a guest Mar 20th, 2019 78 Never
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- The Earth will not last forever. While the limits of habitability stretch into the hundreds of million years ahead, it is not safe here. Glaciation, Volcanism, Methane Hydrate Gasification, Anoxic Events, Coronal Mass Ejections, Asteroid Impacts, Gamma Ray Bursts, Rogue Cosmic Objects, and more. In the past 500 million years there have been five major mass extinction events, resulting in the extinction of many or most of the species at the time. 75,000 years ago a supervolcano erupted at Lake Toba, Indonesia, reducing the human population to a bottleneck of a few thousand individuals. There is building evidence to support a global cataclysm having occurred about 12,500 years ago during the Younger Dryas at the end of the last ice age. The likelihood of future cataclysm is guaranteed; it's a matter of when, not if. Whether it's terrestrial, cosmic, or a product of human effort, if humanity stays on Earth, humanity dies on Earth.
- There are upwards of two trillion galaxies in the observable universe There are four-hundred billion stars out there in our galaxy alone. If only one out of a million stars had planets, and one out of a million of those planets had life, and only one out of a million of those developed intelligent life, there would be hundreds of thousands of civilizations out there.
- We ought to be seeing evidence of intelligent life, everywhere. The sky should be glowing with radio transmissions from other civilizations. But as far as we can tell, for as far as we can see, we seem to be alone. Maybe we just haven't seen them yet. Maybe we're the first, somebody has to be. Maybe a planet developing life and intelligence is even harder than we think it is, and we're well and truly alone in a vast and sterile void.
- The Universe is pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space.
- Life. Intelligence. Consciousness. The subjective experience of being aware of your own awareness is the most complex, incomprehensible, absolutely fucking bonkers, unfathomably valuable thing the universe has cooked up so far. If all it takes to snuff out that flame forever is a mismanagement of society or a piece of garbage from space, then I think we really ought to be doing something about this. We stand on the shore of the cosmic ocean, with oblivion at our backs and all our eggs in a single basket. I cannot fathom deciding to stay put, when we could go forth, set sail, establish ourselves throughout the heavens & experiencing everything there is to experience. If not that, then what the hell was the point in being here, in the first place? The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.
- "There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
- We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too."
- — John F. Kennedy, 1962
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