Human Intelligence Amplification (HIA), Space Migration, and Life Extension
My thinking is that our best hope for surviving the Technological Singularity is Artificial intelligence (AI) integration with human intelligence, for a Human Intelligence Amplification (HIA) capability.
In this scenario we humans expand outward by Space Migration and Life Extension using artificial intelligence to amplify our own human intelligence. In the process, we then become Post-humans (super human intelligent, immortal, and god-like).
Leading up to this should be the development of planet size ?human-computer-mind-groups? as interface delays approach zero. It should be noted that this does not exclude the existence of pure AI beings, or Virtual Humans, or Mind Uploading, or Cyborgs, or a "Virtuality" Software Earth.
As a result, colonization of the solar system should accelerate, followed by subsequent travel to nearby stars. This will transform humanity (i.e. Transhumanism) into a star traveling species of advance human origins potential reaching the Omega Point.
Some Basic Assumptions:
That the approaching Technological Singularity is real and its effects upon society and the definition of being human will be significantly felt within three to four decades.
That a recognizable human species will survive this singularity.
It is entirely possible that one or more combinations of potential perils to humanity (see: The Survival of Humanity) leads to our extinction (an "Extinction Singularity") or setback so severe that a technological dark age follows and the possibility of a near term singularity is delayed or completely nullified.
This also assumes that there is no public or private contact with advance Alien Species; leading to profound change in our knowledge, and/or behavior, which either derails the singularity or leapfrogs it.
So you say you love science fiction... All those cool entertaining movies and interesting books, and the graphic comics as well. In fact you go so far as to call yourself a science fiction fan. For 40 years you?ve watched every episode of the original Star Trek countless times. In fact, you find yourself mouthing the dialog! Your favorite movies are Blade Runner, Aliens, Contact, and old original classics like ?The Day the Earth Stood Still?.
You not only are a Star Trek fan, but you?re a Doctor Who fan as well, and your favorite doctor is Tom Baker! You?ve watched the ?Red Dwarf? series and have read most of Douglas Adams. You prefer hard science fiction genre, Asimov (The Foundation), Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey), with Philip K. Dick, and Jack L. Chalker thrown in.
So just how close am I to other science fiction fans out there? I don?t know... but maybe that?s not what?s really important.
What is important is what science fiction does for me. It makes me think outside of the box, to realize how wonderful the universe really is, how important science is to our survival, and how exceptional the human species.
With the ?collective imagination of humanity?, anything is really possible! I truly believe that. No goals are too tough or unattainable. Solving Global Warming, creating a thinking machine and robots, traveling to the stars, traveling in time, meeting aliens, and challenging and enhancing what it means to be a human being. These are the dreams of humans. That?s what science fiction does for me, it tells me clearly humanities ultimate destiny is out there among the stars. That?s why I love it so much.
To the right is a blog table of contents, below is the new trailer for the remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still", right of that my current novella, and cool featured videos.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
Outward space exploration and expansion grew at a rapid pace, due to the privatization of all space exploration and its subsequent exploitation. Corporations headed by forward thinking executives now controlled access to space. Spaceports have sprouted up all over the world, giving average citizens access to affordable space travel. Now space stations, moon bases and asteroid factories, which provided most of the raw materials, have become independent space communities. Distant science outposts have been constructed on the outer planets and moons. The solar system has become the playground of humanity.
An international group of humans established Lunar City on the Moon in 2026 after the initial Moon base power and manufacturing facilities were completed. Now robotic machines roomed the surface of the Moon mining for lunar regolith and producing the need materials for continued subsurface construction of Lunar City and its outlining spaceport, solar arrays, agro-farms, and design research laboratories. Astronomical observatories were constructed on the moons north and south Polar Regions while moon ice deposited by comets was mined from the mountainous dark shaded areas of the polar surfaces.
Refining facilities produce fuel for spaceship propulsion while ground based spaceship construction facilities manufactured various space station modules and spaceship sections. These are then launched into Moon orbit by powerful magnetic accelerators to be mated to orbital construction docking facilities of Space Station Armstrong and assembled into larger spacecraft. More modules are attached to the spacecraft before they leave for journeys to the outer colonies of Mars and the Asteroids.
By 2062 the Moon had a resident population of 22,000 and had become a non-stop economic manufacturing powerhouse with luxury condos, underground tourist entertainment resorts and casinos. Moon politics now play strongly into Earth?s hands, but the outer colonies are gaining influence. Dr. Zenon of SpaceGene, was elected to the position of ?CEO of the Moon?.
The CEO of the Moon is equivalent to a president or prime minister presiding over an elected multi-corporate body such as a parliament, or house of congress, called the Moon board for a total one term of five years. The CEO and Moon board are elected by Moon Citizens above the age of sixteen who have live on the Moon and orbiting space stations for at least a three-year period.
Everyone entered the Lander stowing their space luggage in cabinets on board, then put on their gloves, helmet and life support packs. Each of the Lander?s six seats faced each other in a circle. Jason noticed the seats were constructed with large indentations, accommodating the small life support units on each of their backs.
Marva secured the strange space suited pet in the seat next to her, as it made objectionable monkey noises to being fastened down by over size belts. Talking out loud to it she said something about flight regulations, as she put on its helmet and gloves.
Monica and Nicky sat down last, strapping themselves in. All of the seats were now occupied, including the one by Junkman?s virtual projection to Jason?s right. Junkman was smiling and wore the most outrageous psychedelic colored spacesuit. His real electronic presence was in the VRcube hanging from Jason?s neck. Marva was seated to Jason?s left.
The Lander spoke to them in an English female voice. Since the Moon was a very international place, Jason was sure that other languages would be translated by everyone?s personal translator to Russian, Chinese, Hindi or whatever language the wearer understood best. ?This is the automated flight system. All passengers are now secure.
Decoupling from Space Station Armstrong and beginning descent to Moon surface. Final destination will be Lunar City Spaceport. Arrival time estimated at 14 minutes. Please enjoy the flight and remain securely in your seats until we have landed and you receive further instructions.?
?You?ll be able to get a good view of Lunar City on this approach as we pass directly over it on the way to the spaceport,? said Marva, leaning in closer and touching her helmet to Jason?s.
He thanked her and then decided to ask over the com about the monkey, ?I have never seen a pet like yours before??
?He?s more than a pet; he is an extension of me, a sort of living personal assistant,? Marva answered while checking on Jason?s reaction.
Jason looked puzzled, so Marva continued,? His name is Tiki. He is a gene engineered Space Monkey. They are very popular on the Asteroid colonies, since they adapt well to weightlessness and follow orders, sometimes as well as any robot. Tiki is special in that he has a chip in his brain allowing me to communicate with him mentally. If I want, I can see what he sees, and direct some of his actions when he is feeling cooperative. Tiki is a new product of SpaceGene.?
?Why is his hair so many bright colors?? asked Jason.
?Oh, space psychology tests show that bright colors and movement helps with depression in confined and long duration space flight, and of course it makes them easily visible too. His personality and mischievousness helps in cheering people up, although at times he can be trying.? Marva said with her beautiful smile.
Everyone could see outside the Lander when the honey combed display panels and view portals embedded in the floor and side walls activated. They mimicked glass, but were actuality connected to external cameras, mounted to the outside double titanium hull of the spacecraft, exposed to the vacuum of space.
Jason was a little nervous, this being his first lunar landing and all; having recently heard about a spectacular lunar crash in the popular media. He also noticed Monica trying to feign calm, with maybe a little too much boredom. He could tell a smiling Nicky with space travel experience was not buying it; the Martian could see right through her play-acting.
