The Aliens Are Coming

Stephen Hawking talks about how we should hide from aliens:

I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach. … If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.

At least until we get our own massive ships after looting the Earth for goodies and go out on the prowl.

This is the plot for “The War of the Worlds” after all. Just the distances may be many orders of magnitude greater.

Frontier: The Dichotomy of Fulfillment

In an earlier post, I discussed two examples of Citizenship, reproduced here for your convenience:

Chera Nyumba was born in a small village in Africa, in an area formerly known as Zambia. She lives with her husband and their three children. While the children are at school, Chera and Enzi work in their fields, collecting their crops. In the evenings, they watch and listen to the news feeds and Enzi tells the children stories until they fall asleep. Chera is interested in the environment around her as much as it affects her family and work. Chera is a Competent Citizen; she is part of her community and a functional, productive member of society.

Kesho has taken the skill “Citizen” at Professional. She grew up in the shadow of Kumbu and after her school years travelled through the Western European Expanses and the Americas. She now works with two Experts and four humans in the Explorer Crew Selection committee. For her leisure time, she enjoys sex and researching Explorer Disruptive Element reports. Kesho contributes to her community less than she contributes to Human Unity as a whole.

The dichotomy in Human Unity is plain to see. Kesho (a very popular name) spends her days in the company of powerful artificial intelligences selecting a few high performers from the planet’s most capable applicants for missions off-world and reading reports about possible alien activity light years from Earth. Meanwhile Chera spends her days manually harvesting organically grown crops in the fields. Neither is considered low or high work – but they both represent distinct life choices for these individuals.

While it is likely that Chera and her husband use some technological enhancements (a Harvester Specialist – an sapient machine designed for collecting growth produce) for her work in the fields, she has dedicated her life to the raising of crops, the nurturing of her family and the bonds of community life. In the eyes of Human Unity, Chera will receive as much respect for her life choices as Kesho (and in some circles, more – as Human Unity still holds the individuals who laboured their way out of extinction in high regard). It is the main priority of Human Unity to provide a feeling of self-value to individuals as part of a larger collective.

Chera and Kesho receive the same rewards in life. They have no need to work (as the society is post-scarcity and concepts such as trade and barter are somewhat alien to them) but they choose to contribute to their society in their individual ways and are rewarded with the respect of peers and a comfortable life. If Kesho or Chera decided to change their work, to pursue a different career, they would retrain and change and society would continue to function.

Outside of their work, Chera and Kesho enjoy their lives and this is a central tenet in Human Unity philosophy. In terms of overall philosophy, there would be strong parallels with utilitarianism and ethical or altrustic hedonism.

Human Unity individuals can think as they wish and feel as they wish and have the benefit of freedom of expression without retaliation. They can pursue individual tastes with the exclusion of harm to others, but including pursuits which would, by early 21st Century observers, be concluded to be immoral. And they have the freedom to unite and demonstrate. The core belief is that individuals within Human Unity have the freedom to be individuals.