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(YouTube)   Why do we explore? Simply put, it is part of who we are, and it is something we have done throughout our history. In NASA's video, "We Are the Explorers"   (youtube.com) divider line 35
    More: Cool, Optimus Prime, NASA  
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872 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 Mar 2013 at 4:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-30 04:05:09 PM
 
2013-03-30 05:11:27 PM

eraser8: For 99.9 percent of the time since our species came to be, we were hunters and foragers, wanderers on the savannahs and the steppes. There were no border guards then, no customs officials. The frontier was everywhere. We were bounded only by the Earth and the ocean and the sky-plus occasional grumpy neighbors...

In the last ten thousand years-an instant in our long history-we've abandoned the nomadic life. We've domesticated the plants and animals. Why chase the food when you can make it come to you?

For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven't forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. We invest far-off places with a certain romance. This appeal, I suspect, has been meticulously crafted by natural selection as an essential element in our survival. Long summers, mild winters, rich harvests, plentiful game-none of them lasts forever. It is beyond our powers to predict the future. Catastrophic events have a way of sneaking up on us, of catching us unaware. Your own life, or your band's, or even your species' might be owed to a restless few-drawn, by a craving they can hardly articulate or understand, to undiscovered lands and new worlds.

--Carl Sagan


Carl really had a way with words -- with making them resonate. The Pale Blue Dot still gives me a lump in my throat. Every time.
 
2013-03-30 05:11:40 PM
There's an even more immediate, if perhaps unconvincing argument:

For your entire life you've lived in Mom's basement. There your life is comfortable, and you will always have Hot Pockets. Life is bountifu, and might be difficult elsewhere. Why do anything different?

But there may come a time where you should move out of Mom's basement. Maybe even meet a girl.
But then there's Fark's favorite Space Troll...
 
2013-03-30 05:12:35 PM
To be more precise, they are the explorers who can only explore if they successfully wheedle a ride on somebody else's booster.
 
2013-03-30 05:13:09 PM
Obligatory Cloud Cult Reference (who make a NASA reference)
 
2013-03-30 05:13:38 PM
Sorry... lost an "L" there.
 
2013-03-30 05:19:11 PM

eraser8: For 99.9 percent of the time since our species came to be, we were hunters and foragers, wanderers on the savannahs and the steppes. There were no border guards then, no customs officials. The frontier was everywhere. We were bounded only by the Earth and the ocean and the sky-plus occasional grumpy neighbors...

In the last ten thousand years-an instant in our long history-we've abandoned the nomadic life. We've domesticated the plants and animals. Why chase the food when you can make it come to you?

For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven't forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. We invest far-off places with a certain romance. This appeal, I suspect, has been meticulously crafted by natural selection as an essential element in our survival. Long summers, mild winters, rich harvests, plentiful game-none of them lasts forever. It is beyond our powers to predict the future. Catastrophic events have a way of sneaking up on us, of catching us unaware. Your own life, or your band's, or even your species' might be owed to a restless few-drawn, by a craving they can hardly articulate or understand, to undiscovered lands and new worlds.

--Carl Sagan

media.tumblr.com

 
2013-03-30 05:38:24 PM

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking,
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

     -John Masefield
 
2013-03-30 05:45:18 PM
"Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in the cradle forever"

  --  Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

/In b4 "space nutters"
 
2013-03-30 05:49:31 PM
Depressing thought that might not have occured to the atheistic Carl Sagan:

The people most willing to spend months in deprivation travelling to new worlds are also the sorts historically that are most faith-driven.

Pilgrims? Yeah, they couldn't transform Europe to a theocracy, so they moved to the new world.

The Spanish? Moved by fire. Convert or die was what they left, and that's sort of what they did once they arrived.

At a guess, the ones who first go to the stars are going to be the most wild-eyed fanatics among us.

/ just saying.
 
2013-03-30 05:59:50 PM

maxheck: Depressing thought that might not have occured to the atheistic Carl Sagan:

The people most willing to spend months in deprivation travelling to new worlds are also the sorts historically that are most faith-driven.

