You know what’s so great about these? (Apart from the fact that they’re just so great?) They were all taken in the last few seconds, so to speak. Humans have been around for more than 100,000 years, so these were all taken in the last one-thousandth of our little journey — which just continues to accelerate. A few of the photographs seem (well, are) fairly modern. But those from the late 19th century and early 20th? If you had told someone in 1896 that their grandchildren would be able to watch a movie (“what’s a movie?”) and eat dinner, then walk to a bathroom, seven miles up in the sky, all while flying from Miami (“what’s Miami?”) to Seattle in six hours and 10 minutes . . . and all for the cost of half a week’s wages . . .
I’m just saying (yet again): this is it, fellow species members. We’re at the beginning or the end, either blasting off into all but unimaginable well-being (“cancer, schmancer” indeed!) if we can figure out how to live together, sustainably, on this little spaceship; or else in the early stages of hurtling off the rails as the dinosaurs once did (except it was not of their own doing) or as so many other species have (of our doing).
That so few Americans vote* as we attempt to steer a successful course — or even accept “evolution” or science — is not the most hopeful sign. That technology races ahead, and that we have world leaders — even the Pope! — who largely do get it, give us a shot.
*Just 7% of our population voted for Republican senatorial candidates this last time around in an election considered by some a landslide. Many were too young to vote (should we lower the voting age? do 84-year-olds have a better grasp on the future, and more at stake, than 14-year-olds?). Others were prevented from voting by voter suppression efforts or because they’d once been convicted of marijuana possession or more substantial crimes for which they had “paid their debt to society” (should the states that deny ex-cons the right to vote revoke those laws?). And some populous states had no senate candidate on the ballot (which is the one wholly uncontroversial reason that 7% figure is so low). But many eligible voters just didn’t see the point. Even in Presidential years, nearly half don’t.