Our worst instincts as human beings have to do with our carelessness with natural resources, and when the body itself becomes just one more of those resources, how will we treat it? Will we treat it with such indifference and with such depersonalization that it becomes more like a very fancy car than a repository of the self? And that, I think, is one reason that the nudity itself is not gratuitous; it’s meant to reinforce to you, as a viewer, that the advent of this technology fundamentally and substantially changes people’s relationships with their idea of their own body.
Laeta Kalogridis on why “Altered Carbon” has a lot of nudity
So I’ve always been a fan of this tag, and I just thought of this to give a little contribution. We consider ourselves omnivores because we consume both meat and plants, but in reality we might be omnivores because we consume both organic and inorganic matter. The best and oldest example? Salt. A mineral at best, and residue from dried sea water at worst.
What if that is whats truly unique and baffling about humans for other space races? Even mineral based lifeforms don’t consume salt because it’s corrosive to them, and most other species algo find it harmful or just can’t digest it so they don’t see value in consuming it. Hell, even we are harmed by consuming salt (hypertension and other circulatory problems as an example)
Imagine aliens being really confused as to why we would go out of our way to consume a damn rock, not because of nutritional value, but just because of flavour. Imagine them being concerned about it because they find out it causes problems in some of us. They are really weirded out because there are whole economies built around the salt industry. Even out concept of a salary is based upon how we used to pay roman soilders with bundles of salt for their services.
And then they find out we also consume one of the most valuable, versatile, rare and useful mineral in our planet and maybe even in the galaxy, even when we know it’s flavorless and we can’t even digest it. Gold. We just eat it. For fun. They just lose it. They start fearing we might start eating the walls.