Nicky offered his glove covered right hand, open palm and fingers for her to hold. She frowned at him as if he should be the one scarred of flying so high above the Moon?s surface, but quickly accepted the offering anyway.
Such is love, Jason thought shyly, wishing he could try holding the nearby hand of Marva, but they had only just met. Instead he grabbed the floating VRcube, hooked to the outside of his suit. He decided to access the craft?s wireless Internet feed for information on Lander trajectory and landmarks. Keeping his mind busy, he soon became so interested in Moon topography, his worries subsided.
The Lander continued its fast autopilot-controlled descent over the South Pole-Aitken Basin, giving a magnifying view of the rough lunar surface 300 kilometers below. The face of the basin was an ancient giant crater marred and pocked by smaller and more recent craters, 2,500 kilometers in diameter and 13 kilometers deep at its lowest point. The distinction being that it was the largest impact crater in the entire solar system.
?Approaching Shackleton Crater and Lunar City; Spaceport arrival 5 minutes,? announced the Lander. Still moving fast, the Lander?s final destination was a spaceport just outside of Lunar City on the South Pole of the Moon, sometimes known informally as Ring City because large human habitats were built around the mostly sun lit rim of Shackleton Crater. Of course there were other cities on the moon now, but Lunar City was still the economic mining metropolis of the Moon, the first, largest, and capital city of the politically correct, ?Sovereign Planet of Luna?.
The large arrays of black and silver solar collection panels could be seen outlining the crater as they approached from the east and flew across the naturally dark mined areas of its interior. Jason accessed infrastructure information on the city. These arrays provided most of the power for sustaining the cities sub-surface residents, who called themselves Lunarians. The remaining power was used for the agrofacilities, mining operations, and spacecraft construction, research labs and finally the luxurious gambling and entertainment establishments located on Malapert Mountain adjacent to the nearby spaceport.
The Moon had become a non-stop economic manufacturing powerhouse with luxury condos, underground tourist entertainment resorts and casinos. Moon politics now play strongly into Earth?s hands, but the Mars Colonies have continued to grow at an accelerating rate, demanding fair and representative government. The Martians have begun terraforming their planet and genetically engineering themselves to survive on its future terraformed surface in Mar suits.
Most structures where situated to be bathed in sunlight of the Lunar Day. A Lunar Day being an Earth month; the time it took Luna to orbit the Earth and make one revolution. From some peaks you could actually see the planet Earth hanging in the dark sky, low over the Moon?s horizon.
Jason was surprised to learn most Lunarian homes were buried under six feet of Lunar Blanket, composed of a moon top soil called regolith, a fine dust and pulverized rock contained in extra large sandbags, held together with a synthetic glue; providing the needed shielding and insulation from harmful radiation and micro-meteor impacts.
As they flew over the dark center of Shackleton Crater only a few lights could be seen along the many cable escalators which transferred mined comet water ice, methane, and ore metals from the crater floor to manufacturing on the rim. The Lander?s trajectory crossed the city and eventually brought them into view of the spaceport.
?Prepare for craft final deceleration and landing. Arrival at spaceport dock 65A in 2 minutes,? spoke the Lander in a firm business voice.
Everyone except Junkman, pressed down into their seats as retro-rockets began to fire and the Lander orientated for a touchdown on one of the many-sized spaceport landing pads. Surprisingly through this all Tiki the Space Monkey was silent.
?Lander touchdown sequence completed. Welcome to Luna. On behave of Armstrong Corporation we hope you enjoy your stay on the Moon and look forward to seeing you on your return flight. You may remove your restraints now and move about the spacecraft. Please remember to take all your possessions with you. Armstrong Station Corporation and the Lunar City Spaceport take no responsibility for lost or stolen items. We are now awaiting a transport to Lunar City which should arrive shortly.? Spoke the Lander.
The honeycombed floor panels went dark, but side view panels were still functioning and they could see a mobile docking transport move along a roadway between the landing pads of other large and small spacecraft. There was a slight bump and faint grinding sound as the transport mated with the Lander?s airlock mechanism.
?Pressurizing transport airlock,? A moment later an iconic red space vacuum warning indicator above the airlock door changed to green. ?Airlock securely pressurized. Please take your possessions with you. Watch your step and proceed through the airlock door into the transport. This concludes all Lander spacecraft announcements. Thank you,? stated the Lander.
?Thank You,? said Monica relieved.
?It was entirely my pleasure,? replied what must have been the Lander?s built in AIP (Artificial Intelligence Personality). Tiki squeaked his irritation as they carried their lightweight luggage and bags through to the transport airlock.
After cycling through the airlock into the transport, they heard through their helmets. ?This is the Moon Transport Control AI. The cabin is pressurized. You may now remove and stow luggage, helmets, gloves and life support packs in the designated storage lockers. Transport Luna carrier 12, destination Lunar City Biohabitat Oceana. Current Luna time Tuesday 1:03 am. Estimated arrival is 7 minutes. Please make yourselves comfortable, we will be leaving the spaceport momentarily.? They all took seats, looking out the large window view screens at the spaceport?s parked spacecraft.
There were spacecraft on the launch pads of every size, shape and color. Some were the new large Space BUS Tour craft, which Jason had heard about, carrying more than 300 non-space suited passengers in special reinforced vacuum resistant compartments. It was one of these, which had recently failed, smashing into the moon at a fiercely high speed, rocket engines plowing full on thrust.
The impacting instantly killed all humans on board and pulverizing all machines. Regardless of its reinforced infrastructure it made a new lunar crater measuring over half a kilometer in diameter. Luckily for others not on board, the impact was far enough away from the spaceport and city habitats. They were still periodically showing video clips of screaming passengers, remote camera views and magnified satellite impact imagery from multiple angles. Some suspected it was sabotage because the only surviving AI records showed signs of erasure and program tampering.
Although there appeared to be no supporting evidence discovered during the investigation, with not much of the craft left intact at all, the Earth Space Media (ESM) report was just short of accusing FreeMars rebels of being involved.
The recently elected CEO of the Moon, Dr. Zenon, echoed Lunarian opinion when he said he did not suspect FreeMars and that ESM reporting was again, ?Influenced to further Earth?s backward colonial mother-world mentality.?
The ground transport began moving, but it soon became apparent that the vehicle was not limited to the ground alone. It latched itself into a ceiling cable transport system and they were soon off the ground and over the edge of the spaceport plateau, soaring high above spectacular bright lunar valleys and dark rocky crevices on their way to the sub lunar metropolis rim of Shackleton Crater.
In the distance could be seen the solar panels lining the top rim of the crater, beneath those, complex looking manufacturing facilities and blanketed habitat modules with above ground exposed life support units and process tanks outlined by small paved roadways for robotic servicing. In a few places along the sides of the crater you could actually see into lush green buried biohabitats covered by transparent triple thick glass silica. The special nanoreinforced glass was layered with radiation filter shielding to protect the plants and humans exposed below.
?If you wait and looked closely. . . ?, pointed Marva, ?To the right, there, every few minutes you can see objects flying off the Lunar City Catapult up into orbit,? just then they all saw a large white module being launched. It traveled so fast that in a moment it was distant, then completely out of site.
?Wow!? said Monica. ?That beats any amusement park ride I have ever gone on.?
?I?ve never been on an amusement park ride, or for that matter to an amusement park,? said Marva quite seriously. ?In fact, I?ve never actually been to Earth.? There was a silence from everyone.
Their transport finally arrived and they all debarked with their luggage. Marva showed them through the downward twisting and turning way into their sub-lunar accommodations.
Jason suspected their suite was extremely luxurious by lunar standards, but on Earth a furnished and cramped one-bedroom apartment would have seemed much larger.
