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Which... wows!!!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-08-18 10:44:17
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'Where are the wows' is something I often talk about with Asa and he has written a couple of very good articles about it, always referring to the lost …wows of his generation. The reason I thought about it and I’m writing about it now is the launch of the spaceship that is heading for the planet Mars carrying a small vehicle with the mission to land and search for life, or at least search for water which in extent means life. And I was …wow!!!

Then I thought about what Asa has often said; indeed, my generation has been lucky to see Man landing on the moon, lucky to see these monstrous machines becoming laptops and the World Wide Web reality, something that in the beginning of my life seemed more like science fiction. But then his generation is going to see so many miracles, so much change.

I remember when I was still in the school, those years when young people try to solve all the problems and philosophize for a future. We were dreaming of a world where the machines provide everything and people can occupy themselves with art, research, discoveries, and that was pure dreams then but, at the same time, it looks so close to today.

Think how limited information was thirty years ago and how easy it is to get it nowadays; think how much communication has changed with mobile telephones and with the internet. It's just months ago when scientists discovered a giant planet with the same environment as the earth - at least they could see through the huge fasmatoscopes.

Just have a look at our daily life and how comfortable we are with other cultures and how international our daily diet has become, ranging from Chinese noodles to Mexican fajitas. Sometimes I have to admit that I feel like a little kid in a huge toyshop with all these gadgets surrounding me. Gadgets I could not even dream of forty years ago, a time when a pocket calculator was hi-tech!

Do you need more examples? My first computer cost as much as a second-hand car and the hard disk had the unbelievable amount of …520kb memory!!! Talking about cars, how can I compare anything of my time with just anything that goes on today? I mean the simplest car is just full of gadgets we couldn’t even imagine then.

Sports, that’s another story. Greece getting to the European Cup in football, the Greek national basketball team in the final for the world cup after beating the almighty American dream team. Only if you could hear the voice of the reporter on the radio when he was describing the moment the Greek team took the cup was a wow.

But let's return to …space. Man on Mars? Walking on the red desert, the very same desert that kept my imagination awake when I was a kid with princesses and warriors, the Martian warriors! The mission to Mars is possible sometime around 2012, and I feel that I’m counting the days. I hope I will stay in front of the television or whatever it is then with my daughter watching the moment that Man is walking on Mars.

Will there be tourists in space, space stations ready to host visitors and there are plans for a city on the moon. When Man walked on the Moon we knew that he was going to walk on a dead rock, Jules Verne knew it; but Man on Mars, well that’s a new step for humanity all together, especially after all the ideas about life. Can you imagine what will happen if they actually prove that there is life in space?

Everything will change, even philosophy will have to find a new way and excuses, theology will have a lot of question to answer. And how much of all this would have ever happened if computers hadn’t crossed centuries of knowledge in just a few decades.

But then why am I standing speechless saying 'Wow', while Asa is looking for the wows? Has this to do with the over-consuming society in which we live and where Asa’s generation has lost the meaning? Why can I find wows even in my daily life, bad or good, it doesn’t matter, while new generations are complaining that nothing excites them anymore? I don’t really have answers; I’m just browsing the news often saying …wow!

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Sand2007-08-17 09:16:09
See: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070814150630.htm

Thanos2007-08-17 09:26:45
"Physicists Discover Inorganic Dust With Lifelike Qualities" This is what I mean Sand, it is so ...wow!!!

Clint2007-08-17 10:52:43
Wow moments can be found right here on planet earth. For me flying out over the rim of the Grand Canyon, landing on an icefield on the Franz Josef Glacier 7,000 feet up in fact New Zealand in general, Niagra Falls, the Yorkshire Dales its all out there you've just got get out of your chair and go live it and I am realiably informed by my lady that even tonight could be a 'wow' moment! I wonder where we're going!!

Paparella2007-08-17 12:01:03
Socrates said that philosophy begins in wonder. In that sense it is always coming full circle to its origins; it has to or it will die.

Thanos2007-08-17 20:49:09
Of course you are right Clint, I brought the example of space because it has its own …fascination and at least for me it is a big wow. However thank you for reminding me Yorkshire Dales, I’m sure one day I will return to this magical place.

Everyday can be a wow, every morning and every night and that’s one thing I have often argue with Asa who is still looking for the wows of his generation comparing with the times we lived. And BTW …have fun tonight!!! ;)

"Εν Οίδα, οτι ουδέν οίδα", One thing I know, that I don’t know anything. The exact words of Socrates and yes I feel that applies to me too often as well finding the adventure every moment and discovering something about the others, myself and the world that surrounds me daily. Thank you for reminding me Paparella!!! :)

Paparella2007-08-17 22:30:51
Indeed Thanos, Η φιλοσοφία αρχίζει στην κατάπληξη. To which the modern process philosopher and cosmologist Alfred Whitehead added: and once philosophy has done its best, the wonder remains.

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