Prime Directive

(I’m switching over computers and going through some old files. Some are blog posts I was working on but never posted. I decided to post them now.. enjoy)

(this one circa 2009)

In Star Trek there is the concept of the Prime Directive where when they visit a new civilization that is not as advanced as theirs is they are not allowed to give them any technology or expose them to any concepts ‘from the future’. This is to preserve the natural evolution of the civilization in question.

I think there is another reason why this is a great idea, you don’t want to overwhelm the primitives with stuff they can’t comprehend. At a minimum this is cruel, at its worst I would guess it could cause paranoia and insanity.

With that thought in mind I’d like to try a thought experiment. I ask you to consider the case where you are some super resourceful entity that is in charge of preparing some people who have traveled forward in time (for whatever reason) about 200 or so years. Your mission is to adjust them to their new home in our present as smoothly as possible. Imagine how shocking even the simplest things would appear. Technology, language, societal rules, etc. So as much as you’d like to take them on a airplane and fly them around, you need to get them used to clothing and cars first (for example).

So how do you do this without blowing their minds out completely? Perhaps you decide to create some safe location that is very similar to the one they left behind. Perhaps you construct a village out away from the city and technology and you make it as close to their old world as possible. Perhaps you intend over a year or so to adjust them to new technology and customs so you make the culture shock as minimal as possible.

Your plan would be pretty good if you had the resources to pull it off. It seems to be very humane and logical. Maybe you take it farther and you don’t even let them know you are adjusting them to the ‘new world’. You let them learn themselves and you simply provide them with clues along the way. Kind of like the lobster in the slowly heating up pot of water.

Let’s extend the problem some now. Say you had to prepare 6 billion people to enter some new experience that was orders of magnitude more even more complex and different? How would you do that? What if that task belongs to someone/something and we are being systematically adjusted to this new place? Could Earth be some very complex and huge staging ground? Could what we know of as ‘our lives’ simply be some complex training for some unimaginable experience? I wonder. At least it’s a possibility right?