A Millennial's Mind

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Monthly Archives: February 2016

What If We’re Never Found?

Let me explain myself a little here. I’ve just watched a video by It’s Okay To Be Smart about visitors coming to Earth in 100,000,000 years and finding evidence of us and the Anthropocene. It is a very cool video to watch actually. If you’ve not already seen it you can see it here:

It is an awesome video. I am absolutely in love with the idea of another space faring species one day in the distant future stumbling across this strange planet, after we’re long gone. Whether we’ve died out or moved onto a new home planet.

Now, the reason for the title is because the video got me thinking… What if we’re never found? Say we do die out before being able to make an impact on our Solar System off of Planet Earth, and before we can make any kind of impact on any other star systems. That just leaves this planet, the tomb of the human race. Think about it, this small rocky planet in a small part of the Orion Arm in the Milky Way galaxy could easily go undetected until the Sun enter its red giant phase and either melts the earth surface and therefore everything on it/in it, or swallows up the Earth entirely. That would leave just our space probes in the Universe for other space faring species to find. Those probes have such a slim chance of being discovered, an entire planet was not discovered, so how could we expect these other species to find such a small object in the vast expanse of space? Sure they may be discovered, but they may also have fallen victim to a star it’ll eventually comes across, or a black hole. Those are just as a for instance. The Universe could destroy all evidence of our existence before it’s ever found!

I don’t know about you, but…

Never being found is a horrifying thought for me. The human race is by no means perfect, but we are here. And we’ve been here for a while (Okay, a relatively short amount of time in the great scheme of things), whilst we’ve been here we’ve been doing really well. As Joe Hanson said in the video our population reached 1 billion with the Industrial Revolution and by the 1950s our population just… People were popping out children like that was the new hip thing. And now in 2016 our population is something crazy like 7.4 billion people. 7.4 billion people are now living on this Earth, and it’s a very real possibility that they’ll never be known. Never.

I don’t know why this bothers me. I think maybe it’s because the human race tries so hard to learn of its place in the Universe. To understand the Universe around us. We’ve done pretty good on that front too, I don’t see many people throwing themselves off of buildings in the hopes they’ll float, as like ‘Two fingers to you, Sir Isaac Newton’. You know, we’ve got this understanding of how gravity works down remarkably well. I’m not saying we’re experts in any study of gravity, not at all, but we understand it well enough to use planets as slingshots. Based on that, and my studies at Uni that we’ve got a reasonably good understanding of gravity. Gravity is a fundamental force that surrounds us all the time (Which I’m rather thankful for, I must say) and we’ve learnt about it. Earth is planet sized lab diary, in my view. We have learned so much, and continue to do so. We write it down, test it, and test it again. I think it would be so incredibly sad if that becomes lost to the Universe forever.

I don’t know, man. It’s 03:53 right now and I just…

I just… I hate this idea. I watched another video recently, done by Test Tube Plus or DNews, I forget which, but I believe it was one of those. Anyway, they were discussing where ‘everyone else’ was. They mentioned Fermi’s paradox. For those that don’t know Fermi’s paradox is essentially the lack of evidence of alien civilisations despite the high probability of their existence, and why this is. As it stands with current technology the human race could potentially colonise a portion of the galaxy in a few tens of millions of years (Which on an astronomical time scale is the blink of an eye). As a potential solution to this paradox they suggested that the human race is simply one of the very first civilisations with space capabilities, and for that matter radio communications abilities too. So we could be the Universe’s trial run of life, kind of like “Let’s see how this turns out…”. Which I guess is cool, we’re like the oldest child in that respect, however my issue is that the younger siblings know of the elders ones. Even if they are not around any more and they learn from the things that the elder siblings did. Now newer civilisations cannot do that if we disappear without trace (or very little trace). All the acquired knowledge, all the experiences, all the trial and error, all the bad, all the good, just gone, and nobody ever even knew it was there.

I’m an aspiring Astrophysicist man, this is my worst nightmare!

Once I’ve finished getting my necessary degrees to go into research, I’d like to go into research and learn so much more about the universe I, we, live in. You know, have findings published, have them read by others, sharing the knowledge. I think I’m not liking as well that all that could be for nothing, that someday all the sharing of knowledge will just stop. And stop for good with the dying breath of the last human. I’ve said it before, I’m not humanity’s biggest fan at all, and the loss of the human civilisation, doesn’t phase me. It’s the loss of all that we’ve learned that bothers me I think the most. I believe it was Nelson Mandela that said this:

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

I think that can be extended to the life in the Universe as a whole. Education is a powerful thing and I think everyone can benefit from it. Human or otherwise. Knowledge and understanding is so precious, and all efforts should be made to preserve it.

Some people might argue that we can preserve all that the human race has learned as much as we want but it’s useless to other species as they may not communicate the same way we do, or they won’t understand our language. Well we didn’t understand the language of many ancient human civilisations, we still learnt a thing or two from them when we finally worked up what they were saying. Not only that, we don’t just have to write down what we find out. We can create diagrams, audio files. Anyone to find it might not be able to decipher what they’re looking at, at first. Or maybe never, but maybe another species might be able too, and we might teach them something that’ll help them advance as a civilisation.

