Re: Travelling the Stars

Christian Weisgerber (
10 Dec 1998 18:10:34 +0100

In article <>, Terry Donaghe <> wrote:

> He seemed convinced that humanity won't find a way to circumvent the
> speed of light.

It isn't possible according to our current scientific understanding, and as Drexler explains, you can't predict *scientific* progress, so we'll have to contend ourselves with the lightspeed limit in rational discourse.

> One of the things that always bugged me about travelling sub-light
> speeds was the incredible time it takes to travel between stars. [...]

As you noticed, that isn't really a problem in itself--besides, the universe doesn't give a damn whether we like its laws--but only due to limitations of our bodies. Let's face it, homo sapiens is ill-adapted for space travel. We are too short-lived, we can't go easily into suspension, we could use better resistance against radiation, etc.

I think interstellar travel with present-day humans, as taken for granted as a convention by much of the ScF genre, is a pretty silly and unrealistic idea. If we're going to the stars, it will be either a much changed version of us or our mind children. Watery meat bags it ain't gonna be.

> 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.

Assuming a scenario of uploading into some convenient technology, why should it be a pain? If you can't occupy yourself for a few years (decades, centuries, millennia, ...), just go into suspension. Sleep. Personally, I have a lot of things to catch up on.

> 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?

If you allow yourself to get bored, it's your very own fault.

> 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 guess this is a general question, that isn't really related to interstellar travel at all.

I dunno. How could *we* know?

Christian "naddy" Weisgerber        
  >H Deutsche Transhumanismus-Mailingliste
    echo 'subscribe trans-de' | mail