Travelling the Stars

Terry Donaghe (
Wed, 9 Dec 1998 06:26:03 +1100 (EST)

I recently finished "The Engines of Creation" and I was thinking about some of the things that Drexler said. He seemed convinced that humanity won't find a way to circumvent the speed of light. One of the things that always bugged me about travelling sub-light speeds was the incredible time it takes to travel between stars.

However, if we find a way to indefinitely extend our lifespans this means we could live a really, really long time. Further, if we find a way to make our bodies much less fragile (through uploading or just reengineering our bodies with nano), then we could potentially live for millions of years.

I'm wondering if a human were to have lived a few hundred thousand years, how much of a pain would it be to travel between the stars at sub-light speeds. Would 5 or 10 years or even a thousand even be a significant amount of time for a being who has lived many many times that?

In other words, 500,000 years from now when I decide to travel to Star X which is 1500 light years away, taking me, let's say 3000 years to get to (conservatively of course), will I bother getting bored? 3000 years is .06% of 500,000 years. I'm about 30 years old now and .06% of my life span is .18 years or a little more than two months - assuming my math is right - is it?

My question is, would 3,000 years feel like just a couple of months to a being more than a half-million years old? Is there any way to know?

I get the feeling that as our lifespans begin to get longer and longer we, as a species, will become more patient and less impulsive. A normal human observer looking at a community of long-lived posthumans might even think they were immobile statues.

I dunno.

Any ideas, thoughts? Is this old territory?



Terry Donaghe:
Individual, Anarcho-Capitalist, Environmentalist, Transhumanist, Mensan

The Millennium Bookshelf: <>

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