Will We Ever Go Beyond the Stars and Should We?

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Whenever I return to the prospect of revisiting my fictional works, I ask myself if that’s necessary or even wise. So much of my fiction is based on interstellar conflicts and I realize now that we don’t need any more of those types of stories. The more relevant stories are closer to home and many of them aren’t even fiction. Yet there are aspects of fictional storytelling that can be adapted for nonfiction or speculative essays that may have fictional elements for the sake of illustration.

Before humanity becomes a true interstellar species, we need to learn how to actually cooperate for a common good. Despite all the cooperation with projects like the international space station, I feel like the imperial ambitions of the mirror universe on Star Trek is far more likely than the utopian future Gene Roddenberry dreamed up back in the 1960’s. In fact, much of what exists in Star Trek probably isn’t realistically possible, at least in how it’s portrayed, from a purely scientific standpoint.

I laugh at how people seem to gravitate towards alien invasion stories. They rarely turn it round the other way, as they did with James Cameron’s epic film, Avatar. We know from human history just how barbaric our species can be. I actually shudder at the prospect of colonizing even a dead planet like Mars, just out of the competition it will create. It would likely start out as a scientific brotherhood, but quickly devolve into an ideological civil war.

Perhaps I have become far too pessimistic, but as I spent most of my life being hopeful for little other than hope’s own sake, I know better now. As our technology advances, I remember the warnings of early science fiction authors, predicting that as technology grows, the more we will become slaves to it. Just as H.G. Wells warned, this is exactly what is in the process of happening. We need to remember that technology is a way to further human progress and not meant as simple conveniences to be taken for granted.

That’s not to say that the idyllic future of Star Trek couldn’t happen. I just find it quite unlikely. There will always be a scientific community willing to look past petty differences that will work together for the sake of human progress. The question remains if that scientific community will evolve into a conglomerate that runs everything in the galaxy, like Starfleet does in the Star Trek Universe. Even if it does, will it become an interstellar power, never mind a galactic power? The universe is much bigger than people realize.

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