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>> No. 3378 Anonymous
9th October 2013
Wednesday 12:16 am
3378 Space Exploration
Apologies for what may seem like an extraordinarily trite subject to such boffins, but I am looking for some enlightened discussion.

The thought occurred to me a while ago that if (and I am aware that in terms of realism, it's a very slim prospect) humanity ever does reach out and colonise the stars, what will the implication be on the development, progression, and continued survival of the human race? And what are our most likely means of achieving it?

To begin with, as I followed this train of thought, I was somewhat fascinated by how primitive our early space-faring voyages will appear to this hypothetical future Alpha Centauri society. It seems inevitable that things will parallel the early colonisation and exploration of the new world by medieval humans. Early colonists will most likely be entirely cut-off from the established human race, the vast gulf of space making even basic communication difficult, meaning the society of our new worlds will be something almost alien in itself.

My line of reasoning here is that once humanity has mastered interplanetary travel within our home system, and maybe put a foothold on Mars or some distant moon of Jupiter, our attention will turn pretty swiftly to inter-stellar travel. We have always been a species to make daring, bold leaps into the unknown, and merely colonising this solar system is not enough to ensure our survival. Once we can travel between stars we will be almost inextinguishable, though we may mutate and evolve over the centuries we will always survive provided our fate is not tied to one solitary rock. But what I really want to discuss is the myriad of possibilities the future holds in such a scenario. Hypothetically, if we managed it, how would it work out? What do you think will become of us?

Will we wage vast interplanetary civil wars over resources and territory, the new Martian global elite leaving the paupers of Terra to starve and fight amongst themselves for what little fossil fuel remains? Will the great exodus fleet of varying corporate, government and military alliances survive it's expedition across space with some kind of cryogenic travel, or will the eventual survivors who set foot on New Earth be unrecognisable? A tribe of religious zealots worshipping the technology and ideology of a bygone age, having been confined for dozens of generations aboard their mothership, the nations of our new home forming eventually from these fractured remnants of ancient Earth society? Would they even still have mastery of the technology they used to travel there?

Please, discuss. I'll let you in on the secret that I'm thinking of starting to write a hard sci-fi novel and I'd like some input from people who actually know science, rather than just my mild acid-trip imaginings.
Expand all images.
>> No. 3379 Anonymous
9th October 2013
Wednesday 12:43 am
3379 spacer
Oh, and if anyone can recommend me some good books (fictional or not) on the subject I'll be most grateful.
>> No. 3380 Anonymous
9th October 2013
Wednesday 11:16 am
3380 spacer
>>3379
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm
>> No. 3381 Anonymous
9th October 2013
Wednesday 12:23 pm
3381 spacer
Well, we're not going anywhere far with current methods of space travel, nor with any evolution thereof. You mention our nearest neighbour star system, Alpha Centauri - it's 4 light years away, and that is a seriously long way. And anyway, even if we manage to build a ship that can overcome all the problems of acceleration and deceleration, and get there and back again, due to the weirdness of relativity those involved in the voyage will return to an earth that is millions of years older.

>Early colonists will most likely be entirely cut-off from the established human race, the vast gulf of space making even basic communication difficult, meaning the society of our new worlds will be something almost alien in itself.
I suspect that if our science advances to a point at which we manage to colonise a planet outside of our solar system, communication will not be a problem.
>> No. 3382 Anonymous
9th October 2013
Wednesday 1:50 pm
3382 spacer
>>3381

>I suspect that if our science advances to a point at which we manage to colonise a planet outside of our solar system, communication will not be a problem.

Not strictly true. Even if we achieve space travel approaching light speed, the journey to another solar system is measured in decades. So even with light speed communication, a conversation between Earth One and Earth Two would have to be held over generations.

We might figure out quantum communication though, then we'll be alright.
>> No. 3383 Anonymous
9th October 2013
Wednesday 2:23 pm
3383 spacer
>>3379

Pretty much all of the of Iain M Banks Culture novels are fucking great.
>> No. 3384 Anonymous
9th October 2013
Wednesday 2:43 pm
3384 spacer
Manifold Space by Stephen Baxter handles the subject well but it's not the focus.

I suspect we won't be very likely to colonise other planets for simple biological reasons. Children can't gestate in a womb without normal Earth gravity.
>> No. 3385 Anonymous
9th October 2013
Wednesday 11:59 pm
3385 spacer
>>3384

>Children can't gestate in a womb without normal Earth gravity.

Hm, how do we know that then? Have they had astronauts going at it to find out? I would have thought kids conceived and birthed in zero G would be horribly mutated but I wouldn't have thought it impossible.

