The Operator tipped me to the above video this week — for obvious reasons. Here’s my take: Forget which side of the aisle your politics lean toward. Forget who you voted for in 2008, and forget who you’re going to vote for in 2012. I don’t care, and I don’t really want to hear about it. (I’m sure John Jackson is super awesome and so much better Jack Johnson. I believe you. You don’t have to tell me. Really!) Here’s something we can all get down on.
We need to dream. We need to continue learning about our universe, to keep learning about what makes the world go, and to keep exploring. Things down here are bad. But guess what? Things down here have always been bad. There’s never existed a single point in our short history in which we faced no socioeconomic issues. Yet exploration (both scientific and geographic) has always proven core to the process of growing society and improving our collective lot in life. Always.
Now, as far as I can tell, is still a part of “always.” So we still have the same need to keep at least some small portion of our attention focused outward. If we allow our nations to turn inward, we’ll suffer the same fate that comes of every society that does so: slow decline followed by failure.
I’m sure Tyson will prove more eloquent delivering the prepared-in-advance words he’ll narrate for the upcoming new Cosmos. As I pointed out in a podcast a while back, I’ve never met him, but a pretty-damn-near-life-size version of him did greet me (along with all other visitors) at the Hayden Planetarium in New York. And that Tyson reminded me a hell of a lot of Sagan. I can’t wait to see the new shows.
And I hope that the tiny speck of money we spend on exploring our universe doesn’t somehow get lost in the political shuffle. You tell ’em, Tyson.