Working for the common good would likely have us still in the fields tending the crops. It is the ego of personal accomplishment that has created progress--certainly not without some serious consequences.
Working for the common good would likely have us still in the fields tending the crops. It is the ego of personal accomplishment that has created progress--certainly not without some serious consequences.
The hypocrisy comes from those who remain intellectually dishonest while considering their side of any issue, even to the detriment of their own irrational opinions. When you figure out what that means and why it applies directly to your post - please come back here and truly engage the merit of the OP. However, something tells me that I won't here from you again on this sub-point.
However, recent Bosnia and Herzegovina War, happened to take place well after the Third Reich and Hitler's attempt to conquer all of Europe (eventually). However, it is highly questionable whether or not Hitler, would have long tolerated the Bosnian Muslims, other than being grateful for their willful attempt to exterminate all Non-Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina during World War II and it is very likely that Hitler, would have turned on those who helped him "purge" that region of its Non-German influence. Bosnia and Herzegovina, have been at ground-zero for religious, cultural, political and territorial turmoil since before World War I. In fact, World War I, was initiated in Bosnia, itself.
I looked at the recent war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in shock. Now, one who understands the history of the region might conclude that I was being naive to be so shocked at the outbreak itself, and to that indictment, I would not offer up much of a defense - maybe I was a bit naive. But, the reason for my being so shocked, had less to do with the physical outbreak of war, and a lot more to do with the downright disregard for anything even remotely resembling an ounce of concern about the Geneva Convention, on the part of those who engaged in serious War Crimes. Of course, all war is hell and what we saw happening in Iraq, by the hands of U.S. Troops, at times was no less disconcerting and no less evil. So, maybe my "shock" about Bosnia, was a bit naive - I should know better.
But, my real point here, is not even that war broke out in this part of the world - but that it broke out in a part of the world that was supposed to have been part of the so-called Civilized Culture in a post World War II mentality. That's the real key to my being somewhat "shocked." If that kind thing can happen in a part of the world that should "know better" because of its direct involvement in both World Wars (for goodness sakes), then it can happen anywhere else on planet earth and it tells us that we have literally nothing from either World Wars. Having said that, one of the very comforting things to recognize about the Bosnia-Herzegovina War, is the way in which NATO responded to put an end to the conflict, so as not to allow the war to spread to other parts of Europe and eventually engulf the entire world by instantiating World War III - which could have happened. Just one more reason why we should all appreciate genius behind the creation of the NATO Compact, in a post World War II world. Still, that war bothers me a great deal. It sits too close to my own generation and my generation sits too close to World War II.
Before we get anywhere near the planet Kepler-22, we are definitely going to have to make places like Bosnia-Herzegovina, super models of success for how people from many diverse backgrounds and cultural belief systems, can indeed not just live together, but actually work together for the Common Good. If we cannot do it in Bosnia-Herzegovina, then we won't even come close to being able to pull it off on some place like Kepler-22, or any of the other planets within the Habitable Zone.
...I can 100% promise you that in less than 3000 to 4000 years from now,...
Energy & Propulsion Problems:
One of the most critical components will be the R&D necessary to derive a viable source of convertable energy. Within the energy sub-problem to solve, will be those of both On-Board Storage Requirements and Joules of Output. 1 Watt = 1 Joule per Second, or 3.41 BTUs per Hour. The total Joules per Second used in just the acceleration phase alone (getting a ship of sufficient scale to any echelon of sub-light speeds) is right now, astronomical in number. While conventional propulsion systems might seem powerful for the aerospace applications of today, the energy output necessary to propel a ship of sufficient size, scale and mass to beyond even the edge of our own solar system, would take more energy than is current in use right now through out our entire planet at this very minute. Clearly, we have no liquid fuel chemistry solution that comes anywhere near close to solving this problem. Therefore, something revolutionary in the discipline of Inorganic Chemistry will have to take place, that rivals that discoveries of Galileo, Newton and Einstein, combined. That's the intellectual challenge we face in just the energy problem alone.
