Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Important Questions - Elusive Answers

    In response to a comment I made over at United Right - a Canadian site - was my answer to a question asked by any intelligent person on our planet. It is just how I feel - and I only had a large Starbucks so far (black, no junk added).

    She asks the age-old question:
    Are we amoebas with sentence? Do we really have a purpose for being here other than our four score and ten, then to wink out, no more important than the mayfly who lives her life in one day and fulfiills the same destiny in the end.
    The content of my comment:

    Or perhaps we are being tested - are we worthy to survive as a species? Configured with the capability to intellectually evolve, have humans abandoned their potential destiny in favor of a TV show? Misdirected their resources from potential discovery and achievement in favor of superficial fixes and delusional solutions?

    Humans on Earth are now wandering about, lost, without collective goals or anticipation of new frontiers. Without the continuation to press on - to achieve the unachievable - there is not much to look forward to in life - unless you think pondering who the next American Idol captures that adventurous spirit.

    The wrong people control our destiny in the world - no collective scientific goals anymore. The spirit to advance is present - but the pressure to dump billions, collectively trillions, of dollars into illusions that make some feel good about themselves until the next funding attempt is exceedingly great, so the dreams remain dreams.

    The growing desire to look for and use some easy button is the prevailing choice, but such choices provide only temporary satisfaction, never real gain, never real achievement.
    We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

    It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.

    But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun--almost as hot as it is here today--and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out--then we must be bold.
    President John Kennedy, September 12, 1962

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