Captain Kirk's comments on the future of our planet

Christine Wheelwright

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I found this an interesting read:


We have had several interesting discussions about future technology on these boards. Personally, I tend to be fairly pessimistic (see past threads regarding faster than light travel and the difficulties of, say, getting to Mars any time soon). Shatner seems to be implying that SF is a culprit because it encourages us to think that tech can solve all our problems (while I think idiots like Musk do way more damage with extravagant, frankly ridiculous, projections for the near future).

So, I'm with Shatner on this one. How about everyone else?
 
I found this an interesting read:


We have had several interesting discussions about future technology on these boards. Personally, I tend to be fairly pessimistic (see past threads regarding faster than light travel and the difficulties of, say, getting to Mars any time soon). Shatner seems to be implying that SF is a culprit because it encourages us to think that tech can solve all our problems (while I think idiots like Musk do way more damage with extravagant, frankly ridiculous, projections for the near future).

So, I'm with Shatner on this one. How about everyone else?
Absolutely. I’m in agreement with him.
 
We get filled up with ideas and views of better realities based on big dreams and promises from entertainment (including us SF writers) and industries. Reality does not bend to these ideas of 'Intelligent life forms have ownership of the planet' but reminds us that we must cooperate with it in a stewardship, or do our self's in.

Enough of that. I am a lifelong armature astronomer and growing up in the mid 60's and have seen/read all kinds of SF stories my whole life, and some do 'Sound' feasible. But when I look at Jupiter, Saturn, Orion Nebula or Andromeda Galaxy, I think the same; nope. This planet is our only home. We could try to terraform Mars, but where is all the needed water going to come from? Not from Earth! So, from where and how and how long would that take? Earth is our home, and we have a stewardship towards it.

I could say more, but I'm stopping here. Intriguing post @Christine Wheelwright!
 
I found this an interesting read:


We have had several interesting discussions about future technology on these boards. Personally, I tend to be fairly pessimistic (see past threads regarding faster than light travel and the difficulties of, say, getting to Mars any time soon). Shatner seems to be implying that SF is a culprit because it encourages us to think that tech can solve all our problems (while I think idiots like Musk do way more damage with extravagant, frankly ridiculous, projections for the near future).

So, I'm with Shatner on this one. How about everyone else?
I don't think SF is the culprit, because a vast majority of people don't even believe there is a problem that needs solving. SF just provides some hope for the rest of us that money and tech can overcome mass stupidity.
 
Interesting @Christine Wheelwright. I wrote about this very question and Captain Kirk was a central theme of the debate. Here it is if anyone is interested -> Why Technology Won't Save Us.

As you point out, solving the World's problems depends on will and motivation. I was tending to think only of the limits of technology and our tendency to misunderstand it, and to overestimate the scale of what it can do for us (even under ideal human conditions). This thread should probably come with a health warning for negative content :ROFLMAO:
 
I applaud William Shatner for using his celebrity status to highlight climate change and biodiversity. Given his penchant for dramatic overreach, though, I don't feel he his putting blame on science fiction for these problems. I would place science fiction as being reactive to the current state of the world at the time it is written rather than proactively causing future conditions. I do, however, believe in technology. I do recognize that advances in technology have had major, unintended side effects, but I also believe that technology advancement is the only way that these effects will be overcome. The only other alternative is go backwards and endure at least a generation of pain and suffering as the population adjusts to life without modern technology.
 
From


I continued my self-guided tour and turned my head to face the other direction, to stare into space. I love the mystery of the universe. I love all the questions that have come to us over thousands of years of exploration and hypotheses. Stars exploding years ago, their light traveling to us years later; black holes absorbing energy; satellites showing us entire galaxies in areas thought to be devoid of matter entirely… all of that has thrilled me for years… but when I looked in the opposite direction, into space, there was no mystery, no majestic awe to behold . . . all I saw was death.

...

It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna . . . things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.
 
Related:


Lovecraft's cosmicism was a result of his feeling of humanity's existential helplessness in the face of what he called the "infinite spaces" opened up by scientific thought, and his belief that humanity was fundamentally at the mercy of the vastness and emptiness of the cosmos.[11] In his fictional works, these ideas are often explored humorously ("Herbert West–Reanimator," 1922), through fantastic dream-like narratives ("The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath," 1927), or through his well-known Cthulhu Mythos ("The Call of Cthulhu," 1928, and others). Common themes related to cosmicism in Lovecraft's fiction are the insignificance of humanity in the universe[12] and the search for knowledge ending in disaster.[13]
 

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