日期: 2016/4/2 19:40:20      浏览数:2894

Eighty-five thousand Trisolaran hours (about 8.6 Earth years) later
The princeps had ordered an emergency meeting of all Trisolaran consuls. This was very unusual. Something important must have happened.
Twenty thousand Trisolaran hours ago. the Trisolaran Fleet had launched. The ships knew the approximate directions of their target but not its distance. It was possible tha the target was millions of light-hours away, or even at the other end of the galaxy. Faced with the endless sea of stars, the expedition had little hope.
The meeting of consuls occurred under the Pendulum Monument. [As Wang Miao read about this episode, he couldn’t help but recall the session at the UN Building in the Three Body game. In reality, the Pendulum Monument was one of the few objects in the game that really did exist on Trisolaris.
The princeps’s choice of meeting site confused most of the attendees. The Chaotic Era wasn’t over yet, and a small sun had just risen over the horizen, though it could also set at any moment. The temperature was cold, and all the attendees were forced to wear fully enclosed electric-heating suits. The massive metal pendulum swung magnificenlty, pounding the friged air. The small sun cast a long shadow against the ground, as if a giant whose head touched the sky were striding there. Under the watchful eyes of the crowd, the princeps ascended onto the base of the pendulum and flipped a red switch.
He turned to the consuls and said, "I have just shut off power to the pendulum. It will gradually stop under the influence of air resistance."
"Princeps, why?" a consul asked.
"We all understand the historical significance of the pendulum. It’s intended to hypnotize God. But now we know it’s better for Trisolaran civilization to have God awake, becuase God is now blessing us."
Everyone was silent, pondering the meaning of the princeps’s words. After three more swings from the pendulum, someone asked, "Has the Earth responded?"
The princeps nodded. "Yes. Half an hour ago I received the report. It was a response to the warning that was sent."
"So soon! Only eighty thousand hours have passed since then, which means...which means..."
"Which means that the Earth is only forty thousand light-hours from us."
"Isn’t that the closest star from here."
"Yes. That is why I said God is blessing Trisolaran civilization."
The attendees grew ecstatic, but they couldn’t express the feeling, so the crowd seemed like a pent-up volcano. The princeps knew that allowing such weak emotions to explode would be dangerous. So he poured cold water on their sentiments. "I have already ordered the Trisolaran Fleet to turn toward this star. But things are not quite as optimistic as you think. Given what we know, right now the fleet is sailing toward certain death."
The consuls calmed down.
"Does anyone understand my conclusion?"
"I do," said the science consul. "We’ve all studied the first messages from Earth carefully. The sections most worthy of attention is their history. Let’s observe the facts: Humans took more than a hundred thousand Earth years to pregress from the Hunter-Gatherer Age to the Agricultural Age. To get from the Agricultural Age to the Industrili Age took a few thousand Earth years. But to go from the Industril Age to the Atomic Age took only two hundred Earth years. Thereafter, in only a few Earth decades, they entered the Information Age. The civilization possesses the terrifying ability to accelerate their progress.
"On Trisolaris, of the more than two hundred civilizations, including our own,none has ever experenced such accelerating development. The progress of science and technology in all Trisolaran civilizations has been at a constant or decelerating pace. In our world, each technology age requires approximately the same amount of time for steady, slow development."
The princeps nodded. "The fact is that four million and five hundred thousand hours from now, when the Trisolaran Fleet has reached the Earth, that civilization’s technology level will have long surpassed ours, due to their accelerating development. The journey of the Trisolaran Fleet is long and arduous, and the fleet must pass through two interstellar dust belts. It’s very likely that only half of ships wil reach the Earth’s solar system, while the rest perish along the way. And then, the Trisolaran Fleet will be at the mercy of a much more powerful Earth civilization. This is not an expdetion, but a funeral procession!"
"But if this is true, Princeps, then there are even more frightening consequences..." the ilitary consul said.
"Yes. It’s easy to imagine. The location of Trisolaris has been exposed. To eliminate future threats, an interstellar fleet from Earth will launche a counterattack against us. It’s very possible that long before an expanded sun swallows this planet, Trisolaran civilization will have already been extinguished by humans."
The bright future had suddenly turned impossibly grim. The attendees fell silent.
The princeps said, "What we must do next is contain the progress of science on Earth. Luckily, as soon as we received the first messages from Earth, we began to develop plans to do so. As of now, we’ve discovered a favorable condition fro realizing these plans: The response we just received was sent by an Earth traitor. Thus, we have reason to believe tha there are many alienated forces within Earth civilization, and we must exploit such forces to the fullest."
