“…we arrive at the lovely tourist planet of Xen’arthia. And… oh my god it’s been nuked back to the bedrock. That’s the third planet we’ve visited in a row! What’s going on?”
Pay attention all you Sci-Fi writers, we’ve got a new viable contender for that spaceship engine.
Of course it also makes Newtonian Physics look a little nervous as we may be back to the drawing board with Newton’s Third Law.
I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person. It’s always fun to follow the convoluted logic back to the source and see how the facts are bent to make the conclusion seem logical. Sometimes there was a communications glitch that has been fixated on or inconsistency in a retelling that gets blown out of all proportion.
There is, however, one conspiracy I’m starting to consider more and more probable. That is the conspiracy to spread the idea that the moon-landing was a hoax. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think for a second that the moon landing was faked… there is way too much evidence to even consider that vaguely plausible. For example, the reflectors left behind for measuring the exact distance between the earth and moon.
But that’s not to say there isn’t a conspiracy. Before Bill Kaysing released his book ‘We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle’ there was no real suggestion that the moon landings and apollo missions were anything other than they appeared. After that the cult of moon-hoax became strangely persistent, resisting every reasonable attempt to illuminate the ignorance behind it. Maybe people just like the dark, find it comforting, find it empowering knowing that they are a special little snowflake, made important by being part of the chosen few who know the ‘truth’ that everyone else is too blinded by logic to see.
Open your eyes sheeple, you’re being lied to, Soylent Green is made of people!!!
Ahem… where was I.
Oh yes, the conspiracy. Let’s take a look at it. In the 60’s and 70’s, America beat its rival to the moon, an impressive accomplishment for both technical and social reasons. Once the race was won the budget dried up and the moon dropped off the list of ‘things to do to prove we’re awesome’. An accomplishment that the world had watched, had cheered on, and that had inspired a new generation of wannabe engineers, astronauts and explorers just kind of faded away. But, bare with me here, perhaps that wasn’t just a factor of the public’s fickle interest. Maybe this was ‘assisted’.
Sure we haven’t reached the sort of technologically advanced future that Sci-Fi promised in the 60’s and 70’s, but even with our inward focus on monetizing technology, the world has advanced at a breakneck speed. Imagine if all that development, all that enthusiasm, had been focused outwards on expansion. Once we have access to the asteroids, and to the vacuum of space everything that made up the world economy would have to be reassessed.
It wouldn’t be fast, and it wouldn’t be easy, but unrestricted (efficient) access to the solar system effectively destroys our economic models. Supply and demand is driven by scarcity of resources, but with limitless mineral and energy resources that entire model collapses. Even without access to asteroid mining, you could seed the moon with nuclear power stations and automated factories. A space elevator would negate the energy costs of the gravity well and we could potentially have the utopia of the optimistic early space pioneers. The only resources left suffering from availability would be information, food, and time. How many powerful dynasties and ideologies would survive that level of change to the status quo? How many would have considered it enough of a potential threat to actively support any opposition to it?
Just a meandering thought for the day.
One I find a little more positive than the default assumption that we as a species would rather play politics and wallow in misery than reach for the stars.