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"My Son, the Physicist" - relating an Asimov short story to trees

 
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Hello Permies people! This post is more of a philosophical musing than anything else. Have you ever heard of the short story "My Son, the Physicist" by Isaac Asimov? It shows its age through some gender stereotypes, but the overall story is quite interesting to consider. Spoilers ahead for anyone who might want to read it!

The main conflict is that for the protagonist to contact his men on Pluto, he has to wait 12 hours for the message to travel, and then 12 hours for a response. His mother has the idea to just constantly send communication to the men on Pluto, while instructing the men on Pluto to do the same. That way, they're constantly broadcasting their status, and can answer any questions as they arise.

I think this concept is really interesting when applied to tree seeds. A lot of trees take a prohibitively long time to grow from seed, such that people would rather bring in a transplant to save time. But there are many benefits to growing from seed in place, especially for tap root plants. Plus, it's way cheaper to plant seeds out in various places compared to transplants. So what if we just kept planting seeds?

I've been getting into guerrilla gardening, mostly in neglected areas near roadways. A lot of guerrilla gardening projects try to harvest what they grow, but I don't care about that - I'm just trying to plant things that will be beneficial to local wildlife. This means that I can just plant seeds and forget about them. So my plan is to just keep planting seeds - keep doing research about beneficial native trees, keep scouting for rundown areas owned by the public. Let's say it takes 7 years for the seeds I've planted to grow significantly enough that they're noticeable. If I keep planting for the entire 7 years, then after that I can enjoy 7 years of watching new forests pop up in different areas.

So, in a sense, planting seeds that take a while to grow is like sending a message to our future selves. If we keep sending messages, then eventually, we can reach a point where we receive those messages from the past, and keep sending messages into the future.

I think this strategy really shines when it comes to ignored areas near roads and tucked between lots at odd angles. Anyone can seek these places out, toss seeds into them whenever they have the chance. If someone likes to eat a peach a day, and decides to throw the pit into a bare patch of dirt instead of the trash, then it could change that place over time.
 
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Read A LOT of old Azimov short stories in my youth.  Although that one does not come to mind.  That Azimov fellow had a very fertile imagination. It might interest you to know that I once encouraged my daughter's Girl Scout troop to indulge in a bit of guerilla gardening.  First, we spent a sunny Fall afternoon harvesting wildflower seeds from a public meadow.  The next meeting was spent playing in clay making seed bombs.  After that the girls were tasked with finding places to throw them where they might have a chance of propagating.  All told, several hundred seed bombs were deployed.
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