To boldly go...

I was browsing Google Earth the other day, just criss-crossing the globe looking for cool places. But no matter how hard I searched, no matter how remote the place, Google Earth has photos of it. Take any random island between Japan and the US, and it's full of images. The remote peninsula of Sakhalin north of Japan, largely empty, but photos everywhere. Russia, China, Africa, Australia. It doesn't matter where, but people have been there. And now the internet is mainstream enough that all those people post their photos online and geotag them with the location so that the whole world knows they've been there. It's the logical consequence of modern day technology. In a way I should be happy about it, as my job is about embracing this kind of technology. But I'm not happy about it, actually. All I can think of is asking the question: Is there really no place left unexplored in this world?

Where does one have to go to find a place that no-one else has ever been before? There are four options, in fact. The first is to travel back in time to an era where people sailed the seven seas and explored the new worlds. Since option one may seem a bit too difficult, I would suggest option two: space. Let's build large starships and explore the stars. It's what humanity should be focusing on in my humble opinion, as I've tried to tell the president of the United States many times. I wonder why he doesn't listen to me.

Another way of finding a place that has never been explored yet lies in technology. Random world generation. Already we have role playing games that have huge worlds and huge cities that are very exciting to explore. But they're man-made. Somebody else designed it for you to enjoy. Some religious people might say that our own Earth is quite similar, but I'm not so sure about that. To truly explore I would rather leave it to chance. Write a piece of software that designs random worlds, random universes. Given a proper random generator, a whole lot of prefab materials and a whole lot of game logic one should be able to create a universe that is sufficiently random and entertaining for a lot of people. One might need a couple of billion years of computational power to generate such a world, though...

So, that leaves the final option, which I'm sure you pot-smoking friends of mine will appreciate: the subconscious. Aside from technology, the human brain is an excellent random number generator. When you dream, your subconscious weaves the events of your life and things that were on your mind in a way that your conscious self could not ever have imagined. You may or may not choose to add some psychotropical substances, but you will definitely experience a wondrous and unpredictable world. (And no, I have never tried pot or any other kind of soft- or harddrug. I'm quite content with naturally aspirated dreaming, thank you very much).

If technology continues to grow the way it does, then perhaps the internet will one day qualify as another way to explore the world. Right now there is probably more diversity on the internet than you would be able to find in real life. Think about that.

Posted in Tech , Thoughts