Pilgrims? Yeah, they couldn't transform Europe to a theocracy, so they moved to the new world.

The Spanish? Moved by fire. Convert or die was what they left, and that's sort of what they did once they arrived.

At a guess, the ones who first go to the stars are going to be the most wild-eyed fanatics among us.

/ just saying.




To be fair, that doesn't cover all of our reasons for exploring.
Some did it to get rich, some wanted to escape, some sailed for king and country, others merely fleeing hate. Every man leaves for a reason, and we question why they should, but a unifying purpose: they went because they could.
 
2013-03-30 06:05:34 PM
way south:

maxheck: Depressing thought that might not have occured to the atheistic Carl Sagan:

The people most willing to spend months in deprivation travelling to new worlds are also the sorts historically that are most faith-driven.

Pilgrims? Yeah, they couldn't transform Europe to a theocracy, so they moved to the new world.

The Spanish? Moved by fire. Convert or die was what they left, and that's sort of what they did once they arrived.

At a guess, the ones who first go to the stars are going to be the most wild-eyed fanatics among us.

/ just saying.

To be fair, that doesn't cover all of our reasons for exploring.
Some did it to get rich, some wanted to escape, some sailed for king and country, others merely fleeing hate. Every man leaves for a reason, and we question why they should, but a unifying purpose: they went because they could.


I understand that, and hope it'll be different, just thought it was worth pointing out. King and country and money and fame and history and all sorts of things are also prone to wild-eyed obsession. Look at the exploration of the South Pole.
Moving lots of people usually takes faith though.
 
2013-03-30 06:19:04 PM

maxheck: Depressing thought that might not have occured to the atheistic Carl Sagan:

The people most willing to spend months in deprivation travelling to new worlds are also the sorts historically that are most faith-driven.

Pilgrims? Yeah, they couldn't transform Europe to a theocracy, so they moved to the new world.

The Spanish? Moved by fire. Convert or die was what they left, and that's sort of what they did once they arrived.

At a guess, the ones who first go to the stars are going to be the most wild-eyed fanatics among us.

/ just saying.


I imagine the first people going off to the nethereaches of space will be more reason and science oriented pilgrims having been driven off the Earth by fundies clinging to the "Holy/Fatherland" idea.
 
2013-03-30 06:24:48 PM
'Attention Whoring' at it's finest.
 
2013-03-30 06:25:55 PM

maxheck: Depressing thought that might not have occured to the atheistic Carl Sagan:

The people most willing to spend months in deprivation travelling to new worlds are also the sorts historically that are most faith-driven.

Pilgrims? Yeah, they couldn't transform Europe to a theocracy, so they moved to the new world.

The Spanish? Moved by fire. Convert or die was what they left, and that's sort of what they did once they arrived.

At a guess, the ones who first go to the stars are going to be the most wild-eyed fanatics among us.

/ just saying.


Mr. Sagan was perfectly aware of the exploration undertaken by Pilgrims -- whether Christian or Pagan or of some other religion.

As he wrote in his Pale Blue Dot, Sagan understood that religious Europeans were not the first explorers of the New World:  As time passed, as the human exploratory capacity hit its stride, there were surprises: Barbarians could be fully as clever as Greeks and Romans. Africa and Asia were larger than anyone had guessed. The World Ocean was not impassable. There were Antipodes. Three new continents existed, had been settled by Asians in ages past, and the news had never reached Europe. Also the gods were disappointingly hard to find.

On top of all that, it's important to remember that the "discoveries" of natural laws "uncovered" by European Christians were not original.  Galileo, for example, had merely rediscovered what Eratosthenes had realized well over a millennium earlier.  Same goes for Copernicus, who rediscovered what was well known to scientists of antiquity, such as Aristarchus of Samos.

Understanding that, it's pretty clear that monotheistic (especially Christian) scientists were merely repairing the damage done to human knowledge that the Church inflicted in the first place.
 
2013-03-30 06:31:19 PM
This video isn't new by the way, but the effort to put it in theaters ahead of Star Trek Into Darkness is. They met their original goal to show the video in all the major markets throughout the US, now they're going for showing the video in all 50 states.
 
2013-03-30 06:33:42 PM
SOME PEOPLE ASK, WHY GO TO THE MOON?

THEY MAY WELL ASK, WHY CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN?

WHY 35 YEARS AGO, FLY THE ATLANTIC?

WHY DOES RICE PLAY TEXAS...?

At one time, during the 1920's and 30's there was parity in football in the Southwest Conference; Rice won its share of the championships and on any given Saturday in the fall any team had the potential to beat any other team. But after WWII the University of Texas took off in size and came to dominate football in the region.

Rice earned the dubious honor of becoming the smallest school in the nation to play Division I sports.

Logically, mathematically, analytically, Rice should never beat Texas. With a regular period, the Rice University faculty debates giving up football - or all Division I athletics - as a waste of time, money, and effort.

And when the historians replay the tape of JFK's speech, they generally clip out the phrase 'WHY DOES RICE PLAY TEXAS?' perhaps because the reference may be obscure to some people, perhaps because it seems less important than Lindbergh flying solo across the Atlantic. But if that phrase is clipped out, I submit you may miss the point.

Texas dominates the series 64-21-1. The conferences have changed and the two teams don't play every year, and when they do, it doesn't count for conference standings.

Logically, mathematically, analytically, there is no point for Rice to play Texas.

But about once a decade, the illogical happens: the underdog triumphs. Facing the challenge makes a fundamental change in the people who face that challenge....

...The Universe neither knows nor cares if we boldly explore or silently fade from the scene.

But we know.

The point is what the challenge does to us. There is nothing "virtual" about being on the mountain peak, or on the lunar surface. The challenge changes us and that may very well be the most important thing of all.

WE CHOOSE TO GO TO THE MOON...

WE CHOOSE TO GO TO THE MOON AND DO THE OTHER THINGS,

NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE EASY BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE HARD

BECAUSE THAT CHALLENGE IS ONE WE INTEND TO WIN
 
2013-03-30 06:34:31 PM
Difference of opinions.

IMHO, the European Christians were making their own place in the new world. Which is certainly fair enough. They had a few problems with Britain and the Netherlands beforehad though.
 
2013-03-30 06:39:25 PM
For that matter, any American has a problem with the Puritans 300+ years later.

Dammit, England... You sent your Puritans to America, and your criminals to Australia. Who got the more entertaining bunch?
 
2013-03-30 06:50:41 PM
Sam Seaborn: There are a lot of hungry people in the world, Mal, and none of them are hungry 'cause we went to the moon. None of them are colder and certainly none of them are dumber 'cause we went to the moon.
Mallory O'Brian: And we went to the moon. Do we really have to go to Mars?
Sam Seaborn: Yes.
Mallory O'Brian: Why?
Sam Seaborn: 'Cause it's next. 'Cause we came out of the cave, and we looked over the hill and we saw fire; and we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west, and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration and this is what's next.

/I really miss The West Winf
 
2013-03-30 07:30:17 PM

maxheck: For that matter, any American has a problem with the Puritans 300+ years later.

Dammit, England... You sent your Puritans to America, and your criminals to Australia. Who got the more entertaining bunch?


Australia has it's puritans
 
2013-03-30 07:31:32 PM
V= sq root of 2GM/r

Can't leave home without it
 
2013-03-30 07:37:25 PM
www.cartoonstock.com
 
2013-03-30 07:42:18 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: [www.cartoonstock.com image 270x400]


you're running late, this was posted about 2.5 hours ago
 
2013-03-30 07:46:55 PM

maxheck: Difference of opinions.

IMHO, the European Christians were making their own place in the new world. Which is certainly fair enough. They had a few problems with Britain and the Netherlands beforehad though.




Not just making their place, but setting out to make a new world.

The scientists will come and go like Darwin did in the South Pacific. Explorers rarely stay. The spaniards and people chasing the gold rushes came for the money and left when it dried up. The British would plant a flag and move on.
NASA is an exploration agency, so we shouldn't expect anything long term from them.

Right now we need ship builders most. People who can make getting into space more affordable.
What we will want to actually colonize are people willing to punch a one way ticket on some extremely high stakes.

I agree that they'll need to have alot of faith, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the first crew are very religious. But with how things are now tho, I'd more put my money on idealists.
People who want to have an entirely different nation and who can't get it here.
 
2013-03-30 08:08:24 PM

loonatic112358: Quantum Apostrophe: [www.cartoonstock.com image 270x400]

you're running late, this was posted about 2.5 hours ago


Damn it. Long weekend. Got into the Canadian whisky a bit early too. OK, so how about we meet in space and discuss the species' future?
 
2013-03-30 08:28:11 PM
Quantum Apostrophe:

loonatic112358: Quantum Apostrophe: [www.cartoonstock.com image 270x400]

you're running late, this was posted about 2.5 hours ago

Damn it. Long weekend. Got into the Canadian whisky a bit early too. OK, so how about we meet in space and discuss the species' future?


No problem. Maybe when you reach 150 years of age you'll speak about this?
 
2013-03-30 09:02:32 PM

maxheck: Quantum Apostrophe: Damn it. Long weekend. Got into the Canadian whisky a bit early too. OK, so how about we meet in space and discuss the species' future?

No problem. Maybe when you reach 150 years of age you'll speak about this?


nofactzone.s3.amazonaws.com
 
2013-03-30 10:26:16 PM
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.


www.abc.net.au

Quote from T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-03-30 10:46:42 PM
There isn't anything else to do.
 
2013-03-30 10:47:06 PM
{sigh} this entire thread and no one has mentioned who did the voice over? Only a geek god!

geek-news.mtv.com
 
2013-03-30 11:32:47 PM
Ya know, a guy who likes Canuckistan whisky a bit early can't be all bad. :3
 
2013-03-31 01:36:16 AM

Sharwnthla: {sigh} this entire thread and no one has mentioned who did the voice over? Only a geek god!


I thought nobody mentioned it because it'd be stating the obvious?
 
2013-03-31 03:16:59 AM

maxheck: Depressing thought that might not have occured to the atheistic Carl Sagan:

The people most willing to spend months in deprivation travelling to new worlds are also the sorts historically that are most faith-driven.

Pilgrims? Yeah, they couldn't transform Europe to a theocracy, so they moved to the new world.

The Spanish? Moved by fire. Convert or die was what they left, and that's sort of what they did once they arrived.

At a guess, the ones who first go to the stars are going to be the most wild-eyed fanatics among us.

/ just saying.


Religion was the excuse.  Money was the reason, every time.
 
2013-03-31 08:49:21 AM
"Whitey On The Moon"


A rat done bit my sister Nell
With Whitey on the moon
Her face and arms began to swell
And Whitey's on the moon

I can't pay no doctor bills
But Whitey's on the moon
Ten years from now I'll be paying still
While Whitey's on the moon

You know, the man just upped my rent last night
Cause Whitey's on the moon
No hot water, no toilets, no lights
But Whitey's on the moon

I wonder why he's uppin' me?
Cause Whitey's on the moon?
Well i was already given him fifty a week
And now Whitey's on the moon

Taxes takin' my whole damn check
The junkies make me a nervous wreck
The price of food is goin up
And if all that crap wasn't enough
A rat done bit my sister nell
With Whitey on the moon

Her face and arms began to swell
And Whitey's on the moon

With all that money i made last year
For Whitey on the moon
How come I ain't got no money here?
Hmm, Whitey's on the moon

You know I just about had my fill
Of Whitey on the moon
I think I'll send these doctor bills
airmail special
(To Whitey on the moon)

RIP Gil Scott-Heron
 
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