The universe is a pretty complex thing, and when you throw in people, it becomes downright inscrutable. Since people are the only sentient objects around that can understand the darn thing, one wonders if we are up to snuff for the task, or if the task is just the thing to snuff us out.
Perhaps an answer may be found in a goofy, scary, and yup, even profound 1959 space epic, Forbidden Planet. With special effects by the Walt Disney cartoon factory, stock 50's characters imported direct from NASCAR, a creepy electronic score, and a plot suggested by William Shakespeare (The Tempest), this picture had all the stuffing’s for a Happy Days blockbuster.
The movie starts with the soon to be cliched space expedition to rescue a lost expedition. Our crew discovers that only the expedition leader (Dr. Morpheus) and his nubile babe daughter are left alive. It seems that the good doctor discovered a long dead civilization, called the Krell, whose main surviving artifact was a subterranean power plant/shopping mall with one zillion floors and still no bathrooms. The Krell had left no pictures of themselves. Nonetheless, their shape could be construed from their doorways, resembling squat triangles, which in their world and likely in this, was a concession to the belt expanding needs of a fast-food alien nation. Among other wonders, Professor Morpheus introduced the crew to a brain boosting machine (sort of like a Krell PS5) that enable him to project his thoughts, boost his intelligence, yet still after all that boosting have the mental chops of a Krell 1st grader. But that was only the beginning. It seems that the Krell were on the verge of developing the ultimate stocking stuffer for Xmas, when at the eve of their discovery they were completely wiped out. As it turned out their new invention allowed them to construct things completely at will, giving new meaning to 'just in time' manufacturing. The problem was, their secret desires (the so-called tyranny of the id) got into the production queue, and let loose invisible energy monsters that paid off old personal scores like we like to take care of old traffic tickets. So as you may have guessed, the Krell tore themselves up. Naturally, at the end of the movie, the guy gets the girl, Morpheus gets his comeuppance, the energy monster gets shorted out, and the planet gets blown up real good.
New Amazon Warehouse in Krell, Tx.
Fast forward to our own preoccupation with just in time manufacturing. Perhaps it’s not degrading the environment but just making too much stuff too fast that is our ticket to oblivion. And when our basic needs are replaced with fulfilling all those secret desires, well, I figure we'll just tear the place up.