2016/12/14 Reference #2
Finney and Jones: chapter 1
Page 15, Paragraph 1
As quoted in the post for 2016/10/12, the authors open the chapter with a reminder of the exploring nature of the human species.
My observation on 2016/10/12 was that the impulse to explore has not been equally evident across the population, and indeed, it would seem that contentment with the local neighborhood would be advantageous for a population of a habitat moving slowly away from Earth.
It has been proposed by some that if communities set off in slow habitats on journeys away from Earth and from the Solar System, that they would be overtaken later on by vehicles able to travel at greater speeds, and by implication, that the slow journeys should not have been undertaken.
I consider such reasoning to be superficial at best. A city in a continent on Earth does not cease to be relevant because a visitor arrives by jet plane instead of by ox cart. My expectation is that each mobile community will build up knowledge and capability over time, as digital communications facilitates exchanges of economic value between the habitats and the Earth and each other. If fast transportation becomes available at some point, the slowly moving habitats will no doubt become destinations for some, as well as departure points for others who may have been born and raised inside the enclosed environments.
Indeed, I can easily imagine growth of intra-habitat transportation systems, to answer the desire of young people in particular, to venture out away from home. There will more than likely arise specializations of knowledge or technology or culture that will attract talented young people, so the ability to physically move between habitats would help to answer the need of some to get away from the familiar home environment.
A consideration that might influence the degree of movement between habitats, or indeed, between the Earth (assuming fast transportation) and habitats, is the risk of biological agents. Even on Earth, in the 21st century, we are facing great risks as biological agents which have developed in isolation in remote parts of the planet, come into the range of movement of human beings who have no natural resistance to them. Thus, I would expect strong and rigorous enforcement of quarantine policies as time goes on.
A high speed transport from Earth, for example, might find that visits between passengers and the habitat dwellers would be mediated by thick glass walls, or even more likely, use of virtual reality systems to simulate direct interactions.
Finney and Jones close this paragraph with a reference, once again, to the "explorer's bent" that is "leading us to the stars".
Kim Stanley Robinson points out in "Aurora" that those who are born in a habitat after it has begun its journey from Earth may very well NOT share the impulse of the original passengers to undertake the voyage into the unknown. Such persons will find themselves unwiting participants in the grand adventure, and some of them may find themselves longing to escape. For such persons, the option of travelling to another habitat, or even back to Earth if technology allows at some point, would be psychologically beneficial to the individuals, and ultimately, to the respective communities.
May every member of The Knowledge forum grow financially, intellectually, socially and beyond.