Monday, August 6, 2012

Finally, Something to be Proud Of

We're weird... as a species, and as a nation- yesterday saw the absolute worse that Homo sapiens sapiens and U.S. residents in particular are capable of, a bloody rampage of rage and tribalism. Today, we have a triumph, for both Homo sapiens sapiens and for the people of the United States. In what could be described as one of the pinnacles of human achievement, NASA safely landed an automobile-sized rover on Mars in a nail-biting procedure:





It's amazing the contrast between the horrors to which humans can perpetrate, and the glories we can achieve... hopefully, we can move beyond our capacity for harm, and choose to be seekers for knowledge rather than wallowing in ignorance and hate, to inhale Einstein and exhale Hitler, so to speak.

It's a little something to assuage the grief and horror of yesterday's events... a little reminder that we aren't merely brutes. The Curiousity rover's mission is an important one, the search for evidence that life could be or could have been possible on another planet. If such evidence comes to light, it will simultaneously be humbling and edifying- we will no longer be able to consider ourselves a special case in the universe, but we will be able to see ourselves as part of a much grander "community" of living beings. If there is evidence of life on another planet, will we have a better chance of seeing the intrinsic kinship we have with not only our fellow humans, but with the other species we share this planet with? I sure hope so, I'd rather be a simple resident of a typical rocky planet that to be the "Apex of Creation".

That being said, I hope Curiosity stays away from the bad neighborhoods on Mars...

8 comments:

mikey said...

As far back as 1969 we saw similar technological leaps on display both on the surface of the moon and in South Vietnam.

Also, there are more than 200 billion stars in our galaxy and more than 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Based on the abundance and diversity of life on earth, the presence of life throughout the universe, including intelligence, is a statistical certainty.

But in a sense, it's a moot point. At stellar distances it would take thousands of years to travel, or even get a signal between civilizations. At some point we'll KNOW we aren't alone, but alone we will certainly always be...

wiley said...

Rovers on Mars is testament to human engineering and curiosity. I, however, would like to see the human race pondering what life on the planet Earth means--- how even fungus is a necessary ingredient to the ecology that makes human life possible. We need some humbling realizations about what it means to not destroy the ecosystem we rely on. If we can't make it here, we can't make it anywhere.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

We'll extinguish "intelligent" life here on earth thanks to greed and willful ignorance before we'll find any evidence of it elsewhere, he typed cheerfully.
~

Substance McGravitas said...

Are you saying grotesque suboceanic balls of slime aren't smart?

kennymfg said...

So you're saying you don't believe in Earth-exceptionalism? Freakin' lib.

bbkf said...

wow, b^4, once again i am amazed at the thought processes underneath that bald dome...

and wiley, right the fuck on!

Laura said...

I want to move to Mars.
As soon as there is a confirmed chocolate sighting, I'm on my way. :)

((Hugs))
Laura

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Also, there are more than 200 billion stars in our galaxy and more than 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Based on the abundance and diversity of life on earth, the presence of life throughout the universe, including intelligence, is a statistical certainty.

The 90's were an interesting decade, with simultaneous advances in the discovery of extrasolar planets and the discovery of extremophiles here on Earth. Suddenly, the probability of extraterrestrial life became much greater. I also believe that the existence of extraterrestrial life is almost certain.

But in a sense, it's a moot point. At stellar distances it would take thousands of years to travel, or even get a signal between civilizations. At some point we'll KNOW we aren't alone, but alone we will certainly always be...

Best not to fall in love.

Rovers on Mars is testament to human engineering and curiosity. I, however, would like to see the human race pondering what life on the planet Earth means--- how even fungus is a necessary ingredient to the ecology that makes human life possible. We need some humbling realizations about what it means to not destroy the ecosystem we rely on. If we can't make it here, we can't make it anywhere.

There are many people doing some great work in this regard. Tragically, there are many, many more who see this world as merely a strip-mine to get rich off, or a stopping off point before they get to a paradise. I sure hope the people who cherish this planet get the upper hand someday.

We'll extinguish "intelligent" life here on earth thanks to greed and willful ignorance before we'll find any evidence of it elsewhere, he typed cheerfully.

Maybe the cockroaches will make a better go of it than we did.

Are you saying grotesque suboceanic balls of slime aren't smart?

Shhhhh... the first rule of Cthulhu Cult is not to talk about Cthulhu Cult!

So you're saying you don't believe in Earth-exceptionalism? Freakin' lib.

MARS FOR THE WIN!!! U.S... uh... M?

wow, b^4, once again i am amazed at the thought processes underneath that bald dome...

Thanks, I have time to ponder these things. Now, speaking of amazing thought processes, how about Riddled?

I want to move to Mars.

Mars needs women.

As soon as there is a confirmed chocolate sighting, I'm on my way. :)

Will a little bit of goo growing under a rock be sufficient?