Thursday, June 13, 2013

Two Meetings


I'll try to tie these two meetings together.

The first was a presentation by Allen Taylor at Linus Pauling House about some of the things going on in the private sector around space exploration.

Planetary Resources, a new company interested in mining asteroids is raising money, via Kickstart, for the million dollars needed to add another mini-telescope satellite, this one to offer its services to the public.

You'll be able to get your picture flashed through the on-board camera, with the Earth or Moon as a backdrop, given the external LCD to which the photos will be uploading.  For $25 or so, you can get a wedding picture with a cosmic backdrop.

The second was a presentation by an Iranian-American from Tuscon, AZ who thinks relations between the respective people would improve were more people in the US aware of what a cool guy Mossadegh was.  He has his Mossadegh Legacy Institute to help spread the word.  He's on tour thanks to this vision.

The Veteran for Peace introducing Moji was the same guy who gave a speech at the Eagle Scout ceremony on Saturday.  This was at Portland's Peace House

The Huntworks live there, an older couple who raised their family in Iran and have Farsi-speaking children.

Many Iranians have a fascination with space exploration and appreciate that, with a more cosmic perspective, there's a withering of fascination with nation-states.  Human beings and their planetary saga becomes the focus.

The break-down into "nation-hoods" with many humans falling through the cracks as "not documented",  is breaking down.  We have leaders in each nation working to be responsible for a global context, even if their particular position in that context is ethnic-flavored.

I agree with Moji's view that the Persian lineage has much to contribute to the ethics / aesthetics of "modernity" and ongoing "modernization".  What has hurt Persian civilization, set it back was the absorption of modernization within the context of colonialism.  China went through a similar chapter, as have others.

"Future shock" has been real enough (Toffler was right to predict it) but is not a one way street.  As technology continues to morph our civilizations, unexpected synergetic effects of cultural inter-mixing will continue to make us all better off.

Some see such "multi-culturalism" as a threat, as if the mixing of cultures were something new in this world.  That all depends.  So far, Portland is integrating well with Persian culture.