Hostile World

Now that I’ve got a steady design gig, my illustration has gone on the back burner. I’ve since found time to work on more art for art’s sake. So that’s probably what many of my blog entries will be for awhile.

I don’t understand why more people aren’t as interested in astronomy as I am. I don’t see how one could know any of the basic concepts and not try to find out more and more. What I’ve heard from some friends, when I get on nerdy astronomy topics of conversation, is that it makes them feel insignificant, giving them a sense of unease. I can understand that, but I find it totally invigorating. The economy, politicians, terrorism, famine, disease, all these things just recede into nothing when you look at things on a universal scale. The universe is ambivalent, if not downright hostile, and it really takes a load off my shoulders to ponder that.

I can’t help but use this opportunity to mention a political topic that I find important. I know that there are plenty of budget cuts that get people riled up, and it’s hard to focus on just one. However, one potential cut that strikes a chord with me is the defunding of the James Webb Space Telescope. You can read more about it in the linked article. The very compulsion to explore the world and universe around us, I believe, is what makes us human. On a more pragmatic note, our country’s investment in science has a serious impact on the types of jobs we create. People from other countries interested in science come here for work and education. Thousands of jobs rely on this project alone, which has already been half paid for, partly by other contributing countries (not debt holders, contributors). It would be a damn shame to abandon a project like this. I may not be a scientist by practice, but America’s leadership in astronomy and other sciences has always inspired me.  I’m not sure where I would find my inspiration if I hadn’t grown up in a country that values the study of space, and I know there are millions of kids out there who can do a lot more with it than I.

–Claude

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