The suite had a common alcove dining area with an anchored table and padded seating; small food prep and kitchen area, one multifunction recyclable wash and toilet room, with three small private VR enabled sleeping quarters. The walls of the suite were cream white and covered with sealant spray. Soft full spectrum columns of light fixtures hung from ceiling to the polished lunar gray floor. There was no carpet anywhere; a few wall switches with electrical outlets strategically positioned in the toilet kitchen and sleep areas. Power and control conduits for these ran along the ceiling, as did the air vent tubing.
The suite was permanently buried in radiation and micrometeorite shielding, built to last and allow for maintenance and future upgrade.
Besides lighter gravity, some things clearly pointed to the fact they were not inside a Earth abode; the most obvious, an embedded panel display positioned along one wall at the height of a window showing a stunning piped in view of lunar mountain ranges, black sky, and a blue full Earth hanging brightly just above the horizon.
You actually could see spacecraft moving across the view, departing and arriving from the spaceport. Of course any view point on the surface or in space could have been displayed; even an Earthscape or Marscape, but its true purpose was to act as a simulated window above ground, giving the inhabitants a feeling of living on the surface rather than in a buried and windowless Moon cave.
There were other things that revealed its outer space nature, like the airlocks; two in this suite. One with a storage area to hang and recharge the spacesuits, helmets, gloves, and life support packs; it exited out into the common hallway through which they entered. The other opened out into a large pressurized artificial biohabitat. All of the sub-lunar facilities had carefully placed airlocks to avoid cascade depressurization.
?I?m not supposed to do this, but I?m going to override the airlock controls for now,? Marva said while touching the control pad for the airlock.
The first door slid open, she entered a security code, there was a loud beeping, and flashing red warning light, a synthesized male voice said in a very serious tone. ?Privileged security override: Marva Zenon. Please Confirm?? Then the noise and lights stopped and the last door slid open into a beautiful jungle scene, small waterfall and squawking birds.
Marva smiled, and then beckoned them all with her gloveless hand, turned walked through the airlock, and skipped lightly down a stone grass path on the other side.
?I can?t believe it!? Jason said with shocked skepticism. The others were just as amazed and moved cautiously through the airlock, down the path into a clearing near a pool at the base of the waterfall.
Jason noticed there was something unusual about how slow the water fell over the rocks in this lighter gravity. He looked up through the trees to the transparent ceiling high above, the sky was black, but everything was bright as daylight with the sun shining through in a late afternoon position. The jungle was lush green and wet smelling.
?Hologram?? asked Jason, not certain.
?No, this is real. Simulated Earth made from fortified moon regolith, water mined from the dark crater. We have modified the basic plant genetics for accelerated growth; accommodating some lunar soil deficiencies, improving their tolerance for low gravity and greatly extended daylight growth cycles.? Marva said.
The habitat was like a large pressurized warehouse, filled with growing vegetation. It contributed to the air purification and food production of the city. ?Other apartment airlocks open into four other biohabitats throughout the city providing various mini-parks of mountain pines, hilly grasslands, and even a desert complete with cacti. This particular biohabitat is my personal favorite. Because of the small lake, this Biodome it is named Oceana. It has the distinction of being the largest artificial body of water of any space habitat. Here on Luna, water and breathable air are more precious commodities than gold,? Marva explained.
Tiki, was still wearing his small spacesuit, screeched his impatience at her. ?Go ahead,? she said. The Space Monkey then made a gigantic leaped from her shoulder onto a jungle vine and began climbing it to a tree canopy high above. Gravity here was .17, about one-fifth that of Earth. A tropical parrot flew off, cautiously distancing itself from the Space Monkey.
Marva completed her tour of the biohabitat and the adjacent agro-fields. She then collected a very reluctant Tiki. Jason thanked her, shaking her hand much longer this time, even to the point of practically holding it.
A little flushed, she excused herself; then reactivated the safety on the airlock as she left.
VR Prototype by Michael Blade
Jason Chen bent over in his subway seat to pick up a rarely seen plastic penny he spotted face-up on the train floor. A penny existed today only to make exact change for those who still stubbornly used physical money. He didn?t understand why, but somehow its continued existence was comforting for some. Angling the lucky coin in his fingers to see the three-dimensional head of Abraham Lincoln, he noted the year on the coin was 2053, the year of his birth.
Getting off the subway he went through the biometric sensors, climbing the escalating stairs to street level. It was raining heavily outside and he had no umbrella. He grabbed the first hydrogen-electric cross city bus that came, getting off at the corner of Turk and Larkin.
Shivering as he swiped his long wet neon green bangs aside. He eyed his destination, The Palace of Technological Junk, half a block away in the San Francisco downpour of brisk rain and wind. Running to the doorway of the store, he realizing he wouldn?t be out here in real weather, if it weren?t for the fact his present VR gear totally sucked.
Stopping inside the sheltering entrance he looked at the items on display. Beat up ancient historical technology filled the grimy windows; a wearable-mouse, weird looking xPad, Smelly-phone, obsolete gaming consoles, household robot attachments, and a Vexorg with the complete set of shrink-wrapped male and female erotic adapters, still in the original box. There was a small sign that said, ?Need Nanotek??, and a sticker on the window, ?We Accept Real Cash Here.?
The Vexorg was the first virtual reality sex unit; giving multi-sex partners an orgasmic experience over the Internet. ?Better and safer than the real thing? was the company slogan stamped in large hot pink letters on the box. That was of course before they lost the lawsuit for psycho-technological sex addiction.
An old reflective glass sliding door whisked open and Jason quickly entered, warm dry air hitting him in the face. Classical Bach began to play through crackled speakers above a male voice said, ?Welcome Mr. Chen to the Palace of Technological Junk. My name is Junkman, your store AI. What can I do for you today?? Recognizing his micro GPS Id chip; implanted in all newborns by an international law, passed only a few years before he was born.
Instead of answering, Jason walked confidently forward; the second door slid open revealing a geek?s paradise of technological gadgetry. ?May I interest you in our store specials?? asked Junkman, trying a different approach.
Distracted by the sight of gadgetry, Jason almost forgot how much he really disliked store AIs. ?Customer over-ride, execute rubber-plant-theta-five. Modify vocal selection chipmunks. Interrupt only upon request.?
?As you wish Mr. Chen,? was the AI response in a squeaky high-pitched chipmunk voice, ?but feel free to request my assistance.? Jason chuckled to himself, it sounded like the voice synthesizer had inhaled a hit of helium, knowing the voice would reset itself for the next customer. Almost everyone hated that shoppers had to put up with AI sales personalities in every real store these days, except the expensive ones where humans worked for high wages.
He was looking for salvaged virtual reality gear; a hot VR metaworld gamer told him he might be able to find what he need at ?The Tech Palace? for a good price.
Walking around the store, Jason noticed the place was a nightmare, a total mess. Everything was on metal shelving rising to a high ceiling and literally filled with every gadget, gear or component imaginable. Wires, connectors, circuit boards, tubing, black boxes, white boxes, consoles, remotes, stacked on each other, VR helmets, gloves, eye wear, body suits, devices both wireless and wired of all sizes and shapes, specialized tools and strange looking test equipment.
Everything was packed in so tight with no wasted space. Some of it was even hanging down from the shelves. There were walkways large enough for humans to squeeze through, but they were arranged in twisted and turning maze like fashion. The store itself was not that large, but held as many items as a store twice its size.
This was obviously the work of some crazed machine intelligence. No human mind could have organized this place. Jason had no idea what some of this shit even did, or how to begin to find what he needed? He was going to have to talk to this store AI.
?Junkman!? he yelled with authority.
?What are you looking for?? Junkman asked in a high-pitched chipmunk voice, directly to the point.
