Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Party Line, Well Spoken

If you are reading this, and feel discouraged by an inability to communicate to others your own feelings about the importance of an active space development effort, comfort yourself with this thought. If you want to be on the leading edge of anything, you have by definition to be a couple of standard deviations away from most people. That makes you an odd-ball. The trick is to learn to accept it, then to like it--and keep on making lots of noise for what you believe in.
-Charles Sheffield, Keynote Address
AAS Annual Meeting, 1978

I wanted to chime in on Sam Dinkin's Space Review essay "The High Road" and add my voice to the sentiment that space is too important for advocates to be divided over petty differences. I also wanted to second a motion by Anthony Kendall that we speak out to people about the importance of space, even to those who may be most indifferent and our harshest critics (yes, our families and friends - just kidding - sort of). I went looking for a quote to support this sentiment, figuring I'd use something by Carl Sagan or Arthur C. Clarke, and I found a whole page of great space quotes by these and others. The "party line" is certainly presented eloquently by those collected there.

But I finally selected the quote above - perhaps less famous than some others on that page, but more relevant to the issues of fighting the good fight, cooperating with those who share your goals but maybe not your agenda, and making a contribution, however small, to something important. So here's to fellow space advocates and odd-balls, to future Mars colonists, and to all mankind.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Just in case you haven't read it yet, there's a good bit of space exploration evangelizing towards the end of Daniel Handlin's article in The Space Review this week: Just another Apollo? Part two. (look on the second page.) Very well put. It would be nice if I could make all (or even some) of my blog postings end on such an inspiring note.