We can build machines that cover 140 million miles (225 million km), put themselves into orbit around Mars, nearly pinpoint their intended landing site through a brutal and high risk atmospheric entry and landing, and then traverse a rocky, radioactive environment in search of life or evidence that life once existed while beaming back its findings and data to Earth.
The feat of engineering that NASA undertook with Curiosity and the other Mars rovers reminds me of how well we solve difficult problems. The multitude of different issues that needed to be resolved and planned for to achieve the Mars Curiosity mission is a miniature summation of human progress and achievement. Its an accomplishment that would leave Galileo and Newton with a tear in their eye.
But it isn’t just space that we’re conquering. Our ability to solve the riddles of our own DNA and it’s affect on our health, lifespan, and evolution are unwinding. We can see into the past and determine how we evolved.
Likewise, climate change, a haunting and scary problem, has precedence for resolution. We’ve fixed our planet’s atmosphere before. Remember the ozone hole?
So with all this on our resume….why can’t we solve the problems ***we*** create? We’re not good at this. Our track here is shockingly bad.
- Economic Recessions, Depressions,
- Bankruptcy ( a.k.a ….too much debt )
We created these problems. We’ve put mechanisms in place to “manage” them. But we really suck at trying to solve these. Why?
A good mentor points out your faults. He tells you, flat out, what your issue is and helps coach you to resolution. A mentor can do this because he’s been there, made the mistake, and lived through its resolution. The accumulated wisdom and experience make all the difference. There are boundaries to intelligence and determination that only failure, recovery and reflection can overcome.
We need NASA. We need them to find a mentor for the human race somewhere in that deep black void that can hold up the mirror and say “See what the problem is now? Now…let’s fix it. Here’s how we tackled the debt crisis on planet Zenon.”