Reality Skimming
26Jan/13Off

Can We Go to Mars Without Going Crazy?

Lynda's notes (June 6, 2001) on the quote, below, from source cited:

As a species, and often individuals, we are limited more by our psychology than any external challenge. The effects of gap on pilot grip represent this in the Okal Rel Universe, just as the idea of Sevolites being engineered for suitability stemmed originally from a TV documentary called 'top gun' about the limits of human tolerance for sudden changes in acceleration.

"Can We Go to Mars Without Going Crazy?" struck me, when I read it, as another vote in favor of the importance of Sevolite psychology being different, as well. Of course, a Vrellish Sevolite specialized for fast action, sudden-death behavior would not a good candidate for a long trip. Trips in the Okal Rel Universe tend to be short anyhow. But sweet dispositions, patience and steadfast loyalty may have been factors in Demish design, if one of their purposes were to man distant outposts reliably for long periods of time. Demish gragariousness would tend to militate against such a design principle, but then I view the Demish as more of a hodgepodge multi-purposed affair, except for the aesthetically specialized Golden strain. Their main purpose was to serve as memory banks and backup organic solutions for systems failure in hostile reality skimming situations. Golden Demish were art - or perhaps a perversion. But perhaps there was a 'lighthouse keeper' strain of Demish at some point in the history of Self-Evolved Limited, the Earthly company established by the Lorel family which created the VR and DM lines of Sevolites. Maybe I'll write a story about it some day. :-)

Meanwhile, I recommend "Can We Go to Mars..." as necessary reading for Sci Fi enthusiasts. And claim it as an argument in favor of Okal Rel itself, which holds the survival of habitable territory sacred above and beyond any self interest, cause or warlike impulse. (Okal Rel is why honorable Gelacks settle their differences through duels)

"Can We Go to Mars Without Going Crazy?" / William Speed Weed
Discover May 2001, Vol. 32, No. 5

"Forget about the technical problems. What we really have to worry about is what sever astronauts will do to one another after being locked up in a tiny capsure for nine months." - a lead quote from the article, which cites experienced astronauts and space psychology studies on the emotional challenges of making extended forays into space.

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