Neil deGrasse Tyson: Dream of Space Again

I (Ralph Bernardo) Fully Endorse This.

12 Comments on "Neil deGrasse Tyson: Dream of Space Again"

  1. He’s right. We do need to dream. But we won’t, because we’re so thoroughly done for that you may as well consider yourself dead.

  2. Some people dream of colonizing space.

    What for?

    Human beings will just keep making the same mistakes that we always do when we move beyond our home world. Greed. Aggression. Envy. Division. Competition. Ethnic conflict. Hierarchy.

    There’s something called the Overview Effect undergone by some who have ventured into space. It’s described, per Wikipedia, as “a transcendental, euphoric feeling of universal connection reported by
    some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from
    orbit or from the lunar surface.” It’s experience by some, but not all, people who have travelled that far away from Earth. They see a world without boundaries or divisions, the Earth as one unit or system rather than several.

    Some have advocated space travel as a way, as stated by the Overview Institute, to mitigate the effects of “climate change, food, water and energy shortages
    as well as the increasing disparity between the developed and developing
    nations are testing our will to unite, while differences in religions,
    cultures, and politics continue to keep us apart”. But these problems don’t stem from humanity not colonizing space, but from the fact that as humans we are somewhat lacking in humanity.Others deride, as in the video above, that fact that people no longer dream of visiting the moon or space or other worlds. This, I believe, is the Illusionary dream of adventure. No adventure turns out as planned. If it does, it’s a vacation in a controlled environment and not an adventure. It’s a trip to the Bahamas.The Earth is fragile. It’s inhabitants even more so. Should the people of the future seek new worlds to inhabit, or should they work to become better humans? Should humans endeavor to continue their dysfunctional existence beyond the planet’s boundaries, or should they spend more time earthbound in order to shake their old habits?From 238,857 miles up, the Earth appears as a distant blue sphere. On it live a race of selfish, petty beings who spread like bacteria and think primarily of their own survival and well-being. They work to benefit their home planet only if it suits them; preserving attractive animals, preserving attractive ecosystems, preserving sources of delicious foods and affordable products. From 238,857 miles up, human beings cannot be seen spreading across the surface of the world like cancer. At that distance, people cannot be seen lying to each other, stealing from each other, or killing each other. To view something from such a great distance is to disregard the little details that make it what it is.People seek to run away from Earth and from other people. Why is that?

    •  The idea is that aspiring to something like space travel, makes us better humans. It’s a lofty goal that might at least move us in the right direction.  Hopefully by the time we get there we won’t be so like a bacterial infection.

  3. We *are* dreaming and exploring, Neil.  We’re doing it in Imaginal Space, and that’s a far greater and more astounding capacity than anything NASA can explore.  I like astronautics as much as the next Tang drinker, but if I am to choose a target for public funding it will not be space travel.  It will be the Singularity Institute and the global project of charting and navigating innumerable virtual realities.  Humanity’s future is not in the unforgiving vacuum of outer space (through which we are already hurtling, by the way).  Our future is as a perpetually evolving global mind in a state of eternal recapitulation.

    • your idea of exploration and tomorrow is just as narrow and futile, only it can be supported further and relentlessly because of its intangibility. thinkers have hard heads for definitions. what *is* dreaming and exploring?

      • It may turn out to be narrow and futile, but right now the exploratory potential in imaginal space is far greater than that of outer space.  I would hasten to add that so-called “active imagination” has proven its value to humankind throughout history, so even if this dream of an AI-supported virtual dreamscape fails to enlighten the planet, the basic cartography and language of such a space would likely nurture revolutionary insights in science, engineering, and social evolution.

        In capitalistic terms, exploring imaginal space is a more promising investment than exploring outer space.  I will admit that in hegemonic terms, NASA provides far better cover for weaponization…but that is a separate issue — and one that Tyson avoids completely.

        If you require a more concrete definition of imaginal exploration, consider it from the more conservative angle of “participatory simulations of human futures, competing for advocacy in the present”.  That concept alone has huge upsides for directed democracy and global organization.

  4. And then what?  The Real Housewives of Mars?

    • Jin The Ninja | Mar 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

       that would make a great john carpenter sequel, ‘the real ghostwives of mars.’ if only they could find a way to resurrect pam grier…

  5. Gregory_kiker | Mar 13, 2012 at 7:57 pm |

    this is from the daily show

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