Friday, November 28, 2014

Societal Implications of Alien Contact (part 5)

One of the biggest effects alien contact would have on humanity is religious. Many believe that discovering alien life would throw some religions into chaos, with people questioning their origins and wondering if the aliens themselves might have created them. This would also lead to new religions forming, with people worshiping the aliens. We've already seen a number of cults, including Scientologists and Raelists, who believe aliens are a form of angel or supernatural being deserving of worship, so imagine what would happen if alien contact was established! However, to those that think the existence of alien life challenges belief in God, the question remains: who, then, created the aliens?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Societal Implications of Alien Contact (part 4)

Alien science may be light-years ahead of ours, literally—it is likely that if we encounter intelligent alien life, they have traveled the stars at faster-than-light (FTL) speeds. If this knowledge was shared, the immense shift in our space programs would be staggering to imagine. Planetary colonization on distant worlds would no longer be out of reach, mining operations on asteroids and other planets might yield more abundant resources, and a new age of exploration would begin. Alien science might also improve our understanding of energy, and hopefully clean energy could replace fossil fuels. Medical science might extend our lifespans, eradicate disease, and possibly even eradicate genetic disorders. Yet with all of this new information, we might also head down a path that would challenge our morals and ethics. Aliens may not regard life as we do, and their views may not align with ours!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Societal Implications of Alien Contact (part 3)

Another situation that is very likely to develop if we establish contact with aliens is related to disease. Consider how people from one nation migrating to another have brought with them foreign diseases that natives are unprepared for. While the carriers might have built up an immunity to the disease, others might become deathly ill from the same pathogen. Aliens from another world are likely to bring with them new diseases, and could potentially endanger the entire human race. However, alien medical technology might also be so far advanced that humanity could benefit. Perhaps the aliens have discovered a cure for cancer, or a way to prevent infections from viruses. Ultimately, though, we might be exchanging one problem for another—Ebola and cancer might be no match for alien medical technology, but what about diseases they haven't been able to cure, and have brought with them?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Societal Implications of Alien Contact (part 2)

If we discovered that we were not alone in the universe, the military implications of this knowledge would be tremendous. Even if intelligent alien life communicated friendly intent, there would be a great amount of distrust as we tried to discern their motives. The military would have to be ready for the worst case scenario and remain prepared in case a benevolent introduction to the aliens was just a ruse. If aliens did evidence intentions of aggressive conquest, the military might be the only hope we have of standing against an alien attack. On the other end of the spectrum, the military might also be necessary to protect the aliens from us—fear of the unknown might cause some of us to exhibit hate and racism against the aliens, and the military might be necessary to keep order. The introduction of alien beings might also create mass panic, considering the results of the 1938 radio broadcast of Orson Wells's “The War of the Worlds,” an alien invasion story produced in a manner to seem realistic, with unexpected results—people panicked, thinking the earth was really being invaded by aliens. Some even jumped off buildings to their deaths in fear of the alien invasion!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Societal Implications of Alien Contact (part 1)

Lately, there have been more apparent sightings of UFO activity than ever before, and it seems that almost every week there is a new claim on some website that a rock on Mars is something significant: a skull, a statue, or even a rat! What if there really is intelligent life out there--are we prepared for the changes contact with aliens would bring? If contact was made, it is likely (considering all the UFO sightings) that aliens have technology superior to our own. If this technology was shared, imagine how our society would change! Consider the change that the internet brought about in society, or the development of the smart phone—we can communicate anywhere in the world instantly, we have access to a wealth of information on any topic, people can share videos in moments with millions of people, the list goes on. There have been staggering changes in our society in the last twenty years alone with these technologies, but what impact would even more advanced alien technology have upon our lives? We may be teleporting instantly to any place on the globe, communicating with our thoughts, or possibly uploading our consciousnesses to an advanced form of the internet. And that's just what we can currently conceive within our own paradigm of reality! History has shown—when an advanced culture meets with a simpler culture, the advanced culture eventually overrides the other.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Solar Echoes Comics (part 11)

 (click to enlarge)
This is the last of our comics for now. I hope you enjoyed them over the past two weeks! Think of this last one as a "Happy Thanksgiving" comic!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Solar Echoes Comics (part 7)

I have a few more comics to share this week. We're actually in talks with an artist right now who is interested in doing a comic series for Solar Echoes! I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, enjoy today's comic (click to enlarge)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Solar Echoes Comics (part 1)

I made a few comics a while ago, using artwork designed to look like it was done by a 5 year-old. (I think the artist did a nice job of capturing that look!) The backdrop space art was done by Matthew Hannum. I'll put up a few more comics this week. Enjoy!

