Thursday, January 03, 2008

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time...

Rocketman was on the radio last night as I was driving home from work. For some reason I started to think about how huge the idea of conquering space was when I was growing up and how I think this idea has pretty much much fizzled out.

We dreamed about reaching out to the galaxy. First Mars, then colonizing the outer planets. Multi-generational ships where humanity would travel to the nearest stars, Alpha Centauri. Ion ic drive engines that would fly so much faster. Warp speed, crossing the speed of light barrier. There were all dreams that I shared with many of the other kids of my generation.

I don't think my kids know or care about any of that stuff. NASA is stagnating. Russia is falling apart. The dream of the final frontier is stillborn.


Blogger Lubab No More said...

Say it ain't so e-kvetcher!

In all honesty space exploration is really starting to uh, take off. Now that private groups are starting to get involved (X prize, Virgin, Rutan etc) I think we'll start to see space exploration come back into the consciousness. In the last few decades the costs were just too high for our government to justify the spending. The whole shuttle program was an attempt to bring the cost down. In the not too distant future (10 years?) NASA will be able to just buy a ticket to the ISS on VirginGalactic. Also, China is getting ready to go to the moon. (Russia too?) I think/hope things are just starting to get interesting.

January 03, 2008 11:33 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

I don't know...

I am not too excited about X prize stuff - these guys in my mind aren't visionaries. Sure they can commercialize suborbital space travel, and I think the Chinese have a lot of interest in harvesting the moon, etc, but I just don't get the same vibe.

But I could be wrong...

January 03, 2008 12:06 PM  
Blogger -suitepotato- said...

Part of the problem is politics, which the heart of is selfishness and ego. The desire to attract power, money, influence to oneself is one side of it, and the other is the primacy and supremacy in one's mind of one's own righteousness and relevance.

This is notable in the environmental movement for instance or the multicultural globalist movements. Listen to us they say, we know the score. Don't look to the future or space or technology. Live simply that others may simply live. Think global and act local. Theirs is a message of anti-hope and stagnation. Of a lack of outlets and opportunities, but if you listen to them, they'll save you.

Space exploration is a different philosophy. It's one that says who cares about me, what about the future. What about people who haven't even been born yet. There's resources and space to live and grow and expand. There's hope and opportunity.

Hope and opportunity are DANGEROUS to those who want power. They rely on we the people being cynical and dubious. So our outlets are constricted and we are ultimately left only with following them.

Look then to G-d. Does He act that way? Nope. Some of His servants err that way, but He does not. He shows endless forgiveness and willingness to keep working with, for, and on us.

Some people see the world of science and technology and believe it means G-d doesn't exist. I see G-d and that infers that science and technology exists. Investigation of the world is an act of hope. It's an act of faith that there's a reason to bother doing it.

So buck up and have hope. We're in a self-absorbed doldrum of over self-indulgence in pointless nonsense which is to say, concerned only with our own little here and now. If enough people hang in and believe in the future, their inquisitive natures will have to lead to more exploration.

Sure I agree with Avery Brooks' plaintive question in that commercial, but being somewhat aware of engineering I was never really believing flying cars would be in the offing.

January 03, 2008 12:25 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Flying cars are a standing joke with me...

I always say to people that I'll know we're living in the future when I see flying cars. (Every futuristic sci-fi movie has some version of them, and I am not even counting the Jetsons)

January 03, 2008 1:39 PM  
Blogger Shoshana said...

I still want to be an astronaut.

January 03, 2008 6:32 PM  

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