Doomsday always interests,
People from across the globe
Just gotta click on that.
A preacher on the radio
Or ancient Mayan calendars,
Our future’s bleak from this.
You’ll view a post on YouTube
That says the end began,
And now we all just have to watch
Unfurling of god’s plan.
Planet X is hiding
On the far side of the sun,
To pop out when the prophet says
Disaster has begun.
Really, people, really?
So often said, a bore
When someone warns the end is here.
We’ve heard it all before.
Earthquakes and every comet
Lead to such predictions.
Storms will ravage, plagues do kill,
Through natural conditions.
Always keep an open mind
But don’t let your brains fall out.
Be skeptical and think it through,
Belief comes after doubt.
by Kate Rauner
I don’t understand why people seem weirdly delighted at the end of the world – maybe the same reason they watch horror movies. Relax with space.com, and check some history on rationalwiki.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, is a long-standing proponent of colonizing Mars. He recently addressed a USA Senate Subcommittee. When talking to politicians, Aldrin emphasizes the need for America to demonstrate its leadership and stay ahead of other nations, but other organizations – and Aldrin himself – have a wider interest in colonizing the Red Planet.
Among other private, non-governmental organizations, Mars One has been in the news. Mars One is making a serious effort to send people, near-term, one-way, to Mars. While there is skepticism, there are also people ready to go.
One reason to colonize Mars is to create a second human home in case something bad happens to Earth. This is a lofty goal, but it’s also abstract. No one thinks any large number of people could be sent to Mars – we Earthlings would all be stuck here on Earth trying to survive the “something bad.”
Colonizing Mars will require a commitment to the abstract – to go to Mars because it’s there, because we can (maybe, soon), or because it’s destiny. Aldrin has written that “humanity is destined to explore, settle, and expand outward into the universe.”
As I sit on the patio of my favorite coffee shop, nibbling a scone and watching people stroll by on a sunny spring day, colonizing Mars seems unlikely, dismaying, and unnerving. But as a Mars One semi-finalist says, “we stagnate here on Earth. We are so predictable… This project is an opportunity to break through… We will be a totally new kind of human, homo sapiens Martianis.”
Good luck, Martianis.
I’ve posted reviews of some of Aldrin’s books here (as “Ponderer”) and here.