Question of the Week: October 8th, 2013

Welcome to this Tuesday’s Question of the Week! Feel free to leave your two cents’ worth and get some discussion happening.

I recently heard on a radio show that people could be living on Mars as soon as 2025 (no idea whether the science behind this is true or not though). If space-living becomes an option during your lifetime, would you go for it and move to another planet?

And as a bonus question: which sci-fi show or book do you think portrays what intergalactic life could be like best?

Personally, I am a huge Firefly fan, and I like how the show highlights the class/wealth discrepancies between people, even in the future. So I’m going to go with that universe, because I think it’s most realistic in that way. That said, I’m not sure whether I’d move out to another planet – unless I can be like River Song and expand my archaeology training to other species’ cultures. 😀

About Jo

Jo is an ancient history honours student in Australia, with a particular interest in gender and sexuality in antiquity. In her free time she devours books, tea and Doctor Who, but is honestly not that into cake, and proudly calls herself a feminist and an activist. She identifies an an aromantic asexual a little bit more every day. Jo also blogs at A Life Unexamined on feminism and asexuality.
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2 Responses to Question of the Week: October 8th, 2013

  1. Futurus Essay says:

    I think the explorer in me would leap at the opportunity to see another planet… Though I am rather attached to the Earth. I mean, it’s where I keep my stuff. As for the bonus question, well, ‘Dune’ wins points for me because it was the first science-fiction novel to show how difficult it would be to colonise a planet with a hostile environment… The depiction of space travel is nonsensical, but the science behind the ecological side of things is very solid. Also, that universe is very much like that of late antiquity, only with force-fields and lasers. But all in all, I think ‘Babylon 5’ is one of the truest depictions of space travel in a lot of ways– like ‘Firefly,’ it shows that people bring their imperfections and social inequalities into space. It’s not at all a utopian vision of the future. In fact, Earth’s government of the future descends into fascism fairly quickly. But we are left with abundant hope for the idea that ordinary people can make a difference. The daily lives of the characters take priority as much as over-arching good vs evil plot. The approach that the showrunner took was to make human technology feasible according to the laws of physics as we know them today, and leave scientifically implausible ideas to aliens. So, for instance the human spaceships rotate on their axes, so that the inertia simulates the effect of gravity within the ship. This uses a theory by NASA for a possible means to offset the freefall environment.

  2. Douglas Adams pretty much ruined the interstellar dream for me. I read the Hitchhiker’s world as intensely bleak and nihilistic, where the population is so vast that universal government is a sham, the corporations rule and fill the void with endless useless junk, and the sheer vastness of space and complexity of the physics used to travel it means that you can go for a morning’s commute and when you come back your children will have lost their whole youth in a daycare centre or you’ve accidentally slipped into an alternate dimension and you’ll probably never see your home again; a universe where only deliberately perpetuated falsehoods can give you any sense of belonging. And it makes so much sense that that’s how the universe probably would turn out that I’ve kinda lost faith in the idea.

    *puts a downer on everything*

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