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Benjamin William Bova (n. 8 noiembrie 1932, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) este un autor și editor american de science-fiction. A primit șase premii Hugo la categoria cel mai bun editor profesionist pentru munca sa la Analog Science Fiction din anii 1970.

Opere (selecție)==
===Colecții=
Edit

  • Forward in Time (1973)
    * Maxwell's Demons (1979)
    * E (1984)
    * The Astral Mirror (1985)
    * Prometheans (1986)
    * Battle Station (1987)
    * Future Crime (1990)
    * Challenges (1994)
    * The Future Quartet - Earth in the Year 2042 (1995)
    * Twice Seven (1998)

===Seria Exiles===
* Exiled from Earth (1971)
* Flight of Exiles (1972)
* End of Exile (1975)

Seria Grand TourEdit

Slowboat to the Stars

Ben Bova

----

On to the stars! Către stele!

Since 1905, when Einstein pointed out that nothing in the Universe can move faster than light, physicists and science-fiction writers have been racking their brains trying to figure out a way get around the lightsp
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Ben Bova la Minnicon 8(1974)

eed limit. Din 1905, cand AEinstein puncta faptul ca nimic din Univers nu se poate misca mai repede ca lumina, fizicienii si scriitorii de SF si-au chinuit mintile inccercand sa-si imagineze o metoda de a depasi aceasta viteza.

The way has been found. Not by the physicists. Not even by the science-fiction writers. Calea aceasta a fost gasita, dar nu de fizicieni sau de scriitori…

By the biologists. Ci de biologi.

Don’t raise the bridge,lower the river Nu înălţa podul, micşorează râul

If you can’t get up to warp speed, take the slow boat. To paraphrase Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, "Live long and forget about FTL." Dacă nu poţi atinge viteza WARP (deviere in engl.) ia-ţi o barcă lentă. La parafrazarea lui Mr. Spok din Star Trek (Călătorie Stelară) “Trăieşte mult si uita de FTL”.



The search for a way to go faster than light has been based on the fact that the stars are so damnably far apart. Even if you could fly at light speed (186,000 miles per second), it would take more than four years just to get to nearby Alpha Centauri, a thousand years to reach Polaris, and 30,000 years to journey to the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Căutarea unui mod de a fi mai rapid a lumina se datoreaza faptului ca stelele sunt asa de indepartate. Chiar daca ai zbura cu vit luminii (300 000 km pe secunda), tot ar dura mai mult de patru ani pentru a ne apropia de Alfa Centauri, o suta de ani pentru a atinge Polaris, si 30000 ani pentru a ajunge in centrul galaxiei noastre (Caleea Lactee).

Far too long for our pitifully short human lifespans, obviously. Prea departe in comparatie cu jalnica durata de viata umana, este clar.

Until now. Până acum.

In the past few years, breakthroughs in biological research have shown promise that human lifespans may be extended to hundreds or even thousands of years. Physical immortality may well be within sight. In ultimii cativa ani, un progres in cercetarile biologice au inceput sa aiba promisiuni ca durata de viata a omului sa fie prelungita la sute sau chiar mii de ani. Nemurirea fizica poate fi chiar in faţa noastră.

The old idea that human lifetimes are limited to roughly "three score years and ten" is about to be demolished. The first immortal humans are probably living among us today. You might be one of them. Vechea ideea ca viata omului e limitata aproximativ “ trei de douazeci si inca zece” este aproape de a fi distrusa. Primii oameni nemuritori probabil ca deja traiesc astazi printre noi. Poate ca deja ai intalnit unul dintre ei sau poti fi unul dintre ei.

And you won’t age. You won’t grow progressively more decrepit as the years slip by. In fact, aging itself may be reversible–a happy thought for those in the latter stages of their youth, as I am. Iar tu nu esti in varsta. Vei creste in mod treptat si vei imbatrani mai greu de-a lungul anilor. De fapt, imbatranirea insasi poate fi reversibila – o fericita idee pt aceia care sunt la sfarsitul tineretii, asa cum sunt eu.

