Space travel, exploration, astrophysics, engineering and astrology are topics of knowledge and fields of development which are very close to my heart. I've always been fascinated with what's above and beyond and how things work.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen highlights of these passions in my trips to observatories, planetariums and recently to NASA in Cape Canaveral. It's also what drives my passion for flying, aviation and adventure.
Living in New Zealand allows me a luxurious and accessible view to the Milky Way. The night skies are clear enough in my beloved hometown of Wellington to see this; the stars, planets and other occurrences with the naked eye. A rare privilege for a city within a developed nation. Over my life I have seen meteor showers, comets, total eclipses, amazing alignments of the planets and on more than one occasion the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights. An hour out of town to the Wairarapa or Kapiti Coast expands upon these depths with low light pollution. Go further afield down South to the beautiful Lake Tekapo area in the Mackenzie district; a world heritage sight because of it's clean night skies, and you will find a place where it is impossible for the mind not to be enraptured with 'what if's', 'how's' and other questions about our world, ourselves and our place within the universe. Declared the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association, it is one of only four such reserves around the world.
Astrology to me is mesmerising. The simple (& immensely complicated) detail that whatever we see is past information really blows my mind. Any image no longer exists because of the nature of time, movement & space. Even the minuscule processing time of seeing an image and our brain flipping it means that once we comprehend it, it's not in the same order, space or position it was- although to us this feels instantaneous. We look at the stars, but we are actually looking at the past. It takes light years for those glinkes to reach our eyeballs. Our concepts, our snapshots of our world are working in retrospect.
What we have discovered and what we can see now delves past our galaxy- 'The Milky Way' and down two arms of this out through deep space. At this stage we believe we can only see in two directions from our galaxy, the other two are obscured by another arm of The Milky Way and the suspected black hole at the centre. We can now 'see' back and out to the edge to the remnants of what we suspect started all of it- 'The Big Bang' 💥... or that's what we have theorised so far.
Back to the beginning- we are looking back to the beginning, but our hypothesises are based on past information. We have a glimpse of what was, what potentially things looked like- but we really have a very small understanding of exactly what is right now.
Here's a philosophical nutcracker- It's a fascinating conundrum to ponder the following concept: if everything we see is past, and the further we look the older it is, when we turn that around then the only concept of future lies within us, within our visions and within our dreams. Is it absurd to believe that our conceptualisations are more alive than snapshots of memories?
It's extremely exciting stuff as of now in 2017 with the race for commercial space investment in full swing with private companies and entrepreneurs jostling to be the first to get more (wo)men and sustainable technology onto the Moon, to Mars and to develop and sustain orbiting habitable spaces. The world's fist trillionaires will come from these feats and although these endeavours are entrancing the minds of millions and are promoted as advancing the development of humanity- there is a much darker side to the realities of what these pursuits mean also. Since the beginning of explorations and migrations we have wanted to advance our race; to exchange, to mingle, to find new resources and to make money and sell things.
The main reason for getting to the Moon, Mars & capture meteorites is to mine for their resources. Helium-3 gas exists under the surface of the Moon- this is the missing puzzle piece in nuclear fusion- the holy-tamoli of energy technology that humans have been trying to master for decades. ((See a fav movie of mine Particle Fever for info about CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research). A place where physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter- the fundamental particles and the effects of nuclear fusion.)) There are other magnificent things to learn and developments that will happen because of these discoveries and inquiries, yet have no misunderstanding of what the big hitters are financing, particularly from the private funding arena; why they are investing billions of their mega bucks- it ain't primarily for peace… but rather prosperity.
Peace and prosperity… it’s an alluring paradox. For prosperity requires us to find things to continue feeding our needs for energy, consumption and financial gain; conflict and war circles around a lot of these endeavours. Peace.. living in harmony with the Earth and not exploiting her; ‘living within means’ contradicts the very meaning of fortune, profitability and wealth.
Have we not learnt our lessons!? Some shout, those who can settle for enough are a minority and increasingly so- with more information, with more things to see to want, we are increasingly wanting to be wealthy and prosperous. Big money is not made by projects that fundamentals lie in 'living within means'. Are we hell bent on exploiting every natural resource that comes to our reach? Can we never preserve anything that comes within our grasp?... I would have to agree in the truth to this. Even if the average person agrees with ecological preservation, or in at least trying to sustain where we are now without doing cataclysmic increased damage- they are overshadowed by corporations and ventures given authority and rights to create disproportionate payoffs. Just by the nature of our ever increasing global population, we are creating more heat, we are using more things, we want more stuff…
Energy takes fuel. We use stuff to go forwards- both biologically and by the nature of propulsion and keneticism. It's ironic that we go so far back in this process. Our choices of how to go forwards; Aotearoa in my opinion is making stupid decisions trying to keep up with the ‘Big Hitters’ and failing to take stock of who and what we really are, honestly seeing our deficits and recognising our strengths- there are powerful things about being smaller and isolated, we aren’t playing to any of these. We are going forwards with ideas which don't have reverence to our special situations.
