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Not yet

Lucian-Dragoş Bogdan



Publicat Vineri, 8 Iunie 2007, ora 11:28

      I've almost finished a remarkable book, written by two of the most popular SF writers. They are Gregory Benford and David Brin and the book is called "Heart of the Comet". There's a lot of good stuff in it, starting with a very well conducted action, continuing with very realistic characters and ending with an unbelievable abundance of scientific speculation.
      To debate all the ideas therein would need many pages, probably as many as the novel (almost five hundred in the edition that I have). But what gets the attention from the first pages and what I want to talk about now is the idea of humans living on other cosmic forms. This refers to living on a comet, as Benford and Brin put it, as well as living on a planet, an asteroid or whatever a hungry imagination can bring to life.
      As long as we had the "cold war", we had a continuous race to the stars. We had the first known man in space, the first known man on the Moon, the first known space station. It was a race against time. I even remember a questionnaire whose answers were considered regarding those of Arthur C. Clarke. It said that till the end of the XXth century humankind would have a permanent inhabited location on Moon and it would have step on Mars surface.
      None of these happened. The "cold war" ended and mankind doesn't seem ready to leave its home and step out. Russian and American actions in the mid XXth century look like rebel act of some teenagers, followed by a "grown up" settle down. More than that, there are more and more people saying that "Moon-landing" was nothing but a well directed fraud.
      No doubt the economic situation on Earth is not a very good one. Starvation, economic recession, war, political misunderstanding, terrorism and many more makes humankind far from a perfect race. It is only in utopian novels were people are anxiously trying to make their way through the stars while their common life is not yet satisfactory. I believe that thing should come to a balance all over the world before we can do more than "shoot stars". In order to start an organized "space conquest" we should build a foundation down here, on Earth.
      It is not an easy task. Nations are fighting to establish peace (though it's funny to say "fight" when you are trying to obtain "peace"), they are trying to let democratic leaders to rule their countries they are trying to reduce the number of weapons they agree. Unfortunately this is only a facade. I suppose all those nations still make secret experiments in order to develop new weapons which would give them an advantage against the others. It's a sort of "let's be friends, but I want to be prepared in case you'll be willing to drop it sometime".
      Armies and weapons need a big amount of resources. Many resources are needed for developed countries, were there are some life standards needed to be respected. Those are "input societies" and people want their needs to be satisfied the way they think it's proper. The "poor countries" also need a big amount of resources in order to approach the others. Fortunately, more and more resources are used to protect the environment.
      Unfortunately this means there are few resources left for an organized "space assault". If we'll succeed avoiding a nuclear war, we'll be out there one day.
      Yet, as optimistic I should be, I think we'll have to cool down and be patient, because this won't happen to soon.
      We can continue to believe that we will do it; we can continue to lie ourselves that we will do it in no-time. But we could as well paraphrase the movie "Gladiator", changing a bit the expression:
      "We will conquer the universe. But not yet. Not yet."
     

© Copyright Lucian-Dragoş Bogdan
Sursa :   Imagikon
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