Astro Shepherds

They will steward complex life to the solar system, maybe beyond..

What if instead a simple ark, the flood heroes and a ground crew built a craft with a sail and a destination?  A team would help build and prepare the travelers. The payload would be carefully organized in a way to optimize the journey and the target.  Just enough of a compliment to complete the journey and settlement.

When calamity strikes, it is difficult to find skills for both the tragedy / transition, as well as the post-apocalyptic reboot. The traveler must react appropriately to the challenges of the storm, but also withstand the slow steps needed to re-establish on the other side.

The need for the soldier and the farmer suggests settler waves that arrived over a period of time. The first arrivals need to establish basic infrastructure and security as a way of lessening the initial start-up in a new environment for those that follow.

Once the initial air, water, shelter and transportation are in place, building expanded capability become crucial, which includes food production, waste management, and resource harvesting. The complete system must account for all factors, a significant advance on Earth’s more gentle environment, where air and other life resources are more plentiful.

Psychological training is often spoken about in our quest to press beyond the Earth. Long missions away, in close proximity to crew-mates must account for tension, relief and hope. The nomad, the journey, the destination camp must become one.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a significant driver in our world. The best humans are often damaged by situations they have faced, and their struggle in the aftermath. Humans are formed by the monumental experiences of their lives, and these tend to be traumatic. You never know until it’s nearly gone is a human mantra.

Those who are less scarred may be preferred, but a long voyage will inflict its own extreme neural mapping.  This suggests the complimentary value of veterans more comfortable to the inhospitalities of such a journey, and provide a balance with more delicate souls.

There is a camaraderie among cosmonauts.  This new kind of human will likely manifest itself more firmly as humans begin to create themselves a network of stellar posts and the numbers of people out there, and travel between these places. Making human space travel more common place will have a significant impact on humanity. Human society functions better with diversity of people and tasks performed.

Even today’s second generation astronauts have begun to specialize away from the pure space pilots of the Apollo era. Terran explorers will become builders and settlers, and still, space travelers will feel themselves part of the extra-terrestrial community, not just the first six people on a long mission to X.

Another important consideration ahead is understanding which complement of symbiotic biology of species humans will take with them.  A host of bacteria, fungi, insects, plants and animals that together represent an advantageous biosphere for humans would accompany establishment missions.  Such multi-species payloads would be the new Noah’s Ark.

There are advances by scientists towards ‘de-extinction’, finding ways to re-animate lost species.  Work towards artificial uterus was released in 2017.

wide_image

These kinds of biological breakthroughs combine to become an extraordinary tool-set.  They may have the long-term possibility that space missions could travel long term with the components needed to revive fauna and flora upon arrival.

You may not want to take woolly mammoth on an interstellar mission, but you would want a catalog of animals from which to select species, appropriate to the mission needs.  Maybe you’ll  need chickens or may you need fish.

Astro-shepherds will be the stewards to bring complex life to the solar system, maybe beyond.  This new cohort will include advanced non-biologicals, like robotic shepherd dogs and horses. Migration is our legacy, it is our destiny..

Samanyolu
Interplanetary Transport Network – ITN

 

Aroh Wendelin
2019/01

Evolution in non-biologicals

Starting with digital soup and integrated circuitry through to robotics and artificial intelligence, a new type of life emerges.

Artificial Evolution

As a decades long systems analyst, I have seen a lot of code written, some of it used, some of it surpassing expectations, most of it, just conversational, passing like water under the bridge.

We are creating non-biological lifeforms, not so much a species as an entire fauna.  The specific creation/creature does not matter as much as the micro-climate it comes from.  The cultural community that speaks and works within their framework is crucial.  Human thought and attention is the food source of our digital creations.

It’s interesting to note that human generated system lifecycles follow the evolutionary tract.

Digital Soup

Single cell systems serving various tasks were the norm for a long time.  Software was installed like spores placed on digitally enabled media and performed tasks written into its code like genes.

#!/bin/ksh
#This script will return the total disk space in system.
df -t | awk 'BEGIN {tot=0} $2 == "total" {tot=tot+$1} END 
{print (tot*512)/1000000}'

 

There’s no thinking outside the box at this bacterial level.  If you wanted to send a page to be printed on the new printer in the office, you’d have to get out the drivers and install them.

 

next_disk

 

But some of the media were machines capable of properly hosting the software for long periods.  The first time I logged into a machine that had been running for ten years without interruption, I got goosebumps.

xm03

Digital – Geological strata

Functions and features that performed better survived, while others did not and became the decayed non-organic code from which others could better grow.  A digital detritus mesh underpins a thriving lichen software, and ir is now a significant part of landscape.  Versions are layers, and code snippets and designs evolve in rich test beds of older systems, or even independantly, to be more effective models.

layer

The code evolves in the next versions, and integrated code has found its way into many sensory and thought-based systems.  Data capture began to dramatically expand as demand for it grew. Like early photosynthesis produced oxygen and changed the world, computer systems changed the environment around them, new ways of thinking, better methodologies, enhanced scientific breakthroughs.

Business intelligence was born to create useful information from ever increasing data streams.  I always thought a key performance indicator (kpi)  to be an artificial nerve, sensitive to a specific stimulus, and a dashboard a primitive brain.

kpi-dashboard-template-300x275

 

Digital third eye

Next came wide spread, multi-cellular systems with specialized, collaborative, symbiotic skills.  Today individuals create a personal digital entity and use it to communicate with systems, such as work, family, friends, travel plans, banking.  It’s become a little like your shadow.  Without it, others might suspect you not to be real.

infohighway

 

eTickets please

The 21st  century Ark will certainly have a number of integrated digital (re: paired bit) systems / species.  Their place is assumed.

 

Aroh Wendelin
2016/11 (updated 2017-07-12)