01 October 2010


Okay hopefully this appears in blue ...

Currently I'm reading Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's the first in a classic trilogy on humans living on and eventually terraforming Mars. It took a while to get going at the beginning, but now the characters are all arguing about terraforming ... most are for it, while a minority is against it. They want to preserve Mars, both for any native microbial life that may be there and for the beauty and geology of the natural planet.

During one of the debates, a pro-terraformer stands up and basically says, we are the life on Mars. His speech really resonated with me, especially this part:

And yet the whole meaning of the universe, its beauty, is contained in the consciousness of intelligent life. We are the consciousness of the universe, and our job is to spread that around, to go look at things, to live everywhere we can.

This speaks to so many of my own personal beliefs, and why I and many others are passionate about human space travel. What is the universe without life, especially conscious life? (I think it's a stretch to say that all humans are intelligent ;-) ). The stars are only beautiful because we are here to look at them. Without us it would be just so many atoms.

And as the only intelligent life we know of, it is not only our dream but our duty to explore, to leave the comfort of our known home and strike out into the vastness of the universe, not only to study and understand, but to live. It's hard to remember that when there are so many problems here on Earth ... but it is vitally important to our species.


We rock.

Jenni and Heather are two sisters who live in completely different places, and do completely different things with their lives.