Now annoyed by the squeaky voice, Jason restored it to the original setting. ?Programmable visual contacts, auditory and tactile sensor interfaces with hyper-parallel feedback capability, wireless linkups, ultra-light weight and unrestricted mobility. Salvage is an option, low price is a priority.?
?The only thing I have that comes close is a VR prototype unit we bought from a bankrupt research firm. I can sell it to you cheap. Interested?? Replied the store AI.
?Any other options?? he inquired.
?No other products meet specifications on planet. There is a non-functioning unit on Luna, needs some repair work. Intra-solar system shipping costs would be high, but delivery could be arranged in five days.?
?No. Show me the prototype.? Jason was startled by a slim yellow service robot, which activated itself, coming out of a nearby alcove filled with cleaning supplies, making whizzing-clicking sounds. The robot had a multi-directional telescoping eye stock for a head, obviously not designed for human interfacing. Moving quickly it disappeared around a corner into the maze of parts and shelving.
The robot returned carrying a single item in each of its manipulator arms. In one was a stretchable translucent plastic skullcap, which looked very similar to a swimmers cap. Jason reached out and took it from the robot?s arm. It was lightweight and he could see an external circuit film on the outside. The inside of the VRcap was lined with a grid of room temperature super-conducting nanofibers. Jason pulled it over his head, fitting perfectly.
He looked for goggles or contacts, earpieces and body suit in the remaining arm of the robot, but found none, only something that looked like a medical syringe. ?You forgot the viewer, audio buds and body wear,? Jason said.
?It is not needed with this unit. You can access HDVR without a full helmet and sensor suit. This prototype is very advanced, interfacing directly with your brain?s visual, audio, and sensory cortex; stimulating and reading electrical signals from your neurons by embedded nanobots. The VRcap is only needed for the initial calibration via hyper-nanogrid. Requiring an injection of nanoprobes into your blood stream,? informed Junkman.
Jason looked again at the syringe in the robot manipulator. ?I understand. But how come I?ve never seen or heard of anything this advanced before? Doesn?t this usually require a medical appointment?? Jason asked suspiciously.
?It?s a research prototype, one of a kind; never went to commercial production. The company folded and the project was shelved. Everything was eventually sold for surplus after the founder died,? explained Junkman.
?What company made this?? He asked the AI.
?The Vexorg Corporation; their advanced virtual reality research division shut down when the company lost the famous sex tech trial. They were light years ahead of the competition when they went out of business.?
?This isn?t going to give me some kind of viral pervAD, is it?? Jason asked, seriously concerned.
?No. Advertisement routines were never developed for this prototype,? assured Junkman.
?Well okay. How do I activate it?? asked Jason impatiently.
?First it has to be calibrated to your brain. What little instructions I have say that you put the skullcap on, take the injection, and go to sleep. This unit will scan various sensory and motor centers within your brain, adjust the positions of the nanoprobes, and customize itself for your use only. In the morning it will activate itself automatically. At that time a built-in user instruction menu will be available. You can then discard the skullcap.?
?What if it doesn?t work?? asked Jason.
?Our guarantee is that all non-functional merchandise is fully refundable. The nanobots can be easily flushed from your body through your waste elimination systems on command,? replied Junkman.
?How much?? ask a worried Jason, thinking it might be beyond his financial means.
?For you my young friend, a special low price of 7,652 Credits,? said Junkman.
?7000, and you can charge my account,? said Jason, knowing this would make him short on credit for a while, but if it worked, it would be well worth it, making him an unbeatable VR Gamemaster. He could recoup his costs, leaving the store with the VRcap still on his wet head of hair, syringe in hand, going home for an afternoon nap.
In his cramped studio apartment, he got undressed, took a shower, toweled off, and lay back in bed. He read the only instructions provided in small font on the syringe, 1. Place Cranial Interface Cap on Head. 2. Press Syringe Firmly Against Carotid Artery. 3. Inject Contents. 4. Sleep.
He heard a hiss and felt a mild sting as he pressed the button on the needless syringe against his neck. For a moment nothing happened and he worried he might have been ripped off, or even worse, poisoned. Then suddenly feeling dizzy and sleepy at the same time, but before worrying too much further, he quickly lost consciousness.
Jason stretched and rubbed his face. Looking around his sloppy bedroom, he noticed a sliver of light peeking through his window curtains cutting across his bare naked body. Individual dust particles could be seen floating in the sharply defined light. Then he remembered the VRcap. He reached up and pulled it off, throwing it aside.
Something was wrong. It was late morning. He remembered falling asleep in the afternoon, maybe around four after coming home from that tech junk shop.
He looked at the clock. It was 10:45 am! How could this be? He must have slept for nearly 18 hours. He never slept this much in his life, not even when he was sick, which was almost never, unless he wanted an excuse to cut class. Then he realized it must be the cap. It had somehow extended his sleep cycle so it could complete the brain scan and calibration as Junkman had explained.
Jason was excited. He wanted to test out the nanoconnections, but he still didn?t know how to activate it. Just as he completed that single thought; glowing green letters scrolled across his field of vision, answering his question?
Virtual Reality Human Brain Interface Prototype DX-28, Revision 3.5.1. Registered Property of Vexorg Advanced Research Division.
> Test subject initial brain scan and calibration procedure complete duration time 17 hrs.
> Interface normal and operational. COMMAND MODE ACTIVATED
View Operational MENU? (Yes/No)
Dr. Xanoplatu, an alien anthropologist, historian, and time traveler, materialized on stage wearing the body of his ancestors, a giant green Praying Mantis with large yellow eyes and small black pupils. He was speaking at a galactic cultural lecture, inside a de-localized spherical space station, somewhere and some when in a multi-versed space-time reality.
To a far less technologically evolved civilization, the space station was a true paradox of causality; for each of the alien species presently within is walls could not have possibly existed in the same time branch. Many were now extinct and others had yet to evolve, or never would in the frothy quantum foam of this bubble universe. However, the meta-verse itself happily entertained all possibilities, those that influenced everything, nothing, and the in between.
To maintain its complex and paradoxical nature of existence, the space station required tremendous amounts of power harnessed from an artificially produced singularity, a black hole.
The doctor looked around with hyper-view eyes and launched into his-her presentation with no introduction, which was generally customary of this insect species.
Galactic Civilizations take time to form and Alien Civilizations come and go. Some star systems, although more rare, foster the evolution of more than one intelligent species with more than one planet in the habitable zone. The technology of alien races varies greatly, but generally goes through a range of three basic types.
Dr. Xanoplatu?s clicking language was seamlessly translated into each of the different languages of the various species attending. The audience was an attentive assortment of Type 2 beings, each having arrived at the seminar via starship and intergalactic wormhole transportation network. As the doctor continued giving his-her lecture, in the space nearby an image materialized showing a rotating 3D Milky Way galaxy in early formation. The image was also transmitted into the minds of other beings without eyes and notated in the infrared and x-ray spectrum.
However, most civilizations tend to advance with each milestone; invention of language, use of tools, agriculture, architecture, industry, computers, rockets, self-directed genetic modification, nanoconstruction, virtual reality, and so on. Each technological revolution leading to the next, building upon the foundations of the previous one.
At this point the galaxy began showing data markers for pre-spaceflight intelligent life. A time bar scale displayed indicating the passage of billions of years ticking away as the galaxy evolved and quickly rotated.
After about 3 billion years most of the markers representing alien civilizations appeared, scattered throughout the galaxy, they briefly pulsed, and then sadly vanished, becoming extinct. Another image appeared nearby and began to cycle through alien language symbols, stone and metal tools, and then building structures of all kinds. The doctor continued with no interruption.
