Recently, I have encountered one game calls “Mass Effect: Andromeda” in the way that I never thought I would seek out at this age. I will not talk about the game itself to promote the excitement about the game like many young adults gamers would react. But while I was attempting to find things in between stresses and stresses from graduate school works, I’ve been plugged into a giant void of a vast space of thoughts. The question is: Will humankind live long enough to see interstellar civilizations? Will we be able to travel across galaxies or even within it? These thoughts make me feel overwhelming with hope and sudden sad. Why? As a graduate student in anthropology, I have so many questions about our capacity to overcome many biases and obstacles that seem to be in a way. Let look at our literatures and films for the past decades, there are so many of them that tell stories about space travel and even interstellar connection between humankind and other alien life forms and at some points thrive at our highest technologies in communicating with them. Star Wars and Star Trek amazingly shows a great deal of imagination of how it would be since the 70s. Many novels tell stories of alien encountering since at least early 1900s. But why our outer-spaces research seem to not be moving to reach that point just yet? Let alone discussing it.
For the first part of it, I have had hope that our civilization will eventually reach to that point regarding many advanced technologies that we have accomplished for past 1,000 years. Cell phones are almost everywhere on the planet, we can travel within hours around the world by plane, not to mention driving within the continent. But the saddest part is that our society still live in fear, fear of differences and changes in which partially I quite have an idea why. Since the dawn of our civilization we tried to conquer our fear by creating religions and laws in order to tame and control uncertainty. But at the same time, it is also limited our out-of-the-box imagination and the capacity to create and adapt to the new technologies and globalization. I do not say because of our belief that prevented us to be able to create, but the way in which we have been taught might have something to do with our understanding of the world and universe. Parts of the game, I have to work with my team whom are coming from many star systems and different species, races and background in order to achieve the peace and establish a new home in a new galaxy which I personally wanted to see and experience that myself or be apart of that in real life. Amidst many accusations, discourses, conflicts, disagreements, and the negative ideas about differences in the recent world stage today, it seems that we have a LOT to overcome and be open-minded. The planet earth is combined with a vast majority of different matters and elements that amazingly work together quite well to support all kinds of life forms. Let alone a number of different unknown systems and elements that the universe has in space to function themselves. Why we are not seeing this and use it as a model to live our life? The funny thing is that, since the dawn of our specie, we have adapted a number of times and try to survive many catastrophic events for the past million years. Moreover, all human species on the planet share the same DNA since our ancestors were emerged. However, today many people seem to lean toward more “preserve” or restrict to their races or point out the differences up front and limited themselves to one single trait of ideas. Another question comes up is that if we as humankind cannot work and live among ourselves on the same planet, how on this universe we will be able to reach the point of society that the game depicts?
Well, there is a long way to go for us, but I can still see hope and positive outcomes from a little spectrum of our civilization that our humankind can someday overcome and go beyond our differences. Even though I will not live long enough to see that but our children and children of children would accomplish this dream, that I dare to think.
Keep your dream alive whatever they are!