No warp for you

by | October 30, 2015

I am not a physicist.
I am not even a Trekkie.
And I am guessing any space travel I ever get around to doing would probably be a horrible stomach emptying experience. Happy to leave that sort of thing to the robots we create in our image.

Still, the idea of other people doing it, does sound pretty cool too.

There are, of course, other, less sexy but more immediate, possibilities besides warp drive, but all of them require commitment, sacrifice and optimism… A small dose of cynical desperation probably wouldn’t hurt either.

So on that note, all hail our future AI galactic overlords.

4 thoughts on “No warp for you

  1. Informer

    Nice video, if you like your entertainment extra fluffy. Which I don’t, I’m past that age where breathless delivery makes me shut my mental faculties down and suspend belief.

    I trust most people know that out of 7.2 billion humans, exactly 7.2 billion of us are truly stuck on earth. NASA hasn’t yet figured out how to land anything bigger than a rover on Mars because its much-too-thin atmosphere can’t support aerodynamic flight, air-braking (parachutes), or landing rockets. The rover had to be lowered by another module that was far enough above the surface that rockets could be used. As for anything big enough to land a man: they don’t know how to do that yet. Then there’s the much huger problem of landing a man AND the fuel, and rocket engines powerful enough to lift off of Mars’s surface, to return to earth. There is no actual guarantee that the problems can be solved.

    And then you’ve got: Almost no atmosphere, what’s there is CO2.
    No planetary magnetic field either, so no protection against cosmic rays or the solar wind, or any asteroid bigger than a dust particle, or UV rays. No surface water (probably).

    Furthermore: Mars’ orbit is much more eccentric than earth’s, such that its distance from the sun varies by 20%, which means its daylight varies nearly 50% throughout the Martian year (just over 2 earth years). “Winter is coming” takes on a whole new meaning up there.

    And here’s what I’m building up to:
    An important criticism of religion is that believing that a God loves us too much to let us annihilate ourselves leads us to believe that we don’t have to watch our existential step. But we do, because there is no god.

    Videos like the one above have a similar effect on people, and I have to criticize them for it. There is a Mars but it’s way up in the sky and it’s staying there, while we are staying here in our own muck, until we stop making muck or drown in muck. Videos like this increase the chances that it will end up being the latter. Which should not be acceptable to anyone!

    1. Joe Post author

      “Which should not be acceptable to anyone!”

      Why? I certainly appreciate your skepticism with regard to space travel, but you seem to leave that at the door when it comes to human behaviour. We evolved to survive, not to do what is best for us long term. Climate change is a perfect example of how we suck at dealing with anything not right in front of us, in a tangible way.

      We are going to fuck up this planet, in terms of human survival, so the idea that we spend time on how we might survive without it, seems a good and reasonable plan B.

      I am skeptical about our ability to overcome the hurdles of space travel, but on the same note, if we can’t create sustainable environments in space, where it is required, our ability to maintain our current biosphere will probably fail. It is the same problem essentially. Whether we do it on Mars or on Earth, we will need to gain control over how we live.

      Mars just makes it more a matter of life and death, in the short term. And really, short term is what humans do best.


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