Traveling through space has always been a dream of mine. It’s partly why I have relatively positive feelings towards No Man’s Sky. I can’t quite explain it sometimes, there is something about that game that just kind of speaks to me. Like Asimov’s Foundation Series, it reminds me of the bleakness of space. It’s this infinite cosmos that is full of both beauty and relentless death. Space is an incredibly big thing, an incredibly cold thing, all things that exist within it are eventually destroyed. I realize that’s true of anywhere in the known universe but I feel like the moment you leave your home planet is when it really becomes apparent.
Everything takes longer. The faster you get, the more you miss. To be a discoverer in the space age we will likely need to figure out some kind of incredible new technology or we will have to sacrifice our connection to the people who send us to the stars. Because the closer we get to the speed of light the more extreme the time dilation will become. Everyone we leave behind will be far beyond dead when we return. There is a great chance that they’ll have been entirely forgotten. Even the stone that might have once memorialized their final resting place would be overtaken and eroded to nothing.
It’s a haunting thing to me. But somehow it is also beautiful. There is sadness in this knowledge but somehow inspiring sadness. There will come a time when humanity becomes inexplicably separated by scales of time that we can barely perceive. That future with countless human like alien races is all but certain. They will all be the diverse diversions of our own genetic tree. How long, one wonders, before we forget our shared origin.
Almost immediate, if modern humans are any indication.