Star Trek

Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, and man, it made me so excited to see my Facebook page light up with Star Trek love. I don’t know if many people realize this about me, but I am kind of a nerd, and I really always have been. In my school days, I was not really popular, but that was fine. My school didn’t really have “bullies” and the popular kids were actually pretty kind. I wasn’t really friends with them, but there was no animosity between the many social groups. I generally enjoyed learning and wasn’t particularly athletic. I actually really liked playing sports, particularly football, but I wasn’t really that good at it. After one year on JV, I decided to quit football because I felt like kind of a fraud, I wasn’t the type of person that should be on a school sports team so I quit. Looking back, that is a shitty reason and I wish I would have kept playing.

Anyway, Star Trek has a very special place in my heart. I remember gathering around in front of the TV with my siblings and our binder of ST: TNG Customizable Card Game cards to watch The Next Generation whenever it came on. We would identify cards in the show as they happened and feel a sense of pride when we knew some obscure fact about the plot or characters. It was more than just a show to me because it was more than just entertainment. It made me feel like there were like-minded people in the world, people who longed for exploration and adventure. It was also my only real introduction to science outside of the classroom (which was mostly stiff, boring, and textbook based). Star Trek didn’t bore me with periodic tables, it showed me what you can do with science and technology, and the ethical questions that can arise. I grew up in a relatively anti-science environment and Star Trek challenged me and encouraged me to problem solve instead of trusting things based on faith. I distinctly remember when Lt. Barclay began de-evolving because of a virus or something and I had a moment of discomfort because I was raised to believe evolution was a lie spread by Satan. To be honest, I’m not really sure why my parents let me watch it while growing up.

It was also my only real introduction to science outside of the classroom (which was mostly stiff, boring, and textbook based). Star Trek didn’t bore me with periodic tables, it showed me what you can do with science and technology, and the ethical questions that can arise. I grew up in a relatively anti-science environment and Star Trek challenged me and encouraged me to problem solve instead of trusting things based on faith. I distinctly remember when Lt. Barclay began de-evolving because of a virus or something and I had a moment of discomfort because I was raised to believe evolution was a lie spread by Satan. To be honest, I’m not really sure why my parents let me watch it while growing up.

As I work my way through Voyager I find the show still has value, even for someone in their mid-30’s. Like all good science fiction, the issues it raises are often universal and applicable to our current time and place. They are human issues that make our lives complex, challenging, and rich. Sure, the acting and writing can induce some eye rolls, and the special effects are clearly dated, but the real value of Star Trek is the universe it creates and the vision for the future. My own idealism about humanity rests, at least partly, in the potential universe shown in Star Trek. My love of a Basic Income Guarantee and my belief that science and technology can get to the point where we all have our needs and desires met without labor come from Star Trek. The words “Live Long, and Prosper” bring guidance for how to behave, as well as hope for what we can become. Maybe I’ll see the day when 3-D Printers evolve to Replicators and death is finally cured, but even if I don’t I am glad to live in a time and place where I can view human potential through Star Trek.

 

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Climb the Mountain

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac

There are certain quotes that just stick with me and serve as a type of motivation. The above by Kerouac is one of those quotes. It is such a succinct reminder that our lives are finite and the moments that matter, that make us unique (as individuals and a species), are the ones where we are pursuing our own passions. I don’t really have a desire to climb a mountain, but there are things I want to do that can get lost in the daily shuffle.

I am not the only one. Many people want to write books, explore the oceans, travel the world, or build a business. It is this passion that manifests itself uniquely in each individual that has helped our species explore the world and wonder about the universe. It is easy to forget what we love and to lose our child-like curiosity about what we can become. It is easy to embrace the status quo and ask ourselves “why rock the boat?” This is the wrong way to look at things, we should ask ourselves “why not?”

Flipping the burden of proof is what we should do regularly in our lives, and is the premise for a new book that I am proud to be a part of. When I decided to flip the burden of proof I discovered that staying in the job and city I was in was holding me back. I asked myself “Why not quit my job?”. Of course, there were reasons not to quit my job but upon analysis it was clear they were not strong reasons. Every excuse I came up with could be overcome in a way that brought me more freedom, more peace, more happiness, and more goddamn mountains to climb.

I was not the only one. A dozen authors, from all walks of life, collaborated to put together a book about flipping the burden of proof. If the idea of expanding your life, trying new things, and exploring your potential is appealing you can find out more on our Kickstarter page . If you support us getting this product in print you will receive a copy of the book as well. I hope you will consider it, there is a wide world out there and sometimes we just need a little motivation and a few examples to take that first step into exploring it.

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