Originally Posted by Immanuel Goldstein
In Earth’s history, most times a technologically (mostly in the war department) advanced group encountered another one less well endowed, the results were catastrophic for the latter. I gather that any intelligent species we could encounter wouldn’t be morally better than us, therefore I hope that when first contact occurs, both sides will be of similar technological level and of roughly equal firepower.
I feel fortunate to have been alive to witness Sputnik, Gagarin, the Moon landing, and the first shuttle launch, I’m aware there’s little likelihood I’ll witness contact with a civilisation from Outer Space. I hope some of you will be there when it happens.
That are some interesting thoughts. But one insight I had was that the nature of the galaxy as we understand it is that to physically travel, say, within 1000 light years in the span of say, a decade, even if only through probes/robots, would require a level of technology that is beyond anything humankind has developed in the past, say, 100,000 years.
But this might work out well for the galactic community. Because only civilisations that can have this technology and ~NOT~ totally annihilate themselves will be able to make meaningful contact with higher intelligences ~ intelligences in the sense of you know, in the ballpark of our mind, not talking pure energy beings etc.
So you see in this way the galactic community is "protected" by species that would be highly destructive. I'm sure there's disagreements and perhaps wars, but it will be operating on a plane far beyond our current understanding... For example kids nowadays instead of knifing other tribes physically as a coming-of-age, they play Black Ops 2 and what not on the computer.
...But we might be able to understand this next plane of consciousness within the next 100 years. Not sure about the origins of our consciousness but humanity shows insanely good adaptability. Eg. indigenous tribes isolated for 50,000 years, they can integrate in some way with modern society (though not always for the better, for sure, but some do adapt okay).
So given the right guidance (and hopefully not genocide) we might be able to integrate with the galactic community in some way by 2100, definitely 2200 I think.
Yeah, I might be alive for first contact, but it will start slow, perhaps, like artifacts and stuff, early lifeforms etc, maybe when we can send probes within say 10 light years of Earth. We gotta hit up the nearest stars, Gilese Super-Earth and so on.
The key to astronomy now is detecting and studying planets, because at the rate we are going, we're going to need a new one rather soon.
In general it's a tricky one though, because 2015 will be the peak of oil-based-energy civilisation which we have right now. Things could be rough say until 2050+ when we get antimatter/etc. I see two paths ahead of us... Well, three:
Nuclear destruction/ Socio-economic decay... Meaning some parts of the world are fine post-peak-oil, others are somewhat 2nd world on average. Africa, Middle East still a mess.
Singularity... IT is advancing so rapidly that by 2060 it should be very easy to merge consciousness, etc. Already we have a global, universal library like in sci-fi, in fact, more than one ~ Google, Wikipedia, etc.
New Energy... The only way we can take the next step is this. Travel to within 100 light years, journey of the mind without much physical movement, all the sexy sci-fi stuff but of course our sci-fi compared to reality in 2060 is like when people wrote 100 years ago that you'd have to be on a train shot out a huge cannon to get to the moon. That's what Star Trek will look like to those of the 22nd Century.
1 is possible, 3 is also possible... Depends on global consciousness and how many of us are more in tune with the Age of Aquarius ~ not about left- or right-wing but pre-2012 and post-2012 in thinking.
2 is very likely, and will probably be the major game changer. That in the palm of your hand in 2012 you have something that only 10 years ago they could dream about stuffing into a large desktop... By 2060...
Personally I'm hoping for 2. and 3. but some people will be left behind, maybe it is their karma.
Interesting. I'm 34 now and have recently improved my health from some concerning state so I could make it to 54 if there are no accidents etc.
I would like my Dad to be alive and cogniscent enough to see a human Mars landing with him. We'll see. SpaceX has successfully gone to the ISS a few times now so if they can do humans to ISS in 5 years than Mars maybe 10 years ~ 20 years max in any case. Nonetheless my Dad has lived a good life and he's enjoying his retirement now... And in his lifetime alone the things that have happened... unbelievable.
Maglev trains... Finally a reality, for example.Edited by sr2012 - 12/3/12 at 7:07am