URBA#1 (Underappreciated Reddit Brilliance Archive) – The Great Garden of Time

The Underappreciated Reddit Brilliance Archive is a series for those Reddit posts of mine where I really captured and said something good with my words, and spent them on the ground before a day old front page post, for example.

URBA#1 – The Great Garden of Time

In response to: ELI5:Why hasn’t any alien civilization contacted us yet? (Assuming we are not alone in the universe)?

If the universe were a big garden, than think of us as an occurrence of some sort of crop, humanity as a patch of lettuce. Now, we are growing in this garden for a number of seasons, the space vast around us, and we look around and yell out in our lettuce-voices to find other plants and we see none. “Why can’t we find other lettuce patches?” We ask. “Are there no others?”


Meanwhile, unbeknownst to our patch-span of a few seasons, this scrappy garden is actually rather harsh, and has been around for billions of seasons. Conditions that support the growth of intelligent lettuce patches may come frequently, or infrequently, we don’t know. So may the conditions that support the eradication of same lettuce patch, drought or disease or climate change or anything else leading to a lettuce-extinction-level-event, particularly should said lettuce begin unlocking powerful destructive energies using their lettuce technology.

This entire garden may have spent decades covered in intelligent, technologically advanced lettuce that would have loved to communicate with our little patch. But if it happened a million seasons ago, there’s nothing left to even leave a clue that lettuce existed before us. In fact, it’s possible that lettuce patches are always doomed to die, and kind of come with a built-in self-termination once they begin to overtake their own climate/self-restraint/temperance with lettuce-technological power.

Then once you begin factoring in that the garden is so large that if you were to travel fast enough to reach the other side of it, your own lettuce patch would grow much faster in time towards its own end from your perspective… or that even talking to the other side of the lettuce patch using a light beam takes so long that it might actually take longer than the longest lifespan of any lettuce patch ever…

It may turn out that, as lettuce, we were never alone in space, really, compared to our short patch-span’s isolation in the Great Garden of Time.


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