Strange Attractor

I've been thinking about @vgr's Zeroth Mile diagram

Overall, I like it. It's better than "last mile" framing.

If I was drawing the map for myself, the "Boundary of Science" would go through the middle of the human dot and the human attention box. Having it at the edge could give the misleading impression that things from beyond that boundary can't get at people. That they are safely off in the distance somewhere. That boundary can be as close as inside your body.

Things from beyond the boundary of what is known can show up at the zeroth mile. Available civilizational knowledge and tools are inadequate to deal with them.

They don't stay near infinity. They can claim your attention. They can appear as waves of pain. It can be personal.

It can be mundane. I trip over that line often. It can feel like "Oh crap, that thing I wanted to do is a problem that science doesn't know how to solve. AGAIN." It can be annoying.

What it isn't, for me, is distant.


Portkeys as a metaphor imply more travel and more optionality than sometimes is the case. Sometimes, something from the beyond the frontier visits you, kicks you, and kicks you again while you're down. If you survive, you don't get to find out wtf happened. Maybe, years later, you get tiny scraps of information.

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