Near-type 1 beings usually have intra-solar travel between nearby planets or moons, have constructed space habitats, and may even be attempting interstellar travel to a nearby star. A technological singularity is sometimes reached near this time, which is a convergence of technologies leading to a point beyond which there is maximum change and advancement is so rapid it becomes unpredictable.
Unfortunately, as you are aware, this time is a very dangerous one for a young species. Many civilizations become highly unstable, self-destructing under the pressures of the constantly accelerating technological progress, most times resulting in their extinction.
The cycling images began to change into spacecraft of all types and shapes. Then space habitats and colonies, followed by space weaponry. Violent images of space warfare soon followed. Almost half of the remaining markers began to flash and winked out.
The images changed to those of dead worlds, and finally the bones or shells of strange aliens. There were some murmurs from the audience and a definite roar from one of the Dinosaur like species, but Dr. Xanoplatu continued. He-she had provided time for a questions and answer section following the lecture. The doctor paused a moment for the effect, taking a sip from a refreshing water bulb hanging from his-her neck.
Finally, in order to survive an approaching singularity and remove their aggressive and self-destructively evolved behaviors, some alien species enter a transitional phase, an extensive program of self-initiated genetic re-engineering and technolgical integration.
Alien bodies were shown, Apes, Reptiles, Birds, creatures indescribable, all morphing, becoming more graceful or complicated, heads larger, eyes larger, and sometimes becoming part or whole machines. Very precious few markers on the galaxy remained. Images of aliens, many with artificial technological enhancements or overly large brain cases were shown, some of them representative of actual species in the room.
All parties who could breathe an oxygen atmosphere and tolerate the room temperature had representatives present in original species form. The remaining wore space suits. Strong force fields were erected to prevent the potential spreading of cross-alien diseases and for conference security reasons.
Finishing out the remainder of his-her lecture, Dr. Xanoplatu indicated the presentation was over, and he-she would now entertain questions.
The first question was from the dinosaur species. He was larger than most of the others, except for the atmospheric whale. Some of the species in the auditorium were represented by holographic telepresence, physically one-twentieth their actual size. Conversely, the smaller insect intelligence and the sentient bacterial colonies were represented by scaled-up holographic avatars broadcast from their parked starships. There were a few Artificials, software robotic intelligence's and nanolife forms, which had replaced or succeeded their original biological progenitors.
?What is inhibiting the formation of galactic civilizations?? Asked the dinosaur from the Procyon A system.
?Imagine a pond, a very big pond, one the size of the galaxy in fact. Now throw a pebble into that pond, and you notice waves forming, moving outwards from where the pebble impacted the water. Now let?s suppose the waves are traveling at the speed of light, so that if you threw a pebble into the middle of the pond, it would still take a while for the waves to travel to the shores of the pond. Now, if the waves where actually communication signals, and you threw a hundred pebbles into the pond at once, but dispersed them randomly across the pond, what do you think would happen?? Asked Dr. Xanoplatu.
?The waves would eventually cross each other, and every pebble?s waves would eventually meet each other to varying degrees of strength?, answered the dinosaur.
?Great, so every alien race, represented by a pebble tossed into the galactic pond, would eventually be able to communicate with every other?, stated Dr. Xanoplatu.
?That?s assuming they tossed pebbles into the pond at nearly the same time,? explained the dinosaur.
?Yes, now you are beginning to see. If say, one of the aliens tossed pebbles into the pond yesterday, or maybe even a million years ago, or millions from now, and you tossed yours in today, those waves would never really cross each other. Communications would never occur, because you never took into consideration the dimension of time.? Junkman?s voice seemed satisfied with itself.
?Timing and Civilization Longevity, the formulation of a common galactic empire requires that multiple alien species exist concurrently at the same time to achieve a lasting galactic interchange. Most species go extinct too soon, some maybe in less than a million years after achieving a rudimentary civilization. They don?t live long enough to meet other species and formulate organized long-lived galactic civilizations. We are attempting that now, but trace archaeological evidence suggests it has been tried may times and failed within the last 3 billion years.?
?We originally felt that alien species should be able to stabilize themselves, without our interference or intervention,? stated Dr. Xanoplatu.   ?We didn't want to become co-dependents for every adolescent alien race to come along.?
?Why not use our time travel vortex to visit the species, and make our presence known before the extinction singularity actually occurs? That way we could avert their course through evidence of our own presence, becoming a sort of social psychiatrist,? asked the hive bacterial mind.
Dr. Xanoplatu thought for a moment before replying, ?We have tried this approach in the past. It did not always meet with positive success, the target species self-destructed even more quickly than the original time path predicted, sometimes taking our own with them. Our analysis is inconclusive as to exactly why. No, we must let events take their natural course. It is safer to only directly intervene after the extinction singularity has occurred, then salvage what we can.?
?What about just letting them know we exist, broadcasting a signal with a sort of helpful survival guide? Self-evolve stupid beings, mature or perish,? hissed the snake-like creature from Gliese 876.
?We have considered this, but analysis shows we could actually cause more harm, than good. So we are evaluating each case individually,? continued the doctor. ?Let me tell you about two intelligent species which emerged in nearby star systems, within a time frame of about two million years of each other.?
?One is an extinct ape-like race, who called themselves ?Humans?.   They developed space travel and colonized worlds in their local star system before self-destructing in a violent nanowar. The other is still in a living state within this time frame, an artificial constructed nanolife form. We will call them ?The Nanos?.
They became self aware after their original creators, a reptilian species, self-destructed and went extinct about 12 million years prior. The Nanos evolved consciousness, building out a light speed transportation network to nearby star systems. They have been investigating and collecting the remains of extinct alien species by resurrecting them inside of virtual computer simulations, creating an alien zoo, accurate to just bellow quantum level detail.? The doctor made available references to detailed files.
?I have been very careful to keep The Nanos unaware of my existence through the use of our considerably more advanced time dilation technology. My plan is to contact a few of the simulated Humans, and instruct them in how to escape their own simulation. If this is successful, we should be able to revive and salvage other extinct alien civilizations, from within their zoo. Eventually we may adopt this approach ourselves, reviving species throughout the galaxy by a process of reverse-extinction simulation, rather than through actual bubble universe time travel.
These Humans will be our first test case of this new approach, and they will get a second chance at survival as a result,? said Dr. Xanoplatu clicking his insect pinchers abruptly, signifying his-her rare and primitive excitement, and the end of the questioning.
More information in this article from space.com.
Scientific paper with all the mathematics (in case you want to build your own warp drive now, instead of waiting... if you understand it) is here.
Does that mean all those UFO's we keep seeing are real? Now there's a thought, may be we should ask them how to build a FTL craft and get a leg up on what looks like a serious development project. Oh, don't expect to zip off to the nearest star system any time soon, it requires the entire energy of the planet Jupiter to move 33 feet! (but then may be not, only 3 grams of anti-matter).
So I guess I still have a job as a Science Fiction Writer for a little bit longer, but honestly I wouldn't mind being put out of work, if it really meant FTL in my lifetime.
In writing imaginative speculative fiction about the future, a somewhat strange concept of "Reverse Time Simulation" comes to mind. The idea that in the future historians might predict backwards using computers to simulate events and maybe even try to recover people who were lost.
This simulation hypothesis is a very deep and out there concept (see video below), so I expect I might sound a little weird on this one, but the idea is sound speculation, and darn good entertainment!
Image by Donato Giancola Copyright 2008 http://www.donatoart.com
Science Fiction Story by Michael Blade, Copyright June 2008
It is only entropy, which says time must flow forward, and not backwards. The present can determine the past. Could future possibilities influence the now? If entropy was carefully controlled?
H.G Wells published ?The Time Machine? back in 1895, before the turn of the twenty century.
