So, there is a 4th Dimension. This is not to be confused with the 5th dimension:
Now, I’ve mentioned in the past that my life’s true passion is space. I’ve recently taken some time to go back and rewatch Cosmos with Carl Sagan. Old Boy can sure rock a turtleneck. Recently I watched his attempt to explain the 4th Dimension. Watch this before moving on:
This thought is horrifying. I’ve spoken at length before about how man is destined for the stars lest we damn ourselves as a species. Here’s the problem: there ARE aliens. Consider our 2D man in Flatland. Should this 3D man decide to wage war against him, 2D man hasn’t a prayer. What then of those aliens capable of operating in a 4th dimension? Even the most foolish and base barbarian capable of traveling in a 4th dimension would be able to destroy the most technologically advanced civilization we can muster.
Out there in the black is war. It is death and darkness and war the likes of which we cannot imagine. There is such incredible evil and power out there that the darkest of humans and beasts would be considered saints. Reavers are child’s play. There in the black we are but guppies in a vast ocean.
Yet we have no option to be travel out there if we wish to survive. We will have to wage into nightmares so horrid that we lack even the ability to imagine them. Still, we must go. Our science fiction authors have not yet prepared us for this. “Shoot a nuke down a bug hole and you’ve got a lot of dead bugs.” Well, bugs are out there. We will meet them, and fight them, and kill them. That’s what we’re being prepared for. That’s nothing. What’s out there is much worse than that.
Now, we’re going to have to go out there and fight. We may be able to make peace with some, but there is no such thing as peace unless YOU wage it. The wasps that live under my stairs are not at peace with me. I’m at peace with them. Should they get out of line, or really if I find myself sufficiently bored to go grab some brake cleaner, they die. Peace exists only when you are the baddest motherfucker in the universe. The odds will never be in our favor considering the vastness of the universe.
The day we kill the first civilized creature we will show ourselves as a threat to anyone and everyone out there aware of our presence. At that time we will rain hell onto ourselves. But we have to fight. There is no other option. Out there is war –dark, hellish war.
The problem compounds still. Even if you are in fact the single baddest force in the universe, you are not safe, and I’m not talking about interspecies alliances. On February 10th, 1990, Mike Tyson was the single baddest man on the planet. On February 11th, 1990 he was defeated by Buster Douglas. On that night, Tyson would have been able to kill 100 men capable of beating Buster Douglas. But he could not beat Buster Douglas. Anderson Silva is the baddest man in MMA, yet he is not unbeaten, to include his last fight. So too will it be with life beyond the stars. Even the best will not be unbeatable.
Now, this all isn’t to say we’re doomed, despite the gloomy attitude I’ve taken. Just as in this video Sagan has demonstrated that those in 2 dimensions can flesh out and understand the 3rd, even if they cannot perceive it, just as we can made a model of the 4th dimension, perhaps some day our minds will allow us the ability to enter it technologically, either by machine, or by biological enhancement. Maybe we will find a way to fight and defeat those that wish to do us harm even if our eyes cannot see them. Maybe.
But the most likely outcome is simply that if man wishes to survive, he will have to do what EVERY species will have to do, even those nightmarish civilizations that could destroy us on a whim: expand forever at a rate faster than any conquering army can overtake them. On Earth we have found war, death, and destruction. Out there it is no different. A warlike people will find death but at least they’ll have a chance. A pacifistic people will not find death — death will find them. In peace there is slavery, with survival only at the whims of their betters. Politics/War/Science/Religion — They are one. Whether we’re talking about space travel or the British Empire, Patrick Henry said it best:
“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”