Sunday, June 17, 2018

[oxgkyqgm] Mining human

Now that there are so many humans, one could imagine an entity (say, science-fiction aliens) mining humans on earth as a raw material.

We say "mining" not "farming" because, with so many available, the miners can act not worrying whether humans are a renewable resource.  (Maybe "hunting" is a better term, though that typically applies to creatures which require nontrivial effort to kill even one, but we imagine the aliens will mine humans en masse)  It'll be strip mining as humans live on the surface of the planet (for now), though for aliens from outer space, we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, so maybe the mining metaphor is actually apt.

What are humans especially good for as a natural resource?  Not for meat: it'd be better (but by only by a factor of about 2) to abduct our cows or mine Antarctic krill, or take our arthropods or plants or bacteria.

Human brains are big and sophisticated: The Matrix (original draft) explored enslaving humans to use our brains as coprocessors.

Related to our brains being unique compared to other animals, the human skull is a uniquely shaped mass of bone, hollow, roughly spherical (therefore strong): maybe useful for something mechanical (a bearing?) or as a container.

Discard the rest of the body as mining tailings, kind of reminiscent of hunting elephants just for their tusks.  In fiction, this analogy could be made more obvious if the aliens mine us for an even smaller part of the human body, discarding the rest.

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