The Earth has a diameter of approximately 12,742 kilometres. Do you think that sounds big? It’s pretty big. In the 16th century, the crew of Magellan’s ship completed the first circumnavigation of the world. It took them more than 3 years, and Magellan himself died during the journey. But now the International Space Station does it every one and a half hours.
Do you think that’s fast enough? The Earth is just a pinprick in the galaxy. We’re going to need to travel a lot faster if we want to explore other star systems. Unless we travel to the stars we’re going to become extinct, along with all life on Earth. And if we want to reach beyond the Milky Way and explore other galaxies we’re probably going to have to find a way to travel faster than light speed.
Let’s talk money now. In the developed world, we earn roughly 100 times more in real terms than people did before the Industrial Revolution. Is that enough? Are we rich, fat and complacent with more money than we need? Or are there hundreds of worthwhile problems we could try to solve if we had more wealth? Like bringing the rest of the world up to Western standards of living, or curing cancer, or improving education for all, to name a few.
We live 2-3 times longer than people did in ancient civilisations. Is that long enough? Do we need to die and make room for others? Or could we live much longer still? Are humans just a burden on the planet, or could we actually be worth saving? What if Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and Aristotle were still alive today? Maybe that would give us a better chance of solving all the problems and issues we face.
Do you think we’re close to achieving nearly everything that’s humanly possible? Are we approaching the end point of human progress?
Or have we only just begun?