Friday, 22 January 2016

Future Environments

In some fictional high tech futures, there are no longer any factories, industries, cities or pollutants. Energy sources are clean: solar; cosmic; nanotech. Thus, in Poul Anderson's Genesis (New York, 2001), as far as the galactic intelligence is aware:

there are no longer any human beings on Earth - or anywhere else;

therefore, obviously, the Terrestrial ecology is unaffected by technology;

on a single mountain peak, there is one post-organic intelligence whose physical centrum is -

- a "rainbow-like dome..." (Part Two, Chapter XI, p. 237);

lance- and web-like towers;

"...argent nets and ardent globes..." (ibid.);

other shapes and masses;

small flying instrumentalities;

shimmering, rippling, pulsating energies.

The intelligence, Gaia, monitors Earth and the Solar System, communicates with the intelligences in other planetary systems and has covertly reintroduced human beings, whose technology however is as yet pre-industrial.

Thus, an unpolluted ecology and a high tech, high energy intelligence coexist on a single planetary surface. In SM Stirling's Drakon, such an ecology coexists with organic intelligences who are high tech but low pop. A future post will examine this (utopian?) scenario.

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