The above is obviously a bit of wishful thinking, but it’s not totally out of the realms of possibility.

I say preserve the knowledge we acquire. Protect it. Treasure it. We’ve worked hard for it, and education is important. Regardless of who or what the student is that is learning.

You can find Joe Hanson (Writer and host of “It’s Okay To Be Smart”) here:

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/itsokaytobesmart
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/itsokaytobesmart
Twitter:    http://twitter.com/okaytobesmart
http://twitter.com/jtotheizzoe

I seriously recommend his youtube channel, it’s brilliant.

I found the featured image here: http://www.moddb.com/members/eorl-256/images/lost-in-the-universe

I’m going to continue to ponder the fact that we may disappear into the history of the Universe without ever having been known of. It’s a sad thought, and I genuinely hope that, that never happens.

I hope we’re found. We’ve got much to learn and I think we’ve got a lot to teach as well.

 

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Can We Talk About This?

Well… Where should I start? I know, I’ll start with last night. I went out in Town with my friends and we got a lot drunk. Not only a few drunk, a lot drunk. One of my friends was kicked out of Pier (A nightclub) and I quizzed him this morning as to why…

I don’t even remember pier lol

                                                                                   – Cam (03-02-16)

That answers my question then really.

Anyway…

Anyway, onto what we all should really be talking about more. I got on the bus about a week ago and man it started filling up fast (Driver skipped stops as a result, kind of full). A girl got on and she was using crutches and had some sort of cast around her leg and she then proceeded to stand… stand… on the opposite side of the gangway to me and I thought the one of the three people sat by her would offer up their seats so she could sit down (As my seat would be a bit awkward to get to for her) and not one of them offered their seats up for this girl. Not one. Scrubs. So I offered up my seat and helped her to it so she could sit down and not risk further injury by attempting to stand.

I ran this incident past my father, Father Beep, and he thinks it’s all to do with the state of public transport, or more that public transport in many places is insufficient and so people have got an attitude sort of like “I paid for this, I’m going to keep it”, rather than actually doing a decent thing and letting someone who, for the time being, is not as mobile or steady on their feet as they were and will be. It’s madness, I had no issue getting up and offering the girl my seat, and I, myself, am not as steady on my feet as I’d like to be due to a leg injury of my own. Which further proves my point, I would give up a seat, despite my own instabilities so that someone who is clearly more in need of the seat could sit down. Now, I’m not saying that those three people near her weren’t in need of those seats themselves for some unseen disability, but I struggle to believe all three who were, to an onlooker, young healthy students have an unseen disability. Although not out of the realms of possibility I guess.

Another thing I’d like to mention

I think people shout loudly when things don’t go the way they want it but shy away from any opportunity to change it. I don’t think people realise how big of an impact they could and can have if they just stood up and said “Hey man, that’s not cool, pack that in”. There’s a lot people should be standing up against. A lot.

I feel like people should be getting behind some seriously important issues. Issues which in some cases effect everyone, and I mean everyone. All, what is it now? 7.4 billion people? All of us. Things like getting a hold on Global Warming, Nuclear disarmament. We have no need for nuclear weapons, like who thought they would be a good idea to keep around. Keeping operational warheads is a joke! “Oh here’s an idea, let’s keep this warhead that can literally kill 70000 people in mere seconds” We can kill enough people with the regular rockets and guns we have at the moment. There’s no need to start just mass killings. It makes no sense to keep them too, I’m fairly sure there’s conventions (Ratified by many world powers) that state that while you may go to war you cannot cause unnecessary suffering to civilians caught up in the war, or for that matter the combatants. A nuclear warhead is non-discriminatory, it’ll blow up, burn, irradiate whatever the hell is in its way. No questions asked. To me that’s the very definition of unnecessary suffering.

Scientific exploits need more attention and support also. This stuff literally saves your life. Literally. Scientific fields, certainly exploratory ones, are grossly underfunded. If people were to get up from in front of their TV (which they’re only doing to find something to complain about it seems now)  and started getting behind the notion for more funding for the exploratory sciences, imagine… Just imagine what we could uncover. What we could solve. Who we could help as a result.

Hell, it might even benefit the whole of humanity rather than a select few! Who wouldn’t want that? I’m not humanity’s greatest advocate however, I’ve said it before, we’ve got to live together for roughly 70-80 years, so why not make it the best experience we can?

Even if you can’t directly help, start spreading the word of whatever notion takes you fancy. It could be the link that gets it seen by those who can truly give it some momentum.

Stand up and be counted.

On another note

My brother turns 18 in little over a week, which should be cool. We’re going quadbiking. It does mean I’m going to be at home for that weekend though, so I’ll miss seeing the new Deadpool movie with my friends here at University. Also my friend Cams girlfriend is going to be down (Or up I suppose) that weekend and everyone’s met her but me, and they speak so highly of her and I’m a little annoyed I won’t get to meet her. Hey-ho, another time. I just have to listen to another few days of my friends praising Cam and his girlfriend, and how cute they are together.

In about a week both my parents children (Of which I make up 50%, in case you hadn’t realised) will be adults and as Father Beep would say “You’re an adult now, so if you die it’s your fault and not mine now”. He’s not wrong.