Ambition, especially applied to women, has a negative connotation. It implies that you’re willing to step on other people, which is definitely not the truth. It’s perceived as unfeminine. We’re supposed to say, ‘Oh, it just happened to me. I’m so lucky.’
…our society has become so technologically based that you really can’t be a fully operating citizen unless you understand basic science. How are you supposed to make judgements about the health of your children if you don’t believe in science? How are you supposed to make a judgement about a generation of fuel and power if you don’t believe in science? You can’t operate as a sensible voting member of a democratic society these days unless you understand fundamental scientific principles to a degree.
[Space exploration] is in financial trouble. Yet by many standards, such missions are inexpensive. Mariner Jupiter/Saturn costs about the same as the American aircraft shot down in Vietnam in the week in which I am writing these words (Christmas 1972). The Viking mission itself costs about a fortnight of the Vietnam war.
I find these comparisons particularly poignant: life versus death, hope versus fear. Space exploration and the highly mechanized destruction of people use similar technology and manufacturers, and similar human qualities of organization and daring. Can we not make the transition from automated aerospace killing to automated aerospace exploration of the solar system in which we live?
His thoughts on discovery versus destruction, from the same 1971 panel on Mars exploration that gave us Ray Bradbury’s romantic ode to Darwin and exploration.
How appropriate this is today. It puts our priorities squarely in view, like a mirror to the soul of mankind. Do we like what we see?
(via Brain Pickings)
Maybe we’re on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we’re on Mars because we have to be, because there’s a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we’ve been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad you’re there. And I wish I was with you.
It’s worth remembering that the act of discovery does not require that you understand, either in advance or after the fact, what you’ve discovered.
Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.
My suggestion is that whenever you have to choose, always choose the unknown, because the known you have already lived. Never miss the unknown. Always choose the unknown and go headlong. Even if you suffer, it is worth it — it always pays.
I say to the grown-ups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them.
(via Big Think)
It would be almost unbelievable, if history did not record the tragic fact, that men have gone to war and cut each other’s throats because they could not agree as to what was to become of them after their throats were cut.