Monday, December 22, 2003
Profiles of the Future: The Need for Frontiers
"Civilization cannot exist without new frontiers; it needs them both physically and spiritually. The physical need is obvious - new lands, new resources, new materials. The spiritual need is less apparent, but in the long run it is more important. We do not live by bread alone; we need adventure, variety, novelty, romance."
Here Mr. Clarke is discussing how man must have new lands to discover in order to maintain the sanity of our society, as well as to continue to provide fuel for its machinations. While there is an extent to which I disagree with this latter point, it is the former which I feel I might comment on, if briefly. The key piece missing from Mr. Clarke's discussion is the fact that, in the face of no new frontiers to conquer, man, ever inventive, will create new ones. Yes, the human race strives on novelty, and adventure, but we are quite good at carving it out of nothing if need be; setting goals that exist for no good reason but to give us something to strive for, thank you very much.