Sunday, 27 August 2017

A Star Trek Future

A Star Trek Future For Humanity, or I Wouldn’t Be Starting From Here,
 If I Were You
Beam me up Scotty!
How many times have people you know, or indeed, yourself, expressed the wish to be ‘lifted’ out of this World, away from its madness and vexatious cruelty, to a fair and equitable technological paradise?
In my case I’ve heard it quite a few times.
Of course, the wish itself is a Fantasy, just a Day Dream, but what if it was really possible, for Humanity to build itself a future, that did indeed resemble Star Trek?
 Technology has progressed by leaps and bounds over the last hundred years. Who knows what might be discovered in the next hundred?
So possibilities are there, maybe not for ‘Warp Drive’ and ‘Matter Transporters’, but for a High Tech egalitarian society, a Planet at peace with itself, and outward looking to the Stars.
Chance would be a fine thing, most people will say at this point.
So, why is that? What is holding Humanity back from focussing its efforts on realising the Dream of a Technological, Equitable, Paradise?
Well, obviously the Humans are.
Humans band together. Humans form groups. Humans steal from each other. Humans embrace feuds and wars that last millennia.
So, the real problem that needs addressing, is how do you bring together the entire planet, so that the whole potential knowledge base and research capability of Humanity can be focussed, on the common good, and on the development of space travel?
I made the big assumption that Space Travel is key to a Star Trek future, and most Trekkies would be nodding their heads quite vigorously right now.
Space Travel does not have to be essential, but it’s nice for the story.
It also gives the boffins something to do.
So, how do you bring people together?
I have the box set of Star Trek the original series, for research purposes, and I will be trawling it for hints of how they may have reached their advanced technological and social state.
As far as I remember, (I was a big fan), they speak of great wars and unrest, to a certain extent mitigated by ‘oppressed parties’ emigrating from Earth, Khan for example, which led to the eventual unification of Earth, and with the Vulcans, eventually the United Federation of Planets.
So, the implication is that the early unification of Earth, was mostly by military force, and the successor ‘Empire’, evolving into a ‘Republic’.
Later films have first contact with the Vulcans played out as a key influence in Humanities unification and advancement.
We have to assume, I think, that realistically, Humanity in its isolated spot in the Universe, cannot expect a Humanoid Alien Race, to just drop by, and say hello.
So, Humanity is on its own for the forseeable future.
The question then must be, how do you organise one country, in such a way, that it is both attractive to outside countries, fair to its own citizens, and economically and militarily dominant?
This would have to be a country, that can maintain a decent and fair internal Government, with fair economic distribution, and yet still have the power to annex, or subsume, other parts of the world into itself?
Which countries then, are likely to fit this description?
Well, of course there aren’t any at the present.
China has some of the necessary attributes, and maybe, with some internal alterations, it might be a civilization that could in effect take over the world, and create the foundation for a highly research focussed society.
Other countries could with more difficulty, make that leap, it all depends on how much blood shed is envisaged in the unification process.
It is clear that the Star Trek Federation, is a Humanist, but tolerant, regime, which, unfortunately means that very many countries around the world at the moment, would be culturally unsuitable in their present state, to take part. For example, they don’t have the Death penalty or indeed, the repression of Women. As far as economic privilege is concerned, they don’t say that much about it.
On board ship, they talk of Military Ranks, Shore Leave, Retirement, and so on. They don’t mention Pay Packets, Pay Rises or Home buying.
It is probably safe to assume they have some Monetary system. They do have travelling Merchants (Trouble with Tribbles), but little mention is made of large corporations.
Robots, and Computers exist, but are not dominant. Just look at the bridge of the Enterprise, quite a large crew, handling tasks you might think could be done by one computer alone. In my novel Metacosmoclypse, I have few shipboard computers, with the justification that Computers had been ‘hacked’ by hostile aliens in the past, and human crew, were less vulnerable.
The crew of the Enterprise, does not include Robots, with crewmen handling every apparent task. Could that be seen as a conscious economic policy? A policy to provide jobs for people maybe?
In a later series, Lt Cdr Data, comes along, with the story arc, that he was a one off, an aberration, a sentient AI, with the implication that such were unknown to Federation science.
In the original series various alien artefacts were purported to have sentience, even a Planet itself in one episode.
All in all though, the Star Trek future depicted in the series, does not show technology replacing Humanity, but working alongside.
This is a major cultural difference between the present day reality of life and the dream of the future.
Technology is almost entirely harnessed to reduce costs, and the chief cost is Labour, Employees. So, a shift in attitude towards technological advancement is required. Technology used and developed, to increase quality of output rather than simply reduce cost, technology to add value to production without simply removing value from the Collected Workforce.  
We live under a system that is entirely dependent on ‘Market Forces’, a system that does not support development that is best for Humanity, merely supports development that achieves a Profit.
And even then the system is distorted by the sheer size and financial resources of some of its Players, people and corporations who can muster finances that can maintain Loss making situations until the competition is gone, who can warp whole markets, societies and communities with the click of a mouse button.
How do you win these people round? How do you convince these people that what they are doing is often quite wrong? How do you get them to focus their resources on creating a future that benefits everyone, and not just themselves?
The answer is, you probably can’t.
This is really sad.
So the question should not be, how do we create a Star Trek future, but how do we bring peace and common sense to the present.
How does Humanity stop its endless cycle of Wars, and Exploitation?
What does it take to make Humans sit back and say, “You know what, we’re going to stop fighting and robbing each other.”

I don’t think even the gods can be expected to know the answer to that one.

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