This discussion was raised in another forum. I don't know if it's been raised here.
Which is it? It's argued that space is the ultimate frontier because it is infinite to the best of our knowledge while arguably all that can be done with the internet either has been done or will be done far sooner than one can could explore the universe.
My argument is that the internet is all programmed information and can be manipulated at will by a skilled user. While the universe may be infinitely explorable for everything that is, cyberspace provides a stomping ground which is limited only by human imagination. Images, characters, languages, histories, worlds, rules defining realities (alternate hereof), personalities, dreams, stories, innumerable options, and countless possible outcomes can all be programmed by any single person from any place at any time (should they have internet access and a knowledge of the functionality of the internet's programming which, in a perfect world, I would consider to be one of the highlights of peace and prosperity that altering the nature of cyberspace would come naturally to everyone).
I don't think they're really comparable just because they both share the word space.
The way you frame it, it would be like saying lucid dreaming or hallucinogens are frontiers because the realities in there are limited and manipulated by human imagination.
On the subject of frontiers, space will never be fully explored even if mankind ascends to the stars, as many galaxies are racing away from our galaxy at a difference that is greater than the speed of light, rendering them literally impossible to reach unless we find someway to break light speed. Interestingly though we currently know more about space than the deep seas.
User Title: Will make apocalypse themed fiction for food
Re: Space or Cyberspace? The Ultimate Frontier
Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:05 am
It is quite unlikely we will ever explore outside our own solar system. Under current science it is unfeasible, bordering on impossible. It would require an extremely surprising and convenient scientific discovery to be able to travel at a fraction of the speed of light, let alone above it. Granted, most revolutionary scientific discoveries were surprising, but it seems unlikely that we would have so many problems with energy and then stumble upon an energy source capable of taking us outside the solar system some time in the future.
So I say cyberspace, because it's a frontier we're actually more likely to get to. Something like virtual reality isn't an inevitability, but it's just a matter of engineering and Moore's law continuing for it to become reality. And I think creating a virtual world that affects all five senses is more exciting than exploring space, because you could simply make one in which you could. Plus, you know, I'm a gamer.
It could be possible. I certainly hope such a thing is. Currently the odds are as Vegedus says - we will never get out of our solar system. If such a thing is possible then it's all but guaranteed other alien species have achieved it as well. If we become a spacefaring race, I'm not sure how the morality and ethics of an FTL space would be, but if we were going to die out I would hope they'd save us from total extinction, since interfering with the development of a civilization is a moot point if they're about to go extinct, especially for reasons beyond their control (e.g. large asteroid). Something like the opener of Star Trek Into Darkness. They might not be willing to save a species that caused its own destruction though for fear they'd be unsuitable for the universal community. If FTL travel really is impossible though, the universe will be a very lonely, lonely place, as by the time you even get to other planets that might have life on them, the intelligent species might've died out, already left their planet behind, or maybe intelligent life never developed in the first place. Biological immortality and putting people into hibernation seems like an easy prospect though, since there's nothing physically preventing that from being accomplished, so that might buffer the issues with FTL travel.
I think cyberspace is more of an abstract idea, it has no more limits than our brains do. I say we conquer cyberspace, and when we're an immortal hive-mind we can go forth to the stars. The singularity will set us free.