14 05 10 - 13:57From the pungi-stakes-at-your-ankles department:
Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off today on its STS-132 mission to the International Space Station - the final flight for the venerable vehicle. - "Atlantis blasts off on final mission," by Lester Haines, The Register, May 14, 2010
Not to make a political comment here, but this is sad. Humanity needs to be more playful, and to have an ongoing goal. Space exploration provides a vital part of that. Instead of spending our money on the homeless, insane, angry, criminal and burnt-out here on earth, let's explore the stars. We all die; some sooner than others. We all face suffering; some more than others. But we all benefit from having a goal and a hope, and a reason to keep striving. Otherwise, what else is there? A quick fap at the internet porn trough before drinking some government-subsidized booze, loading a bowl and hitting the Xbox for another fascinating round of games?
"You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank that high on the truth meter," he told the students. "And with iPods and iPads, and Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it's putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy." - "Obama: iPad, Xbox Turn Information Into A 'Distraction'," AP/The Huffington Post, May 9, 2010
While the president that George Soros bought up out of the hopelessly-corrupt Chicago machine and turned into a media figure based on a Hollywood archetype is probably not a good role model, here he's correct: our public lie is that we're after information, but the private truth is that people are downloading porn and goofing off. We're awash in information and increasingly, we turn inward to what we know. What kind of a hollow life has that made?
Space exploration would be healthier. Go outward, toward the fresh and new and difficult, and stay away from the safe and bloatedly comfortable.