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Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time Three Paths of Survival for Earth Civilization

Novel:Death's Endauthor:liu pubdate:2019-03-10 11:58

I.The Bunker Project: This was the plan with the most hope for success, because it was based entirely on known technologies and involved no theoretical unknowns. In some sense, the Bunker Project could be viewed as a natural continuation of the development of the human race. Even without the threat of a dark forest strike, it was time for humanity to begin colonizing the rest of the Solar System. The Bunker Project just made the effort more focused and the goals clearer.
This was also a plan devised entirely by the Earth itself; it had not been described in the message from Yun Tianming.
II.The Black Domain Plan: This involved transforming the Solar System into a reduced-lightspeed black hole to broadcast a cosmic safety notice. Out of all the choices, this was the most technically challenging. Within a region of space fifty AU (or 7.5 billion kilometers) in radius, a physical constant had to be altered. This was dubbed God’s Engineering Project. The theoretical unknowns were immense.
But if the Black Domain Plan were to succeed, it would provide the most protection for Earth civilization. Setting aside its effect as a cosmic safety notice, the black domain itself would act as a highly effective protective barrier. Any external missile, such as a photoid, would be traveling at a very high velocity to produce the necessary destructive power, and would thus enter the black domain with a speed far in excess of the modified speed of light inside. Under the theory of relativity, such an object would have to proceed at the (new, low) speed of light as soon as it crossed the barrier, and its excess kinetic energy would be converted to mass. The first part of the object entering the black domain would suddenly slow down and acquire a much larger mass, while the rest of the object, still moving at the unaltered speed of light, would run into the first part, thereby destroying the entire missile with the impact. Calculations showed that even objects made of strong-interaction materials such as droplets would be completely shattered at the boundary of the black domain. Thus, a black domain was also dubbed “the cosmic safe.”
There was yet another advantage to the Black Domain Plan: Out of all three choices, it was the only plan that allowed humanity to continue to live on the familiar surface of the Earth and avoid an exile in space.
But Earth civilization would pay a heavy price. The Solar System would be completely divided from the rest of the universe, equivalent to humanity shrinking their universe from 16 billion light-years across to one hundred AU. Moreover, it was impossible to know what life in such a world would be like. It was
certain that electronic and quantum computers would have to operate at extremely low speeds, so humanity might regress to a low-technology society. This would be an even more absolute seal than the technology seal imposed by the sophons. Besides being a cosmic safety notice, the Black Domain Plan was also a form of technological self-mutilation. Humans would never be able to escape from this reduced-lightspeed trap.
III.Lightspeed Spaceflight Plan: Although the theoretical foundation for curvature propulsion was unknown, it was clearly easier than the Black Domain Plan.
Lightspeed spaceflight could not, however, provide any security for Earth civilization. It was only good for escape into the stars. Of all three plans, this involved the most unknowns. Even if it succeeded, members of the human race who escaped into the vast emptiness of space faced unpredictable dangers. Also, the dangers of escapism meant that the plan faced numerous political barriers and traps.
Yet a portion of humanity was certain to be obsessed with lightspeed spaceflight for reasons other than survival.
For people of the Broadcast Era, the only smart choice was to carry out all three plans simultaneously.


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