A while back I watched a video that spoke to my inner child and reminded him of why he is so depressed. In the video, Neil deGrasse Tyson explains that we, as a human race, have stopped dreaming. Watch the video here:
I look around me, and it’s true. Those who dream are shot down by politics, finances, or safety concerns.
Did the men who broke the sound barrier worry about safety? Yes. As much and as ridiculously as we do? No. What about the Gemini astronauts, or the Apollo astronauts? Some of those men died. A few of them came close to dying. They were heroes, and they knew the risks when they signed up.
Now though, we’re not even allowed to risk the life of an animal for scientific advancement. Remember Laika? It wasn’t that big of a deal back then. Why now? Why are people so afraid to dream and take risks to make those dreams a reality?
Then I read an article in my Popular Mechanics magazine titled, “Why We Need Big, Bold Science Fiction.” That got me excited. Even if people won’t accept the risks, or are too afraid of being politically incorrect to sacrifice a dog to test human safety systems, we can still create inspiring science fiction. Our generation may be paralyzed by political poison, but perhaps our children’s world will be different. They may be willing to take the risks.
And that is why I love to dream. I love to write. I love to create those systems that cannot yet be created.
You can tell me why my deep space exploration system won’t work, but it doesn’t matter. That’s why it’s called science fiction.
Some of my favorite television science fiction is Star Trek: The Next Generation. Remember tricorders? Yeah, so does this guy who is building them. He was inspired to do something amazing, just by watching a television show.
What will my science fiction inspire some day? Probably nothing. But it’s worth it to dream. It’s worth it to take the risk of being ignored, so long as the possibility remains that I could one day inspire a mission to another solar system and beyond.
Don’t stop dreaming.