Come on, Thomas… Let’s Go

I’m trying to talk my pal Thomas Whitley into heading down to Florida to see the launch of STS 125 on Tuesday May 12, 2009. The shuttle program is rapidly coming to a close, but this one is especially important since we are performing the final servicing to the greatest science experiment of all time:

NASA – STS-125: The Final Visit: “It’s a mission to once more push the boundaries of how deep in space and far back in time humanity can see. It’s a flight to again upgrade what already may be the most significant satellite ever launched.

And, for the space shuttle, it’s a final visit to a dear, old friend.

The STS-125 mission will return the space shuttle to the Hubble Space Telescope for one last visit before the shuttle fleet retires in 2010. Over 11 days and five spacewalks, the shuttle Atlantis’ crew will make repairs and upgrades to the telescope, leaving it better than ever and ready for another five years – or more – of research. “

To quote Jerry Maguire, “Who’s coming with me?” Road trip??

Mass Consumerism is the Problem

Tremendous piece from Geoff Mulgan in Prospect Magazine detailing a possible future for capitalism as a tool, rather than a master, in the US and around the world:

Cover story: ‘After capitalism’ by Geoff Mulgan | Prospect Magazine April 2009 issue 157: “It’s an irony that so many of the measures taken to deal with the immediate impact of the recession, like VAT cuts and fiscal stimulus packages, point in the opposite direction to what’s needed long term. But there are already strong movements to restrain the excesses of mass consumerism: slow food, the voluntary simplicity movement and the many measures to arrest rising obesity, are all symptoms of a swing towards seeing consumerism less as a harmless boon and more as a villain. “

Technology (Twitter, blogging, Facebook, etc) are the tracks (pun intended) for the delivery of a growing social conscience that mass consumerism is to blame for our current economic and societal ills.

The incessant marketing to children, the dumbing down of education into a mush of preparation for a consumer-future and the focus on bigger/stronger/better/faster are finally meeting their match with the growing realization that this is not the best way for humans to live.

At least I hope so.

And I hope the church stands at the center of this growing conscience and points to a better future that is not reliant on the wheels of marketing or the engines of corporate shackles.