In the book Engines of Creation (K. Eric Drexler), I was introduced to the concept of a “meme.” Rhyming with theme, a meme is a replicating mental pattern identified, by Richard Dawkins, as being analogous to genes. Memes “propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain.” Dawkins cites one example of a meme–catch-phrases. It is in that sense that I want to introduce a new catch phrase to you–Spacefaring America.
The phrase “seafaring” is well recognized. Related terms are seafarer, mariner, and marine. As the purpose of language is to communicate thoughts and ideas, new words and phrases to describe the ability of a people to use the sea for travel, transportation, and commerce were developed. Humanity has been seafaring for over 6 millennia. Becoming seafaring created new internal knowledge and industrial capability. Being seafaring enabled societies to reach beyond their land borders to gain additional knowledge, wealth, and security. Many (perhaps, most) great nations in history became great through their seafaring capabilities.
Whereas becoming seafaring was humanity’s expansion in two dimensions to seek knowledge, wealth, and security, becoming spacefaring will be humanity’s expansion in three dimensions to seek knowledge, wealth, and security. And just as, today, seafaring creates a mental image of humankind in command of the sea through technology, in the future, spacefaring will create a mental image of humankind in command of space through technology.
“Spacefaring America” is, hence, a new catch phrase to portray a mental image of America as a spacefaring nation with command of space through technology, enabling Americans to seek knowledge, wealth, and security in space.
How this can be accomplished and why it is critical that America now becomes a true spacefaring nation is the focus of this blog.