Now, regarding Propulsion Systems. You have to understand that any mission that includes Interstellar travel, will by definition be a Mission Critical endeavor. Mission Critical in technical terms simply means: Zero Critical Failure. Nothing that is critical to the success of the mission can go unresolved. That does not mean that in-flight, or in-voyage systems failures will not occur. They will and they will occur with some regularity. What mission critical means, is that no failure can reach a level that would terminate the mission. This concept is very important to understand and it plays a huge role in the overall design and engineering processes that will yield such a propulsion system. Failure, simply won't be an option. So, we will need to optimize the entirety of our Materials Science ethos, to a level that we have never considered before, including that used in all previous manned missions to space with the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Saturn and Shuttle programs combined. Of course, will use everything we learned in those programs and missions, but all of that combined will pale in comparison to what will be needed to achieve the level of power availability necessary for this kind of space travel. And, that's just the new materials science component of the new Propulsion System designs!
The core propulsion system design itself, in my opinion, will need to be a nuclear solution. One of the exciting things about this solution is the potential that Thorium might offer. Unlike Uranium, Thorium is a far more exploitable source for instantiating controlled nuclear reactions that yield usable Joules of energy. Thorium, is also much more abundant, easier to reach within the earth's crust and less volatile than Uranium, in its excavated form of Thorite, or Thorianite, and it has a deeper ionization path than does Uranium. Thorium, does not produce dangerous waste and does not requires vast quantities to achieve nominal levels of comparable energy output. While Thorium R&D, has been held hostage by politicians who have been lead astray by fossil fuel barons who see their profits going down the tubes as a direct result of its advancement, and by a private sector that cannot turn billions/trillions in profits from a nearly endless supply of cheap energy, its potential for getting humanity involved in Interstellar travel cannot and should not be underestimated.
The potential [known] benefits of using a Thorium powered Propulsion System on-board an Interstellar vehicle carrying human beings, goes right to the heart of helping to reduce some of the R&D burden in the Materials Science that will be necessary to engineer a mission critical powerplant. The requirements for radiation shielding of the crew and passengers (for example) on long Interstellar voyages, would be greatly reduced, as a Thorium based reactor won't require high-pressure to stabilize it and because Thorium, has no problem dissolving in a fluoride-salt mixture. So, that means a reactor based Propulsion System that can operate at high temperatures without the typical problems associated radiation local distribution and/or leakage. This is far superior to the high-water pressure Uranium core reactors of today, that have significant waste and radiation leakage problems, when/if there is a containment failure and/or core meltdown.
Because of the politicization of Thorium, over the years - the world has yet to benefit from its advantages over Uranium. Insufficient R&D funding from both the public and private sectors have stalled its development, but I think it is only a matter of time before Thorium, takes its rightful place as the world's dominant source of "clean-er" energy and someday, one of the high potential candidates for powering the first Interstellar ship from earth's orbit.
Velocity & Navigation Problems:
It is one thing to calculate the course from earth to the moon, or to one of the planets within our own solar system, for example. But, it is quite another thing to calculate a course from earth to a distant planet that requires Interstellar travel. The reason has to do with Collision Avoidance. Meteors, Asteroids, Comets and other early universe primordial debris, is not something that you can simply plow through on your way to your destination. Somehow, you would need to Navigate the ship around these free agents of potential mission ending destruction, to arrive at your destination without being destroyed by what is relatively speaking, a piece of space dust. Colliding with a large object at low speeds would prove to be catastrophic, in the same way that colliding with small objects at high speeds.
Given the relative distance to even the nearest star systems where we now believe there might be planets capable of supporting human life, it would require cruise speeds that are large fractions of light-speed, or sub-light speed. If we don't achieve those speeds, then the time it would take to reach even Alpha Centauri, which is a little over four (4) light years away from earth, would mean that missions to these potential destinations would take generations to accomplish.
