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Archive for the ‘Challenge’ tag

Jul 6, 2012

Per Aspera Ad Astra

Posted by in categories: economics, education, engineering, ethics, futurism, human trajectories, philosophy, policy, rants, scientific freedom, space, sustainability, transparency

The unknown troubles and attracts us. We long to discover a reason for our existence. We look out to the stars through the darkness of space to observe phenomena incredibly far distances away. Many of us are curious about the things we see, these unknowns.

Yet, many of us look skyward and are uninspired, believing that our time and resources best be kept grounded. Despite our human-centered ideologies, our self-assured prophecies, our religious and philosophical beliefs, no existential rationale seems apparent.

We as people welcome technology into our lives and use it constantly to communicate and function. Scientific discoveries pique the interest of every citizen in every country, and technological revolutions have always preceded social and political revolutions from the creation of the internet back to man’s first use of simple tools. Leaders of nations proclaim the importance of science and discovery to our welfare to be utmost.

But what we have seen done recently contradicts these proclamations: space programs are closed; science funding for schools always falls short; and we see no emphasis of the significance of science in our modern culture. Our governments call for the best but provide capital for only the satisfactory, if even. We no longer succumb to the allure of learning simply for the sake of knowing what we once did not know. We have stopped dreaming.

The exploration of space is as related to earthly affairs as any trek, perhaps even more so, because what we learn along the way directly affects the knowledge we apply to our politics, our religions, societies, and sciences. We learn about ourselves, our dreams, our fears. We learn about our strengths and our weaknesses as nations and as a species. In searching the void all around us we learn how to interact with each other and bridge differences between races, religions, genders, and ideologies. The societies of Earth need to emphasize the importance of discovery and innovation to the longevity of mankind, as well as the very human need for the pursuit of challenge.

We are and always have been an adaptable species capable of creating dreams and accomplishing them. We should seek to explore our new frontier and chase ideas yet to even be conceived. The exploration of space has lifted our human spirit, enlightened us, and has made lucid and close our fragility and responsibilities. Perhaps our inhibitions and worries, and our craving to overcome them fuels our explorative ambitions.

If we desire greater purpose then let us earn it; through hardship to the stars! The sky is no longer a limit, but a starting point. We can define our lives, and our existence, by how we accept and handle the unknown; our significance as humans set forth by our bravery and intelligence. Regardless of our qualms and fears, exploration of the unknown is an intrinsic passion of mankind. Why not remind ourselves of what has advanced us thus far?

As the astrophysicist and activist Carl Sagan said, “We were hunters and foragers. The frontier was everywhere. We were bounded only by the earth and the ocean and the sky.” Let us now explore the boundless, and go forth into the starry-night, fresh and inspired, ready to accept any challenge, just as those before us did, when they first set sail for the unknown.

Read the original post at bmseifert.com.