Yesterday we spent the day at the McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains of Texas. It’s a hangout for astronomers to do research through some very impressive (not to mention huge) equipment, and a place for the public to get educated.
Being there certainly forces a focus on the grand scheme of things. Made me think that perhaps humanity’s idea of progress may be changing. First came language, symbols, and writing, as measures of progress for early man. Then the notion of moral improvement through religion and philosophy was seen as progress. Next, after fire and the wheel, technology and trade came along with a switch of focus to accumulation of material wealth as the measures of progress. Nowadays, it strikes me that progress is happening through an increase in our connections and interconnectedness. Each of us knows what’s happening to strangers in some of the farthest corners of the globe – and maybe even we’re collectively beginning to care about them. Is a life-saving shift in direction happening for our species?