An excerpt from the above article:
"But some may ask: Why? Why do these things? Granted, this is not going to change the way you make your coffee in the morning. Sure, there are spinoff technologies and many jobs created but that is not at the heart of why we do these things.
The drumbeat of human civilization is the pursuit of new knowledge. We explore, we discover, and we advance. From fundamental research on cancer to revolutionizing our understanding of the universe, it is not an either/or: we must do it all.
Anything less is a sign that our priorities as a race have been hijacked by agendas beneath our potential. As has become a refrain in my community, the drumbeat continues and we echo the wise words of Teddy Roosevelt: Dare mighty things."
So apparently feeding the hungry and educating every child is a low priority unworthy of our amazing amazingness - what else would a statement like that imply? Of course, devoting time, brainpower and buttloads of money to satisfy our curiosity is way more important than devoting time, brainpower and buttloads of money to ending poverty, war, discrimination, diseases and all those dirty things that only affect hobos and African countries.
The only reason we look for other lifeforms, or try to discover what's under/in that rock over there is because our own curiosity is more important than all the beings suffering here on our planet. If we were all living in peace, prosperity and dignity we would be able to devote a hell of a lot more to discovering and studying all sorts of things, but people don't think like that - oh no, we all want our instant gratification.
Think about the whole "space race" thing between Russian and USA. What is the point of something like that other than to play at king of the castle and do the victory taunt if you win (na na na na naaa na). What possible results could a space race produce that could support all life? All it does is further promote competition and discrimination.
What does it matter at a time and place like here and now if "life is difficult or easy" or if we are "alone" in the universe? If we are the only life in the universe, then we will most likely be the last, and soon. I give us 300 years, tops, before the earth is too toxic to support life. Maybe by then we'll have developed space ships capable of going super fast, but it won't matter because we will probably not learn from our past mistakes and will just carry on being complete assholes until we eventually kill each other off. Or we may all die sooner in a nuclear war - that may be the more likely scenario.
The other point is that who cares if we are alone or not, we are destructive bastards and quite frankly don't deserve to live. Asking questions like that should only happen when every child is fed, clothed, safe and schooled so that they develop into capable, compassionate adults who know how their own minds and bodies function so as to cut the bullshit and not get trapped in the loopy, illusory crap we're stuck in now.
All of the governments who claim to be the best (USA, UK, China, Japan, Germany etc) and most devoted to research and development (like building spaceships) are actually quite blatantly stating that looking for fossils on a big rock really f***king far away is more important that supporting every life here on Earth.
Vote for an Equal Money System to support life here on Earth first, before going on expeditions into space.
Vote for an Equal Money System to end all weapon productions and wars.