I mentioned the idea of an “escape sequence”, that in a theorized historic cycle might characterize the series of developments and preparations that lead to the pursuit and fulfillment of a new frontier. Sketching out an imagining of what such a thing might look like, here’s the rough framework of six sequence stages that I’ve come up with so far:

  • Activation: Long-term observation persuades a sufficient number that their free society’s foundations are damaged beyond likely repair. Individuals begin to decide that escape to a new frontier is or will soon be necessary, activating a sort of failsafe protocol built into our human nature that has, time and again, kept the spark of our pioneering spirit alive. These individuals begin to find one another, form alliances, and devote their efforts to the next stage, with their goals and priorities adjusted accordingly.
  • Logistics: Identification and assessment of suitable candidate frontiers. Methodical first-stage planning of possible transit mechanics, provisioning, necessary seed tech and hardware, resource availability and manufacturing and resource extraction/refinement potential at destination. Self-selection, networking, and training of first-wave pioneer crew. Development by same of colony’s charter, with careful safeguards designed to maximize the time before next sunset.
  • Construction: Vehicle assembly, systems testing, launch site preparation, vehicle loading.
  • Exodus: Liftoff, ascent, and transit.
  • Settlement: Landing, temporary first-wave shelter. Construction of resilient permanent shelter. Resource surveys and first extraction and processing operations.
  • Ignition: Productivity growth passes a key inflection point. Innovation and trade thrive freely in an unencumbered environment.

Where I see us right now is somewhere that spans Activation and Logistics. The ultimate goal is Ignition, with every preceding stage dedicated to its eventual achievement.

It’s a very bare-bones outline, to be sure. The last few stages in particular elide a tremendous amount of challenge and complexity. But it seems to be providing a useful framework for me to hang my thinking on, as I walk through what needs to happen to bring the next frontier within reach, and to ensure the greatest possibility of success. I’ll have refining and possibly rethinking this model in mind as I proceed with my search for answers.