To terraform the human mind?

Science is the subject of todays blog, I feel the need to write and I must be honest with you all. Today no writing tips or reading advice or anything else literary in that way has come to my mind. For any of my readers who are only interested in writing and do not care for science then feel free to look away now.

For me science has always been a field of great interest, at school I excelled and indeed two of my fondest memories from my years in primary and secondary education are as follows: sitting and passing my science SAT a year early and gaining a level 5, and, changing schools in the first few weeks of year 7 and having to sit a science test on my first day in the new school (i.e. having not had any lessons in that school first) and being the only person in the class to received 100%. Call me vain if you like but in what was otherwise a less than stellar academic record those two moments do shine brightly even today.

I found science easier than other subjects because it interested me deeply, I was, and still am curious about our world and the rest of the universe. As a writer it will surprise nobody that I dabble in science fiction and as a reader and film watcher science fiction again is a large portion of what I absorb.

Alas let us talk about the real subject of todays blog and that is becoming a multi planet race. That is to say rather than having countries we will have planets and the human race will spread throughout the solarsystem and perhaps even beyond.

For those of you in the know you will be familiar with the concept and term of terraforming. For those of you not in the know I shall briefly explain. Terra is another word for Earth and as such Terraforming is to literally take another planet and ‘form’ it to be more like Earth and as a by product comfortable for human life.

As you likely also know humans cannot otherwise survive on any planets that we know anything about so for a long time it was thought that we should have to change planets so we can live there. Looking at that in recent times it has become more aparent how difficult and time consuming that would be, not to mention expensive.

One option is of course to forego moving to other planets and simply make other habitats, like the ISS but on a much grander scale. Call me an old romantic if you will but I quite like the idea of visiting other worlds, watching the sun set from a different place in the solar system, seeing a green sky or perhaps even seeing two suns rise together.

My solution is thus: do not terraform other planets, simply planetform humans. To put it simply, our squishy bodies are very bad at surviving things like; low gravity, high levels of radiation, extreme heat, extreme cold, lack of oxygen, lack of water…I could go on. We already have the technology to put robots on mars and in space and we know they do not die as easily as we do. I believe if we really want to explore the universe it would be better done inside mechanical bodies.

Now the science to transfer a human conciousness into a computer looks at present, very hard, very expensive and potentially even impossible so that does rather throw a spanner in the works, but hear me out, not all is lost.

Throughout human evolution (to my understanding, so please correct me if I am mistaken) every great leap forward we have made, such as; developing advanced language, learning to make advanced tools and machinery, inventing art and the concepts of beauty and love. Have been allowed by the most recently developed part of the human brain. So the very core of the brain deals with what we can eat, mate with or will be dangerous to us. The next part of the brain deals with interactions, language etc and then the next again moves onto even more abstract thinking tasks such as art. If we are to be able to truly enjoy a further understanding of the universe, of physics and of all the sciences then we need a new bit of brain. These things don’t evolve over night but perhaps we could enjoy a revolution rather than an evolution.

I believe, and again this may be on flawed science I grant you, that we should be looking at ways to implant a computer INTO our brains. A computer that will be able to lift all of the logic and maths problems that we tend to struggle with into a CPU which we know can be very, very good at dealing with those sorts of things. Therefore freeing up another part of our organic brain to be used for something else. Then who knows, in a few generations it might begin to develop in ways we could never imagine and start solving problems like…how do I live forever inside a robot?

This has been a rant brought to you by Elliot and for anyone who did not enjoy it, I promise to get back to writing stuff with my very next post.

Ja Ne.

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