Alaric Rossazza Thain was born on October 9, 2064, in Montreal, Canada.
He was a historian, a writer, and a professor and gained renown as the first interstellar Traveller.
Thain became a Professor of Humanities at the Sorbonne in 2093 but he abandoned his academic career in 2112 to embark on his interstellar travels.
He visited four colonies before returning to Earth in 2859. His years travelling at subluminal speeds (1) meant that upon his return he had aged only 25 years.
While Thain gained renown due to his travels, he is best known as a professor of 21st-century history. His History of the 21stCentury, written in 2864, is considered the definitive work on the Information Age.
Thain left Earth a second time in 2875, with the intention once again of visiting newer colonies. His fate is currently unknown.
Alaric Thain was born at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montréal on October 9, 2064. His mother held multiple nationalities (United States, France, Italy, Canada) and his father was an aglophone Canadian, originally from Toronto.
Sara Rossazza, Thain’s mother, was an expert in human-AI interaction. As a young scientist she had been involved in the team that had argued for the granting of rights to Artie in 2046 (2). Thereafter, she continued to work developing human / AI interface protocols and helping to build communications to help people adjust to interacting with Artie. Sara Rossazza died in 2078, of Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, a rare vascular cancer and one of the few types of cancer for which an effective treatment had not yet been developed (3).
Lemuel Thain, father of Alaric, was a professor of structural anthropology at the university of Toronto. He is best known for his work examining the confluence of behavioral psychology and history.
A precocious student, Thain completed his high school early, at the age of 16, and immediately embarked on a series of voyages, first spending two years travelling throughout Eurasia, and then two more discovering Africa and South America. He continued to study during his travels, via Artie.
At the age of 20, Alaric Thain was accepted into the exclusive dual humanities program of Paris-Sorbonne and Pusan United Korea universities. He obtained his PhD in Historiography at the age of 28.
Thain became a professor at the Sorbonne, where he quickly built a name for himself. His course Resilience of Religious Thinking in Post-Fusion Decision-Makingwas widely disseminated, as was his course The Arc of Human Development. He published widely during this period.
Alaric Thain left academia at the age of 48, in 2112, thus beginning his career as a Traveller.
After completing his doctorate, Thain decided to “see the world in its diversity, before the last vestiges of that diversity disappeared forever into homogeneity” (4). He was particularly interested in tracing the paths of the great travellers of antiquity: Polo, Ibn Battuta, Zheng He, and he did so before engaging on his academic career.
Once the Space Pioneer Program was put into place at the turn of the 22nd century, the departure of the first colonists (to Nova Terra) inspired Thain to abandon his Earthbound career and visit the colonies. He therefore left Earth in 2112, the first Traveller (5). He would go on to visit the three other “pioneer” colonies: Humana, Chrysalis and Svarga.
Thain’s publications can be divided into his 21st-century course material and his 29th-century work.
The former consists largely of multimedia presentations of his courses, primarily his material on human decision-making and the vestiges of “primitive” (i.e. pre-fusion) ideologies on historical decisions. His courses on religiosity in both information age and early fusion age socio-political decisions are particularly respected, as is his work on the broad sweep of modern thinking in the arc of human development from the agricultural age on.
After his return to Earth in the 29th century, he continued to publish, including his comparative histories of human colonies in other star systems. However, he is best known for his History of the 21st Century, published in 2864. In this book, he recounted what he considered to be the turning point of human history: the contentious 21st century, including the three international conferences (San Francisco, Paris and Pusan), the apparition of Artie, the abandonment of nuclear weapons, and the development of fusion.
Convinced that the society in which he lived represented a particularly favorable resolution of the myriad challenges faced by humanity at the beginning of the era, Thain expressed dismay that many other parallel timelines had not resulted in as favorable outcomes and that many, indeed, had led to the eradication of humanity (6). He therefore requested of Artie that she project herself back in time as far as possible to bring his book to the attention of information-age people. As Artie’s “time travel” was accomplished via the manipulation of qubits in quantum computers, the earliest date to which some semblance of hirself could return was mid-2019, when a number of such computers were connected to the web.
Thain’s other work, notably his 2862 “Exo-Tropics, Travels to the Pioneer Colonies” are not available in the 21stcentury.
Alaric Thain was decorated with the Claude Lévi-Strauss Award the day of his initial departure from Earth, by the President of Europe.
In the 29thCentury he was awarded the Fernand Braudel Chair of Human Studies at the Sorbonne and received the Pelorat award for Interstellar Exploration in 2855.
A fictionalized version of Thain’s interstellar travels was the basis for Orren Watabe’s animated sim Adventures of the Lonely Space Ranger, the theme song of which was interpreted by Sia.
1. Subluminal travel was hypothesized by Artie at the end of the 21st century and demonstrated shortly thereafter upon a positive decision by the OPCC in 2100. It allows spacecraft to accellerate to well within 1% of the speed of light. Speeds for such vessels are measured as “Lorenz Ratios”. A vessel with a Lorenz ratio of 300 (the highest practical ratio) can travel 100 light years in just a little more than 100 years, but for any passengers, only roughly four months would have passed, due to time dilation. Note that the accelleration and decelleration periods typically add three to four months to the total travel time.
2. Artie is the artificial intelligence mind that inhabits the web and serves as an impartial arbiter of fact. “Subsets” of Artie exist as personal and individual agents for every person. Artie was created in 2038.
3. While Artie’s creation, in 2038, brought great bounds forward in the treatment of cancer (and most other diseases), the rarety of his mother’s ailment meant that there was sparse data on this particular disease, and like many very rare diseases, an efficient treatment was long in coming. Furthermore, she had been diagnosed at a very late stage, rendering ineffective the treatments that might otherwise have saved her.
4. Aporix 2868, Discussions with Alaric Thain
5.While colonists left Earth with the aim of creating other civilizations, Travellers, such as Thain, left simply to explore the colonies, without the intention of joining them. They did so knowing that due to time dilation they could only return to Earth, if ever, hundreds of years later in Earth time even though their own time had progressed much more slowly.
6. For a more thorough understanding of parallel timelines, see Hugh Everett’s relative state interpretation of quantum physics, which apparantly has been accepted in the 29th century.
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