Besides any long term space travel craft would surely be modelled on a giant rotating cylinder so as to somewhat replicate gravity.
>> No. 3386 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 12:27 am
3386 spacer
>>3385

I don't know, I'm just going off what a doctor friend of mine told me. It was specifically to do with the formation of the iris but other than that I can't give any more details.
>> No. 3387 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 10:17 am
3387 spacer
>>3384
What if we went down the Brave New World route and grew foetuses outside the womb?
>> No. 3388 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 10:29 am
3388 spacer

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338833883388
>>3387
Or perhaps this way.
>> No. 3389 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 12:47 pm
3389 spacer
I always thought we'd end up as minds inside computers and create a really realistic and perfect world in there. They'd be no need for space exploration then but you could still make it possible in this world just to amuse people who fantasise about it.

But then I thought If you put a mind in a computer how would you know doing so didn't kill their real mind and the mind in the computer is just an exact copy of their consciousness.
>> No. 3390 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 3:30 pm
3390 spacer
>>3387
>>3388

It's still a womb, even if it's an artificial one.
>> No. 3391 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 3:57 pm
3391 spacer
>>3390

Thinking on it, perhaps the artificial wombs could be kept on a steadily rotating cycle to create the right gravity.
Still not much of a solution for preventing muscle and bone degeneration during long periods in zero-G, once they're born.
>> No. 3392 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 6:30 pm
3392 spacer
>>3389

I wouldn't bother myself since it's not like I'd "wake up" and I'd be in the Matrix all of a sudden, I'd wake up in the lab and look at a few lines on a computer and they'd be like "That's you" and it would be a complete letdown and I'd be sad.
>> No. 3393 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 6:32 pm
3393 spacer
>>3389
>so you didn't kill their real mind

How can you kill an abstract concept...?
>> No. 3394 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 8:34 pm
3394 spacer
>>3391
The whole ship could be rotating providing a centrifugal force equivalent to Earth's gravity.
>> No. 3395 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 11:44 pm
3395 spacer
>>3394

Not a lot of use planetside.
>> No. 3396 Anonymous
10th October 2013
Thursday 11:46 pm
3396 spacer
>>3395
The solution to all of this is just to find planets which replicate Earth's core and atmosphere enough to generate both the gravity and gases needed to support life. There's plenty of them.
>> No. 3397 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 12:24 am
3397 spacer
>>3392

But how do you know that YOU are not already that code on the monitor, while the real you is looking on and being disappointed? There's not much interesting discussion is to be had in such ideas though, if you ask me, solipsist theories in general are essentially just there to make teenagers go "woah" and open their mind a bit to the kind of thinking philosophy entails.

Besides the crux of the matter is that uploading our consciousnesses to a giant computer system serves no real practical benefit. An asteroid could still wipe the planet out, and we've even less chance of saving the species if we've all forgotten we are actually on a computer. That's why moving to Mars is a more appealing idea to most humans in the long term, if only subconsciously. Leaving the solar system would make us nigh immortal, baring only the complete exhaustion of available resources, but we'd have to seriously paint ourselves into a corner to manage that.
>> No. 3398 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 12:27 am
3398 spacer
>>3397
Did you mean 'barring' there?
>> No. 3399 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 12:30 am
3399 spacer
>>3397

Could do it with a relatively small computer system in orbit around the sun. No need for resources other than sunlight.
I remember reading or reading about a book where, post apocalypse, they'd done practically that. All human "life" was just a simulation running inside a small satellite. I may be garbling some of the details and I can't remember what it was called.
>> No. 3400 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 1:02 am
3400 spacer
>>3399

If you think about it, we already inhabit a satellite and our brains are just biological computers interacting with a network of other biological computers in order to perceive an external reality we know very little about, so.. Actually, I don't know where I'm going with this. Bloody Nytol.
>> No. 3401 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 9:37 am
3401 spacer

white_mice.jpg
340134013401
>>3400
Yeah yeah yeah, nice try, Frankie.
>> No. 3402 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 5:08 pm
3402 spacer
>>3400

Very interesting take on the idea. I've never heard it put like that before.
>> No. 3403 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 5:46 pm
3403 spacer
>>3402
You may also find Baudrillard interesting, then.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulacra_and_Simulation
>Baudrillard claims that our current society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs, and that human experience is of a simulation of reality.
>> No. 3405 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 7:21 pm
3405 spacer
>>3403

I wish I could meet a girl that' s into Baudrillard and George Carlin.
>> No. 3406 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 7:32 pm
3406 spacer
>>3405

Even if she thinks Baudrillard is hilarious and takes Carlin's word as gospel?
>> No. 3407 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 8:24 pm
3407 spacer
>>3406

That would just be silly.
>> No. 3408 Anonymous
11th October 2013
Friday 8:25 pm
3408 spacer
>>3405
No you don't, they're all mad bitches.
>> No. 3409 Anonymous
12th October 2013
Saturday 9:38 am
3409 Back to the OP
The most realistic account of interstellar colonisation I've read recently is Ken MacLeod's "Learning The World".

