segunda-feira, 20 de abril de 2009

Marte Vermelho, Marte Verde e Marte Azul - Kim Stanley Robinson

("Mars was empty before we came.
That’s not to say that nothing had ever happened. The planet had accreted, melted, roiled and cooled, leaving a surface scarred by enormous geological features: craters, canyons, volcanoes. But all of that happened in mineral unconsciousness, and unobserved. There were no witnesses—except for us, looking from the planet next door, and that only in the last moment of its
long history. We are all the consciousness that Mars has ever had.

Now everybody knows the history of Mars in the human mind: how for all the generations of prehistory it was one of the chief lights in the sky, because of its redness and fluctuating intensity, and the way it stalled in its wandering course through the stars, and sometimes even reversed direction. It seemed to be saying something with all that. So perhaps it is not surprising that all the oldest names for Mars have a peculiar weight on the tongue—Nirgal, Mangala, Auqakuh, Harmakhis— they sound as if they were even older than the ancient languages we find them in, as if they were fossil words from the Ice Age or before. Yes, for thou sands of years Mars was a sacred power in human affairs; and its color made it a dangerous power, representing blood, anger, war and the heart.
And Mars has never ceased to be what it was to us from our very beginning—a great sign, a great symbol, a great power.
And so we came here. It had been a power; now it became a place.)
Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson [ Download ]

The point is not to make another Earth. Not another Alaska or Tibet, not a Vermont nor a Venice, not even an Antarctica. The point is to make something new and strange, somethingMartian.

In a sense our intentions don’t even matter. Even if we try to make another Siberia or Sahara, it won’t work. Evolution won’t allow it, and at its heart this is an evolutionary process, an endeavor driven at a level below intention, as when life made its first miracle leap out of matter, or when it crawled out of sea onto land.

Again we struggle in the matrix of a new world, this time truly alien. Despite the great long glaciers left by the giant floods of 2061, it is a very arid world; despite the beginnings of atmosphere creation, the air is still very thin; despite all the applications of heat, the average temperature is still well below freezing. All these conditions makesurvivalfor living things difficult in the extreme. But life is tough and adaptable, it is the green force viriditas, pushing into the universe. In the decade following the catastrophes of 2061, people struggled in the cracked domes and torn tents, patching things up and getting by; and in our hidden refuges, the work of building a new society went on. And out on the cold surface new plants spread over the flanks of the glaciers, and down into the warm low basins, in a slow inexorable surge.

Of course all the genetic templates for our new biota are Terran; the minds designing them are Terran; but the terrain is Martian. And terrain is a powerful genetic engineer, determining what flourishes and what doesn’t, pushing along progressive differentiation, and thus the evolution of new species. And as the generations pass, all the members of a biosphere evolve together, adapting to their terrain in a complex communal response, a creative self-designing ability. This process, no matter how much we intervene in it, is essentially out of our control. Genes mutate, creatures evolve: a new biosphere emerges, and with it a new noosphere. And eventually the designers’ minds, along with everything else, have been forever changed.
This is the process of areoformation.
Green Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson [ Download ]

Mars is free now. We’re on our own. No one tells us what to do.
Ann stood at the front of the train as she said this.
But it’s so easy to backslide into old patterns of behavior. Break one hierarchy and another springs up to take its place. We will have to be on guard for that, because there will always be people trying to make another Earth. The areophany will have to be ceaseless, an eternal struggle. We will have to think harder than ever before what it means to be Martian.

Her listeners sat slumped in chairs, looking out the windows at the terrain flowing by. They were tired, their eyes were scoured. Red-eyed Reds. In the harsh dawn light everything looked new, the windswept land outside bare except for a khaki scree of lichen and scrub. They had kicked all Earthly power off Mars, it had been a long campaign, capped by a burst of furious action following the great flood on Terra; and they were tired.

We came from Earth to Mars, and in that passage there was a certain purification. Things were easier to see, there was a freedom of action that we had not had before. A chance to express the best part of ourselves. So we acted. We are making a better way to live.
Blue Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson [ Download ]