The only reason I am sorry I was not alive in 1960's was to witness the monumental space race between USA and USSR which culminated in sending a man to the moon in 1969. Since that time, there has not been such a huge scale technological rivalry between any two nations.
Today USA spends almost trillion dollars to bail out Wall street, shifting into neo-capitalism, dangerous as all other 'neo' forms out there. Another trillion is spent on war on Iraq, fruitless effort that turns it's back on it's creators. And with 10 trillion in debt, I see some serious money mismanagement going on there.
On the other hand Russia is surfing the profits of world wide energy crises and has just come up with a plan to spend freshly earned 20 trillion dollars for their nuclear program by the year 2020.
Most of us struggle to grasp a million dollars of wealth. Billion is 1,000 times more then that. And a trillion is 1,000 billions. Those are tremendous amounts of money.
Imagine what would world look like if that money was invested in technology, science, medicine and ecology over the span of next 10 years? Should not that be the world we'd like to be living in?
Just few days ago, Neil Armstrong gave an interview at NASA's 50th anniversary. (The fact that no one tries to send a man to the Moon today, even with all the technology we have available as it's too expensive and risky, only makes his extraordinary accomplishment even more amazing. We should try to honor man like Neil while they are still alive, not after they are no longer with us.)
And the old astronaut (now 78) came and he gave an impressive speech. And I want to finish this thought with an excerpt (you can find the whole speech here).
Neil Armstrong, 25th September, 2008
"I submit that one of the most important roles of government is to inspire and motivate its citizens, and particularly its young citizens – to love, to learn, to strive to participate in and contribute to societal progress. By that measure, NASA will without doubt rank in the top tier of government enterprises.
The goal is far more than just going faster and higher and further. Our goal – indeed our responsibility – is to develop new options for future generations: options in expanding human knowledge, exploration, human settlements and resource development, outside in the universe around us.
Our highest and most important hope is that the human race will improve its intelligence, its character, and its wisdom, so that we'll be able to properly evaluate and choose among those options, and the many others we will encounter in the years ahead."
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