That presents all kinds of ethical/moral problems, as those people being born in space - did not ask to be part of that kind of endeavor. Also, as a practical matter, you would not want to launch these missions, if each time you knew that the the people who are alive during the start of the mission, would not be the people who finally arrived at the destination. So, for the sake of human ethics and practicality, we would have to solve the speed problem by increasing Velocity, which at the very same time enhances an already dangerous problem having to do with Collision Avoidance Navigation.
What I call the Collision Avoidance Navigation System (CANS), is a problem that I believe we can actually solve for relatively large scale objects using a very large and fully-integrated (fore and aft) radar tracking system that is coupled to the Flight Control System (FCS). However, we would still have to derive a solution for the small scale objects. At sub-light speeds (if we are able to achieve that), smaller objects with lower density can have disastrous effects on the hull of the ship, even though we could (in theory) cruise right through them while using CANS to avoid collisions with large body objects and things like small body asteroid fields. We are talking about maneuverability capabilities in space and at very high velocities that would require very precise collision avoidance systems. It sounds easier than it would actually be in reality.
There are many other issues to solve as well, but these are four (4) of the major problems that will take a significant amount of time, energy and effort to resolve to anywhere near the level necessary to put together a launch date for such a journey. However, there is one more very large problem that looms ahead: Funding.
This is not something that any private entity would ever want to do. The actual ROI for a private entity on something like this is practically zero and there would be no prior risk-to-reward model to look at for comparison, that would even come close to helping anyone understand what they are getting themselves into. There won't even be single country that could afford to go at this kind of project alone. Therefore, it will take Global Initiative unlike anything ever attempted by humanity in the past, where the entire planet comes together to develop the strategic outline for accomplishing such a task. This would be so resource intensive, that nearly every government in the world would have to commit and contribute to some aspect of the project. It would go beyond mere money and capital expenditures. This endeavor will also require the intellectual efforts of an entire planet and a sincere commitment to seeing that the initiative does not fail.
We would be ahead of humanity by about as long as humanity has been on planet earth.
It would require this world to come together in ways that it never has before. Are we capable of pulling that kind of multi-cultural global initiative off, within the next 500 years? I sure hope so, but given our current sad state of affairs as human beings who seem hell bent on destroying our planet and everything on it, I don't see us reaching that level of maturity in such a short period of time. So, you see, the problem with getting to the "next planet" is not merely a technological problem. It is also a societal problem rooted in our ability to think beyond our differences for a greater and more common good. And, that is why I think it will take a lot more than 500 years.
We are not as smart as we like to think we are. If we were, then we'd be literally reaching for the stars right now and we'd be doing it with Human beings instead of Voyager-like probes.
Well, until somebody puts hard core evidence in front of me that confirms the existence of multiple kinds and types of human beings, then yes - I will probably continue to place us all in the same carbon basket. Yes, we are individuals. However, it has already been stated that "no man is an island unto himself." No one human being has ever created all that exists, nor will anyone ever have the capacity. People have different talents and abilities and no doubt, those individual capabilities should be recognized for what they are as well.
However, I've never shaken hands with a Dolphin, or held a deeply intellectual conversation of any kind whatsoever with a Hummingbird, or engaged in a business deal of any kind with a Bumble Bee. All of these things have taken place in my life, but they only took place with another fully sentient corporeal entity - none other than a Human being. So, while we are individuals and our individuality needs to be recognized, honored and respected, that recognition, honor and respect, should always be in proportion to the whole and subordinate to the common good. Else, we end up placing more value in the individual and ultimately zero value in humanity as a whole. This is indeed part of the problem we see today.
What value did Genghis Khan, place on the notion of the common good? Did Hitler, see the common good any differently than Khan, Napoleon, or Mussolini? Which Egyptian King (Pharaoh), regardless of how large or how small they "grew" their empire, showed an ounce of consideration for the common good? Which African Tribal King, had the common good in mind when he sold Africans into the North Atlantic Slave Trade? At what point in the entire history of European Kings & Queens, did they demonstrate a proclivity towards the common good amongst their so-called "subjects?"
