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Re: Rocket Lunches

#256
Flatfingers wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:39 pm

I also have a print of Kim Poor's "Attitude Hold" in my office. But I'll admit that owning a thing with the actual signature of Chesley Bonestell fills me with a sense of incredibly intense satisfaction. It's the most tenuous possible connection to the optimism of the Space Age, but it's a connection.

And I'll acknowledge here that this connection matters to me both intellectually and personally, because I got to watch Neil Armstrong step onto the face of the Moon as it happened. My mother, seven months pregnant with my youngest brother, was sewing in the other room and wouldn't get up to come see our black-and-white TV as I exclaimed in amazement at what was happening on July 20, 1969... but there was never any doubt in my mind that I was witness to a pivotal moment in human history as it happened, even if no one else cared.

If you think I must be disappointed that there was no sustained follow-up to this achievement -- no Moon bases, no exploration of Mars, no asteroid mining, no generation ships flung in hope toward the nearest stars -- you'd be right. My God, here it is, nearly 2020 -- 2020! -- and we're still just squatting here on Earth, arguing furiously with each other about how many genders there are instead of linking arms and working together to expand our personal human knowledge of the astonishing universe we share.

If my life, from The Lone Ranger to quantum teleportation, is a weird amalgam of optimism and pessimism, I hope I can be forgiven for it. To have so much possibility, and to feel so little desire to achieve great things with all these resources... it's hard to reconcile these.
We share that connection, Flat. I stayed up all night to watch the first steps of Neil Armstrong on the Moon. I was on holiday on the south coast of England at the time. I was so excited. In the following hours when out and about in the town, I was surprised that so few others I met seemed to feel as I did. I've never been able to recapture those feelings of that moment by looking at the footage of the event. So what you say concerning your disappointment with the missing follow up to that moment I can well understand.

Fortunately, I have found a niche in life that has given me satisfaction and purpose but it's been hard won and at a cost. If it helps in any way I'm sure you are already forgiven, Flat.
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Re: Rocket Lunches

#257
Talvieno wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:47 pm
I'd like to echo this sentiment of yours, Flat. :( With how far we've come in the past century, it's shocking to see people squabbling over silly, meaningless things instead of working together for a more beautiful goal. I hope at some point we as a species grow up and "act our age". :P

This is something I've thought about on several occasions and it never fails to sadden me. We ought to be working for the betterment of mankind, not getting caught up in our own insecurities, discomfort and greed.
To be fair, on the timescales that actually matter for an interstellar civilisation, which we event are yet, we are very young.
Theres pretty much nothing that could threaten an interstellar (set of sub-) species.
Such a civilisation could be around for millions, billions (and depending on where the practical limits for computation lie) trillions of years.
Manking with its less than ten thousand years as something beyond a collection of 20 person tribes is barely dried off amniotic fluid yet.

so we probably are acting our age :P
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Re: Rocket Lunches

#258
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:23 pm
Talvieno wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:47 pm
I'd like to echo this sentiment of yours, Flat. :( With how far we've come in the past century, it's shocking to see people squabbling over silly, meaningless things instead of working together for a more beautiful goal. I hope at some point we as a species grow up and "act our age". :P

This is something I've thought about on several occasions and it never fails to sadden me. We ought to be working for the betterment of mankind, not getting caught up in our own insecurities, discomfort and greed.
To be fair, on the timescales that actually matter for an interstellar civilisation, which we event are yet, we are very young.
Theres pretty much nothing that could threaten an interstellar (set of sub-) species.
Such a civilisation could be around for millions, billions (and depending on where the practical limits for computation lie) trillions of years.
Manking with its less than ten thousand years as something beyond a collection of 20 person tribes is barely dried off amniotic fluid yet.

so we probably are acting our age :P

I don't disagree with a single word of that. Nevertheless, I don't think it's too soon to encourage more adult-like behavior.

Note though that "adulthood" does not mean a general acceptance of specific beliefs that some people profess today. A lot of people believing that capitalism is great, or that no one is less human because of the sex of the person they're attracted to, etc., doesn't determine whether we're more or less evolved.

I would suggest that what defines adulthood as a sapient species is a general acceptance of a good process for finding beliefs that seem to match reality regardless of what we may want to believe is true. It's hard to imagine that having no value whether we're chipping flints, liking a post on Facebook or Twitter, or establishing self-sustaining colonies on planets circling other stars. I think our success as a species depends on a general trust in and expectation of that process... and our moments of greatest danger are when that process stops being widely expected and enthusiastically defended.

Specific beliefs held at any moment in time are just pages being turned in the book of humanity's story. Preferring reality to wishes is how new chapters in that book get written.

And a general desire to be kind to our fellow humans is what makes that book worth writing.

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