(click to enlarge)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Developing Technology (part 5)

Though there are concerns that robots might someday take over the world, we can at least enjoy some of the benefits of a robot-integrated society until they do. Robots can perform jobs we aren't willing to do, and do jobs that are extremely dangerous. Already, robots are being considered for the medical work, and not just surgery or medicine delivery: robots could deal with Ebola patients. They could run diagnostic tests on infected patients, clean hospital rooms, and even bury the dead. As long as we don't plug robots with advanced artificial intelligence into our defense systems, maybe we can co-exist with them. They may even help the human race survive!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Developing Technology (part 4)

3D-printing is set to totally change the way we live in the future. We thought that Amazon delivering packages by drones flying to our doorsteps was the wave of the future, but 3D printing may make many drone deliveries entirely unnecessary. Imagine logging into Amazon and placing your order, paying, and then clicking “print.” Your 3D printer hums to life and prints out the object you just paid for! This is not at all far-fetched, or even that far away—we can already scan objects with 3D scanners and send the digital information to a 3D printer on the other side of the world to be printed out. However, what are the implications of this technology upon our society? Some items that are not so easily attained (such as weapons) might be available through illicit websites. Already, people have been experimenting with printing 3D guns, and although police say that firing a 3D gun is more dangerous to the user than the person he's aiming at, people are finding ways around this...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Developing Technology (part 3)

Are we finally entering the age of laser guns? The Navy has high-powere laser technology, known as LaWS (Laser Weapons System), which it has successfully used to take down airborne targets. China also has laser weapons, which it has tested with a 100% hit rate in shooting down drones. The U.S. Army is testing the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) and has successfully shot down 150 mortar shells and small UAVs during tests. Both the HEL MD and the Chinese laser currently uses a 10kW laser, though Army has plans to upgrade to more powerful lasers in the future. Are we going to be seeing portable laser guns next? They won't look like the laser blasters in Star Wars, however—lasers fire at the speed of light, which is too fast for the human eye to see.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Developing Technology (part 2)

In the recent sci-fi movie, “Edge of Tomorrow,” soldiers wear robotic suits that give them enhanced strength and mobility, not to mention integrated weaponry. South Korean shipyard workers are already using “exo-suits” that allow them increased strength, though these suits are still in their very early stages. Imagine what we could do with this technology if developed further! Risks to workers could be reduced with the use of exo-suits, new athletic events could emerge, and of course the military will find ways for exo-suits to enhance our soldiers . Instead of handing over all of our jobs to robots in the future, we can utilize exo-suit technology to perform some of the same tasks, but with human operators making human decisions. Exo-suits could potentially save countless jobs, plus, producing the exo-suits themselves would create even more jobs. A lot of doomsayers are predicting that robots will take over 1/3 of our jobs in the future, but perhaps we can cut that number down significantly with exo-suits?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Developing Technology (part 1)

Check out the article (and video) below, this is an interesting device! It wasn't mentioned, but I was thinking about the implications of something like this being developed further along in the future.
This motion capture glove device transfers the movements of your hand into computer language that can move a robotic hand, and it even provides haptic feedback so you can physically sense virtual objects you "touch" with the hand in virtual reality. Think about how this could be used further: we could record the precise hand movements of, say, a surgeon or musician. Then, someone could put on the glove, and "play" the recording so that it moves their hand in the same way. This device could be used to teach hand movements and help refine them. A guitarist could play a tremelo on the guitar with one on, and record that movement. Then, the device could put it on a student and play the movement back, allowing the student to learn the movements through repetitive sensation. This concept could be applied on a larger scale, too--if we can do this with a glove, we can do the same thing with a larger, robotic body suit. Dancing, martial arts, and other physical disciplines could be taught through such a device.