Thursday, June 29, 2006

Jumping the Gun?

These guys may be jumping the gun a little.

Centauri Dreams » Blog Archive » On Foundation-Building and Starflight
Welcome to the birth of a new foundation. Using the dream of reaching other worlds as a long-range goal and a catalyst for near-term progress, the Tau Zero Foundation supports incremental advancements in science, technology, and education.
On the other hand if you aim high and have lofty ambitions . . .
Presently however, some of the world’s most reputable thinkers deem practical interstellar flight to be impossible, and they might very well be right. Conceding defeat, however, does not inspire progress. Even if the ultimate challenges are impossible, there is value in the attempt. Aiming for impossible goals forces thinking beyond mere extrapolation of existing achievements. It presents a provocative challenge to spur discoveries that others aren’t even looking for. It provides a different perspective from which to ponder the lingering mysteries of science. It gives an inspirational theme around which to educate the public about the opportunities and methods of reasoned discovery. And culturally, it helps remind us that we share a common humanity, temporarily stranded together on our one small planet Earth, to encourage us to behave more responsibly. Finally, given the indefinitely long time scales of interstellar flight, it gives us a role model for breaking away from the trappings of instant gratification.

Good point. Sticking to the mundane of the here-and-now only ensures more of the same.
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