Alternatively, you could look at it as flying away from what we needed to develop like a butterfly leaves behind a cocoon or a seed leaves a tree. The combination of population growth and development across the world is unsustainable. Yes, we need alternatives here on earth, but building alternatives off planet, when possible, will also help.
Off my lawn!
(it’s a pretty big lawn)
That assumes chemical propulsion. With space elevator at the bottom part and nuclear/ion engines at the top, the equation looks less unfavorable. The energy is the main problem, and even down here there’s a lot of it in thorium - available with technologies pretty much of today. Enough until fusion is tackled, and then some.
That’s the other option. I’m all in favor of pursuing both ways.
The meatsacks are stupid and this rock is stupid too. I wouldn’t mind getting away from both.
I’m all for expanding our horizons, but there are some limits imposed by what I call “the laws of physics”. Therefore, I don’t think that most of what is discussed above will come to pass.
We evolved on Earth, so Earth is much more suited to hosting human life than any other place we can get to.
All this talk of nanotechnology and 3d printing represents a way forward in the human construction mode, which requires an awful lot of effort to make the simplest things. Look at biology - our bodies assemble themselves, grow with no effort on our part other than keeping them full of food, which can be any of a wide variety of other living things. The breakthrough in building stuff will be when we find a way to do it the same way we are built.
The problem of fundamentalism holding us back is one of getting the lizard brain out of power. Mandatory consumption of MDMA is one way, perhaps. Good luck getting that to work.
Self-assembly, biotech, synth-bio, evolutionary algorithms… All in the early stages so far but all looking hopeful. Smile, it’s being worked on.
I thought that the accepted method was to slip it into free tomato juice samples…
You can labels things any which way you want but that doesn’t change the reality of them; as such, the map is not the territory. One of the biggest lessons I learned via RAW books.
Note that a butterfly is not a caterpillar, and a seed is not a tree. Hence my comment about starseeding encapsulated DNA rather than space migration by humans.
At which point, remember the apocryphal story about how mushroom spores are so small they can float out of the atmosphere like Helium atoms, get caught by the solar wind and cross the galaxy in a few hundred million years taking they’re DNA life potential with them. Until one chances to get caught by the gravity well of a suitable planet and kickstarts the billion year life process again. Sadly, I’m told that story doesn’t quite work on several levels, but I still like it.
I’m with you mate.
It’s just woo woo dressed up as philosophy and science, it’s totally impossible. Can’t be done.
Don’t even try.
Stop thinking about it!
I was a big fan of RAW in my 20s. But these days, I keep running into more and more reasons why the “space migration” part will probably never happen. Not never as in delayed, but never as in never.
Zero-G screws with the human metabolism, and radiation is a lot worse, and outside the Van Allen belts both are plentiful. Even if a centrifuge can solve the former - which is by no means certain - radiation is a huge obstacle for a mere six-month trip to the little tin can of the ISS. And for a lifetime? Much much more of something is required, maybe shielding, maybe something else.
It might be worth billions to send a few people up there. But who would foot the bill for any kind of mass migration? It’s not like the Mayflower - a lot more than a wooden ship is required. Likewise, there’s no New World waiting full of corn and tomatoes and easily-killed natives. Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids.
And we keep getting excited about exosolar planets. But in all probability we will never be able to visit them. Einstein is probably right, there is a speed limit, and nobody’s going to invent warp drives. Not soon, not ever. It’s fun to imagine owning the Millennium Falcon, but there is no reason to think it will ever be real.
As Earth closes in on its estimated carrying capacity of 10 million humans (and that’s only if we all live at developing world standards), space migration is the only palatable solution to the population and environmental crises.
My point (and I do have one) is this: space migration may be “the only palatable solution,” but that doesn’t mean it’s possible. Maybe the only real solutions will be ones that are unpalatable. What if we can’t just use up this world and move on to the next? What if this is all we get - for the next thousand, ten thousand, hundred thousand years? What if Earth is our only home forever? Would we act any differently?
Bob did live just long enough to see the naming of Eris and its moon Dysnomia, for which I’m grateful.
O’Neil colonies are certainly not in our near future, but the combination of laser launch and satellite solar power remain available to any major national or corporate entity with a long enough horizon.
Assume unmodified human bodies…
Yes, we will have to coevolve ourselves together with our tech. Yes, there will be voices against this - but that’s why the meek shall inherit this stupid rock.
We know too little about the nature of space-time to come up with such authoritative denials. You cannot win against the speed of light in its own game. The question still open is, can you cheat?
Will we end up looking like little green men?
An Omni Magazine article from ages ago: (there was a longer one that described several types of space workers, but I couldn’t find it):
I think a combo of bio and tech approaches is better than trying to go with bio alone. Except for special cases where we want complete self-replication or unassisted growth.
Sure the question is open, and you can’t prove a negative. I’m well aware most people who think about the question assume, on sheer faith, that one day we’ll just fly off to Zeta Reticuli. But again I’ll ask, what if they’re wrong, and Einstein was right?
Newton did not stop being right after Einstein. Einstein just added more accuracy in edge cases. The same fate can, and likely will, happen to Einstein. No theory is definite.
Worst case, we’re doomed to this stupid set of rocks around this stupid star, with generation ships as a piss-poor long-distance travel to just the nearest stars, a choice even worse than Ryanair.
And then there’s the Luciferian ability of the Internet itself—which Leary tirelessly proselytized for in his last days—to create memetic hive minds that can exercise levels of intelligence beyond the capacity of the network’s individual nodes, for good or ill. Wikipedia, Twitter and Reddit are all prime examples—as is 4Chan.
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