But Why, Some Say

But Why, Some Say

I guess it would be inappropriate for a nerd like me to not blog something about the loss of Neil Armstrong.

Like many nerds, geeks, hackers, makers, engineers, scientists, programmers, boffins, whatever we all are, I too idolized the Apollo program and the people who made it happen. I grew up with NASA pictures on my walls. I had a cassette tape an uncle made of a record called “First Man on the Moon” narrated by Hugh Downs. I had it memorized. I knew JFK’s moon speech by heart. I believed that space exploration was our destiny as a species. It was all very important to me.

Then I turned my back on it. The sci-fi and science truth stories we were brought up on in the “space age” led folks like me to believe that we would do _something_wonderful_. Instead, our most major technological advances of the past couple of decades have been to make newer “mo’ bettah” ways to share lol cats. Facebook. Cell phones. That tech is bullshit compared to getting our butts off this rock.

Even medical equipment, it’s all very personal. It’s great that we have technology that can slightly delay the inevitable deaths of us all. But really that’s it. Our best tech today let’s us share bad jokes, cheap porn, and a few more days.

We’ve fallen short of the promise. That’s why I turned my back on NASA, space exploration, the X prizes. It seemed pretentious and trite, a complete waste, when society cares more about memes and “me”.

I hope I’m wrong. I’m hope the guy who does xkcd is wrong. 65 years. I hope we do something to change that. I hope, but I hate to say it, I’m not hopeful.

“But why, some say…”

Why did it come to this? Why is it that the most powerful nation on the planet can no longer place a person in space? Why has our technology developed a society that is more interested in insular “communication” than progress?

Maybe I’m part of the blame. Maybe I should rededicate myself to creating, hacking, making, whatever that may be. Create, don’t consume.

From xkcd “65 years”:

The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there’s no good reason to go into space–each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.

Did we fly to the moon too soon
did we squander the chance
in the rush of the race
the reason we chase is lost in romance
and still we try
to justify the waste
for a taste of man’s greatest adventure

I blame you for the moonlit’sky
and the dream that died
with the eagles’ flight
I blame you for the moonlit nights
when I wonder why
are the seas still dry?
don’t blame this sleeping satellite

Have we lost what it takes to advance?
have we peaked too soon?

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