Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for March 11th, 2018

Where we stand and what we see

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How many combinations of unintended consequences and human reactions to them does it take to detour us into a future that seems to defy any obvious trend? Not many. That’s why predicting the future accurately is so difficult…It’s also true that where we stand determines what we’re able to see. Where I stood when I began to pay attention to space travel certainly influenced what I saw. I followed the space race of the late 1950s and the 1960s not because it was a race, but because it was taking us away from Earth, away from home, away to investigate the mysteries of the universe and, I thought, to find new homes for humanity out there. This appealed to me, at least in part, because I was in my teens and beginning to think of leaving my mother’s house and investigating the mysteries of my own adulthood.

Apollo 11 reached the moon in July 1969. I had already left home by then, and I believed I was watching humanity leave home. I assumed that we would go on to establish lunar colonies and eventually send people to Mars. We probably will do those things someday, but I never imagined that it would take as long as it has. Moral: Wishful thinking is no more help in predicting the future than fear, superstition or depression.

Octavia E. Butler, in Essence

Written by nevalalee

March 11, 2018 at 7:30 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

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