Why you should write that novel now

At some point in the future humanity will fragment as it heads out to the stars in different directions. Our descendants will have the ability to take everything that can be encoded into ones and zeros with them. But as they get farther from each other communication will diminish. If we’re 100 light-years apart, two-way communication takes 200 years. If our successors upload themselves, as is more or less inevitable sooner or later, and then crank up the speed on the hardware they’re running on, it will seem longer. If they think a million times faster than us – and that’s a very conservative forecast – 200 years will seem like 200 million years to them. Also, as the distance rises, the power required to get a message across the distance rises. And the uncertainty about whether there’s anyone still at the other end and where exactly they are rises… etc. So inevitably, communication will stop.

A thousand years from now, a work of art created at point A will never be appreciated 100 light-years away at point B.

Those of us in the here and now are wonderfully lucky. We have an opportunity the vast majority of those who come after us will never have: the opportunity to create things that will be part of the memetic heritage of all our descendants.