Beliefs, superstitions, religions, philosophies, sciences

We’ve always wanted to make sense of our world. The more society has evolved, the more complex our view of the world has become.

We started with simple beliefs and superstitions that evolved into complex systems. They further became religions. And, with them, we started to have a reason to live, a way to live, values to cherish, good ways to die and even good ways to live the afterlife.

Thing is, religion had a tendency to put us on a pedestal, a bit more favored that other creations, the chosen ones, the center of the universe. This, made us more arrogant. Yes, eastern religions were less prone to do it, but still, man was superior.

Technological advancement lead to a scientific golden era (that we still experience). And science started to challenge religion. While science seams to provide better explanations for how the world works, in terms of values, we still go back to religion. But not only religion, philosophy, modern ideologies.

It strikes me how we still have a tendency to see man as superior. Yes, we are the most evolved living organism we know, intelligence is a rare trait among the living and life is superior to inorganic matter; but still, we are just a step in evolution.

In latter years, we started to be more concerned about the “inferiors”, the animals and the environment (seen as a blend of living and inorganic). But I believe that the future will bring us a true challenge as we face the next step in evolution. At some point, our children will stop resembling us in body. Artificial intelligence and digitized minds will be the children of man.

I hope we will be able to teach them tolerance and love. Otherwise, hatred and arrogance will give them the manners of a caveman.

Let me share with you one of my favorite movies Edward Scissorhands:

The engines of spaceships

Most SF books and movies depict the engines of the spaceships as enormous being a large part of the spaceship. I believe this model is unpractical and unnecessary. Modular design will be the practical solution with several engines spread on the hull of the ship.

Firstly, why unpractical. I believe very large engines will be extremely hard to build, even impossible, because controlling the reactions in such large engines will be very hard. If engines this big will be built, attaching them to ships, will be very hard, because vibrations across large structures amplify rapidly and the structure will collapse.

Second of all, we wont need that much power. Most of it is used in takeoff, but I doubt we will build spaceships on the surface of planets. We will manufacture spaceship parts and engines on asteroids or even in space. Not just assembly, but all the fabrication process and most of the extraction of raw materials will happen on asteroids, low gravity satellites and so on. Also, several engines spread across the hull won’t cause vibrations to the structure and will better maneuver in space. These spaceships will never land on planets, rather explore them from orbit and send small ships to explore the surface.

Another advantage will be the possibility to better handle a rotating spaceship in order to create pseudo gravity.

Cybernetic enhancement VS genetic engineering

Classic science fiction against modern science fiction. Until now we envision two ways in witch we can enhance our abilities or even to gain new ones. Both have their advantages, but also their weaknesses. The solution will probably be in between the two.

The classic solution, cybernetic enhancement, has the certain advantage that it can keep up with the advances in technology and can be changed during a lifetime several times. The main drawback is the synthetic add-on that must fit perfectly to the body, that means changing it while growing up and getting old. Also fattening will be a problem. Maintenance and recalibration will be another issue. The bigger the physical stress, the bigger the cost. This will be a problem for active people.

The modern solution, genetic engineering, won’t have any compatibility issues, it will always fit perfectly. Diseases and genetic dysfunctions will be removed. But you won’t be able to change what was set by your parents before your birth.

A combination of the two will probably be the best solution: a good general health and the posibility to keep up with technology and fashion. An interesting solution could come from nanotechnology which could completely rebuild biostructures, but also mechanical structures.

The actual forms of recording will become obsolete

As science and technology are getting closer and closer to interpreting cerebral impulses and to transmitting them, it is only natural to assume that thoughts will be recorded. This means that a new, more complex, flexible and immerseful form of recording will be available.

Let’s analyze each type or recording. First, writing; the main drawbacks are the time it takes to write it, to read it and the fact that you must watch the paper or the screen. Already, people prefer audio recordings rather than books.
Audio recording have the advantage of being easier to produce, are more portable and you can do something else when listening to them. But you have a very limited amount of information that can be transmitted in a given period. Talking faster won’t solve the problem.
Am image is worst a 1000 words. It’s the main advantage of this type of the video recording, but it’s harder to produce. Another drawback is that it captures all your attention; can’t watch a movie during jogging.

Another aspect is the complexity of the information that can be transmitted. Writing is the leader, but also it’s the one that uses more the brain. Symbols are interpreted as words, words are interpreted as images and sounds, images and sounds become thoughts.

Recorded thoughts will be able to transmit the maximum amount of information the brain can process. If needed, they can faster trigger sensorial reactions. Also, the full complexity of the human mind will be reached directly.
The most interesting possible advantage will be to tune down the thoughts, switching between thoughts in real time, even, processing more thoughts at the same time. But this will probably require advanced training.

The religion of science

Science tries to give a meaning to the surrounding world. Any event, any situation, new or old is being interpreted by the means of it. Science starts from all the things surrounding us and gradually gets to the essence and structure of the Stars and Universe. But also in the another way, to the microscopic and beyond. In this way, science is the religion of those who believe in it.

Science is an evolution, a religion that always finds new gods and heroes (steam, electricity, internal combustion, atomic energy etc). They all have written books, but they are not that fixed as you would think. Euclid’s postulate asserts that from a given point, only one straight line can be traced to another straight line. It’s the accepted version, but 2 other postulates assert that an infinity or no line can be traced. They might seem utopia, but we can’t really tell given our limited known space. New discoveries and new needs accentuate the need of research in different fields of science and reveals today’s gods and heroes.

Science is the religion of a few curious people that need more elaborate answers (like gravity to stay on the ground). Great changes in science occurred only when a critical mass of people where able to accept them and when their results materialized in something useful, practical, so it could be accepted by large masses of people. Surely, space exploration and travel will encourage research in new fields of science. One big test, would be the encounter of another advanced civilization.