What can we do to make the world a better place? There is so much that we take for granted on Planet Earth. And there is so many better things that we can spend our time and resources on here. I will give you some of my perspective on what is important on Planet Earth. What we can do is: 1. Create Shared Visions. 2. Create better Stories. 3. Do more and better Science, Exploration and Art. 4. Watch the Moon together.
I think we can start from there. What are your thoughts on how to create a better future together?
Pale Blue Dot [What is our home?]
Tonight was an awesome night!
Thanks to Christer Hellberg’s blog I started the evening watching Brian Cox talking about our Why we need Explorers & our place in the Universe. He finishes of with the Pale Blue Dot picture, and then he reads this text from Carl Sagan below.
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
— Carl Sagan
So lo and behold. What do think happens later tonight? I have just put my daughters to sleep. I’m going downstairs to make some tea for me and me girl, who are going to watch the movie Gravity together tonight. I step outside to watch the bright Full Moon that stands just under the brightest Mars we’ve had in years. I see a large shining object moving slowly east across the sky passing just above Mars, and then it fades away into the Earth-shadow. A Space Station. On this very night? What are the odds? On such a perfect viewing the very same night of Brian Cox and Gravity? But it doesn’t stop there…
“Nothing is more fatal to the progress of the human mind than to presume that our views of science are ultimate, that our triumphs are complete, that there are no mysteries in nature, and that there are no new worlds to conquer.” — Humphrey Davy
My brain can’t do anything else but apply agencies like fate and destiny to events like these. This was also the night for a Blood Moon and Lunar Eclipse viewable from North & South America. Nothing here in Sweden but just the thought if this happening on the same date as well makes it even more epic in my mind.
The Overview Effect [The Earth is our only home]
“The actual experience exceeds all expectations and is something that’s hard to put to words… It sort of reduces things to a size that you think everything is manageable…. All these things that may seem big and impossible … We can do this. Peace on Earth – No problem. It gives people that type of energy … that type of power, and I have experienced that.” — Anousheh Ansari, Space Tourist
Have you ever been into space? Probably not. Only well-trained mission specialist and some Space Tourists has gone up so far. And what do they all do, for hours and hours up there in their time, is Earth Gazing. When they watch down on our blue round spaceship orbiting our star, they all get a profound feeling of the importance, that we do right by our only home in the Galaxy. It is still the only place, where all the life we know off in the universe can survive. And we humans are in no way separated from life on Earth. We are part of a system we cannot survive without. This feeling they get, it’s a kind of Awe of Nature only bigger and more profound. It’s called The Overview Effect. This feeling of pure beauty is hard to describe if not experienced first hand by our human sensory system. We can get a glimpse of it through movies like Gravity on a big screen but nothing like the real deal.
Some say the best thing about going to the moon was getting a picture and view of Earth from the moon.
If all humans experience this effect, we should have a different view of how we treat each other and how we treat the system of life around us. This is of course not doable in near foreseeable future. Maybe in the future we are able to get to a place where we can build large Space Elevators that can take us there. And here is a bit of a paradox. In order to get to that place, we all need the feeling that place will give us, before we get there.
“There was a startling recognition that the nature of the universe was not as I had been taught… I not only saw the connectedness, I felt it.… I was overwhelmed with the sensation of physically and mentally extending out into the cosmos. I realized that this was a biological response of my brain attempting to reorganize and give meaning to information about the wonderful and awesome processes that I was privileged to view.” — Edgar Mitchell, Sixth Man on the Moon
Get More Rich People Into Space
There is still hope though. Very soon some very rich people are going to be able to on space tourism. They will all be able to experience this feeling first hand. And this elite of superrich people also has som real power to make change in the world. Our hope here is that when they get this feeling they will start using their power and resources to make change for the better of Life on Earth.
The Human Tribe(s) [What can we do?]
What can we mere mortals do here down on Earth then? Well I think there some core things that we can do. I have talked about most of them before. Here will try to sum them up.
We need shared Visions for the Future that we all can pursue together. We must all have our own personal vision of the future in order to walk on a path with meaning and purpose. When we then sum up these visions they add upp to much larger vision that is bigger than all of us. We just need a real leader how put forth the agenda for us. So that we all can connect ot it on a personal level. That’s how you put a Man on the Moon or build a Stonehenge.
A Shared Vision is an ongoing conversation between people.
It’s not what the Vision is. It’s what the Vision does. — Peter Senge
Sci-fi & Storytelling
We all enjoy a good story. Our brain is literally a storytelling machine. It stores and communicates everything in patterns. These patterns are then put together in larger Meta-patterns that we call stories. Most things we put into our stories we buy wholehearted without questioning. Sure it’s only fiction you may say. The fact is that to our brain everything his fiction. It’s only our small conscious part of our brain that pretends it can tell the difference. To the rest of the brain it’s all stories and emotions.
So is this a bad thing then? No, on the contrary. If we want to change the world and build a better society Storytelling and Science-Fiction is the ultimate tool to implant new ideas and visions of a future we want to have. we are just nut using it to its full potential. What if the makers of big blockbuster Sci-Fi movies realised and took their responsibility and made epic stories with meaning and visions we could use? I discuss this more in: Elysium [What we can Imagine –> We can Build] and Pacific Grim [A Rim Vision of the Future].
More and Better Science and Art
We need to commit more of our time and resources to science. It’s a primary goal of the Human race. To know more about ourself and the Universe. With science we don’t change the world. We only change how we perceive the world and think about it. As new facts become known or old one becomes obsolete, we will ever so slightly change our ability to perceive the world. There will never be complete consensus on how we or the universe tics. There will however be a pretty good picture if it. We can all help in painting this picture. Many more of us can become Scientist, Explorers and Artist. Let’s do more and better Science, Exploration and Art.
”The cosmos is also within us, We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” — Carl Sagan
#MoonWatch and #Stargaze
As tonight was the night of the Blood Moon it’s only fitting that we talk about the effect that watching the moon together has on us. For all my life I’ve gone out to watch the moon at night. Mostly the when it’s a full moon or those nice new moon dusk evenings when the moon is just a sliver of its true self and you can see its whole round form barely visible. Most of these times, I have been alone. Not by choice. Mostly out of no-one else is seeing the fascination as I do. So when I finally found lots of other people doing it all over the world via Twitter, I did feel that there was hope for humanity after all. So why does so few people do it? Most of us has just forgotten why we should. Because it has big effects on us when we MoonWatch together. What if there is no moon then? Just going out into the wild away from the city lights and watching the stars is a great thing to do. Just stand there and ponder how small we are and how short our time here on Planet Earth is, together. Hug someone and tell them what is really important in life.
“When you look at the Moon, you think, ‘I’m really small. What are my problems?’ It sets things into perspective. We should all look at the Moon a bit more often.” — Alain de Botton
So if you ever get the chance again, see a Lunar Eclipse with someone you love or new friend. On larger scale we should all go see a Solar Eclipse together, like the one in 2017. I’m already planing a trip to the US with my friends to see the big one in 2017. It’s just a week before Burning Man, I think. So it’s going to be an epic trip.
Will you join me?
Watching celestial objects and events gives us a much-needed perspective on life on Planet Earth. For things we take for granted and for things we should be amazed at.
Hug someone and tell them what is really important in life.
@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja
I’m Captain Future
Oh, and check out the The Wanderers short film below narrated by Carl Sagan’s words 🙂