By: Mohamed Al Jneibi
We do live in very interesting times.
Today, the fast pace through which we find ourselves being apart of, is in itself an amazing achievement. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one the spearheads in this wonderful advancement. Never have we thought that communication would become so easy with the tons of means at our disposal. Whether it is the growing and sometimes worrying phenomenon of social networking, or the continuous and contentious nature of the now established internet. While most people might be glad on how easy it is to transfer ideas from one place to another, there are a few slightly disappointed individuals who still think that we have not reached that “ultimate” potential.
You might be wondering who might think of such nonsense, after all, we have come a long way from the days of walking on foot to the nearest town, or praying that somehow you would survive the operation you were about to undertake (remember the good ol’ days of no anaesthesia?).
While no one can deny the amazing strides in technology being made by humanity, there are some fantasies and ideas that have not yet materialized to us all.
In an interview with the BBC, Major General Charles Bolden nearly broke down in tears as they discussed the now four remaining missions for the 28 year old NASA shuttle program, which is due to stop after a revision the US government had made. This would reduce large amounts of the space program’s budget as the government focuses on other areas of the slowly recovering US economy.
Why was this interview special? Ever since the NASA program started, it had been the inspiration and motivation for many of today’s great scientists and thinkers. Many people to this day still dream of going to space, and while space may not be the only frontier left for us to discover (Earth itself has much more left to be explored), there are still the dreams, and hopes of many up and coming scientists, astronomers, thinkers and academics who still look up and say to themselves: “the sky is the limit”.
Major General Bolden was not sad because of seeing his job slowly diminish, or because of downsizing his staff. Quite the contrary, its because working at the space program awards him the pleasure of meeting many children and youth who came to the space centre. Some of whom may have been fascinated and mesmerized at how far the human can go. It is in moments like these where the human soul is inspired into doing things for the greater good. Their beaming faces, all being amazed at their predecessors’ accomplishments. Amongst that crowd would be an even smaller group of inspired youths who do not only fantasize of going or doing something simply relevant to space. But who can also see their visions crystal clear. That group is where you get your future scientists and thinkers.
In today’s world, many of the amazing areas where we have begun to excel in are relatively areas we did not think there is a need to go any further in. How faulty can that argument be. Today, UAE is constantly pulling the new youth into the many areas of economic and scientific development. Whether through the new programs tailored at gaining new youth into the energy fields, or towards our pioneering steps in the peaceful nuclear energy program
For more than a century, much of the middle east, once home to ideas and innovation (centuries earlier) now stagnant in terms of scientific and to an extent economic development. It is not due to the old misconception of lack of resources, but rather to do with the lack of thoughts being spread amongst the public. It is still a pity to see old and benighted concepts still prevalent within our societies.
Whatever your impressions, it might be worth noting that inspiration is a free thing to spread, but its effect can be quite remarkable and at times also priceless.
Mohamed enjoys reading literature and political commentary, with a love for Sci-Fi reading and writing. He’s also a big Formula 1 fan, and also heads the Mercedes GP UAE Fan Club based in Abu Dhabi.
Latest posts by Mohamed Al Jneibi (@maljunaibi) (see all)
- The Polarising Effect of the Internet, Cyberspace Discussions - March 1, 2012
- Laws of the Internet: What are SOPA and PIPA? - February 1, 2012
- The UAE: My 7 Wonders Of The World - December 2, 2011