Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Pondering on a Saturday Morning

I have been keeping up with old interests lately. Reading about the space program (or lack thereof) and potential consequences of continued space exploration and exploitation. Of course I chose the words consequences and exploitation deliberately, as did the writers of the articles I read, as they have a negative connotation to most people. I chose them to demonstrate deliberate slanting, they chose them to do deliberate slanting of their message. They took articles which could have been encouraging and uplifting and made them deliberately negative by simple word usage, essentially damning them by faint praise.

In one article they worried over what would happen should we mine the moon for He3 (supposedly needed for fusion) and pondered our damaging the eco-system of the moon (please, stop laughing, they were serious!) They also questioned whether we should seek to do even limited terra-forming of the moon or Mars, again sighting fears over damaging geologic or microscopic eco-systems. I guess it is better to leave all our eggs in one basket (Earth) and just hope our good intentions will prevent a super-flare or stray asteroid from ending us.

Another article fussed about “What will future generations due if we use up the fossil fools or natural gas?” well, they will do what future generations have always done, find something better! I have always contended that fossil fuels, natural gas and nuclear fission are bridge technologies to get us to future technologies. Whether those future technologies will be based in fusion (cold or hot) or in zero-point energy or in some heretofore unknown technology I don’t know, but future generations will!

The big problem with many people in the media industry is they can’t see past their limited technological education. With science and technology taking such a low rung on the education ladder these days (after all, it makes little Johnnie feel bad to not be smart enough to understand it, so we will skip it) it is no wonder journalists feel so threatened by it. We are all limited by our horizons. The closer and safer we make those horizons the more limited is our world view and the fewer options we have. Many people need a good dose of science fiction! We used to base our future on doing the impossible, climbing the unclimbed mountain, going where no one has gone before, now we don’t even have a space program to speak of unless we go begging off the Russians (President Kennedy is spinning in his grave while Nixon is dancing a jig in whatever of the nine-hells he is in.)

Unless we rekindle the imaginations and invest in the future of our children by doing so, we are in for a rough ride. I fear we may be on the slide down into obscurity here in the USA. Unless we can revitalize speculative thinking we are doomed.

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