Do you know why in every sci-fi space wide big story people from Earth are always able to change the fate of entire planets?
When left unchecked (like in multi seasonal tv shows) this ability that humans have to be seen as saviors can even reach galactic scale but why is that?
I always thought that was the way to create the story. You invent a world that nine times out of ten is just primitive or very futuristic but with a conservative point of view that doesn’t allow them to change so an alien species arrives and is able to erase that conservatorism with some well placed pieces of wisdom or, sometimes, just weapons.
This is, as for the title of the post, the power of an external force. Because the planet you go to visit may have never, or indeed it did not have, a first contact yet. It always lived in its own bubble.
Life and behavior has evolved for billions of years, hundreds of thousands of generations and the status quo quite literally became so stratified that it was impossible to change. Social structures had been generated over time, same as for laws, justice, science, religion.
People become unaware of the origins of everything and it becomes apathetic to change, to a level in which progress is not even taken into consideration.
At this point a starship arrives from the sky or a group of armed explorers comes from a stone ring in the middle of the city and everything changes. Here is the key to everything, an external point of view that shows how similar people are and how they approached problems in different ways.
I am not saying that those visitors are always right because maybe the differences between civilizations can be so profound that an external point of view could be more damaging that helping but is another point of view anyway.
This can be seen on many scales. Visitors from other planets, people from other countries that come to show you that you are not alone on this very same planet, the guy that tells you that there is another and faster route to get to work and let you make this discovery after four years you live in the same place (This is actually the event that made me write this article) or a seagull that force you to find an alternative route.
On the other side of the spectrum there is an example in the movie “The Arrival” in which an alien species actually came to us and made us question fundamental problems.
Are we alone? Surely we are not since they are here but what is the fundamental change that made us see the universe in a different light.
It is the fact that the Heptapods have a language that is actually refractory to time and it can actually be used to communicate within the flow of time.
From another science fiction movie like Contact we have Nazis that unwillingly send a transmission of Hitler opening the olympics across space. An alien species receives this communication and everything that it sees is a mustache guy that is talking gibberish so they use the communication to speak with us unaware of what it is and what it represents for us humans.
I can do thousands of other examples but just keep in mind that other points of view can actually shape the way we see the world and even facilitate progress.
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