Doctor we need you!

24 11 2010

by AngryPanda

Yesterday I wrote about the Escapist and today I’m already referring to a new show of theirs. It is called The Big Picture and today it is about the abandonment of reasearch for space travel. No Bob, you’re not the only one worried about this. And it brings me to the next point:

Today is the 47th of the Doctor! Congratulations!

Bob tries to talk sense into people but there is only one sensible thing to do now. An open letter to the Doctor!

Dear Doctor,

you are awesome.

PS: Seriously.

PPS: Alright I guess I have to bother you with a plea for help too. You see, I’m writing to you from the year 2010 and something has gone horribly wrong with our timeline. There is a strange lack of jetpacks and hoverboards. In fact despite the obvious application no one even used the balance board to even make a hoverboard-game yet. Come on how sad is that? But as sad as that is this is just a symptom and not the real reason I’m writing to you today. Or have written to you. This time travel stuff is confusing that way. Far worse things are happening. Despite the fact that as kids we all knew that the solar system would be colonized soon our steps in space travel have not only not advanced, no we are even going backwards. There won’t be a fifths and bountiful human empire or a New New York this way. The only logical explanation is that a malicious alien force is influencing our society, our whole world. They have changed the timeline so that instead of developing further we are trapped in a spiral of short-sighted greed that leave us unable to commit to long-term projects and makes us destroy our planet despite the fact that our technology would make that entirely unnecessary anymore. I can only assume that this is a plot by the Daleks or perhaps even the Master to eradicate humanity’s future by keeping it in a state of mass hypnosis that focuses our attention to MP3-Players, Reality Shows and irrational fear of people from the middle east. Maybe someone took the satellite 5 plan and moved it back in time? I don’t know what it is but humanity can not be this shortsighted and stupid. Please save us!

There, I tried. Now let us hope the Doctor reads this blog. If he doesn’t that probably means it isn’t popular enough. Which makes it your fault by not telling your friends (all two of them), your dog and your mom about it. Go do that now! Humanity’s future may depend on it! Here’s the hard truth: Once abandoned the space program won’t get picked up again. There will never be a time then people say “Hey we got a few billions to spare for a project that will just pay off in a generation or so!“. That’s not how democracy and capitalism works. We have moved away from it and it is very likely that our civilization will go downhill from here. This might have been the only time to pull it off, we don’t know that. While I’m glad we ran out of totalitarian regimes those are the ones who might have pulled that off. A king could have carried through a space program for the glory of his nation and his descendants. But in our world we don’t even plan for our own lifetime, only till the next fiscal report. It is very likely that humanity will die on this mudball.

Cans of steel in space. We can build this. We should be there.

Of course there are always local problems that one could say should be solved first. Mostly hunger, pollution and all that. But the fact is: We aren’t even trying. If you pull the “we should do that first” card then by all means we should be doing it. But we don’t. We just sort of slither along, pissing away our advanced civilization bit by bit by being too worried about children seeing tits on the net, listening to politicians and by chasing the industries carrots. And even they are shortsighted since this won’t get anyone ahead.

One-time-investment.

And this isn’t just some nerd wish either. There are real and highly valuable benefits to it. Ending resource scarcity, waste disposal, solving the energy crisis. If you want to get rid of nuclear waste just shoot it into the sun. Now someone who’d love to live in a tippie will jump out and say we can’t pollute the sun but I say we should him in there too so that can see it is a giant fusion reactor all for himself. If it is too expensive to shoot it up every time solve that problem permanently. Build a space elevator. If you say that is impossible or too expensive I’m pretty sure people said that about a tunnel between France and Britain too. In our society “can’t be build in five years and with current technology” is way too often mistaken for “impossible”. Once you’ve settled the problem of launch-costs you open a whole new world of possibilities. As mentioned before there is waste disposal but that’s not nearly the end of it. Orbital construction, imagine the precision possible in zero gravity. You could also start building new spaceships and stations right up there, ending the need for the things to be able to enter or launch from atmosphere, significantly reducing their cost. And while we’re at it, you can’t only get rid of your nuclear waste there you could build the powerplants right in space if you are worried about them blowing up. I’m in way over my head here and just guessing but I somehow doubt you’d even need plants if you have largest reactor of them all right there with you. It seems amazingly silly to gather solar energy after it had to go through our atmosphere instead of right at the source.

Raw solar power.

You wouldn’t have to worry about bringing it down since you already did build that nifty space elevator. A nation possessing this would have the ultimate resource and could charge anything for others who want to use it. Now that’s a long-term investment. And you might have noticed this isn’t even talking about colonization. This is simply branching out directly into space around earth. Easy stuff. Real space colonization would of course be much longer term and a bigger investment. Usually only military projects get that sort of funding and they are busy playing in the sandbox. But maybe you could sell it like this: The first nation that builds an independent colony that can survive without resources from earth would be the ultimate superpower. It would end the principle of mutual assured destruction. They could sit back and threaten anyone they like because even if you say a nuclear war would blow up the whole planet they would still win. Not a nice thought but that’s how these people think. They already calculated loosing “only” the east coast as victory in some of their pretty little cold war scenarios. I don’t think there’s anyone left worth nuking these days but as long as there are men there will be some with too small member who really want to watch this and blow stuff up. And these are the people who will spend any amount of money no matter how stupid their new weapons and security systems are. Just look at airports these days. Yes I’m saying that the only way to pull of a project this side is to harness the power of stupidity. Reason never works but a waving flag, fear and talk about guns can. Considering that real space colonization will take generations it doesn’t matter what motivation was behind it. Greed and fear are as good as anything as long as the results are there. And by the time it works the world will have changed and the original reasons won’t matter anymore. Maybe people will still be just as bad and they will use it to force their will on the rest of the world. It is the sort of thing I would believe. But hey the Doctor says people will get better and I certainly won’t argue with him. And even if they stay the same it is still better to have them spread out over space so our stupidity at least can’t kill us all at once.

Do as we say or it is: Boom motherfuckers! The real power of a nation in space.

You may think it was surprising that Firefly was killed but seriously it wasn’t in the spirit of the time anymore. The idea of living in space is not part of the spirit of the 21st century. We all new that space would be the new frontier as kids. If something was too far we’d find a way around the problem. The major problem we imagined was keeping law & order out there. I think that might be the problem. We are a generation that grew up with these things but it was kids stuff. And normal people step away from that as teens. So that’s what space exploration is now: a children’s fantasy, entirely unimportant compared to the next toy Apple will release. Our society is sick and we could really use a doctor.

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6 responses

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