Monday, March 22, 2004

What gives me Hope....

Somedays I get pretty swept up in all of the fighting and political gibbering on this planet.

But there are two things that give me hope for the human race: genetic engineering and space exploration. I hope through recombinant DNA technology, people will soon be able to have genetically-engineered chilldren who are smarter, faster, and healthier than people today. I'd love to see these two sciences converge as we eventually customize humans for space flight and life on other planets.

I also hope that space exploration will give humans a common sense of purpose, a new paradigm, if you will. Rather than squabbling and fighting over the resources of this planet, we will learn to cooperate and work together to explore the cosmos.

I am a science fiction junkie and I really hope NASA can cooperate with other space agencies and start bases on the moon and Mars...and then the rest of the planets in the solar system. I'd like to see us make use of the resources of the entire solar system, not just the Earth. And hopefully by removing the population pressure on the Earth, we can treasure the Earth as the birthplace of humanity, a space-faring race.

Here's a link to NASA's page on Bush's space initiative. I don't believe Bush has any real commitment to space exploration, though. It was just a good photo op because of the Mars Rovers. Here's a link to information on the Mars Rovers.

This article from Space Review discusses how the $1 trillion price tag for a mission to Mars was created by the media. I read about this over at Slashdot.

I think China would be an excellent partner in space exploration. They have a real interest in exporting population and they are willing to take risks in crewed space flight that America would never tolerate.

Charles Sheffield and Jerry Pournelle are two science fiction authors I like. They have cooperated to create the Jupiter series.

Sheffield is married to Nancy Kress, author of Beggars in Spain. Beggars in Spain begins with the premise that geneticists figure out how to remove people's need to sleep. It is an interesting sociological thought-experiment.

Another author who excels at at sociological thought-experiment through science fiction is Ursula K. Leguin. I've read several of her Hainish cycle books.

No comments: