How would you uplift Earth?

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How would you uplift Earth?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:13 pm

So I've been thinking about contact with aliens. Partly this was inspired by Archer's constant moaning that the Vulcans wouldn't do his homework for him as a kid or whatever, but it's applicable to general Trek, and general sci-fi for that matter.

Let's say aliens arrive to contact Earth and establish relations. You're the alien commander. There's no Prime Directive in this scenario, and your race are different humans but not TOO different - you're somebody like the Gorn or Vulcans, not some weird race of intelligent fractal equations that can't communicate with humans because their brain doesn't occupy sixteen dimensions.

Your tech is about what you'd expect from a typical sci fi franchise. Shields, beam weapons, FTL comms and drive, plus computers, materials, power generation, medicine, etc, etc that is all several centuries beyond anything we have on Earth.

You're fairly peaceful, though you are certainly well armed enough to demolish any Earth nation or combination of nations if you need to. Your mission is to welcome Earth into the Community of Sovereign Happy Affable Planets (COSHAP for short). And in doing so, you're to upgrade their technology base.

So my question is, how do you go about this? Because in thinking about it, pretty much anything I come up with immediately causes massive problems on Earth.

Example - You say "Hey, we have the tech for a practical fusion generator. Models about the size of a cigarette packet have an output of 1 MW, those about the size of a refrigerator about 10 GW. All you have to do is pour some water into it every few years. Here are the plans."

So... what happens now to the oil industry? The power generation industry? The countless industries that manufacture equipment like offshore oil platforms, oil tankers, oil refineries, wind turbines, furnaces... and probably about twenty more. I just put something like ten percent of Earth's entire workforce out of work, permanently.

How about "Hey, here's this thing called a replicator. You connect it to your fusion power system and shovel some dirt in. It will make anything from a nice steak to a handgun gun. Have fun."

There goes practically EVERY industry overnight.

Of course dishing out weapons is obviously problematic, but really it's unlikely to be avoidable since the weapons tech is going to be an offshoot of the civilian tech you're giving them anyway. But what about, say, shields? Would the world be better off if you gave shield technology to everyone? It's a purely defensive system, right?

So my questions are, what advanced tech do you think it would be a good idea to give to the Earthlings? What fallout do you foresee, and is it acceptable? Is there anything you'd hold back?
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Re: How would you uplift Earth?

Postby Lt. Staplic » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:47 pm

The whole time I was reading this I was thinking that my first act, would be to basically empower the UN or other equivalent body, where all nations/peoples are represented. Then I offer them my services, but only under their agreement. I don't know how I would define agreement, originally I was thinking unanimous decisions, but that's just not realistic, in a large enough group you'll never get 100% agreement on important issues, but certainly a larger majority than could be put together by say a single strong nation and allies.

From there it just becomes their job to ask. They want fusion tech, fine. My scientists will be happy to work with your to develop it, assuming you can put together a science team for us to work with. You want the US administration disposed of, fine, if you all agree, I'll do it with my overpowering might so that there is no long drawn out conflict that costs any more lives than it needs to. I figure that by the time the really good tech starts getting developed the rules will have started to force world governments to be more cooperative, hopefully limiting the possibility of use against each other.

By making the humans develop tech (with guidance) and have consensus on its development that should give them time to adapt to the change within their economy/shift their economy off of a scarcity system all together (assuming that we can help them with that).
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Re: How would you uplift Earth?

Postby IanKennedy » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:41 am

As for putting the workforce out of work by the introduction of free power and replicators. That's a fairly self solving problem. Give everyone a power supply and replicator, or free and unfettered access to one, and they don't need a job any more. Money would become obsolete overnight, who would pay for something if they can just get it from the machine. Equally, if they do need money they can just ask the replicator for it. People want to stockpile vast sums of money they can do. It wont mean anything as it's now worthless, but if they want to be a billionaire for the sake of it let them.

Now everyone not having to work any more is an issue, of a kind. What do you do with your time? Nothing? Making things becomes redundant, even those that require great skill. You simply put it in the machine and get a billion copies. Eventually people would get together and do things because they wanted to. The trick is not making the things they do evil. Hunting other people, for example. It could be a pass time that someone may start to relieve the boredom.

As for weapon tech, everyone would be equally armed so it comes down to if they would bother to use them, and the skill factor in being able to use them. The issue is only really there in terms of boredom. What's the point of killing anyone, you have nothing to gain from it. The box will give you anything you ever wanted. Equally war isn't really a point any more as what do you gain, certainly nothing economically. Idealistically I suppose there's an issue. I suppose the aliens could have a system to prevent certain replicators from producing certain things. That way anyone starts a problem and you turn off their ability to produce things. Not sure that doesn't make things worse, as they now have a reason to go after your things.

I suppose the old thing that becomes of any value is other people. Killing the partner of a beautiful woman in the hope that she will be you partner is, I suppose, something that could happen. Not that they would be likely to be a willing participant after that, but, some people aren't particularly bothered by that as shown by the number of rapes that take place.

Just mad ramblings... but...
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Re: How would you uplift Earth?

Postby Coalition » Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:07 am

My first option would be to offer basic food stock to everyone on earth. Nobody starves, the food is nutritious, but bland. Basically catch people who are in trouble, rather than lifting people too far up. This frees up a number of people from starving to death, and allows them to do more. By making the food bland it encourages growing flavorful foods, rather than just nutritious. If possible also offer educational materials to various nations. (Educational materials are a good way to teach children your way of thinking, rather than existing.)

Option 2: Conquer one or more of the trouble nations on Earth. Eliminate their leadership, and take over the country. The other nations are happier because the trouble nation is dealt with, and the newcomers are much friendlier to the neighbors. Accept refugees, but use my super-tech to monitor them in case of trouble. Thanks to automation people only have to goof off for the rest of their lives, and learn whatever subjects I make available (all of which is better than anything on Earth). If the refugees cause trouble, they get sent back to where they come from.

(The fun part is that thanks to easy spacelift, conquering two separate nations means I can still send trade back and forth between the new territories. A space station in orbit to serve as a transshipment station would help out as my gigaton capacity freighters drop off materials/personnel.)

The other fun would be medical offers to various nations. Your medical specialists don't provide long-term care, but they can cure things that we currently just can treat (diabetes). Offer the medical care for free, and see which nations refuse the medical care. If a nation refuses the care, make the reason (and the name of the person who refuses) public.
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