Week 8_Space by Dalton Abbott

The concept of space has always fascinated me through its mystique and  the many awe-inspring implications it creates. I’ve always enjoyed the humbling viewpoint of Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” , which simply suggests the indisputable notion that in terms of the universe, Earth and all it’s living beings are completely inconsequential. I feel as though this outlook allows me to put my existence in perspective in the sense that it makes me realize that I am not only only a minuscule fraction of Earth’s population, but the Earth’s existence as a whole is once again only a very tiny part of a much bigger picture. Though this realization can be somewhat frightening because of the mysteries of unexplored planets and galaxies and the suggested futility of life on Earth in the grand scheme of things, I embrace the reality of the situation and attempt to explore it in as many ways as I possibly can. Unfortunately, I’m not a math or science major, which doesn’t really allow me to explore the possibilities of outer space past a certain point. Last quarter, I had the good fortune to enroll in a GE science course called Space Weather. I had many preconceived notions about the general curriculum of the class and the general method through which the subject matter would be presented, all of which were shattered during the first five minutes of class. The class was almost immediately barraged with a multitude of mathematical formulas and physics concepts that were far more complicated than anything I had ever encountered in my entire life. Though I still enjoyed the class, I’m unable to truly comprehend many topics because of my extremely limited mathematical and scientific skills.

This is one of the main reasons I enjoyed Tuesday’s lecture so much. Fascinating topics such as U.F.O.’s, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and the vastness of the universe were discussed within a context that I fully understood and appreciated. In looking back on the lecture topics and the role of space in everyday life, I’ve formed the opinion that there is no topic more completely appropriate for DESMA9, which deals largely with the relationship between art and technology in many fields and practices. I believe that my first initial attraction to space was the sheer beauty of seemingly everything related to it, ranging from the sun to the obviously incredible aurora borealis, both of which are pictured below. This photo of the sun was taken in ultraviolet light.

I appreciate art in virtually every sense imaginable, but can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything more visually stunning than the many wondrous physical displays caused by the existence of outer space. Next, of course, is the role of space in science and technology. The correlation between space, science and technology is palpable. Many would consider humanity’s continued exploration of space to be responsible for some of the greatest technological innovations to date, such as the Mars rover and more importantly, the satellite, which now plays a role in almost every aspect of technology-based human life, from credit card processing to internet to television. NASA currently has websites regarding recent technological innovations that are open to public view, such as Space Technology 6. The type of thinking that the lack of knowledge (not so much now compared to fifty years ago) of space requires grants scientists so much creativity and freedom, in my opinion, that it allows them to conceptualize in ways not possible in dealing with the terrestrial world. Essentially, the concept of space not only expands the potential for innovation and invention, but expands the mind as well. I remember  Professor Vesna playing Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot”, and now more than ever, I completely understand why. Space manages to encapsulate the main themes of DESMA9 more effectively than any other topic has the potential to dot.

- Dalton Abbott

Final project proposal: I plan to expound upon my midterm idea of creating a highly specific compilation of a subject’s brain activity while watching a variety of films. I will specify in greater detail the types of conclusions that the tests will produce and speak more specifically about the various ways this information can be utilized in modern society and more specifically in the film industry. The majority of my project will involve an attempted model of how the test would be conducted, and a replica of the results a test would give from a certain movie that is yet to be decided.I will then discuss the significance of these results and how they can be applied in the aforementioned areas.

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