How Can We Better Share Knowledge?

Last week when NASA announced that they may have found a world much like our own, people were once again amazed with the possibilities.  Maybe there was a future for the human race beyond the 5 Billion years that they estimate our sun will remain a bright and shiny ball of gas.  (no worries, it is just supposed to go out like a light, not explode!)  But it was fun to talk to my father about it.  He’s of the generation were the space race was in full swing, having been in high school while the Mercury Astronauts circled the globe.  I remember being 10 when he took me to Cape Canaveral for vacation, I think he was as excited as my brother and I were.

It’s hard to capture what we should put in a capsule and send into space.  The most exciting thing about humanity is the potential that exists to do anything and hopefully become anything.  Lightening in a bottle?  A perfect moment?  Some piece of technology that we treasure today but is completely made obsolete by that same human potential a week later?  And by the time we send what we believe to be the extent of human knowledge, years will have passed before it might be found.  Decades where we have either sought a hard fought for peace or continued to build walls that separate us from each other.

This very medium allows us to share ideas in a flash with people who might be completely different in their religion or dress, maybe they value something in a way we never would.  Knowledge has allows been the best gift you can give any child, why not use that same notion and apply it to every person on the planet.  My life would be better off is there were no disease, the ability to get food to every person.  Maybe that cliche about giving a man a fish versus teaching a man to fish is more accurate than some would like to admit.

We have the ability to put words and sounds on a series of magnet media, but aren’t we being selfish in expecting that someone else might understand any of it.  A culture that has no hearing?  Well there goes the sharing of music.  Let’s consider that they are at a different point in their cultural development, in either direction.  Are we primitive or are we so advanced it would be like staring at a Neanderthal?  Hard choices, but I guess the best we can do is make the effort to try.  And that is what we keep doing, trying to move forward in ways that hopefully advance society.  Baby steps or giant leaps, it doesn’t really matter.  The only thing that does matter is trying!  (thanks to Yoda for that one!)

The best solution we have is to send some type of video into space and hope that at some point it can be understood by whomever is out there.  And yes, I do believe that there is some form of life out there wondering if life exists on other planets as well.  Show people of different cultures, ages, races, abilities doing normal things.  Kids playing in the park, a classroom, people working a crane or bulldozer, just everyday life as it really happens.

Maybe I’m being sentimental or even idealistic in my approach.  It’s possible that some of you agree with my idea and it’s just as likely that some of you hate it.  But that also is what I’m trying to get across to our new alien friends, it is possible to disagree on something and still have hopes and dreams about it.

When my niece sits out on the deck with her friends I have heard them talk about what might be in the future.  Some of it is about boys, but surprisingly some of it is about family and college.  14 year olds are a funny crowd!  The limitless potential that exists within those 5 young ladies is the thing I would want to share with the universe.  Endless possibilities to explore.  It’s amazing to see.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Simply the Best.”


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