Hi Matthew Woolsey! How's it going?
I think that we are living in exciting times right now, Mr. Woolsey! What I mean to say is that I believe that science and technology are constantly developing and refining ways for us to make the investigation. I believe that continuing refinement in the field of artificial intelligence has a lot of potential, for example.
In upcoming months I am going to be reviewing a book by Martine Rothblatt, PhD., about the future of artificial intelligence---our "mindclones," is the term she uses. Think of the potential applications for galactic explorations. I mean, really think about that, Mr. Woolsey!
We can all sit at our computer screens and speculate; and, of course, there is no harm in that. The really exciting thing to ponder, in my opinion, is the kinds of exploratory tools that might, potentially, be at humanity's disposal one hundred years from now.
There is one more thing to consider---and I'll close with this. I'm no mathematician or scientist; but I do seem to recall that energy for propulsion thing. What I mean is that there is no air in "outer space," I understand. That means absolutely nothing to "push off" of, right?
I mean, part of the reason heavier-than-air flight is possible is because there is at least air in our atmosphere. A concentrated, quick exhalation of fuel can push off against the built up air pressure to propel the vessel forward, yes?
Two other points: 1) You know how they say the "stars" you look at, at night are just the light from long-dead stars that have been traveling for eons, and all that?; and 2) Do you remember that Star Trek Voyager episode where there was a planet, whose people lived wildly out of phase with the rest of the galaxy temporally? When two minutes passed about Captain Janeway's Enterprise, two hundred years passed down on that planet? Remember that?
I say all of that to say this: Mightn't we conceive of future, possible, human-to-non-human contact in other ways beside the face-to-face?