Here is a sketch I made this evening. I’ve doodled this theme a few times but never bothered to save a copy for posterity. Problem solved:
Posts Tagged ‘space’
Let’s play a game. Try to wrap your mind around this news brief from the BBC:
Number of alien worlds quantified
Intelligent civilisations are out there and there could be thousands of them, according to an Edinburgh scientist.
The discovery of more than 330 planets outside our solar system in recent years has helped refine the number of life forms that are likely to exist.
The current research estimates that there are at least 361 intelligent civilisations in our Galaxy and possibly as many as 38,000.
The work is reported in the International Journal of Astrobiology.
As the full article reports, this research is based on some creative mathematics and not a little guesswork. Still, the Milky Way Galaxy in which we live, is estimated to be 100,000 light years in diameter (587,460,168,233,670,000.00 Miles). That’s pretty big, so I take the given calculation (“at least 361″) to be correct.
361 other species/cultures/societies/planets that are either near-to, equal-to, or exceeding human capacity in all areas. Intelligence, stupidity, strength, caring, malice, technology, art, wisdom; an endless list of qualities.
How do you suppose we measure up? Not well, likely. Here’s two other science articles released the same day as the one above:
We’re each born stupid; many do not improve much after birth. Our biological deck is stacked against us in so many ways. Don’t believe me? Check this list of cognitive biases, it might be easier to count the number you haven’t honestly fallen prey to.
When someone you know is behaving embarrassingly, you can pretend you don’t know who they are (“…yeah, I know, what a jerk. I think he’s drunk…”). But what happens when “aliens” actually make contact with us? Then it’s a species thing.
Well none of this has stopped us from counting the stars, and dreaming of distant planets and their potential inhabitants. Humans have a rich history (& future to come) of thinking big – here’s hoping we don’t all kill each other before the enlightenment.
If you really want to test the limits of your imagination, go for a grand tour of mind expanding thought on wikipedia. Here’s some suggested reading:
- Climate engineering
- Dyson sphere
- Planetary engineering
- Banaue Rice Terraces
- Stellar engine
- Alderson disk
- Spacecraft engineering
- Virgin_Earth Challenge
- Star lifting
- Hollow earth
- Stellar engineering
- Lagrange point
- Trans Global Highway
- X-Seed 4000
- Kardashev scale
- Fog bow
- Sun dog
- Flat Earth Society
- Turtles all the way down
- Carl Sagan
- Vertical farming
- Expanding Earth theory
- Spaceship Moon Theory
- Outer Space Treaty
- Weather control
- Autonomous building
- Artificial world
- Asteroid deflection strategies
- Asteroid mining
- Stanford torus
Some people aren’t afraid to think big! Just trying to fully grasp the magnitude of some of the articles in these Wikipedia categories can put you in a solemn mood.
I especially like some of the writing in these and other Wiki articles.
The idea of the matrioshka brain violates none of the currently known laws of physics, although the engineering details of building such a structure would be staggering, as such a project would require the “disassembly” of significant portions (if not all) of the planetary system of the star for construction materials.
The possible uses of such an immense computational resource tax the imagination.