This is set 14,000 years in the future, but assumes there's no way around the lightspeed barrier - so it takes centuries to travel between the stars, and decades even to communicate. However humans have complete control of their biology, and are effectively immortal, so they travel in huge 'Sunliners', hollowed out asteroids that are self-sufficient, and can replicate all of human knowledge and culture (including growing a colony population from scratch) in their target system when they eventually arrive. As a result, hundreds of systems are now colonised, inhabited by quadrillions of humans, whose orbital habitats turn the starlight green around them.

In all that time, they've never found any planet with multicellular life, let alone intelligence. Then one sunliner arrives in a system with intelligent aliens, who are technologically equivalent to our late-19th Century era (recently invented radio, internal combustion engines etc.) This has some profound implications...
>> No. 3410 Anonymous
12th October 2013
Saturday 9:45 am
3410 spacer
>>3409

That sounds fairly likely.
>> No. 3411 Anonymous
12th October 2013
Saturday 9:45 am
3411 spacer
>>3409
>The most realistic account of interstellar colonisation
Clearly the reality of interstellar colonisation is well known, right?
>> No. 3412 Anonymous
12th October 2013
Saturday 10:00 am
3412 Oh OK
>>3411
Is "believable" better?

It's an account that doesn't involve any radical new physics. No macro-scale wormholes, no hyperspace, no warp drives. And also no hyper-intelligent AIs, it's stated at one point that anything significantly more intelligent than humans is unstable, and escalates in unfathomable ways until it either self-destructs or poses such a threat to neighbouring colonies that they destroy it.
>> No. 3413 Anonymous
12th October 2013
Saturday 1:48 pm
3413 spacer
>>3412
>Is "believable" better?
>It's an account that doesn't involve any radical new physics.
>14,000 years in the future
Sounds legit.
>> No. 3414 Anonymous
12th October 2013
Saturday 2:05 pm
3414 spacer
>>3413
Yeah. 14,000 years in the future means that, in the setting of the novel, 14,000 years worth of time has passed in a linear fashion at the rate of one second per second, as one expects in the conventional model of physics.

What point are you making, lamebrain?
>> No. 3415 Anonymous
12th October 2013
Saturday 3:02 pm
3415 spacer
>>3414

Other science fiction stories don't generally involve radical new physics, either. Physics doesn't change, it's always been like that. You'd have to be mind-bogglingly thick to think otherwise. So I was giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you meant no radical new technologies, nothing we can't already do on a theoretical level. Not that "effective" immortality is realistic but whatever.. There's nothing believable about no major developments in technology in the next 14,000 years. From what you describe, there's nothing particularly believable or realistic about the story, it's just one that you happened to like so you're trying to defend it.
>> No. 3416 Anonymous
12th October 2013
Saturday 5:58 pm
3416 spacer
>>3415
Heh heh. I love the internet. "Defend" it? I wasn't aware anyone was attacking it.

On the "no major technologies" point, are you really saying that the lightspeed barrier is just a technological challenge?
>> No. 3417 Anonymous
12th October 2013
Saturday 6:21 pm
3417 spacer
>>3416
You're not very perceptive, then.

I'm not saying that specifically, no. In fact it's quite obvious I'm not saying that specifically. Nice try though.
>> No. 3418 Anonymous
14th October 2013
Monday 5:44 am
3418 spacer
>Remember the good old 1980s?
>When things were so uncomplicated?
>I wish I could go back there again
>And everything could be the same.

https://www.youtube.com/v/ZXBiPY8wDT0
>> No. 3419 Anonymous
14th October 2013
Monday 8:38 pm
3419 spacer
>>3397

>But how do you know that YOU are not already that code on the monitor, while the real you is looking on and being disappointed?

I agree that there is no difference between a perfect simulation of me and me, and that they're both "me". However, my experience of reality would be based on the me that is looking at a computer through my human eyes using my human brain and being disappointed as a result. I want to experience the reality of the me that is inside the Matrix living in an incredible utopian paradise like I paid for goddamit.

