Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Free to Dream

"Be very protective of your enthusiasm. Dont let anything affect that ! If you find yourself getting stressed out, if classes seem too much, take a break. This course is for you to figure out what you want to do with your life....but we have definitely packed it with too much stuff !" (or words to that effect)
- Dr. Neil Turok to the PSI students

There are idealists in the world who create wonderful things, wonderful places, wonderful situations and I am in one of them right now, among amazing people. To bring enthusiastic people together and give them everything they need and give them the freedom to dream, think and create new ideas for mankind....surely we need a lot more such places ! As David Deutsch so eloquently said in this talk, the survival of mankind depends on the ability of our species to create the knowledge that we require to solve the massive (existential) crises that we will face sooner or later.

Im really keen to see if I can actually do what Im supposed to do now that Im here : make a real and significant contribution to my species - Humankind and to my planet - Earth, so that we may hope to live and explore and carry to distant corners of spacetime the memories of Earth. We will certainly be extinct one day, but will we leave behind only a few primitive ruins on one planet of one obscure system ? Proof that we never grew up, that we remained small minded and spiteful and primitive ? Or will a million wrecks on a million distant and inhospitable worlds bear testimony to how far beyond its 'natural' mandate this unworthy chemical scum went, exploring the universe simply because it is there !

In The Songs of Distant Earth Clarke mentions a story of a frozen leopard carcass found near the top of Kilimanjaro. (the story happens to be The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Hemingway and almost certainly true) and wonders what the leopard was doing there....what was it seeking in those bleak icy slopes when the plains below - its natural home - abounded with game ?

The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but we cannot live forever in a cradle...

Image - New Scientist


Anonymous said...

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Chandni said...

There was something very uplifteing about this post. Yes.

Psmith said...

glad you liked it :)