Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The entire expanse of the human experience...itty bitty living space

I'm a bit of a space geek. Yes I loved Star Trek, I camped out for opening night of the "Empire Strikes Back". I regularly check on the progress of the Nasa Mars rovers and the Cassini mission (among others).

This week the Cassini probe was going to be in the shadow of Saturn for an unusually long time (12 hours). This allowed them to take some rather remarkable pictures toward the sun, something they can not usually do in order to protect the equipment. They found a new ring around Saturn, but what I find much more facinating in the pale blue dot. See it there? Upper right quadrant?

That is a picture of you, and me, and everyone else in the world. That dot is just a few pixels wide. On this magnified image you can just make out the "lump" of the moon. That lump represents the farthest man has ever traveled.

All my life has existed within those pixels. Everything I know, everything I've heard, every person I've met or will ever meet,...within those pixels. All of human history, from the 2006 elections back to the invention of fire,...within those pixels. Our vast libraries, containing volumes and volumes of resources, the "bottomless" internet, every noble act ever done or shameful thing hidden, is hidden within those pixels. All life as we know it, whether animal, botanical, bacterial or even viral, as far as we have been able to determine, is reserved for this dot in the expanse.

We are unique, and precious, and we should start seeing everything around us as unique and precious too.

Peace, Love and Precious Pixels,