Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #679 - Humanity must populate new planet warns Hawking

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #679 - Humanity must populate new planet warns Hawking

Hi Mom,

We're moving. Not off planet quite yet but soon enough we will need to according to Stephen Hawking.

This Hawking article came at an opportune time because I had been thinking this issue quite a bit when I saw some authors I like reference this article by Kim Stanley Robinson about the problems with interstellar travel and generation ships. I have not read Aurora, Robinson's novel from 2015 that many consider the best of the year even though it was not even nominated for either the Hugo or the Nebula awards.

I have been reading my way through "Our Generation Ships Will Sink" and have Aurora queued up in the to read book case. This all hit my radar when I read a review of Kameron Hurley's The Stars Are Legion because I support her on Patreon, and I decided to read her novel, which deals with planet type "ships" that are like giant organisms that recycle all their organic matter to sustain their  giant eco-systems.


Robinson's thesis purports that our problems with journeying to another habitable planet fall into four categories: physical, biological, sociological, and psychological.

The article is quite long and an excellent read (though I have not finished it but I intend to), but the upshot can be stated simply. For physical, the stars and other planets are too far away. Biological concerns deal with the interstellar ship like a very isolated island, which leads to ecological dilemmas, such as a "perfectly recycling ecological system is impossible."

Such long voyage ships would likely be under totalitarian control, an unavoidable sociological outcome, and the psychological toll of isolation from and abandonment of the home planet of earth may be too much for the first generation, which may prevent the later generations from being born and from growing to maturity.

After pondering these problems, Robinson contemplates how to make a home on the planet found, which might possibly be a dead rock, and other issues, such as if hibernation would be a better solution. It's a great read.

So here's the beginning of Robinson's article, which I will not reprint in its entirety but that's the link above.

As noted in Cory's review, Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora makes an undeniable case for ecological stewardship through a rigorous, gripping technological speculation about climate science, biology, space propulsion and sociodynamic factors. In this exclusive feature essay, Robinson explains the technology behind the best science fiction novel of 2015.
“The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.”
—Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Humanity traveling to the stars is an ancient dream, and a late nineteenth and early twentieth century project, proposed quickly after the first developments in rocketry. The idea spread through world culture, mainly by way of science fiction. Countless stories described people visiting planets orbiting other stars, and by a process of cultural diffusion, space travel became one part of a plausible and widely-held consensus future for humanity, a future we seemed to moving into with accelerating speed as the twentieth century progressed.

With the enormous successes of Star Trek and Star Wars, the idea was firmly planted in the popular imagination: if we survived as a species, we would be moving out into the galaxy. This awesome diaspora would mark our maturity or success as a species, and would enable us to outlive the Earth itself, should it suffer a natural disaster or be destroyed by some human folly. The thought of long-term galactic survival for humanity was comforting to some, and in any case it seemed inevitable, humanity’s fate or destiny. When we landed people on the moon in 1969, and robots on Mars in 1976, it seemed we were already on the way.

But in the same century the idea spread, we were also learning things that made it seem less and less likely that we could do it. When the notion was first broached, we didn’t even know how big the universe was; now we do, and it’s bigger than we thought. Meanwhile, the tremendous increase in our knowledge of biology has taught us that human beings are much more complicated than we thought, being in effect complex assemblages interpenetrated with larger ecologies.

These and other findings make a contemporary evaluation of the starfaring plan rather startling: one begins to see it can’t be done.

Oh no! For some people this is a disturbing and deeply pessimistic conclusion to come to. Then when you combine that new judgment with the recently discovered problems concerning the plan to terraform and inhabit Mars (presence of perchlorates and absence of nitrogen), and we come to an entirely new realization about our species: there is no Planet B.

Earth is our only home.

Oh no again!

This conclusion, startling to some, obvious to others, has ramifications that are worth pondering. If it comes to be a generally agreed on view, it might change how we act as individuals and a civilization. These changes in behavior might turn out to be crucial for our descendants. So although this entire discussion consists of speculations about hypothetical futures, which is to say, science fictions, still they are worth thinking about, as useful orientations in our sense of our own history as a species.


Okay, I like this image below from http://silk4calde.blogspot.com/2010/02/generation-ships.html
because creating a mini-world in a hollowed asteroid, which is already a space-faring "ship" is a great idea. Plus, this blogger found an article by my friend Christopher Beiting, who I went to K-College with way back in the day. ALSO, the article mentions a Gene Wolfe novel that is also queued up in my to-read book case.



And so that's a long way around to the Hawking article that forms the core of this post.

Hawking has reduced his time table for an exodus mandate from 1000 to 100 years.

Here's the link of the share from which I learned of the article.


Humanity must populate a new planet within 100 years, warns Stephen Hawking, PhD

May 11, 2017

(credit: www.hawking.org.uk)
“The human species will have to populate a new planet within 100 years if it is to survive,” famed physicist Stephen Hawking, PhD says in “Expedition New Earth” — a documentary that debuts this summer as part of the BBC’s forthcoming Tomorrow’s World TV series.
He cites “climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth” as reasons to leave.
That 100 figure is dramatically lower that Hawking’s previous warning of 1,000 years in a speech November 15, 2016 at Oxford Union, according to the London-based Express newspaper. “We must continue to go into space for the future of humanity,” he said.
In an afterword to a 2016 book titled How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight by journalist Julian Guthrie, Hawking said he believes that “life on Earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as a sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers. I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go to space.”
Hawking has also warned about the risks of artificial intelligence and an alien encounter.

I am ready.

Because with 1% controlling almost all the wealth of all the nations, that was bad enough, but since Trump was elected to be "president," my attitude has been "fuck this place."

I'm out of here.


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 681 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1705.16 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

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