by Andrew Martin
Driving the other day, I saw (and photographed) the car above. Let me get it out the way and say that bumper stickers usually mean you’re crazy. They also help you to find the pulse of the eccentricities that plague a certain part of town. That being said, I’m all for peace. When I’m in a bar and someone shoulder checks me without apologizing, it really pisses me off. I imagine that war is similar, but worse. Unfortunately, the owner of this bumper sticker is wrong because I am certain that there will, and should, be weapons in space.
There will be weapons in space
I mean, I get it. The driver was probably thinking, “Well, this planet is screwed but I might be able to convince the drivers behind me to, before we venture into space, give up on the greed, intolerance, and violence that has defined human civilization since day one.” That is admirable, but unlikely. If video games and movies are any indicator, we will have weapons and they will be the coolest ones yet. Potential examples include but are not limited to:
Powered Armor and Fighting Suits: This category contains the likes of Iron Man’s suit and the Gundam Mobile Suits. Who can possibly say those aren’t cool?
Energy Weapons: Star Trek phasers, Plasma Cannons, Star Wars “blasters”
The Grey Goo: An ever growing mass of self-replicating Nano machines that eventually expands into infinity while consuming all the matter in the universe. It’s a lot like the fame of the Kardashian family, but slightly better for society. While this isn’t exactly cool, it would be interesting to see.
There should be weapons on space
In 1961, Dr. Frank Drake developed the Drake Equation. The Drake equation attempts to estimate the likeliness of intelligent life in our galaxy, the Milky Way. It multiplies the following together:
-The rate of formation of suitable stars.
-The fraction of those stars which are orbited by planets.
-The number of Earth-like worlds per planetary system.
-The fraction of planets where intelligent life develops.
-The fraction of possible communicative planets.
-The “lifetime” of possible communicative civilizations.
With that equation, he came up with the estimation that there are 10,000 planets in the Milky Way containing intelligent life. Why does this matter? Well, I’ll let Stephan Hawking explain. He said, “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.” And by that he means, “look at white people.” White people set off on boats to explore the world in the 1492 and what followed was the death of millions and millions of people. The causes of which were anthropogenic; purposeful or otherwise. So, if aliens came, expect to get killed, enslaved, or just be pretty grumpy about it. We should be cultivating as many space weapons as possible. Then aliens can come, see our crazy space-guns, and say, “this isn’t worth it,” and go home. When you see a gray-haired peacenik women, driving a Toyota Prius with a bumper pleading for peace in space, remember what you read here. The fate of civilization may depend on it.