Ship of Fools
Planet Earth. Our Home. A beautiful, warm, hospitable, nurturing planet that supports our lives and the existence of countless other species. Yet, as time passes, the human impact on our planet is critically affecting the possibility that this relationship can continue in perpetuity. Rather than address this issue, some have determined that our survival hinges on a drastic plan to colonize a dead, lifeless planet in order to save humanity. The true cost of this strategy must be measured in terms far more significant than the fiscal price that will be required to implement it. What will be gained, and more importantly, what will be lost?
The sound of raindrops. Wind blowing through the leaves of the trees. The crackling and popping of a warm, glowing fire. Those elements that make us feel grounded, alive, and of Earth will be replaced by a synthetic, cold, artificial environment. Void of atmosphere and other living things, our existence on Mars will be confined to a lonely, barren, empty prison. The impact this will have on the human psyche will be tremendous. We must ask ourselves; is this really the way to save humankind, or a prescription for our accelerated extinction?
Motivated by fear, those who selfishly choose to embark on this journey for the purpose of self preservation will board a “Ship of Fools” destined for failure. Motivated by love, those who choose to remain will work together, facing the ultimate challenge to save the greatest miracle that we know of in our Universe, planet Earth and life itself. The plan to rebuild our existence in this manner is paradoxical to say the least.
Intimacy, passion, love. These are aspects of the human condition that can be neither forged nor synthesized. These aspects are not necessarily related to reproduction. They are unique to humans, and have no place in the animal kingdom. Beyond the need to reproduce, humans have sexual needs that fulfil physical urges and emotional desire. As technology has advanced, enabling humans to be evermore connected in a global context, technology has also affected humans in such a way that we have become more isolated as individuals, and further disconnected from our natural environment. A new kind of “virtual” relationship has emerged as a result of many of these technologies, and this has impacted the way we approach interconnection.
Survival on the Red Planet will rely solely on technology, as our host will be capable of providing nothing more than a bedrock foundation. The first settlers will face survival challenges unlike any humans have experienced throughout our history. Resources will be scarce, if available at all. Population control will be a bigger issue than ever before, especially relating to sex.
The development of artificial intelligence and robotics has given way to the rise of a new kind of romantic partner, Sex Robots. The sex robots can be configured and customized to suit individual preferences, allowing users to create their ideal companion. If we can for a moment consider Earth as the warm, affectionate, loving, partner of humans, these robots are the ideal metaphor for the cold, synthetic existence we can expect on Mars. Artificial, simulated, lifeless beings, designed by humans to serve the basic sexual needs and desires of both men and women.
The Mars Hotel
The physical and mental stress of living in a hyper-controlled, confined environment will greatly impact the quality of human life. Survival will be the primary focus of day to day activities, cultivating food, mining water and other minerals, producing energy, and providing medical care to the inhabitants. There will be no room for error. The spread of virus and disease will have a much greater potential impact on the colony, as we have already learned from the experiences of astronauts on the international space station. Space travel compromises the immune system and humans become much more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections. In a fragile environment like the new colony sexual transmitted disease will also be of great concern.
The Mars Hotel is a concept that explores the prospective relationship between astronauts and sex robots in the new colony. The number of inhabitants in the colony will be limited, and the relationships between the members of this narrow group of individuals will be extremely delicate. The sexual needs of the group will be a critical factor, and with limited options for potential partners, the robots will provide a solution to the issue of incompatibility.
The monogamy paradigm may not fit with the new societal model, and The Mars Hotel will provide a setting where both men and women can engage in safe sexual activity with robotic companions in a controlled environment. It can be viewed as a therapeutic forum for stress relief and recreational activity.