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What Could Our Future Look Like?

Updated on November 19, 2016
Sam Wickstrom profile image

Sam realizes we're fucked if we don't alter business as usual and face the monumental environmental challenges humans have created.

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Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

— Albert Einstein
Starship
Starship

Currently

We're obliterating our planet in an attempt to gain as much wealth as possible. However, that wealth is fleetingly temporary. When I imagine what our future will look like on our current path, it's not a very welcoming one. We are creating problems for our children before they are born, and when they are adults they will be wondering what motivated us to be so foolishly rapacious. But, I don't blame anyone, it's possibly just our innate drive to survive and reproduce that causes these monumental problems. We're not necessarily evolved to think hundreds of years ahead, but in this article you'll see the reasons why we should.

To destroy your home planet's ecosystem for imaginary wealth is highly illogical.

— Spock (Star Trek)

Just Imagine

What if we overcome our current challenges, and begin to use our technological advancements responsibly. In fact, we're on our way to overcoming our own biology. We could end hunger, disease, and unite. Then go on to colonize our solar system's many terrestrial planets and moons. Instead of ripping up mountains on our home planet, we could mine asteroids. With technology such as electromagnetic drives, and artificial hibernation we could conceivably move on to other star systems within the next hundred years. Although many will say that our future cannot possibly be so prosperous, we must awaken ourselves to the new frontiers of exploration.

Kardashev Scale

For some conceptual basis on the topic I'd like to introduce you to the Kardashev scale, if you've already heard of it, you can skip this section.

In the Kardashev scale there are three civilization types, as of now we are a type zero civilization, but we could be a type one very soon if we realize how close we are to achieving it.

The Kardashev scale measures a civilization's advancement, based on the energy it's able to use for communication.

A Type I civilization controls the energy which reaches it's planet from the local star.
A Type II civilization controls the energy of it's star.
A Type III civilization controls the energy of it's galaxy.

The scale was made in 1964 by the Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev.

Infinity Nebula
Infinity Nebula

What does immortality mean to me? That we all want more time; and we want it to be quality time.

— Joan D. Vinge

Immortality

Now with technology such as CRISPR gene editing we can increase our lifespans well beyond what has ever been possible. We could be having designer babies, far more intelligent and stronger than any human that has ever lived. With nanotechnology and robotics combined, we'll have inner doctors maintaining our health and longevity without us having to worry about appointments or hospitals. We could have artificially intelligent neural implants maintaining our psychiatric health and keeping us in a higher state of awareness than has ever been possible.

Going by the fact that our bodies are constantly changing, one could imagine that we are the condensation of genetic information. Imagine if that information could be transferred into an artificial being, a super computer capable of rendering our humanity, and even surpassing it. With our current increase in technology we are rapidly becoming contenders with God. Many people are in opposition to these advancements because it's wrong to play God. But is it? We can solve previously impossible problems, surpassing death and the ever present fear of our physical body breaking and leaving us bed ridden.

Dual Star System
Dual Star System

Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for mankind to keep all its eggs in.

— Robert A. Heinlein

Interstellar Colonization

With our current technology we could go to other stars. While the journey would likely take a good century and cost trillions of dollars, it could be done. Just look at the military budget we humans spend just to violently destroy each other, imagine what could be done if we united and used our resources for the exploration of reality.

If advancements in our technology continue to be made, we could be sending people to other star systems in search for life, or habitable planets on which we could make ourselves at home. Of course there is a plethora of issues associated with these ventures, I have no doubts as far as physical possibility.

Imagine waking up one morning and looking out at the dual sunrise of the bisolar system you live in. Stepping outside and breathing in the clean humid air of a planet twice the size of our own. Then getting into your flying fusion powered car and heading up to a mountain top where your friends are having a party, celebrating 10 years of great success colonizing planets all over this new system.

In order to achieve such incredible feats of intellect and technological prowess, we have to be willing to set aside our egos on this small planet and work together as a team to solve the immediate issues facing all of us organisms.

Asteroid Capture
Asteroid Capture

Resources And Energy

The possibilities for resource acquisition are astounding. Right now we're focused on the crust of our earth, but what about all the other planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and so forth. The asteroid belt of our solar system has unimaginable material wealth contained in its humble rocks.

Right now we have the technological ability to go out and mine asteroids, in fact, we've already landed a probe on an asteroid. Asteroid mining in and of itself is quite complicated, but as we begin to use all the resources of our planet, we're going to be looking towards the sky.

An extremely advanced civilization could pump fuel directly from a star, the contents of which are practically limitless in volume. Zero point energy could also potentially be harnessed, but that's a very far out technology, not possible anytime in the near future.

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    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 4 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for your great article. I was looking for posts that had written about the Kardashev Scale, and yours came up, so I have linked it to my latest article.