There are samples of human cells in laboratories that have lived much beyond their normal lifespans. Some biologists believe that it will soon be possible to allow people to live to 200 or 300 years. By the time you’re 250, of course, so much more will have been learned that your lifespan might well be extended indefinitely. Sunt exemple de oameni inchisi in laboratoare care au trait foarte mult dincolo de limita normala a vietii. Unii biologi cred ca e posibil ca populatia sa traiasca 2-3 sute de ani. Cu timpulpoate si 250, desigur, asa de multe vom invata pana cand ne vom prelungi viata indefinibil de mult.

Physical immortality. It won’t be an unmixed blessing, of course. Our ideas about Social Security and pensions in general will have to be drastically overhauled. Marriage, law, social customs of all sorts will change radically. Population pressure will inexorably mount when the death rate goes down close to zero, unless we learn how to bring the birth rate down equally far.Fizic nemuritor. Nu dorim binecuvantari neamestecate, desigur. Idea lor despre Securitatea Sociala si pensionari in general va fi drastic redusa. Casatoria, legea, taxele sociale de toate felurile or fi schimbate dramatic. Presiunea asupra populatiei va fi inimma atunci cand rata mortalitatii va fi zero, in afara de cazul cand vom sti cum sa ducem rata nasterii cat mai departe.



But immortality puts the stars within reach. You can cruise out to the ends of the Universe within Einstein’s speed limit because you will be able to live as long as you please and remain youthful as long as you live. Dar nemurirea pune stelele la indemana noastra. Putem calatori pana la capatul Universului fara a depasi viteza luminii deoarece vom putea trai atat cat vrem si vom fi tineri toata viata.

Long Lives Vieti Indelungate

That "three score and ten" line comes from the Ninetieth Psalm, a prayer that the Bible attributes to Moses: Acesta expresie (70ani) vine din Psalmul 90, o rugaciune pe care Biblia o atribuie lui Moise, omul lui Dumnezeu:

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Anii vietii noastre sunt de 70 de ani, si lucrul cu care se mandreste omul in timpul lor nu este decat truda si durere, caci trece repede si noi zburam.(Ps.90,10)

Thus the concept that a human being ’s "natural" lifespan is at best somewhere between seventy and eighty years has been with us for a long time. Astfel conceptul ca existenta omului naturala este cea mai bunna de 70 – 80 de ani a fost inlouita cu o durata mai lunga.

Yet Moses himself, according to the Bible, lived to be 120. Modern scholars do not accept that figure, but vastly elongated lifespans dot the Old Testament. Methuselah’s age is given as 969 years; Noah’s, 950. Chiar Moise, potrivit Bibliei, a trait 120 ani. Savantii moderni nu accepta aceasta cifra, dar uriaşe durate de viata apar in Vechiul Testament, Methuselah a atins 969, Noe 950 ani, etc.

The chances are that those numbers actually refer to months, not years. That would make Methuselah almost 81, Noah slightly more than 79. Still, in an age when most people did not live to see 30, those were remarkable lifespans. Sansele sunt ca aceste cifre sa se refere la luni, nu la ani. (ani lunari). Totusi, in vechime cand cei mai multi nu apucau 30 de ani, acestea sunt varste remarcabile.

The oldest human being whose age is reliably recorded was Jeanne Louise Calment of Arles, France, who was born 21 February 1875 (14 years before the Eiffel Tower was opened) and died 4 August 1997 at the age of 122 years, five months, and 14 days. She remembered selling pencils to a struggling young artist named Vincent Van Gogh. Cea mai batrana femeie care a fost inregistrata a fost Jeanne Louise Calment of Arles, nascuta pe 21-II-1975 (14 ani inainte ca Turnul Eiffel sa fie inaltat) si a murit la 4-VIII-1997 la varsta de 122 ani, 5 luni si 14 zile. Isi amintea de o pensula de succes ce se gasea in mana unui artist tanar numit Vincent Van Gogh.

Is there a natural limit to human lifespan? Is there something built into our bodies, into our genes, that prevents us from living indefinitely? Exista oare o limta naturala a sperantei de viata? Exista ceva in corpul nostru, in genele noastre care sa ne impiedice sa traim indefinit?

If there is, can modern science find ways to break through this natural limit? Daca exista, poate stiinta moderna sa gaseasca cai sa ocoleasca aceste bariere naturale?

The answers seem to be: Yes, yes–and yes. Raspunsul pare sa fie: Da, da si iarasi DA!


Inapoi

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