the agency. And these are the people in charge of enforcing the law.”—What I’ve Learned from Two Years Collecting Data on Police Killings
“Michael Daniel sees his lack of technical expertise in IT security as an asset in his job as White House cybersecurity coordinator. “Being too down in the weeds at the technical level could actually be a little bit of a distraction,” Daniel, a special assistant to the president, says in an interview with Information Security Media Group.”—