"Princeps, that is not at all easy. We have but a thin thread of conmmunication with the Earth. It takes more than eighty thousand hours to complete an exchange."
"But remember that, like us, the knowledge that there are extrterrestrial civilizations will shock all of Earth society and leave profoud marks. We have reason to believe tha the alienated forces within Earth civilization will coalesce and grwo."
"What can they do? Sabotage?"
"Given a time gap of forty thousand hours, the strategic value of any traditional tactics of war or terror is insignificant, and they can recover from them. To effectivley contain a civilization’s develpment and disarm it across such a long span of time, there is only one way: kill its science."
The science consul said, "The plan focused on emphasizing the negative environmental effects of scientific development and showing signs of supernatural power to the population of Earth. In addition to highlighting the negative effects of progress, we’ll also attempt to use a series of ’miracles’ to constcut an illusory universe that cannot be explained by the logic of science. After these illusions have been maintained for some time, it’s possible that Trisolaran civilization may become a target of religious worship there. Then, unscientific ways of thinking will dominate scientific thinking among human intellectuals, and lead to the collapse of the entire scientific system of thought."
"How do we create miracles?"
"The key to miracles is that they cannot be seen as tricks. This may require that we tranfer certain technologies far above current human technology level to the alienated forces on Earth."
"That’s too risky! Who knows who will ultimately control such technologies? That’s playing with fire."
"Of course, which specific technologies should be transferred to produce miracles requires further study..."
"Pleas hold on for a moment, Science Consul," said the military consul as he stood up. "Princeps, I am of the opinion that this plan will be almost useless in terms of stopping human science."
"But it’s better than nothing," the science consul argued.
"Barely," the military consul said contemptuously.
"I agree with your view," the princeps said. "This plan will only interfere slightly with human scientific development. We need a decisive act that will completely suffocate science on Earth and freeze it at its current level. Let’s focus on the key here: Overall technological development depends on the advancement of basic science, and the foundation of basic science lies in the exploration of the deep structure of matter. If there’s no progress in this field, there can be no major breakthrough in science and technology as a whole. Of course, this is not specific to civilization on Earth. It is applicable to all targets that Trisolaran civilization intends to conquer. We had begun work in this area even before receiving the first extra-Trisolaran communication. But we’ve recenlty stepped up the effort. "Now, everyone, look up. What’s that?"
The princeps pointed at the sky. The consuls lifted their heads to gaze in that direction. They saw a ring in space giving off a metallic glow in the sunlight.
"Is that the dock for building the second space fleet?"
"No. That’s a large particle accelerator still under construction. The plans for bulding a second space fleet have been scrapped. All resources are now devoted to Project Sophon."
"Project Sophon?"
"Yes. We’ve kept this plan secret from most of you present. I now ask the science consul to give an introduction."
"I know about this plan, but didn’t know it had progressed so far." The speaker was the industry consul.
The culture and education consul said, "I knew about this plan as well, but thought it was like a fairy tale."
The science consul said, "Project Sophon, to put it simply, aims to tranform a proton into a superintelligent computer."
"This is a science fantasy that most of us have heard about," the agricultural consul said. "But can it be realized? I know that physicists can already manipulate nine of the eleven dimensions of the micro-scale world, but we still can’t imagine how they could stick a pair a of tiny tweezers into a proton to build large-scale integrated circuits."
"Of course that’s impossible. The etching o fmicro integrated circuits can only occur at the macro scale, and only on a macroscopic two-dimensional plane. Thus, we must unfold a proton into two dimensions."
"Unfold a nine-dimensional structure into two dimensions? How big would the area be?"
"Very big, as you will see." The science consul smiled.
Another sixty thousand Trisolaran hours went by. Twenty thousand Trisolaran hours after the completion of the huge particle accelerator in sapce, the unfolding of the proton into two dimensions was about to begin in a synchronous orbit around Trisolaris.
It was a beautiful and mild Stable Era day. The sky was particularly clear. Like the day when the fleet had set sail eighty thousand Trisolaran hours ago, the entire population of Trisolaris looked up into the sky, gazing at that giant ring. The princeps and all the consuls again came and stood under the Pendulum Monument. The Pendulum had long stopped, and the weight hung still like a solid rock between the tall pillars. Looking at it, it was hard to believe that it onece moved.
The science sonsul gave the order to unfold into two dimensions. In space, three cubes drifted around the ring-the fusion generators that powered the accelerator. Their winglike heat sinks gradually began to glow with a dim reddish light. The crowd anxiously stared at the accelerator, but nothing seemed to happen.


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