The Conquest of the Universe, pt.2

Knowing the truth can be quite painful, especially when it comes down to your wildest dreams versus reality.  So, here it is: There’s no place for us in the Universe.  Or even more bluntly, There’s no place for us in the universe as human beings.

What the hell am I talking about?

The future envisioned in Star Trek, in any or all of its versions, in the futures of Star Wars, of Riddick, of Aliens,  of Dr. Who, or of any other wonderful stories such as those do not include the colonization of the universe or any universe by human beings.  Think about it.  Why build a ship like, say the Enterprise D from Star Trek: TNG and fill it with a thousand human beings, when such a ship could be completely automated?  Why put fragile bodies in there, bodies that need food, air, and water to survive?  Hell, the radiation in space alone would kill them all.

We’re already exploring and conquering our Solar System with robot and drone probes.  If one of those probes is lost it may cost millions or billions of dollars but not even a single human life is lost.  Our technology, though time consuming, protects us from the lost of life while exploring the Solar System and beyond.

And when we start exploring the universe beyond our star system, if people go out there at all, they’ll probably go out as consciousnesses uploaded into android bodies.  A gigantic exploration ship, exploring the universe, might only activate these androids when it wants to send down “boots” to explore a world.

So why do we write such stories, then?  Because we want the adventure of visiting alien worlds.  And if you don’t put people, even android people such as Data in Star Trek, or droids such as C3PO and R2D2, into the stories, then how will people relate to these stories?  And if they cannot relate, then people (the readers) will be bored and toss the book away!

Besides, if you write about logical, unemotional machines, who’s your audience?  Computers?  How many computers do you see reading Nooks and Kindles?

You might ask, what about aliens coming to visit us?  Well, a few might, but most likely they will send machine probes.  And, if as our scientists speculate, all intelligent races will eventually evolve into machine races, there won’t be billions of minds, or even thousands.  There might be a collective mind, or just one solitary mind.  After all, why would a machine empire need many minds?  One is enough.

Why would a machine race even bother to come?  What would we have to offer it?  What would it want?  Our resources?  Oxygen is the enemy of all machines.  Our water, our plants, our knowledge, would the alien machines want any of that?  Any machine race, with probes reaching everywhere into the universe, could gather much more information than our meager race could offer it.

So, our minerals and metals?  Why would any aliens, machine or otherwise, want to land our little speck of a planet?  There’s more water in the comets and asteroids in the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud than on all of Earth.  And Europa has plenty of ice for orbiting alien vessels to easily capture.  Why waste fuel and equipment landing on  a world with a thick atmosphere and a strong gravity such as our world when you could more effectively harvest the asteroids, moons, and planetoids of our Solar System for a fraction of the cost of fuel or equipment?

It’s best if we dream about star travel rather than live it, especially when a body could pick up a single virus from an alien world that could wipe out ALL life on Earth after that body returned home.

Don’t fret.  We’re a creative and inventive race.  We will always have great stories and adventures to imagine and tell.  We will live them out in novels and films, and maybe even someday on something similar to the holodecks of the Enterprise D!

And if we someday find a way to safely conquer the universe, quickly and efficiently, without danger to ourselves and our world, all the better.  If my body’s in some sort of time suspension or even frozen, let me out, unfreeze me, train me, and let tag along!

See you out there!  I hope.

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