Short post today.
I recently came into possession of a certain military science-fiction simulation, the name of which I will not reveal (but it rhymes with “Bass Reject”). The central plot conceit of this particular piece of commercial entertainment is that a bunch of folks (including blue-skinned aliens and scaly bipedal bird-people) built four generation ships and set off to colonize the Andromeda galaxy.
The thing about interstellar colonization, though, is that space is really big, and everything’s really far away from everything else. The solution to this is to put all the passengers into suspended animation and to wake them up when they arrive. In this case, all the colonists are in cryogenic stasis for 600 years.
That struck me for a lot of reasons, the first of which being the practicality. 600 years is a really long time, even on a cosmic scale. A lot can change. It occurred to me that when the colonists attempted to contact Earth, not only would everyone they knew be dead, but they might have been completely forgotten. I mean, do you know every voyage that set sail for the New World 600 years ago?
Then it further occurred to me to try and think ahead 600 years, to imagine what our world would be like, how things would change. And I realized I couldn’t. Not because of a failure of imagination, but because I realized I honestly don’t think we’re going to be around in 600 years.
That’s a hell of a thing to carry around.
This life will make you go crazy, if you let it. I recommend playing video games to distract yourself.