Tunnels are predictable and scalable. Keeping it narrow at first … and when technology advances we can go wider and wider. As an example: building 200m wide domes instead would be gambling in a way. It would hold back economy.
Smaller projects / modularity can help us to advance with literally tens of thousands of projects from day one. We can get away with not waiting for central infrastructure at all. We can start to connect parts immediately … like neurons. Adding connections later is quite easy.
I’m continuing with an absurd idea here. Why a flat apartment in Brooklyn or Shenzhen is better than our natural environment? What is real or natural? What is the habitat we really strive for? Maybe a Takashi Amano like aquascapes could be an inspiration. Bits of nature … nature trails in our case?
Within this interconnected neuron cave system is possible.
Waking up on a tropical beach … surfing the “Bahamas”. A downhill ride in the French Alps. Maybe the jungle in Borneo. A blizzard in Norway or wetland in the Netherlands. All within our reach. A short walk away. We do it already here on Earth. Think about the high Line in New York
What is home? Think about: tunnel vision. We mostly focus on what’s near us. In a dense area … filled with trees and bushes. the immediate surrounding covers maybe 80 percent of our sight. Everything near us needs to be detailed, real. The surrounding can be a “poster” , “digital screens”. In time virtual reality can kick in.
Nobody could tell the exact where is the line between real and made up. The 80-20 rule. We get most of the results with less effort. In short: bikinis on Mars instead of space suits. Notice the following images could be replicated quite easily in a tunnel.
Real rocks, bushes, “Kilimanjaro” in the background. Endless meadow and grasslands. Or the ocean itself. Why not? Sure, here and there it might be “pixelated” but it’s almost as real as it can be. Landscapes with very close and far objects are the easiest to make look real. All within a tunnel. White water rafting in New Zealand.
Kayaking near the glaciers in Alaska. Wetlands fishing … in Netherlands.
It can be done with today’s technology.
On the images. Where would be the line between real or projected? A better question. Would it feel real? The bugs, the grass, the smell of the forest, the fog, the blizzard. They are real. Palm trees shattered on the tropical beach with the whitest sand possible. Moonlight and expensive wine. First the tunnels are simple: Martian concrete walls with led lights. In time: screens, displays than virtual reality to expand the “real” near us.
Does a Madison Avenue apartment feel like Earth? Feels like home? Do we still crave for a trip in Hawaii in the weekends? Do we envy Leonardo Di Caprio filming “the Beach”? Do our senses decide? Like smells, lights, textures? Within the film “Jumper” : the hero can teleport himself on every part of the globe in a second.
Imagine Rock climbing with a finger. A few minutes later the more than perfect waves. Getting “stuck in air” with a downhill bike. It would skyrocket space tourism. Sure … we start with small diameter tunnels, aquaponics, breeding snails. Then: raising chickens, goats, building up soil, climb trees. Going wider and wider with tunnels.
Most everyday activities … even extreme sports could fit within the tunnels quite easily. In spite of my enthusiasm … unfortunately I’m quite pessimistic about the Volvo Open. Fast forwarding to one of the widest tunnels.