...a blog by Richard Flowers

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 4039: If this is an Answer what is the Question?


I see that Auntie Jennie and Mr Steven o' the Glenn have popped "The Question". No, no, no – THIS Question:
"What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?"
Well, the answer depends on how much MAGIC you're investing into the phrase "could not fail".

Because if it's a what-would-you-do-but-lack-of-confidence-is-holding-you-back kind of "could not fail", then the answer is: "be a best-selling fantasy author".

But if this is a rub-the-lamp-and-get-three-wishes sort of "could not fail" then it's: "design and build a workable, affordable (non-polluting) faster than light space drive and initiate the human exploration of the galaxy".

In all honesty, it would be nice to see one Daddy elected to FPC and one elected to Parliament. Either way around would do.

But getting millions of people to read my writing would, hopefully, get the Liberal message into people's heads and get them THINKING about it better than yet another nice middle-class Daddy in the "Big Shouting Club". Or Parliament, for that matter.

But if we're going to get full on wishes, it's got to be travel to the stars, for exploration and colonisation. There is so much to see out there – you only have to watch Stargazing Live to know there is more to "ooh" and "ahh" at than even Professor Brian Cox can manage in one lifetime. And let's face it, there are practical reasons too. Even if we don't destroy the planet ourselves, the chances of an extinction level even in the next thousand to ten-thousand years are frighteningly high. Moving to first the Moon, and then Mars and maybe Europa (near Jupiter) and then ultimately somewhere Keppler 22-b like… it's the ultimate in NOT keeping all your EGGS in one PLANET.

And if the ROMANCE doesn't convince you and the SELF-PRESERVATION doesn't sell you on space, then let's go all HAN SOLO and think about the MONEY. There is an asteroid up there called Eros containing precious metals to the value of TWENTY TRILLION DOLLARS. That's the world economic crisis sorted right there; that's all the banks AND the Euro bailed out tomorrow. And that's just one of the NEARBY ones!

The exploration of space can ENRICH us AND make us RICH at the same time.

So if it couldn't fail, THAT's what I'D do.


Andrew Hickey said...

yI was going to say pretty much the same things, in much the same order. So now I won't bother, because you have.

(And I *will* be getting back to you about your novel in the next day or two. There have been Things.)

Stephen Glenn said...

I'm sure that the first cuddling elephant to be a best-selling fantasy writer would definitely get the attention of the media.

Biki Honko said...

Love all your ideas. Space travel, whoo-hoo! Non-polluting faster than light space drive? Oh hellz yeah!

Author? GO FOR IT! You only have fear to conquer, so get your sword out and whack away at the fear and WRITE!

Raybeard said...

Good one. Space travel with a GUARANTEE of non-failure would surely be a biggie on a lot of people's lists.