An audience with Scott Manley, the science YouTuber with stars in his eyes

“How does humanity exist?” YouTube rocket scientist Scott Manley asks me at EVE Fanfest. “And within a billion years, what will happen? Sure, we can imagine humans moving from Earth to other planets, but eventually the sun will burn. We could fly to other stars and survive longer, but those stars, as far as we know, burn in a billion years. What’s next? ”

Maybe we are just part of a complex digestive tract, incomprehensible to us just as we are to a microscopic organism, I answer.

“Is there something so complex we can’t really understand?” answer with another question, without losing pace. “I’d like to know how humanity survives in the future, or maybe not even humanity … the spark of consciousness.”

Manley is haunted by the idea that one day the universe will not even be able to sustain thought, because there is simply no energy for it. But inside your head? There is definitely some kind of thought-based nuclear fusion.

The curious and clever YouTube star originally made his name EVE online videos, which explain the mechanics of an extremely complex game in a way that simple mortals can understand. It also has dozens and dozens of videos Kerbal Space Programin which he explains the real-life physics behind rocket technology and spaceflight.

One of the easiest ways to explain the theory behind the wormhole trip is to mark two dots on opposite sides of a piece of paper. Draw a line between the two points, showing the distance to be flown in overhead line. Now fold the paper in half so that the two dots touch and imagine a short tube connecting them at a much shorter distance. Manley has a knack for taking complex topics like this and developing them so that people without a degree in astrophysics can more easily understand them.

EVE online is a game where humanity ended up stranded away from the Milky Way. With no equipment for a colonization mission, our species was sent back to primitive times. EVE he sees that part of humanity thriving once again as a stellar species, but we simply repeat the mistakes of our past: here is a hellish capitalist landscape where tribalism lies and wars are fought by comments on the Internet.

“It simply came to our notice then EVE online has this market system, which is like hypercapitalist, but the most successful alliances are those that work on socialist principles, “says Manley.” Basically, make sure all our pilots are taken care of, because if a pilot has to win his own money, distracts. If you want to win battles, you have to make sure that your people have a boat, that they are cared for, and that they feel good. They don’t think they always have to sign up and try to work to make money. “

For Manley, who is a member of EVE onlineGoonswarm’s biggest alliance, this socialist aspect works perfectly for him. He has no interest in becoming a fleet commander, preferring to be a war machine gear, blocking and firing missiles or conducting reconnaissance missions. As part of a great alliance, you don’t have to worry about stripping asteroids of their raw materials. Enough of those who in their daily lives as astronomers have a fascination with small celestial bodies that have the “potential to crash into Earth and cause drama,” as he puts it.

It may be above average when it comes to your knowledge of the cosmos, but it is not above drama.

“Conflict is always easier to sell,” he replies when asked why he thinks so much science fiction imagines a nihilistic future. “It simply came to our notice then Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first couple of seasons, (screenwriter) Gene Roddenberry said: ‘We won’t have any conflicts. Everyone will be happy with each other. The writers had a hard time getting good stories in that context, and once he took a step back, there was a lot more conflict and it became a much more interesting show. ”

These days, Manley has stepped back in some respects. He rarely makes video game content because he found his niche with scientific explanatory videos, much like what he used to do in Kerbal Space Program, but with real rockets. The algorithm rewards this type of content with views because that’s what your audience wants, but you may well post some videos. Kerbal Space Program 2 when launched.

“It’s a lot harder for people to teach science,” he says, “so I had more audience when I did the science videos. It was a good second career for me.”

Although he is very successful on YouTube, he still has a technical job in Silicon Valley. For Manley, the YouTube material is for fun, as well as an extra bonus that will help your kids go through higher education.

“I love the answer,” he says. “I love that people tell me they’ve learned something. I literally had a fan on the way to this interview who said, ‘I did aerospace engineering and you really helped me learn about astrodynamics.’ I was just playing the Kerbal space program!

If you want to increase the size of your brain and make sure that the light of consciousness survives the heat death of the universe, you can consult Scott Manley’s YouTube channel.

While you’re at it, why not find out more EVE onlinethe metaverse of in our great function.

Written by Kirk McKeand on behalf of GLHF.

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