Bruce Damer's talk at the Waag Society Cybersalvations series, Amsterdam May 2007
It is 1969 and the young Bruce Damer was riding his brand new bike around the neighborhood in Canada through the slush to a friend’s house who has a color TV (!) to the see the launch of a Saturn V rocket on a test of the Apollo hardware for the trip to the moon. One of the astronauts was a red-headed guy named “Rusty”. Later when there are men on the moon Bruce stands out in the dark squinting to see if he can see any sign of them there.
But now he has to get back home as he can’t miss that next episode of… Star Trek!
So what did Spock see on that screen? Did Spock see a big stream of data? “Oxygen, Nitrogen, suitable for human life…”? Was Spock a super intellect rendering reality or did the computer tools render it for him? Did Spock see graphics?
The Star Ship Enterprise’s mission was not only to explore strange new worlds but to also… seek out new life and new civilizations
And 25 years ago Bruce had this vision of self reproducing robots on the moon…
And it came to him that humans could not live in space without life being there first. And that for all of the dreams of science fiction to come true, we had to create new forms of life to go out into space with us.
For our ships to last they had to be like living things (repair themselves). And we had to design synergistic life forms (aliens) to help us survive in space (make air, water and food) out of the stuff that formed our solar system