Skip to content

World’s Finest

5 May 2014

I was reading about the Alcubierre Drive (because of course I was) and about the NASA scientists who think they can make it work without a power plant the size of Jupiter (like, the actual size of the planet; I’m not just using it as a euphemism for “really big”). And while I was reading, I couldn’t help but wonder: why aren’t we putting ALL of the resources we have into faster-than-light travel?!

It all comes down to the main complaint the Vulcans had in the first seasons of Enterprise: we’re not ready.


Sure, we might very soon be technologically able to travel to other stars in a matter of weeks. From a resources standpoint, that’s something we definitely should do — find more natural resources, find habitable planets to put colonies on before our population gets out of control… I support all of these things.

But what if we should run into other intelligent life out there? That’s the thing I don’t think we’re not ready for.

We, as humans, are pretty great, and only getting better. But we’re not there yet. We still have petty governments and greed-fueled corporations running everything. We still have racism. We still tell our citizens who they can and can’t marry in a lot of the world. We still treat half the population (that’d be the ladies I’m talking about) as, at-best, second-class citizens in a disturbingly large number of countries. We still go to war.

I’d absolutely love it if we encountered intelligent alien life in my lifetime. But right now, I’d feel like someone was meeting my family for the first time, and several drunk cousins were shouting racial slurs and throwing beer cans at the new arrival’s head. I’m by no means a shining example of humanity myself, but at least I’m not going to get hammered and try to pants any aliens who we meet.

The good news is, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can see things changing, and I’ve seen humanity grow closer together, become more tolerant, and embrace our other human brothers and sisters at a fantastic rate just in the short time I’ve been alive.

We’re not ready. But I think we’re well on the way.

When do you think we’ll be ready to present humanity to the larger universe? What steps do you think we need to take?

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: