The World As I See It Part II: The Final Frontier
If you liked my choice of soundtrack in the last article, try out these guys. Carbon Based Lifeforms. I’ve plugged them a few times, but that’s because they are my fucking favourite ambient band ever. Click here for the album ‘Interloper’ on youtube.
So I’m gonna do another one of these. At the moment, I’m having internet problems which is making everything run slow as shit, and on top of that facebook has banned me from posting on page walls, as it deemed my posting of articles as “spam”…despite the fact that the articles had direct relevance to those pages i was posting on. Most of those guys EXPECTED me to post the articles on their wall, yet facebook decides to ban me for like 2 weeks as a result. So when i finish articles, i wont be able to post them on their respective bands facebook wall, which is ridiculous. So I’m just going to attempt some different styles of articles in the next little while. This series is just my thoughts on particular issues that i feel are important. I wrote a similar thing yesterday, on the environment and the problems surrounding that, which you can find here;
Today, i am going a step further. Today i am gonna talk about…
Space. The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of… wait, sorry, that’s not it. Ah yes, Space – a gargantuan, unexplored expanse filled with scientific wonders, solutions to Earthly problems and unfathomable opportunities. Back in the 20th century, there was a time when fucking everyone gave a fuck about space. Back when it had some value, namely the Americans showing the Russians that their science penis was bigger than theirs. The funding was incredible and support high, but for all the wrong reasons. Since the end of the Cold War, funding for NASA and similar space programs has dwindled. Now, I’m not American, as most of you know, but i am going to be talking about America mostly in this article – simply because NASA is the biggest space program and they collaborate with scientists across the world, including Scotland. This means that although NASA is an American program, they are nice enough to incorporate any scientist of any nation to join in. This is lovely, and something i wholly support. I mentioned in my last article that i believed the notion of “nations” to be ridiculous, and i hope for a time in the future when we can consider ourselves one race, with one global nation, helping everyone out equally. Nations are brilliant markers for areas, in regards to geography and historiography, but we all know that culture seeps out through the borders and into the surrounding area. There is no intrinsic end to one nation and no beginning to another – it is all man made, lines on a map we have concocted in our imaginations. Just because we draw up borders, doesn’t mean they should be closed off and monitored. We have imposed too many unnecessary rules on our world, and this saddens me. NASA work against that norm, and i applaud them for it. Eventually, this should become the norm.
In 1966, NASA received a budget of $32,106 million. That was 4.41% of the federal budget. In 2012, it received $16,014 million, at 0.48% of the federal budget. This has been a massive drop, and the scientists there have been feeling it. Projects take so much longer now, and they are often cancelled altogether. That budget may seem like a vast amount, but when you consider what these guys are doing, that number doesn’t seem so big. They have to be able to haul vast machinery, bigger than most buildings, up against the full might of the gravity and hurtle these 1,996 ton transports (usually with a 30 ton payload) up there in the hopes that there is enough fuel (over 1 million pounds of solid propellant) to meet the speed necessary to reach outer space (28,000 kilometers per hour). Oh yeah, that shit sounds easy. And suuuuuper cheap. Even the experiments that don’t require going into space cost a fuck ton. So a large budget is not only understandable, but vital.
But why should we give money to this cause? Aren’t there better things to be spending our money on? Maybe, spending more money on revitalising our planet, like i was talking about in my last article? Or eradicating poverty? Yes, these are all important, and i totally support giving these issues a huge budget too. However – let’s look at some statistics here.
To eradicate poverty across the world in 20 years, it is calculated that the total cost per year would be about $175 billion. This represents less than one percent of the combined income of the richest countries in the world. No shit? That sounds…super achievable! Why the fuck haven’t we done that yet?
But let’s take this one step further. Let’s compare the military spending to this goal of eradicating poverty. Overall, the world spent $1735 billion on war in 2012. How can we justify spending that amount on fighting each other, when it would take so little to eliminate poverty? Imagine if instead of every tank they built, they built a generator for an impoverished town in Africa or some shit. What if they spent that money on training doctors? Building Schools? SAVING THE GOD DAMN PLANET? Let me show you another graph.
Killing other people is more important than not committing planetary suicide. And advancing the human race. Wow, that sure makes a lot of sense. No wonder people are so eager to believe the government are some evil corporation run by the Illuminati or some shit. Personally, i don’t believe that. Conspiracy stories are conveniently dramatic stories concocted to help explain a question which actually has a very simple answer. The people in charge aren’t being evil because they are under the thumb of a villainous organisation. They are being evil because the majority of people in power are dicks. It’s as simple as that. Everyone is a dick, and they’re ruining it for everyone who is slightly less of a dick.
As much as the notion of money is ridiculous, I’m going to pretend it’s the only option at the moment, because that’s how most governments think. There is more than enough money to solve the problems in this world, if we were to stop swinging our dongs around for like two fucking seconds. There is more than enough money left over to dedicate to advancements in science that can gather in more revenue to spend on solving MORE problems. Let’s look at some of the benefits of funding space projects, shall we? Watch this video.
On asteroid may contain more platinum than has ever been mined on Earth fucking ever. Remember that money i was talking about earlier? The money we could use to solve the problems like poverty and healing the Earth? Yeah, there’s pretty much unlimited resources in space, all we need to do is get there. A few billion dollars worth of budget away from blowing the shit out of children in fields, placed into space research and we could potentially rake in profits exceeding 7000%. So if money is the objection, people should fucking get on this idea and make some. Then spend some of it on helping our dying planet.
I believe the answer to all of our problems lie in space. Any discoveries made in space have dramatic repercussions on Earth – especially if we find new sources of fuel to replace our depleting stockholds here on Earth. It provides a simple long term (in a manner of speaking) solution to fucking everything.
However, we must remember that while this a long term solution in terms of the present, in the grand scheme of things, it is still only a short term solution. The Solar System is just another oil deposit. If we take too much of that, it will be gone too. And then we’ll be even more fucked. However, i completely support utilising it at the moment, considering our dwindling supplies, the potential it has to advance our race and solve some problems, and the confidence that if it does prove profitable, then Space programs will be FLOODED with funding. This will benefit most aspects of science and will lead to future discoveries, including a potential sustainable energy source, which would mean we wouldn’t need to dig into the presents left behind by the universe.
Look at all that fucking money.
So check that shit out. And even if there wasn’t unimaginable profits, then we should still venture into space as it has so much to offer us. Potential colonies. Scientific wonders. The possibility of contact. Does this not excite you? I mean, well, it could be that we come across a planet-devouring empire of evil aliens, but shit, that’s hardly a reason to hide. If they were really so big and evil, they’ll find us and end us regardless. We might as well get our foot in the door, yeah?
There are suns made of diamond, out there. So many beautiful and intriguing things. And, like in the last article, I’m going to turn to a master of the field. Someone who did the same work as David Attenborough, in a different field. He brought the wonders of the Cosmos on to the television screen and created an interesting insight into our universe in a popular fashion. That man is Carl Sagan, and i would like to talk about his series “Cosmos” as well as some other interesting things he was a part of.
The first thing i would like to direct you to is this. It’s not overly long, but it is a decent length, so you can save it for after the article if you want. But this is one of the most beautifully constructed speeches i have ever heard, and if it doesn’t move you in a way, i don’t know what will.
Wow. Just wow. That man combines science with fucking poetry. When you think science, you often think of being hammered with numbers and figures and terms you cant even begin to understand. This is not the case here. It is simply put, but that doesn’t take away any of it’s weight. Nor does it take away from it’s beauty.
Another of Sagan’s endeavours that i recommend is the audiobook of Pale Blue Dot. The book is brilliant, but i feel there is something added with the inclusion of Carl’s soothing voice. I recommend you buy it or download it, as it is a spectacular read/listen. It also syncs up nicely with this.
Then we come to Cosmos, the best selling science series of all time. It may seem dated in a way, considering it was released in the early 80s, but it’s message still rings true. There have been a lot of advancements since then, and a lot of new information, but the way this programme is delivered makes it seem more like a brief glimpse into the world of science accompanied with a poetic narration. It is a story, as well as science.
Sagan is one of the great minds of this century, and it is a sad thing to know that he is gone. However, this is an age of discovery and hopefully his mission will strike up a fire in the hearts of those intelligent enough to offer something priceless.
Space is not really the final frontier. It just happens to be the next step. We have conquered our planet utterly. Let’s move into space, and hopefully be a little gentler with it.
So please, join the debate about this. I want to hear your thoughts on the matters i talk about. Discussion is good and i can take criticism. Please enter the debate on other mediums too, as i have. Here is one such link.
I would like to thank you for indulging me in this matter. I hope it made at least a degree of sense to some of you. I welcome criticism and thoughts, please comment if you want. Now i’m going to use this time to advertise a few things you may be interested in.
First of all, i am a historian. I study history at university, and i am in the process of building a network of historians and history enthusiasts on facebook, who can provide each other with interesting topics as well as help each other out when we need it (whether that be for university exams, school essays or even your own projects). There are no requirements for joining except a love for history. I encourage you to join and to invite anyone else you may think would be interested.
If you are so inclined, i also run a page that posts on Atheism and the problems that religion causes in this world. I am an atheist, and i believe Religion to be holding us back as a species, so i hope to educate people in the ways of free thinking and the nature of scientific evidence.
Here are a bunch of pages that i have found informative on matters such as space and the environment.
Here is some music i like to associate with space and the sort.
If you are in a band and would like some internet promotion, reviews and more fans of your music, then please go to our facebook page, like us and let us know what you need. On top of that, if you would like a review, then please send your links and information to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will stick you on the list.
Here are the various mediums i use;
Thanks for reading.