Category Archives: Doomsday

Back to Dystopia

http://www.whitenoise.city/articles/apocalyptic-london-wells-orwell
Lexi Mize
The author does a sweeping job of collecting dystopian references, but just one or two notes on /why/ humanity spends so much time and effort imagining the Apocalypse: 1) it’s easier to envision destruction than slow, methodical change. 2) we’d rather the world end with us than continue on without us (what will we miss?)

My personal favorite (not mentioned) is that the act (and art) of survival has been lost on us. Your book The Knowledge is a perfect example of this. Without the need to struggle to survive, we’re left to ponder the why of existence.

Let’s face it, surviving in the first world is not much of a challenge. In other lands, sure, the everyday acquisition of food, water, safety, shelter are struggles. They’re living in a dystopia — today. We facebook meanderers probably worry about other more mundane or trivial aspects of modern life. Worries that we know have no consequence.

Envisioning the End allows us to, for a time, picture and dream of a time when our every step, our every decision might result in tragedy or triumph. Being forced to live in such a precarious world would imbue an edge of excitement, stir our basic evolutionary skills at surviving, expose that frisson of living that our mundane lives fail to provide.

 


CMEs: Fermi Paradox solution?

One of the theoretical solutions to Fermi’s Paradox is the Rare Earth theory.

Fermi’s Paradox, if you’re unfamiliar, is the quandary that asks if intelligent life is probable in the galaxy and/or universe — why have we not seen evidence of it? (Aside from our own?)

There are so called “solutions” to this question and you can research them if you care to, but the one that I find most compelling is the one that supposes “Earth is rare.” Isaac Arthur’s Youtube channel has a Fermi’s Paradox compendium video which explains, in detail, this and the other solutions (Video).

There is one aspect of this Rare Earth solution that seems to go unexamined. And it is this: That Coronal Mass Ejections, CMEs, will have a severe and recurring negative affect on any technologically advanced society.

Humanity has experienced just one CME of a size to do it serious damage. You may or may not be familiar with the 1859 Carrington Event and the government reports on the next CME that will hit us (as well as the July 2012 CME that barely missed us), but you should.

CMEs have the potential, some think slight, but I think enormous, to disrupt electricity generation and transmission. I believe few people, if anybody, have theorized the extent to which a CME (every few hundred years — or more frequently) will have on an advanced technological society…

Or what it will have on OUR advanced technological society. Our electricity dependent civilization has never experienced a CME of Carrington level.

The solution to Fermi’s Paradox would hold that CMEs slamming electricity enabled civilizations anywhere in the galaxy or universe, over and over, each time knocking them back hundreds of years of their progress, wasting resources (like irreplaceable fossil fuels) will, in the end, suppress such civilizations from becoming electro-magnetically communicating / space-faring species.

Periodic coronal mass ejections would continually reset alien intelligence species’ societal progress. After every CME that wipes out their electricity generation and transmission capability their society will collapse. Over and over. CME’s happen again and again, in cycles.

The next massive Carrington level CME to strike Earth is going to, potentially, collapse our technological society. If a pair of massive CMEs were to hit during our summer, 10 to 16 hours apart — say goodbye to civilization in the Northern Hemisphere.

Here’s a theoretical scenario that explores this possibility:
Blue Across the Sea – Epilogue

Most experts who analyze the impact of CMEs, I think, underestimate the destructive force they pose. I believe that, specifically, the millions of miles of wire strung in every city and state, in every business building and home, in every subway, train station, in every airliner, in every container ship, in every facet of society — WILL be affected. WILL react to the magnetic plasma attack that a CME represents. And that this reality, here-to-for unexamined and unrealized, will collapse human society.

When it happens to us then it could happen to any galactic intelligent species. This, in my opinion, represents a valid solution to the Fermi Paradox.