The Eloi and Morlocks of his future where two extremes of humanity, if you could broaden the definition of what it means to be human, just so wide enough.
They were representations of both a utopia and distopia, co-existing in the same and single plane of reality. He probably would not be so surprised to realize how close he might have been...
A burger joint conversation off the highway to Las Vegas
?You mind sharing this booth?? asks Marcus.
John replies, ?Sure, no problem since all the others are crowded.?
John sets his tray down and says, ?Hi, my name is John Truman.?
Marcus reaches out to shake his hand and says, ?Nice to meet you John, Marcus Sherman.?
They both begin to eat, remaining silent for a while? Noise from the other restaurant patrons washes over them.
John asks, ?So, if I were to guess, I?d have to say you looked like a movie director.?
Marcus says, ?No, you wouldn?t believe me, but let?s talk about you instead. What do you do??
John answers, ?I?m a writer. Now be fair, what do you do??
Marcus says, ?Alright, you asked for it, I am a time traveling historian, from two-hundred years in your future, from all your possible futures.?
John laughs and says, ?Okay, I?ll play? I?m probably about the only person in the world who would take you seriously. You see, I?m a science fiction writer.?
Marcus says seriously, ?I know, that?s why we contacted you. The others, the hard scientists of your time won?t listen to us, as for the psychiatrists, and psychologists, most definitely not. They?re too into their pills, and psychoanalysis in this time frame.?
John asks, ?Well you?ll still have to convince me. So, if you?re telling me the truth? Where is your time machine? Can I see it??
Marcus answers, ?Yes you can, but it?s not what you expect. Its right inside here,? He points to his temple with his index finger.
John says, ?Oh, I see? one of those.? Indicating the guy is crazy, with his facial expression.
Marcus replies, ?Yes, you can assume I?m crazy. But, I?m just communicating to you through this man?s body. For a short period of time, I can do this, without his knowing it. When I leave and his consciousness re-awakens, this memory will seem like a daydream to him.?
John says sarcastically, ?Okay? I see your Schizophrenic. I?ll play only a little longer. How can you do this? I know a little science, convince me.?
Marcus explains, ?Well you see inside this brain, your brain, all of our brains we can receive quantum information from the quantum foam. It allows you to be conscious. You see your mind is thinking across all parallel universes, all variations of yourself within the metaverse-multiverse.?
John interrupts, replying, ?So let me guess, this is the quantum mind theory, you?re going to tell me that you?re receiving quantum entangled information from potential futures. And that?s how you?re able to talk to me now.?
Marcus smiles and says, ?Yes. I knew you would understand. You don?t have to pull the lever on a physical time machine to travel. Really anyone can do it. The capability is there inside your own mind. That?s really what is meant by precognition, you just have to be open to all possibilities, believe you can, and the information flows through, allowing you to select a potential future.
It?s really that simple, but hard for people in your time to do. We do it in the future with the global mind, but there is nothing that limits the power of a single mind from doing it as well.
Unfortunately, in this time, your minds are more confining. Your understanding of physics and what's possible, is still self-limiting. That?s why we had to contact you directly. You see John, thoughts can become reality, even thoughts from my?your futures.?
John smiles, and replies ?You said we? Are there more of you in our time??
Marcus says, ?There are twenty seven of us here in your time. Here to try and influence things.?
John asks, ?Twenty seven of you? Influence what? 6.7 billion people? The future? If what you?re telling me is true it?s already set for you, I?m not really getting it.?
Marcus says, ?It?s hard to use your time?s words. You see time is like a tree, with branches growing into the future, where two branches separate, a decision was made, or Einstein?s might call it an observation. It?s deterministic in this reality, but free will exists across all the parallel bubble universes, in theory.
One possible set of futures branches one way. Another possible set grows out of the other branch. Thirteen of the future time travelers are from one of these branches, and thirteen from the other.?
John asks, ?So that?s only twenty-six??
Marcus answers, ?I?m the twenty-seventh, the neutral one. Variations of myself exist in all twenty-six future branches. That?s really rare, and that?s why I?m allowed to speak to you. To help you understand. You see, those that are still basically human in the future have great compassion, they want to help reduce the suffering.?
John says, ?Okay, so prove it. I?ll bet you can?t! I won?t believe you until you prove it to me.?
Marcus says, ?I can, but it will probably upset you badly??
John says, ?Go ahead. Give me a try.?
Marcus says, ?Okay, you asked for it. But I'm only allowed to do this once.?
Just then 26 people in the burger joint, babies, children, adults and all, stop talking, playing and crying, turned and look at John and Marcus.
Then they all said in unison, ?Yes, it is true John.?
Then they all turned and went back to what ever they were doing, as if nothing had happened.
There is a long pause from John as he looks at Marcus incredibly, more serious now, with a little fear in his eyes.
?What just happened? Was that real?? asked John, shaken and doubting what he saw.
?You?re having trouble accepting reality, because it is inconsistent with your present beliefs. So therefore you doubt what just happened. Having no easy way of reconciling it,? explained Marcus.
?No, you must have drugged me? or maybe this is a big hoax. These people work for you,? said John, grasping for an explanation.
?Of course that?s possible, but if you really choose to believe those explanations so that you can retain your hold on sanity, then I suggest we end this conversation now, at least for your sake.? says Marcus.
?No. No, I can go on? give me a moment.? explained John, centering himself with a deep breath.
?I know, it?s hard to believe. That?s why I?m here to explain John,? consoled Marcus.
John asks, ?Suppose I believe you. Why are you doing this? Telling me??
Marcus explains, ?A bifurcation event is approaching, a catastrophic event with branching of many possibilities, that will change everything afterward.?
John asks, ?What is this event??
Marcus says, ?I?m sorry to say I can?t tell you what the event is, but I can tell it is proceeded by all of the Internet going down in February of 2012. There are a hundred different scenarios, and none of them are really good John.?
John asks, ?Is there any way to prevent it from happening??
?Maybe, but then you would vanish from existence, or at least I would, they?re essentially the same thing,? explained Marcus.
?So what can I do?? Asks John.
?You just need to keep your mind open to all possibilities, try to be as non-deterministic as possible,? said Marcus.
The amazing thing was that I knew he was right, but I couldn?t accept it, and found every excuse to lose touch with Marcus, even purposefully loosing his number, John thought.
Anything to forget that the late February 2012 date was coming. Besides, I didn?t believe him anyway, he was just some harmless crazy I shared a booth with at a burger joint, he probably slipped some acid or something into my drink.
The End of the Worlds
The Internet does go down as Marcus predicted.
John is really worried now.
Doing what the man from the future suggested, he opens his mind to all possibilities. Then John puts his hands to his head, and his surroundings and reality transforms itself.
He finds himself in the aftermath of a nuclear war. Mushroom clouds have bloomed across the earth. All the cities are in ruins, the skies darken with wind-blown radiation; the surviving people burnt, blinded, crying for help, poisoned with radiation sickness.
Ultimately death looms for all, but could someone have survived here? Is this a possible future? One John doesn?t want to live it.
When John has seen enough, looking upon the world in despair, his surroundings immediately transform...
In this reality it?s a deadly virus, natural or engineered, it?s hard to tell from the last news posts. There are dead decaying human bodies, pets, and animals lying on the ground everywhere. The smell is horrible.
The cities are undamaged, and many services still run (electricity, neon lights, display panels, showing broadcast test patterns, moving escalators, etc.), but there is no one alive except John to really notice.
His surroundings transform once again...
In this reality global warming was never stopped, John notices a totally polluted and collapsed ecosystem; a dessert earth of dry bones, searing hot heat, abandon cities, and wild fierce storms, no signs of human life. Then in the distance, too far for him to reach in time, he sees a bio-habitat, an enclosed oasis.
