I was watching the Black Mirror the other night and remembered one idea and had another one.
These are both making the not-insignificant assumption of faster-than-light travel.
I think there is an extremely high chance that two different types of space force exist in our universe.
- A force that listens for early civilizations sending out beacons, similar to Earth broadcasting out constantly say, “Hello! We’re here! Is there anyone out there?”, and then comes to save them from other aliens who come to take advantage. The Three Body Problem talks about how bad of an idea it is to send these kinds of messages, and Steven Hawking agrees.
- A force that finds all civilizations capable of creating conscious creatures in virtual reality, and then goes and explores every single instance they have running to make sure nobody is trapped in a state of suffering. Imagine someone creating AIs who are like background characters in some grand plot, except they’re millions of individuals, and each one of them is conscious in some way and is actually suffering. Or like has been explored recently, imagine a few people created in the likeness of a gamer’s enemies, and who are subjected to unspeakable horrors for basically infinity (consider that you can control the passage of time to the subject).
I think that any sufficiently capable and morally advanced civilization (likely mostly AI at this point) would have these types of forces deployed throughout the universe.
Perhaps it would just be one collective, like the Borg except for good, who goes around making sure entire races don’t get exterminated by conquerors, and that someone doesn’t discover the ability to make consciousness and then use that ability to massively increase the amount of suffering in the universe.
Think of the stories that you could write about these two forces (or maybe two divisions of the same force).
And then think about the fact that, if there is such a thing as faster-than-light travel, they probably already exist.