Transcription of a Speech Given by Professor Buckley, 7643AD

9 Feb

Our civilisation is facing a crisis.

Not a war. Our supremacy is assured. None of the barbaric races come close to matching our technology and all the races at the same level as ourselves are friendly. Indeed, what do we have to fight over? There is an infinity of power and raw materials in our universe, enough for every race.

Nor do we face the threat of natural disasters. We have colonies scattered throughout the galaxy and small enclaves in a dozen different galaxies. A supernova poses no threat to our civilisation. The threats that made our ancestors fear for their very existences no longer exist.

Our crisis is more subtle, but none the less dangerous. It is a existential crisis.

Let us consider our society. We have created a civilisation where there is no hunger, no poverty – where even the greediest of citizens can enjoy a surfeit of resources. Our power is so great that we have beaten death itself, with our citizens effectively immortal, their bodies improved to the point where we can truly claim to be smarter than our ancestors. A hundred different subsets of humanity exist within our Confederation. Our children are heir to the greatest power ever known to exist.

And all of this raises a question. What is our purpose in life?

It has been nearly five hundred years since we made a significant technological breakthrough. We appear to have reached the limits of what can be accomplished within our universe. Hundreds of millions of humans – and the AIs, our children – have failed to envisage any further developments for our society. We have begun to stagnate in ways that would have surprised our ancestors. But is that really surprising? What is the point of human existence if there is nothing to strive for?

And yet we seem unwilling to admit that we have a crisis.

Our society has attempted to cope with the unspoken crisis in a number of different ways. Some have thrown themselves into hedonism, endlessly pursuing pleasure in an infinity of possible forms. Others have chosen to abandon technology and live on worlds as our ancestors once lived, hunting and farming for food. Still others have transcribed themselves into AIs, or merged with others to create the first hive-mind intelligence, or started interfering in barbaric societies to help them overcome their primitive existence and develop true post-scarcity societies. And some, the sociopaths, go mad and seek to impose their will upon their fellow humans.

Why should they not? If death is beaten, what does it matter if millions are killed?

We are not the first to have these problems. The Ancients faced it too, billions of years ago. Their solution was to develop a device that would allow them to enter a black hole and harness the power of the quantum singularity past the event horizon, using it to alter the quantum foam directly. They became gods, abandoning their mortal forms and embarking on a voyage that took them out of our universe and into realms of untold splendour. We have puzzled over the mystery of their departure because we felt that the end of their civilisation could have implications for our own. We were right. They have shown us the way to advance and become gods.

It is within our power to build the same device and use it to manipulate the quantum foam, to allow our race to transcend the limitations of our mortal existence and rise to heights beyond our ability to imagine, or comprehend. I tell you that we must build the device, before the existential crisis destroys our entire civilisation.

We have been mortals too long. Let us become gods.

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One Response to “Transcription of a Speech Given by Professor Buckley, 7643AD”

  1. The Deposed King February 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    Sociopath anyone? Lets make sure the entities in the quantum foam aren’t determined to keep us out and crush us if we try to become gods like them.

    Perhaps a few fleets of ships and colonies hidden within event horizons first.

    The Deposed King

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