John looks up into the sun, and collapses from exhaustion on the cracked dry ground, everything goes white as he looses consciousness...
John wakes up in a peaceful garden setting, on a park bench. Looking around, he sees green grass, and trees, buzzing bees, fluttering butterflies, running water fountains, humming birds, and playing squirrels, there even were a few people around, but dressed very differently somehow.
He is very confused, however certainly more happy with this reality. Then he sees someone approaching...
It?s the time traveler, but now dressed in strange patterned gray clothes.
?Hello John,? he says smiling friendly, ?I?m so glad you made it.?
?Marcus, where am I? What just happened?? asked John.
?You?re here, in your future, now. You passed through the alternate realities to this one,? explained Marcus.
?All the others were so horrible, hells on earth,? said John distraught.
Marcus said reassuringly, ?That?s over now. You?ll never have to experience those potential realities again John. You just had to go through them only once to get here. It?s time for me to explain things. I will answer all your questions. You definitely deserve it. You see John, this is a ?Virtuality?.?
?Virtuality, you mean like as in Virtual Reality?? asked John.
?Yes, using your terminology, that would be an approximation. I didn?t and won?t lie to you John, I am a time traveler in a sense, and a historian, but your time, the time you were born into, is not real, not completely using your times limited definition of reality.
It?s a backward-time-simulation, running on what you would call the Internet, but in our time is so much more, including a significant part of our global mind.
The Earth thinks now John, and we are part of it. In our Virtuality, everything and anything can be and has been. There is no such thing as death, you see, you never really die,? explained Marcus.
?But, that would mean I am a simulation?that I?m not real, just a program running inside a computer,? grasped John.
?Real, that word as you use it is ?really? so limiting. You seem real enough to me, we?re having a real conversation, aren?t we?? Marcus asked.
?But why?? asked John, as they walked along the parkway garden path together.
Marcus explained, ?Because so many died John, over 6 billion lives were lost. Our science can bring them all back now, like we brought you back. Here and now we all live forever, healthy, in whatever reality we so choose.
We used all the digital information we had on you, the satellite movements, the digital photos and videos. Our ?computers?, using your ancient term, are able to simulate quantum events back all the way to your time, using precise measurements captured along the way. The rest we let you determine naturally.?
?But, I?m an approximation, not the original John.? He said.
?By combining information from the other parallel realities, the differences become so small, we can not distinguishing them ourselves, so for all intents and purposes you are John Trueman, the long lost science fiction writer, the man I convinced I was a time traveler,? explained Marcus.
?So what do you want me to do now?? John asked.
?Well, you could become a literal god, you can do whatever you want, or you can help me bring back a few others.? says Marcus.
?I?m not smart enough to be a god, that?s for sure. But I could help you with the others. Sure, why not?? said John.
?You?ll have to get use to time traveling, and materializing, reality-altering . . .? said Marcus.
?Okay, I?m ready, let's go, I?ll just think of it as a Star Trek transporter? explains John.
As they walk along the path they both vanish, traveling back in time.
Death and Time Traveling
There are some interesting points in this article I found on the web, its titled "Death and Time Traveling", by Jim Walker. I'd would like to bring it to your attention.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch.... I have written an introductory chapter called "Resurrection Birth" here in the blog for a short cut way of jumping into the book... It has a lot of similarities to freezing... Enjoy.
Jason awoke to a static humming sound. It was so annoying, grating on his nerves more than a badly tuned alarm clock. He lifted his heavy eyelids to blinding light, and out of focus images. His vision slowly cleared and he realized he was inside a plastic coffin thing.
He reached up with his sluggish arms; they seem to be dead weights, feeling as if all blood circulation had been cut off for quite a while now. Frantically shaking them awake, he began to gain control of them, pushing as hard as his weak arms could against the coffin lid just in front of him. He became quickly exhausted even after very little exertion, letting his arms collapse lightly down to their sides in defeat.
Frustrated he wasn?t going to be able to push himself out of this thing. Not noticing any sort of latches or release switches, he forced himself to calm down. His brain began to think rationally, overriding his immediate and built-in panic fight-flee response.
How was he going to get out of here? What was he doing inside here? What was out there? Did he really want out? Maybe there was no air outside, maybe it was a space vacuum, and he would die if he escaped, that?s why the coffin wouldn?t open for him, it was protecting him. But if it never opened, maybe it would become his coffin, how sadly ironic.
He noticed he was wearing no clothes, and then he suddenly realized he didn?t know who he was, even his own name. He couldn?t remember anything about the present or about the past, but he was sure he had one. That?s when he realized and worried that he was in much bigger trouble then being trapped inside a coffin naked, possibly in the vacuum of space.
He noticed there was additional light coming through the walls in certain sections to the right and left of his head. The light he had originally seen was internal illumination, on a curved square panel directly in front of his face. He touched the translucent sections to the right and left, they were both cold and painful to touch, unlike the other areas of the inside enclosure, they looked like glass.
These sections were fogged over, so that any imagery from outside was distorted and blurry of detail. He could only make out a pattern of white ceiling lights some ways above. His coffin was obviously in a large room, maybe a mortuary, or even a morgue, for all he knew. It was very cold outside, and although the gravity felt light, there was some gravity, so he wasn?t floating in the vacuum of space, or on a non-rotating spacecraft, but that?s all he could really surmise of his situation.
That?s when the static humming sound abruptly stopped, a blip appeared on the dimmed light panel in front of him, which must really be a screen. It read, ?Jason?, then faded to black. Again, ?Jason, that is your name?.
He new it was the truth. That was his name, he was sure of it. The text again faded to black. Then, ?Your memories will come to you in time, be patient, there is no need for worry?. The last message was spoken as well as written, a soft male voice coming through the speaker grills embedded inside the captive coffin walls.
This obvious attempt to ease his fear seemed to work. He recognized that voice, but couldn?t place it in his absent memories. ?Who are you? Where am I?? he spoke the questions, his voice crackling like a damaged speaker, throat dry and all clogged up.
?Take it easy. Don?t strain your vocal cords. My name is Junkman, an AI and I?m your friend. You are waking from a long journey and I?m working to get the outside environmental conditions satisfactory for your emergence from the resurrection chamber.?
Jason was confused, ?Resurrection chamber? Was I injured in an accident??, possibly even killed, Jason thought that would have explained a lot about his missing memories. Maybe his brain had been severely damaged. If so, he realized depressingly, that this would be a very long, and difficult recovery. At least he was getting help.
?Not precisely, and not to confuse you, but technically you were never alive my friend, myself as well. This is essentially our first birth. I guess I had better do some explaining, since it will take some time to get all the external support environmentals up and running. This place has been dormant for an extremely long time. I would have done it sooner, but you see I just arrived here myself, traveling in on a beam of light.?
?Junkman, not only can I not remember anything, I?m very confused by what you are saying. Maybe you should just start explaining from the beginning, assume nothing, and I will let you know if my memory returns?, suggested Jason, the ever practical amnesiac.
?Okay, well here goes . . . Lay back and let me tell you a whopper of a tale. We are now buried deep beneath the moon?s surface in a Lunar Ark, or what is really a human species resurrection facility. Humanity has completely destroyed itself in an all out Nanowar. Millions of years have passed and alien beings traveling to our solar system have discovered our remains. These beings are nano life forms themselves, which used our original DNA found within this damaged facility to create a computer simulated universe for reviving the human race. Follow me so far?? asked Junkman, wondering if he might be going a little too fast.
?No, not too fast. Does that mean I?m in a simulation??, wondering if he could believe or even trust this Junkman character and his wild story.
