Melancholy Elephants by Spider Robinson

Melancholy Elephants (full text) is a powerful short story by Spider Robinson from the book with the same name, is worth reading by all interested in workings of modern economy, intellectual property and copyrights. It relates some principal concerns in both enterntaining and intellectually stimulating manner.

She struggled to get back on the rails. "Well, it takes a lot less than that to equal `infinity' in most minds. For millions of years we looked at the ocean and said, `That is infinite. It will accept our garbage and waste forever.' We looked at the sky and said, `That is infinite: it will hold an infinite amount of smoke.' We like the idea of infinity. A problem with infinity in it is easily solved. How long can you pollute a planet infinitely large? Easy: forever. Stop thinking.

"Then one day there are so many of us that the planet no longer seems infinitely large.

"So we go elsewhere. There are infinite resources in the rest of the solar system, aren't there? I think you are one of the few people alive wise enough to realize that there are not infinite resources in the solar system, and sophisticated enough to have included that awareness in your plans."

Take note: it's not about climate crisis, but about limits to human creativity. Creative Commons addresses some of the issues from the story.

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