There are a couple of things feeding my thinking here. First was a recent discussion with a friend. I’d read a piece listing the most popular iOS and Android apps downloaded last June or July. Among the top 20, virtually every one was either a game or other entertainment app. Not more than one or two, if any, supported personal or professional development. And I voiced the (admittedly judgmental) opinion that people are using games and entertainment to escape the shallowness of their lives. And my friend countered with, “…or, maybe that’s all there is? Maybe that’s as deep as most people get?”

This was an epiphany, one of those moments. I felt the earth move under my feet. I saw the brilliance of an argument I once dismissed out of hand, that language in humans developed to facilitate gossip. We are essentially a social species, and in one such as ours, it makes total sense: We are happy to be entertained, groomed, gossip, eat, sleep and breed…wow! 

In retrospect, this is unsurprising.  But the converse is what resonates:  The sentient travelers are the anomalies, the outsiders. Wow!  Maybe we’re genetic mutants?  If so, it opens the door to the “leadership gene,” and also to my next post on Richard Dawkins.