The mantis shrimp has the most sophisticated eyesight on the planet. How would our worlds change if we had the perception of the mantis shrimp?
Our perceptions can be misleading, what we would assume from our sense data is far removed from what we know through other forms of scientific observation: that our thoughts are chemical signals and our world is atoms resounding in boundless void. We can know this, but we don’t think about it every day. If we could suddenly see the world with the opsins of mantis shrimp, we would be forced to consider more often the truth that we are not the center of the universe— that we are just another animal which has filled a specific ecological niche. But more interestingly, we would be able to comprehend hundreds more of the invisible languages of nature, the languages of insects and plants. Changing our perceptions can be challenging, but it’s always, always worth it to experience the world in a different way and see the world from another point of view.
The collision of the Andromeda galaxy with the Milky Way five billion years from now will be an incredible light show for inhabitants of both galaxies. Tied together by the inevitable pull of gravity, our local group will eventually become one dense amalgamation of stars. I would like to see how humans have shaped this environment, how we have grown and interacted with the other beings of these galaxies. I want to see what humans are capable of when we have abandoned Capitalism, when avarice has died away. I want to explore the streets of a civilization which I have no foundation to understand, no schemas with which to judge what I see. I want to experience utopia, but be awed by the fact that it is incomprehensible to me. I want to see our kindest world, where somehow, against all odds, we made things work out just fine.