Captain’s Blog: Frontier Psychiatry
Mission Date: 0 years, 231 days
UN Mission Command has been alarmingly silent on the the events of last week. I suppose this is protocol, until they have a solution they don’t want to worry us. At least I imagine that was the thinking when whatever contingency plan they’re following was written, but in the meantime their procedural consideration for our psychological states is driving us insane. Best thing to do is ignore it, because up here our highest priority has to be figuring out why everyone on board is so miserable. It is ultimately our problem.
I’ve been meeting with Dr. Saratoga, ship’s head psychiatrist. She says the problem is that everyone on this ship is disgusting filthy racist, and a narcissistic egomaniac to boot.
Some background. When choosing from candidates to crew of the UNSS Ennui and be the future colonists, there were several important criteria: They had to be able, willing and ready to have children, be a distinguished and successful professional in a field useful to the colony, and have passed a thorough screening for mental illness. Some self selected characteristics (found in anyone who would volunteer to be a colonist) are a lack of close friends, family, spouses or children, and a degree of impulsiveness.
Maybe you’re getting the picture. The ship is full of self-absorbed workaholics whose biological clocks are becoming increasingly prominent parts of their personalities. They think the only reason they haven’t yet started happy families is because they haven’t met any equally “serious” people. What do you think happens when these people are confronted by thousands of other people exactly like themselves and confined in a ship with them?
The mirror is very unkind.
Our population is a rich tapestry of statistically enforced and algorithmically maximized genetic and cultural diversity, which leads to the second half of the problem. Have you ever done a calculation of how many single people of the opposite sex, who are roughly your age group, who you find attractive and would find you attractive, and not currently in relationships exist in the population of, say, your city? Well that’s your city, where the cultural gap between you and other people is somewhat limited by geography.
Dr. Saratoga has teamed up with statistician Dr. Minoh and computer modeler Dr. Hakeem to identify 200 unique cultural groups that are only willing to date within two or three other groups in any significant numbers, and over 500 smaller groups that absolutely refuse to date outside of their own group. The largest group, about 7% of the ship’s population, is the group who will only date in a cultural group other than their own. While this group has the shortest relationships on average, they also have the most and are (so far) the happiest. We’ll see how they do over time.
For everyone else, once all criteria has been factored in, for the average person the number of acceptable mates is fewer than three people.
I’m not even considering the possibility of sending these findings to UN Mission Command.
Captain Richards out.