There are things that Kiwis can do at ground zero- one is a rather simple thing really- employ our people; value ourselves and our skills and not replace roles with technology. I was horrified last week to walk into my doctors office to find an automated check-in kiosk. On the way out there was a pad with four different smily face options for me to hit and ‘rate’ my experience. ‘They’re replacing you?’ I asked the receptionist, ‘oh, not really, we’re just testing them out, but we’d prefer you use them’, she said to me, ‘I’d rather not thanks, I like a real human, and I like you to remain employed also’ I said back to her. ‘I’m not participating in that crap (referring to the experience rating) either’ I said pointing to the face-box, ‘If I feel the need to tell you how I feel, I’ll talk to you about it.’ Check out of the self serve's, the kiosks, the automated recording- vote for a live human I say... and also as a side note- that bloody emoji thing isn't even made here- it's from the US! These budget cuts don't trickle down to the consumer- if I got a discount for using these services I would be a little warmer toward them, but the patron's prices keep going up and the corporations keep absorbing the cream.
We're obsessed with knowing how to do things and we're getting fixated with everyone's opinions about these ways when in reality we just have to dig in and get going; the process expands and reveals itself along the way. I really don't like the subtext to these things too that technological ease gives the consumer a better feel good boost than having to deal with another human- rather clinical isn't it... the irony wasn't missed on me that this example was in a doctor's rooms. With more prevalence of a compulsion for information, we must restrain our obsessive impulses and let go and trust with a positive disposition to have faith in a forward direction. We need to not be scared of conflict or people not always agreeing. No. that's right, I won't be asking for your feel good factor after reading my blogs soz.
Why with such a small population do we think employing these replacements are a good thing; we don't have the populations size like overseas to support them without harm. These tech's don't encourage people to have to confront others and deal with conflict or their emotions, it's removing roles for employment within our communities, and, back to my last post, again it doesn’t have anything to do with ‘ease of service’ or better procedures, it’s about lowering costs and cutting financial corners. We are mad if we are compliant to these manoeuvres. Humans need jobs, we need things to do, we need purpose and we need opportunities DESPERATELY in NZ as it is, why in fuck would we want to diminish all of these qualities both humane and commercial? Here we go again for another round of guinea pig test theories on our communities- re: previous post and Eftpos.
I'm sure the average New Zealander is completely unaware of the rocket launches that will be taking off from the Mahia Peninsular or of the incredible NZ scientists, engineers, astrologers and astrophysicists who have made world first discoveries and revolutionary developments over the decades which have shaped our understandings of our universe, and been fundamental in where we now stand as global citizens in space technologies. William Pickering - central figure and pioneer of NASA space exploration, Beatrice Tinsley - astronomer and cosmologist, Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson - scientist and winner of the 1908 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Roy Kerr - who proved a solution to Einstein's equations which modelled a spinning black hole are just a couple of (major) mention.
I'm intrigued to what community consultation was made by Rocket Lab? ... as I remember correctly we had a national highway diverted as it crossed the path of the Taniwha. We are the First Nation in the world to give a river the same rights as a human and we have special laws protecting our foreshores… but rockets blasting off are ok eh? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled being a space geek- but it really fascinates me what gets public airtime and how agendas play out…
I loved seeing that James Cameron is one of the biggest backers behind Planetary Resources. Their main goal is to mine the Moon. A little contradictory to your public image innit James? All clean green and protecting the environment yet your happy to go to another celestial body and pillage theirs? Planetary Resources recently acquired Asterank- their website offers scientific data (mass, composition etc) and projects the economic value of mining more than 600,000 asteroids. It's common place these days for investors to have a foot in each side, but make sure they predominantly publicise their good intent. Actually it’s naive to think that many cutting edge developments would work without philanthropy... that goes to my own also! It's also a righteous position to be cynical considering what private investment is doing for both sides of the coin- we can't make things without investment. A world without philanthropy would be a dark and dingy world indeed… or some more ruthless might say, money has no face and no name.
Light & dark, good & bad- this is the dichotomy of human nature- we are not all designed to want to help, neither to be frugal- by the nature of this, it's actually when we see detrimental things happening that we are encouraged to design counteractions and we want these to be successful. One must also keep in mind, what we perceive as bad another sees as good and vica versa. We can be the change we want to see, we can invest ourselves into projects with conviction and passion, and we can make a difference but utilising and embracing that word 'action' in every form, but rat on about ‘stopping globalisation’ or ’halting consumerism’ is knitting things in the wrong direction if you ask me.
There is one outcome which is always certain- remain complacent and un-empowered and nothing will change. I recommend picking at least something to dooo.. even if it’s teeny, but hey, thats a choice also.
In amongst other incredible projects I am currently in the middle of creating my new exhibition and collection of artworks. I’m excited about what is brilliant, I follow energies and people who are associated with things that tug my heart strings, ignite my imagination and make me feel fulfilled, valued and energised. I like to do things that make myself and others feel good and that hopefully lay the foundations for positive and virtuous choices for those to follow.
It’s a magnificent, complicated and ginormous world out there, we are really so tiny in the big scheme of things it can be monumentally overwhelming and defeating. But I find something of a release within these revelations- I want to fill my teeny tiny time here with cool shit.. and I like to dig out the 'feat' in defeating. I like to encourage myself and my loved ones around me to invest our spirits & expertise into projects & developments with conscience and foresight; not just for us, but for who will come next. Initially these things may not make changes on a global scale, but on a personal and community level we can make improvements and amendments… and it’s amazing what ‘little’ things can accumulate to become bigger movements- NZ we have made many of these in our past, lets make sure we make them in our future!