Unless we are very careful, we can allow the allure of individuality to trump that which matters the most, the common good. Let's face it, how many people look into their refrigerator each day and pull out something to eat that they actually provided with their own hands. Not many. The food we eat, the air we breath, the water we drink, etc., somebody has to constantly be on the look-out for preserving the common good. Even in starting a business, where the individual feels that they are doing something on their own, there has to be some realization that somebody has to issue a loan, or inject some start-up capital and those funds have to come from somewhere other than the individual "striking out on his own."
Or, how many people would like to attempt to perform their own Root Canal Surgery, because they feel so strongly about their own capabilities as an individual. Not many - not many indeed. How many independent people out there would ever attempt their own Open Heart Surgery, or their own Brain Surgery to remove a tumor? No many - not many indeed.
The net/net truth is that none of us are truly independent when the chips are down. We are all depending on something, someone, some how - one way or another, to help us get from point "A" to point "B" - when we cannot do it ourselves. It is the Ego, that deludes us into thinking that we can live this life alone, with any degree of consistency and regularity, regardless of what gets tossed our way, or which stumbling blocks end up becoming prominent in our lives.
So, yes - let us retain as much individuality as we possibly can. But, let's not kid ourselves into believing that somehow as individuals, we are going to solve the bigger problems that face all of humanity.
There should be no fear in collaboration.
If (a just one example), that same Woman does get married, rears that same child, but is forced to do so in a world that is rapidly decaying morally and ethically - how does that alter the inevitable, if neither the child nor the Woman, has much of a future to look forward to where their potential noble efforts are recognized by he society in which they live, because its paradigm has become corrupt beyond the point sustainability?
The status-quo can often times be similar to Pulsar. It looks wonderful, glorious and magnificent from a distance, but if you were able to get close enough to it, the radiation alone would be more than enough to kill you.
I prefer Humanity, over Mankind, by the way.
From a social standpoint, Aristotle, was a total prick by any standard, as he philosophical beliefs about Slavery, which was an embedded mentality that got carried down through many European epochs and eventually into the New World, were just as mechanical as any plow implement of his day. Excepting his 'forms of government' views that Monarchies and Oligarchies, were actually acceptable methodologies for governance, Aristotle's thinking about the concept of Democracy, is one that also got embedded down through European epochs and ended up becoming a bedrock principle foundation for the United States of America (though highly modified). And, it was Pythagoras, who clearly spent time studying in ancient Mesopotamia, and whose mathematical influence was felt directly by you in whatever schools you attended during your early academic career. So, while Pythagoras, himself was not physically present when you were being educated in school, some of his mathematical principles in both the Geometry and Trigonometry you learned long ago and benefit from to this very day.
We all stand on the shoulders of giants. If, we can take the good while shedding the bad, we can learn to use it to improve our world. Those people may not have given birth to you, or fed you, reared you or taught you directly. However, they are just as much a natural part of your modern life and lifestyle that you lead to this very day, whether you are fully aware of it, or not. Which is all the more reason why it is so important for everybody on this planet to start recognizing just how amazingly connected we really happen to be.
We are far more connected to each other, even through epochs, than we will ever be disconnected. History - loves to repeat itself.
Working for the common good, would provide us crops that don't need tending by human hands.
We could then spend our collective time and our collective intelligence, solving the more complex problems that face humanity, where everybody would then be able to bring their contributions into a universal consortium of knowledge maps, designed for the purpose of advancing all humanity.
We can either use our brains to think of ways to keep humanity oppressed, or we can use our brains to think of ways to allow humanity to soar.
I'm leaning towards soaring.
"Advocates of capitalism are apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: the fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate." - Bertrand Russell