At the least I'd like for a "full dive" MMO a la Sword Art Online. Except without the part where microwaves kill you if you die.
>> No. 3420 Anonymous
14th October 2013
Monday 8:44 pm
3420 spacer
>>3419

>I agree that there is no difference between a perfect simulation of me and me, and that they're both "me".
What's your opinion on the ethics of teleportation?
>> No. 3421 Anonymous
14th October 2013
Monday 9:13 pm
3421 spacer
>>What's your opinion on the ethics of teleportation?

Buses seem to be irregular. Full of smelly people.
>> No. 3422 Anonymous
14th October 2013
Monday 9:16 pm
3422 spacer
>>3420

I wouldn't want to do it, but each to their own.
>> No. 3423 Anonymous
14th October 2013
Monday 9:32 pm
3423 spacer
>>3422

But you seem to be saying that the assembled (or recreated "you") at the other end is still you.
>> No. 3424 Anonymous
14th October 2013
Monday 9:42 pm
3424 spacer
>>3423

Nevertheless, I would be incredibly wary around a technology that functions by destroying the body.

I can tell by your use of sarcasm quotes that you wouldn't consider the you that walks out of the other machine to actually be you. But there is no difference whatsoever between the person who walked into machine A and the person who walked into machine B.
>> No. 3425 Anonymous
14th October 2013
Monday 9:53 pm
3425 spacer
>>3424

What if the transmitter didn't destroy the body and simply created a new you at the other end? Would you then be two people?
>> No. 3426 Anonymous
14th October 2013
Monday 10:10 pm
3426 spacer
>>3425

There would be two instances of myself. Maybe we could have sex with each other. I wonder if that would be incest or masturbation? What if I could edit my own genetic data to clone myself as a woman? My girlfriend would be annoyed, but would the lawmen?
>> No. 3427 Anonymous
21st October 2013
Monday 10:39 pm
3427 spacer
>>3419

>However, my experience of reality would be based on the me that is looking at a computer through my human eyes using my human brain and being disappointed as a result.

Evidently not mate, you're not the you you thought you were. Bit of an existential conundrum really isn't it?

In terms of teleportation it's another matter; essentially the other end of the machine creates a perfect clone. The original is destroyed. The only way you can convince yourself of continued conciousness (even with quantum immortality, this is a probability 1 chance of death here, the only survivor timeline being if the machine breaks) is if you believe in some form of spirit or soul which gives us our true bodily inhabitance.
>> No. 3428 Anonymous
22nd October 2013
Tuesday 1:00 am
3428 spacer
>>3427
This, This is how the zombies will happen. They'll invent teleport machines and send people through them, but it will rip their souls out. Society won't notice much for a while, only a strange increase in the Hollyoaks viewing figures, but one day it will reach critical mass and they'll not want to be arsed to go to the shops and just start eating each other's brains.
>> No. 3437 Anonymous
29th October 2013
Tuesday 9:27 am
3437 spacer
>>3427

>Evidently not mate, you're not the you you thought you were.

I'm not sure what you mean. I won't suddenly find myself immortal in the Matrix when that's what I'd want the service to perform is what I'm saying. It will clone my mind and store it on a hard drive, that's all.
>> No. 3438 Anonymous
29th October 2013
Tuesday 10:43 am
3438 spacer
>>3428

There's a guy in China Mieville's Kraken who has a teleport ability and overuses it, the end result being that "he" is driven mad by loads of ghosts of himself who haunt him because "he" is the one who kept killing himself whenever he ported.
>> No. 3439 Anonymous
29th October 2013
Tuesday 6:32 pm
3439 spacer
The views of an uneducated lower-classian like myself would go thus - The only groups able to fund such exploration will no doubt be corporations and, because of this, the first expeditions will have such emblems as 'the golden arches' painted onto the colony ship hulls.
After securing their new worlds and the bountiful resources found upon them, the now 'mega-corporations' will turn on one another in the name of profits. War will erupt over our system, causing discomfort to many as they're woken by sun bright explosions fizzling in the night sky. Fragmented ship wrecks will drift into our atmosphere and spark like fireworks; Everyone below wondering how such beauty could come from this.
>> No. 3440 Anonymous
13th November 2013
Wednesday 12:43 am
3440 spacer
>>3379

Kim Stanley Robinson, 'Red Mars' and the sequels. It's criminal no one has mentioned these yet.

Reads like a future history of the colonisation of mars from the point of view of the first 100 sent there. Really well written, fantastic characterization.

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