Quite often I am unable to concentrate on only one thing. Only one topic. That is a lie. I can concentrate on something with immense precision, if it is something that lies within my area of interests. However, if I am to discuss a topic, write about something or even think about something, my mind does this strange thing where by a chain of images and assoziations I am suddenly somewhere completely else.
That can be ok. But how hard does it become to follow a train of thought if you want to transmit this idea to others. For example, for tonight I wanted to write a bit about a topic of interest of mine, that has absolutely nothing to do with any area of expertise of mine. Which makes it all the more fun to think about of course. And while it is always important to stay on course, because issues are often connected, you cannot look at X without looking at Y.
Off to a rousing start we are, I see.
See, because I think about these things, I often wonder. How, with the current rate of human development, will we maintain ourselves outside of the earth.Imagine for once, if you will indulge me, the creation of outposts on other planets. On Mercury, Mars, Venus. Jupiter. Orbital stations, planetary platforms, space stations in the depth of the great black void. Now I know that for many this is an exciting topic with many connotations and angles to look at. But try to follow me here, when I think about this, I think about a problem that arises with the colonization of stellar bodies. You see, based on our current equipment, talking to someone who is currently at the moon, takes a few minutes to transmit back and forth each time, and with every new metre between the targets, with greater distance, the time increases.
For example, depending on the current position on their flight in Sol, Mars comes quite close to the Earth. At best, a message might take 3 minutes to transmit, at worst about 20. Now the shortest war in our history was about 38 minutes, so we are still a long way there, but just imagine beyond that. Imagine settlers on Neptune, it would take about 2 and a half hour till contact could be established and every new message would take that long to go the distance once. At good times. Now imagine the settlement of our next star system, some 30 light years from the Sol system. Suddenly it takes weeks, months, years to transmit a single sentence. With ever greater distances and the necessity of infrastructure to keep the ability to communicate, I have stumbled upon the following question. In the course of our development towards the spacefaring age, what will our society be led by?
Will we go to the stars as quarreling corrupt republicans, using the word in the original sense of people of a democratic alignment believing in federal governments, or will it be under the guise of communist ideals? What about the rise of space nazis? Fascism remains a viable danger and the Tyranny of yesteryear is a forgotten lesson to the next generation. Will we fall back into feudal monarchies, making entire planets a barony, systems a dukedom? Or will we institute modern democracy with voting systems spanning billions of citizens all over dozens of worlds? Could it be a tyrannic government, one where the power of arms dictates the future? Or is our future in the anarchistic principles of the early earth colonization found, in societies building their own fortune and governing themselves without interference from above? Is Independence from Earth even viable at such stages? Or is it a necessity of space travel?
As distances widen, so do the differences of people. Suddenly, traveling from star A to B is a matter of a month. With space, you cannot plan for mere minutes. Anything outside of months or even years becomes worthless in its dimension, for as long as we remain unable to build sufficiently developed engines. I for one would rather believe in early colonization attemps by cryogenic freezing and generation ships or sleeper ships. I find this most fascinating and may elaborate on it in future installments. Perhaps. Perhaps not. We shall see.