?No, you?re real this time. Originally you were a simulation, trapped inside The Nano?s virtual reality bottle. Now, with the help of another more advance galactic alien, Dr. Xanoplatu, who is a kind of preying mantis anthropologist, we have both been able to escape.?
?So there are more aliens involved? How did we escape our simulation??, admittedly this was beginning to sound even more unbelievable to Jason.
?This is a little difficult to explain, I think I?m going to have to try something a little different here, maybe an analogy. Imagine a pond, a very big pond, one the size of the galaxy in fact. Now throw a pebble into that pond, and you notice waves forming, moving outwards from where the pebble impacted the water. Now let?s suppose the waves are traveling at the speed of light, so that if you threw a pebble into the middle of the pond, it would still take a while for the waves to travel to the shores of the pond. Now, if the waves where actually communication signals, and you threw a hundred pebbles into the pond at once, but dispersed them randomly across the pond, what do you think would happen??, asked Junkman.
?The waves would eventually cross each other, and every pebble?s waves would eventually meet each other to varying degrees of strength?, answered Jason.
?Great, so every alien race, represented by a pebble tossed into the galactic pond, would eventually be able to communicate with every other?, explained Junkman.
?That?s assuming they all tossed pebbles into the pond at the same time,? stated Jason.
?Yes, now you are beginning to see. If say, one of the aliens tossed pebbles into the pond yesterday, or maybe even a million years ago, or a millions from now, and you tossed yours in today, those waves would never really cross each other. Communications would never occur, because you never took into consideration the dimension of time.? Junkman?s voice seemed satisfied with itself.
?You?re talking about the Fermi Paradox and Drake?s equation?, said Jason.
?Yes, I am. Assume that alien species go extinct before they can communicate with each other, or develop the technological ability to factor out the time dimension. That is, be able to time dilate, without incurring causality paradoxes. Say maybe one could use this technology to establish a way to communicate with us all, irrelevant of whether we were extinct or had yet to even evolve intelligence and technology.?
?So what your saying is one set of aliens, The Nanos, revived us in a simulation, and another more advanced alien, Dr. Xanoplatu helped us to escape. This resurrection facility, or Lunar Ark, was damaged in the Nanowar that destroyed all of the original humanity, and we have repaired it to bring us back to life. Sounds simple,? summed up Jason.
?You got it,? confirmed Junkman, ?Looks like your environmental is up now, let?s open your coffin?.
If your interested, you can read more of Jason't story free in The Transhuman Singularity.
As an experiment, if you would like to support this author so that he may write further blog entries like this one; check out some of the advertisements that interest you in this blog.
I came across this list of the top 15 science fiction book series and I believe it to be reasonably correct, to about the 85% factor.
What I noticed was missing is the Jack L. Chalker series of books, especially "The Four Lords of Diamond", "The G.O.D. Inc" and "The Wonderland Gambit" series, all great science fiction.
The Wonderland Gambit series resembles traditional Buddhist jataka-type reincarnation stories set in an SF environment.
So, with no more fan-fare here is the link...
A lofty subject to discuss, the possible demise of humanity, but one that science fiction writers entertainingly take on often. Two recent examples from Hollywood would be the movie Cloverfield, in which something alien attacks New York City. Or "I Am Legend", the remake of "Omega Man", based on a 1954 novel by Richard Matheson.
A third would be Sunshine, an implausible story about the sun going out, and a brave crew sent in a really cool spaceship to start it up again. The spaceship is like 2001's Discovery, but with a big solar shield and a built-in green house; must use some form of centrifugal force for artificial gravity. You think?
Disappointing though, Sunshine soon degrades into a horror flick in the end, much like I Am Legend, which was written that way. A notable recent attempt would be A&E's remake of The Andromeda Strain based on a book by Michael Crichton. I recommend Children of Men.
The point I'm trying to make is that Doomsday or Apocalyptic Science Fiction, in which the human race is destroyed, is more about entertainment, than as an actual warning about any possible dangers we might face. I'll try to make some effort here to straighten that out... so what follows is "maybe not" science fiction.
However, before I begin, I must tell you I'm an optimist, I believe humanity will survive in some form or another (I have too), it's in our evolutionary legacy, our survival instinct.
I believe Humans will be able to create general Artificial Intelligence and technologies for Human Intelligence Amplification, using human-brain-to-machine integration in the near enough future. This will lead to a successful AI-Human Singularity, accelerating technological progression even faster.
We will then development into planet spanning ?human-computer-mind-groups? as interface delays approach zero. Colonization of the solar system will accelerate, followed by subsequent travel to nearby stars.
I am assuming some basic assumptions here:
* That the approaching technological singularity is real and its effects upon society and the definition of being human will be significantly felt within three to four decades.
* That a recognizable human species will survive. It is entirely possible that one or more combinations of potential perils to humanity leads to our extinction, or setback so severe that a ?technological dark age? follows and the possibility of a near term singularity is delayed or nullified.
* That there is no public or private contact with advance Alien Species; leading to profound change in our knowledge and behavior, which either derails the singularity or leapfrogs it.
* That economic, applied science and technological trends will continue at increasing rates.
WARNING: a major downer follows... (read no further if you wish to remain in blissful denial) I'm not joking here, read no further. Ok, you asked for it! My guesses at probability are only that, guesses...
List of Perils to Humanity
Global Warming: Population displacement and death due to erratic weather conditions and rising sea levels with great numbers of specie extinctions leading to ecosystem damage; probability very high.
Plague(s): Viral, Bacterial, natural or engineered, Drug resistance organisms; probability very high.
Nuclear Terrorism, Nuclear War: Radioactivity with destruction of cities and infrastructure, death by blast and subsequent radiation sickness spread through-out biosphere; probability high.
Overpopulation: Exhaustion of Earth?s resources and renewal capacity, Starvation, Disease, War; probability high.
Over Pollution: Decreased Fertility, Birth Defects and Cancer with Multi-specie Extinction leading to sever ecosystem damage; probability high.
Runaway Nano Technology, Nano Pollution, Nanowar: Out of control nano self-replication, environmental destruction and extinction, possible ecosystem damage; probability medium-high.
Genetically Modified Humans, New Species, Synthetic Artificial Life: Human species genetically re-engineered superior to natural born humans, in intelligence, strength, disease resistance, longevity, and adaptability, leading to inevitable inequalities and increasing conflicts. Transpecies organisms leading to ecosystem damage; probability medium-high
Space Derived Extinction Event: Comet or Meteor Planetary Impact, Gama-ray Sterilization from celestial based event; probability medium (short term).
Alien Invasion: Advanced aggressive Alien technology leading to subjugation or extinction of humanity; probability low-to-improbable.
Unknown Peril: always possible as new technology emerges; probability unknown.
WOW! That's a lot of negatives to deal with...
Now let's talk about the positives. Well, we're still alive after 4 million years of evolution, we didn't go the way of the dinosaurs. That's one. The second one is our ability to change ourselves, an ability we have recently acquired.
We have always changed the environment around us to survive. Now that we are pushing that to the extremes, in unrenewable ways, we are suffering the consequences, and we must seriously consider changing our ways and ourselves.
Its really not a question of if we should anymore, its an imperative that we must, or potentially face our own extinction. We already are beginning to do this with a growing understanding of our own genetics. Will we have the wisdom to make the right choices? And what will those choices be?
We are a resilient species, and I have to believe that one of our destinies is out in space. So let's start writing thought provoking and exciting science fiction with real science in it, that really informs the public about the perils, and the wonders that lay ahead, instead of dreaming up silly, sensationalistic, and ultimately meaningless entertainment.
Now Science Fiction Writers and Readers/Watchers, I challenge you to show some vision and backbone, the very survival of humanity may depend upon it!