Friday, August 30, 2013

Interplanetary and Interstellar Cultural Modeling


Painting the Future © by keppu. Image Source: deviantART via The Mars Society.

The Mars Society, which is dedicated to human colonization of the Red Planet, held its 16th annual symposium from 15-18 August 2013. NASA public outreach spokesperson Kent Nebergall discussed cultural models which he believes will be required for Mars colonization and interstellar space exploration. Nebergall imagines limited resources, a subsistence life combined with medieval guilds, and a strong focus on the humanities and arts so that space colonists will be able to absorb and survive extreme cultural shocks: "We have to unthink the whole globalism that we have been indoctrinated with ... since 1945 and start thinking about it in different terms that are a bit more ... hunter gatherer and less industrial. ... We've learned how to do technology, but we haven't learned how to think. And we haven't learned how to create ... [which is why] a lot of things have become more derivative of previous things." You can see his talk, Interplanetary and Interstellar Cultural Modeling on Youtube here.