Weekend Assignment #338: In Another World…

“Goldilocks planet” illustration by Lynette Cook, 
National Science Foundation.

Even as astronomers discover planets that may be capable of supporting life, such destinations remain out of reach of would-be human colonists, even if the world is “only” twenty light years away. But if some science fictional technology were discovered in the next year or two (warp drive, matter transmission or whatever) that made it possible to leave Earth behind and go live on another planet, would you be tempted to do so? If you choose not to relocate, would you be interested in just visiting the place instead?
Extra Credit: If you did go, whether on vacation or as a colonist, and you were only allowed to bring one small suitcase with you, what would be in it?

Karen said that this Assignment was inspired by the response to a link someone shared on Facebook about the discovery of a “Goldilocks planet.” That’s a planet whose orbit around its sun makes it not too hot, not too cold, but potentially “just right” for life to develop.

It’s funny that someone would ask that question, actually. There have been several times recently when current events – and the public response to some of them – have provoked me to tell my husband “That’s it. I want to move to a new planet.” Beam me up, Scotty – there’s no intelligent life left on this one. Yes, I am well aware that’s a Star Trek misquote…but it was one of my favorite bumper stickers once upon a time. I am also well aware it’s not completely true, but hear me out.

My grandparents and great-grandparents were part of the wave of European immigrants who came to this country in the early 20th century with hopes of a better life for their families. I’ve moved across the USA a few times myself, accompanied by similarly hopeful feelings – but it gets harder to hold on to them as the world around us seems to get crazier by the day. Governments can’t govern, schools can’t educate, people can’t find jobs or keep their homes, the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. People seem to pull further apart in what they believe is right, rallying those who agree tightly around them and screaming at the others across the ever-widening gap.

I’m not sure that “Rally to Restore Sanity” is going to take, unfortunately (although I sure wish I were going!) – and since I really don’t know where else on this planet I’d want to live, I guess my best option is another one entirely.

I just wouldn’t want to be one of the first to arrive on the new planet – I’m not much for roughing it, and I wouldn’t want to go there before there was some infrastructure in place. And some decent food. I’d bring some of my own books, of course, to read when I wasn’t working to help develop our new home (it might take the Internet some time to arrive).

Then again, there might already some intelligent life on this new planet. If they’re smart enough not to let us come there…well, I guess we’d just have to make it work down here. Somehow, we humans have managed to do that for thousands of years already, and odds are we probably still can. It just might be kind of crazy for a while first.

But yeah, I be up for going to this Goldilocks planet and giving it a try. What about you?

If you’d like to participate in this Weekend Assignment, just post your response on your own blog by 12:01 AM this Thursday, October 7 – you can find the guidelines on this week’s lead post.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,318 other subscribers