It’s a science-fiction cliché: The alien hive mind. From the slugs in Robert Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters to the Borg in Star Trek, the creatures who think as one — and who mean to wipe out our messy, savage individuality and absorb humanity into their collective — horrify us with the threat of losing our souls.
But what about an independent, self-sufficient alien that values freedom and autonomy even more than we do? Would this creature view us with horror?
It would notice that individual humans are rarely, well, individual. It would see that we’re almost always with families or co-workers or friends. It would see us gathering in marketplaces and social clubs and theater audiences and sport stadiums.
It would see how we go out of our way to be together, via political rallies and Facebook groups and weddings (these humans not only bond together for the rest…
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