Let me first make one thing clear. I love space. I am fascinated by it and I can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe its because I feel like I don’t belong here. Any way… in spite of my fascination with the unknown, I don’t know anything about it! I haven’t read any books about it nor have I tried to study it. All the information I’ve gathered is from watching scientists talk on YouTube.
What intrigues me is the general public’s disinterest in space and space exploration. If you go up to a person on the road and ask him what he thinks about space and the importance of space exploration, this is probably the answer you would get-“There’s a sun and planets revolve around it. We have a moon going around us too. No one really knows for sure what goes on out there. We’ve got more problems here on Earth to deal with”. And I totally agree with this. We’ve got a hell of a lot problems here. There is suffering, pain, injustice, torture, climate change, overpopulation, poverty, unemployment, crime, disease, etc. They are all very worrisome. A normal person would ask why the hell should we spend money and put in effort for space exploration if it has no guaranteed results? Instead, why don’t we solve the problems here on Earth that might have practical solutions?
I’ve asked myself these questions several times. There are fundamental questions that each and every one of us have in our minds. Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? From what I understand, the answers to these questions lie out there in space. I don’t think meditation is going to give us the answer! The amazing thing is that we make discoveries all along the way. Necessity is the mother of all inventions. You will be amazed to see how space exploration has indirectly affected our lives. Most of the technology that we use on a daily basis have been developed based on the research undertaken for space exploration. Read about it here.
It is said that life began in water. Then it moved onto land. It started to crawl, walk , hell! it even began to fly! That’s all good. Here’s what’s bothers me though. What if the fish never left the water? What if the aquatic animals decided to better their living conditions rather than trying to move into land? How different would the world be? Are we still fish in a pond and just don’t realize it yet? What if the next step in evolution is out there in space?
We’ve been told in science class that we live on a planet that revolves around the sun. We’ve also been told that planets, stars and other celestial bodies are “moving” in space. I accepted all these things because I was child. But I never stopped thinking about it. Just “floating” in space wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to know how and why. What surprises me is that everyone else in my class was fine with this vague explanation. Not me. I don’t understand how people can just blindly believe what they are taught in class and not want to know more about it. How can one not be curious about the cosmos?
This is why I admire travellers. I think they follow the gut instinct without any hesitation. They work hard to experience the unknown. They have no boundaries. They are the real explorers. Can you believe that there are people willing to take one-way trips to outer space? Curiosity has no limits. Curiosity rules!
Why is there a sudden push for the search for life elsewhere? I might be wrong but as of late I feel as though I have been reading alot of news about individuals, companies and counties starting to look for friends anywhere outside the Earth. ‘Friends’, what a polite way to call them. Isn’t it? I wish we treated them that way too. I am frankly more afraid of what we would do to them than what they would do to us.
I believe that the universe speaks to us in mysterious ways. It may speak to us in the form of rogue incidents. Have you ever felt that you were at some random place at exacly the right time for absolutely no reason? Did you experience something spectacular at that random place? Did you meet someone who you will cherish for the rest of your life? If you haven’t had such experiences, don’t fret it because I’m damn sure you will. The universe may also voice itself in the form of people. People who like to educate. People who like to spread the word. People who do not push their ideals down your throat. Titans. That’s what I like to call them. A few people who have influenced me deeply are Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Sir Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla, Jim Carrey, yes Jim carrey the actor, Clint Eastwood( especially for his character in Gran Torino) and Robin Williams( for his character in everything. I hear that he was a great human being as well). Sorry ladies. I know for sure that there are lady Titans out there but I’m just too ignorant. If one of you could suggest few names I could spend my time productively by researching about them. Have you watched Stephen Colbert interview Neil De Grasse Tyson at Montclair Kimberley? That interview is to die for. Cosmos a Space Time Odessey( hosted by Neil) is a show that blew my mind like the big bang(if there ever was one).
Anyway, so why the sudden push for search for alien life? I do not know. But it makes me happy. Neil explains in one of his lectures that major scientific breakthroughs all had government backing and specific drivers. One main driver being fear. Countries have a fear of being inferior(referring to the space race). What if the sun starts fading from tomorrow? I feel like we would have found a new energy source in a few days. Is the search for life being pushed by a driver like that? I do not know.
To my grandfather, the study of socialism is more important than space exploration. He believes that social development is the key to a bright future. He says that research in socialism is more important as it will help in human upliftment. Another big point that he made is that the topics that socialist studies deal with is something that is happening all around us, all the time and thus all of us are able to get a first hand account. However, he 100% appreciates the effort that goes into search for life. So much that, he literally telephoned me out of sheer excitement after learning about the discovery of gravitational waves!
I recall Neil deGrasse Tyson, saying that we humans are made of star stuff. Evethough I kinda knew the whole deal about how basic molecules make up everything in the universe, I was just awestruck at that statement. We are made of that! How cool is that? Those things that float around in the night sky giving out spectacular lights are made of the same stuff we are made of! And yet we are not interested in them. We want to better our living conditions here. I know there are people dying here. Literally dying of hunger, violence, etc. People are forced to suffer inhumane conditions. These things make me wonder too if we should be looking out there or down here. I believe in science. I know that research on things ‘out there’ have and will benefit people down here in ways we cannot imagine. I would love to believe that the answers to questions like Who am I ? Why are we here? What the hell are we supposed to do? can be found out through self introspection and deep thinking. I would love to believe that. I would love to believe that the answers to everything would just pop into our brains one fine day through dedicated meditation. I admire the people who strive to attain enlightenment. But the sad part is that they themselves do not know if and when they’ll achieve it. What I do know for certain is that research ‘out there’ is getting us closer to the answers with added bonuses! It can also help us answer another troubling question. Where the hell did we come from!
Aah 2001 A Space Odessey. What a movie! I can watch it again and again. That voice of the computer singing ‘Daisy’ is so damn weird and cool at the same time. The great Stanley Kubrick’s classic was way ahead of its time. Sad part is that I do not know anyone who likes that movie as much as I do. I know there are many out there but my circle is small! On the other hand I know many interstellar fans. That movie blew people’s minds but it didn’t blow mine. Very nice visuals though! What does the movie have to do with the title of the blog? Nothing. I like to talk about movies. Deal with it. The Space Odessey explains in beautiful detail the ‘less talked about’ facts of human evolution. Life on Earth began in water. Organisms started to swim. They crept out of the water. They started to crawl, walk, run and fly. So what’s the next stage? I think it’s out there in space. Waiting for us. Just like the movie suggests. So imagine a scenario where during our course of time in the water(during that stage in evolution), we spend more time and energy in bettering the living conditions instead of trying to move onto land. How different would the world be. Of course, we did not posses that level of intelligence during our time in the water. So you could say that coming out of the water onto land was an inevitable stage in evolution. Now, we have a conscience. We are intelligent. We are ‘human’. It’s up to us to decide how to evolve.