The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Sunday, August 05, 2007

Space Dreaming

When I was in college I was introduced to Science Fiction--and what a world unto itself that was--enough to take me away from all my so-called "problems" and into a new world. I guess it started when, in the same semester I took an Astronomy Class called "Are we Alone--the Search for Extraterrestrial Life" and took an English Sci-Fi class at the same time. What a year! Asimov, Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke--all the greats. But probably my favorite Sci-Fi book ever is 'The Mote in God's Eye' by Pournelle and Niven. Another "first contact" book, but really well done. And... I discovered all my Dad's back issues of Scientific American and Avaition Week and Space Technology. Also, this is right about the time Star Wars came out--you can imagine what a great trip to the big screen that was for me...

Anyway I was clicking over at Glenn's site this morning and came across this:

I'M NOW READING PAUL GILSTER'S Centauri Dreams: Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration. I'm thinking of taking my Space Law seminar a bit further afield than usual, with stuff like this, An Introduction to Planetary Defense, and maybe Interstellar Migration and the Human Experience. Any other suggestions?
It has been years since I went through what I call my "Sci-Fi phase", but as I looked at the links above, it was hard not to want to dive into them instantly; I have always been interested in Space, and although Texas had and has one of the pre-eminent Astronomy schools (it owns and operates the UT McDonald Observatory in West Texas), it's incredible how much more we know about the Universe now than when I was at UT. So, I'm biting: An Introduction to Planetry Defense it is...

Between these books and my monthly issue of Wired, I should be able to escape our current sorry state of affairs at least a few hours each week...

As an aside--my interest in science is also what pisses me off about this whole Global Warming thing; sorry guys, I'm just not buying into consensus science. Science teaches us two things: 1) it either is..or else it isn't, no matter how popular "is" is; 2) Science itself is about constant and unceasing skepticism, not chasing the Academic money train. So, please excuse my monthly obligatory links for the uninitiated: great minds don't always think alike; and fortunately, for many skeptics real science marches on.

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DiscerningTexan, 8/05/2007 05:52:00 PM |