“Forfeiting our future”. An expression usually connected to environmental concerns. And rightfully so. But should these be the maximum expression of our fears? Are these the only extinction-level-events casting a long wide shadow over our future?
500 years ago, Mr. Copernicus tried so hard to displace Earth from the center of the universe, but in most ways, we seem incapable of seeing it otherwise. Believe it or not, most of us still see our blue planet as the center of the universe. Not astronomically speaking – maybe because that’s no longer up for debate – but, apparently, regarding everything else. In their hearts, most people believe that mankind is, unquestionably, either the first or the only civilization in the Cosmos. They must. Why else would the concept of “UFOs” or “aliens” sound ludicrous to most of us?
It’s easy to forget these were the offical designations and if they exist is because our governments, at some point, felt the need to come up with a name for them.
Try standing up right now and saying out loud you believe in UFOs or aliens. Chances are you’ll experience a Harry Potter moment, the sorts of when one of the characters says the word “Voldemort”, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Or, best case scenario, you’ll feel like an alien yourself.
A little presumptuous on our part, wouldn’t you say, to think we’re alone? And even naïve? Could this hiding-our-heads-in-the-sand-thinking be, in any way … dangerous?!
“Knowing history helps to not repeat our mistakes.” We’ve all heard or read this before. Probably from some history teacher trying to sell his class to restless students. Not you, of course. You know it’s a great point but, sometimes, you also know it’s hard to come up with an example of just how important one’s knowledge of history truly is. Well, how about this:
We, as in Mankind, must work on our own future or some other civilization’s future might cross paths with ours, taking us by surprise. Remember “Expansion”? It’s our choice, of course. But if Mankind chooses not to go ahead with it, it could be only a matter of time before another civilization does it. Why? Maybe because it has happened countless times in the past:
- To the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, by the Spanish
- To native Africans, by the Portuguese
- To native Americans, by the English
- In Asia, Australia, …
And, not surprisingly, always with the same outcome: mass murder, genocide and/or slavery. It has happened so often, in fact, that it might not be an exaggeration to say that most nations, if not all, who felt they had the upper hand in war and its technologies have travelled, often incredible distances, to subdue and conquer others. How unreasonable should it be to speculate that, at some point in Mankind’s existence, be it tomorrow or in 500 years, it will happen again?
The future is coming. Whose “future” will prevail, it should be up to us. What role do we wish to play in such a conflict? The strong yet humane wolf or the helpless sheep, without even the leverage to negotiate some sort of solution?
We should labor so one day we may overwhelm unwelcomed visitors with our technological prowess and not by (something as crude and ancient as) “fire”. Are we talking about developing weapons here? No!!! We’re talking about high-concept tech. Weapons, should they ever become a necessity (God-forbid), they should be a by-product of these technological advancements and focus in incapacitating / non-lethal approaches. The greater the technological gap between us and our unwelcomed visitors is, the more violent the conflict will be. An easy conclusion, again drawn from history’s teachings.
Our next great war. Not “World War 3”. More like “War for the World 1”. In short, let’s not make it ‘WTF’1.
Should a conflict like this arise tomorrow – and it could, just like an Earthquake or a Tsunami – chances are that, contrary to Sci-Fi popular belief, we would lose. Badly.
What we do know for sure is that such an amount of technological development will not happen overnight. It may take us centuries. If we started today, we’d already be nearly 40 years behind. And it surely feels like we’re not doing enough.
There are no certainties as far as the future goes. Except for one: that there’s no hiding from it.
You may ask the Mayans and the Aztecs. If you could find one.
Bruno De Marques. #thefutureneedsyou