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.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.
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.