In this blog post, I will discuss a lot of things that make up the side plots for Three Body series. Thus, this blog post could be a spoiler for many people who want to but have not yet read the books in Three Body series. I suggest you ignore this blog post if you want to spend time in reading Three Body trilogy.
The Dark Forest theory in Three Body is quite interesting! Although as now, the Dark Forest theory is only a figment of science fiction creativity, thanks to Three Body I think the fictional theory does have a real bite in reality if humans do go far into space in the future. After all, we have to wonder how it would be like for us primitive humans to have made contact with one or more advanced alien civilizations in space, right?
Us humans have so far been very lucky as we have only ourselves to blame for grand scale acts of violence. Before modern history, we had genocide activities such as a ruler wiped out the entire city, taking no prisoners, just to send a message to the enemy so a strategic objective could be met. Genghis Khan is a perfect example of this. In the 20th century, we witnessed the WWI and WWII wars, and these wars told us that great human casualties were not just the figments of the imagination but these were real! Furthermore, humans are now capable of destroying ourselves many times over with nuclear weapons. So, in a sense, us humans will have to blame ourselves if we destroy ourselves by the weapons that we had created!
In Three Body trilogy, the Trisolarans comes from a star system that got three suns. These three suns move in a complex dance that gives rise to unpredictable cycles of stable and non-stable eras. In a stable era, the condition of the Trisolaran planet would be favorable for the Trisolarans to exist such as normal weather patterns. In an unstable era, depending on the dance of the suns, the condition could be the outcome of extreme cold to undescribable heat. When three suns appear on the horizon at the same time, liquid magma could envelop the surface of the planet, thus destroying life in the process. In extreme cold period, many things have to go into hibernation state as water would freeze and not many things could survive in extreme cold condition. The Trisolarans are not so lucky as earthlings since they do not experience near constant stable era.
The Trisolarans have experienced the collapses of civilizations over and over again, thus their advancements might be the products of relearned achievements. In fact, the Trisolarans could have advanced a lot more if their progress weren’t hampered or destroyed by the collapses of their civilizations. In short, the Trisolarans would find a nirvana on earth! When earth naively sent out a sun amplification signal with the intention of making contact with the unknown alien civilization, it was when the Trisolarans knew what they had to do for their survival. The Trisolarans came up with a plan to conquer the solar system that harbors earth and everything within it. Thus, the greatest struggle for humanity began since the contact.
The nature of Trisolarans’ openness in the announcement of their mission to conquer earth’s solar system — as if earthlings are merely bugs — via various interactions and events sparked wild reactions among earthlings. Humans began to group up in factions, and each faction got different outlook to what would be happening when the Trisolarans offensive battleship fleet would arrive here on earth. Perhaps, once they arrive they would exile the earthlings to nearby hostile planets. Perhaps, once they arrive they would kill off all earthlings. Perhaps, perhaps! Whatever the perhaps, humanity as you know it got an expiration date to be met, and it would take 400 years or so for the Trisolarans attack fleet to arrive here on earth.
Although the humans tasted the Dark Forest theory in plain sight, they did not even understand or get the whiff of the Dark Forest theory yet. How come? Naive humans did not think about destroying the Trisolarans because they didn’t have the capability or the values to do such thing. Earthlings got a record of developing systems such as a democracy and whatnot, and so some of the earthling values are more about coexisting. The humans could not understand why things couldn’t be shared among aliens. Perhaps the humans are lucky and have not experienced any unstable era like the Trisolarans have had, and so the humans could not invest too much into the idea of being alone is heaven. The Trisolarans, on the other hand, knew that heaven is rare and when one finds it one needs to own it. Heaven could not be shared when one alien civilization is vastly different from another! The trust between two different alien civilizations is so slim that the effort in creating a sharing space would be a gargantuan effort. Perhaps, it would be too naive to even think the other would not go out of their way to destroy one’s own civilization. It’s a dark forest out there!
When it comes down to the survival of a whole species, do we take a chance with being naive and believe that another alien civilization would be kind to our species? The Dark Forest theory, although is now just a work of imagination in a science fiction, Three Body trilogy, begs us, humans, to think twice before making any contact with an alien species in space! In Three Body trilogy, alien civilizations may be so advanced that destroying a whole solar system is feasible.
Another cool thing about Three Body trilogy is that it touches on dimensional spatial. According to Three Body, in a four-dimensional spatial, one could travel faster and see all aspects of the inner structure of a three dimensional spatial. Let’s say a sealed box that encapsulates an apple in a three dimensional spatial would reveal both the box and the apple in a four-dimensional spatial. Thus, the beings inside a four-dimensional spatial could be more advanced than anything that exists inside a three-dimensional spatial. The discovery of a four-dimensional spatial allowed the Blue Space spaceship, earthing’s technology, with the capability to destroy the Trisolarans’ probes known as the Droplets. On the escaping route since the Doomsday battle that had the Droplets destroyed the massive earthling spaceship fleet, Blue Space encountered the four-dimensional spatial space that allowed it to discover the capability of destroying the pursuing Droplet probes.
In summary, I think science fiction works like Liu Cixin’s Three Body trilogy could provoke the human imagination that could be rather useful in the future if the future indeed encounters such out of this world scenarios. For an example, the Dark Forest theory suggests that earth is rather lucky and isn’t yet being discovered by another intelligent alien species. The unknowns would be provoked if earthling does indeed encounter another alien species! The Dark Forest theory could also hint that alien species could be plenty once upon a time, but you would never know how crowded the universe once was. Different alien civilizations could advance at different times in space, and the Dark Forest theory could be realized by each alien civilization at a different time. This variant of Dark Forest realization allows the Darwin theory to be at work on a scale of the universe! Sometimes we don’t have to look at the universe to see why bigger fish eats smaller fish and humans step on bugs because here on earth we see it all! The dimensional spatial touch in Three Body is quite intriguing because I do imagine that humans — in reality — may rely on the experiences of jumping out of our native three-dimensional spatial to achieve time and warp speed travel!