Pages

Sunday, June 1, 2014

iMuse

What do you suppose the science fiction genre was like 900 years ago? Trick question: All science was fiction! Seriously though, if you think about the scientific dreamers of the Renaissance , like da vinci, then think about where we are today, one has to wonder what things we'll dream in 100 years when modern science fiction becomes fact. Will there still be room for imaginings, or will hard fact dispel all wonder from the universe? There will always be wonder and enchantment standing next to cynical irony, like angels and devils on our shoulders. The sheer scope of the universe guarantees this.

I'm wondering what purpose the imagination serves. Clearly it helps us be creative, think abstractly, prepare for discussions we are about to have and even play chess. If we can't see where their pieces are going to be in several moves, how can we react appropriately. Where would we be today if we preconceived nothing? still poking sticks into holes and eating ants? We probably wouldn't have made it that far.

We obviously aren't the only species who imagines. Other animals clearly have dreams and problem solving skills which are evidence of imaginations. Think about your cat, poised for a jump, taking aim and launching. They imagine the act before they do it, or they would just walk up to the couch and leap. The imagination serves many purposes that people don't often consider, which begs the question: why do people so often have a flippant attitude in reference to the imagination. Every one of the worlds greatest inventions, ideas, thoughts and pieces of art were first locked in someones imagination.

Throughout time the imagination has been disparaged and persecuted. Dreamers have seen a world of peace and fellowship and been called fools. Scientists, for hundreds of years have dreamed of standing on the surface of other celestial bodies and within our life times we will have landed on another planet. I think it's critical to say that in order to dream, we must also know. How can we dream of a world free of Racial inequality if we first do not know that it's wrong to prejudge a person, or exclude them based on their melanin concentration.

On a side note about racism. There have been studies that show that race is just a biological response to ones environment. A family of African immigrants will slowly become more and more fair skinned over generations and within their lifetime when living in northern latitudes. Think also of pale, cave dwelling creatures, who have no need for protection from the sun. Gollum, for example. Knowledge dispels race as a construct. What even is a race? Well it's a classification system that we use to categorize people based on various characteristics, whose use is so often limited to skin color (by people without the ability to imagine the person standing in front of them as being on equal footing,) that it has started to loose it's meaning.

There is the English speaking race, the myspace race, the gothic race, the loner race, the hot girl race, the racer race, the nerd race, the christian race, the baptist race, the cheating race, the disfigured race, the cancer survivor race, the beautiful race, the professional race, the adventurer race and races of all other nominalized verbs (i get bonus points for that one right?), the addict race, a million other races including, most importantly, the human race. Will there still be racism in the future, even after we have so vastly expanded the meaning of race?

I imagine the future sometimes as being so bright it blinds. There is just so much optimism, intrigue, hope and wonder pinned to the future that it is sometimes unfathomable. Eleanor Roosevelt said that "the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams," so think about what you imagine will soon happen, which of your dreams do you want to see a reality and ask yourself if you are doing anything to make them a reality. Will you be a cause, or an effect?