January 4, 2004

tourists on mars

This image is appearing on Web sites everywhere so there is really no need for me to post it as well. So why do it?

For the same reason the image is showing up everywhere: here is something our planet is doing that may have actual value. This is an image sent back from the Spirit rover, part of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission.

I'm no science guy but I do have intelligence enough to recognize space exploration is about our future. It's a small little light on an otherwise dull horizon.

Imagine what we could do if rather than running around and sounding off about why the other guy is wrong, or spend our lives working on trivialities in order to "increase shareholder value," we put our minds and resources into something useful like this.

Space exploration, while about long-term survival, is not only about long term survival. It's also about the absence of borders on human imagination. It's about lives less ordinary.

Exploring space is important if only because it is interesting. And God knows this planet has become a very dull, self-obsessed place. (Speaking of God, he or she must be bored witless by us.)

Correction: the planet is not dull and self-obsessed. We are.

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