We do, most of us anyway, yet not with the strength of our fathers. They saw the marvels of science transformed into technology: railroads, steamships, antibiotics, the airship, the plane, radio, television and last but not least, the Internet.
Yet at the same time, children are no longer safe roaming the streets, we are aware of every crime, villages that once had a vibrant cultural life are now transformed into TV watching drones and then plugged into the Internet. And let’s not forget the atomic bomb or even the conventional bombing that hit Guernika, Amsterdam, London and destroyed Hamburg and Dresden. Last but not least, an increasingly endangered nature.
Science is not really about that. Science is knowledge. But, the fact is, most of us judge science not by its capacity to predict anything, nor by being structured or follow any method, but by the cool things it brings to us.
Like the computer, you are reading this on. Or the net. The net is probably the most misused resource in history. Do I need to tell about what we could do with it? Didn’t we buy our first computer to do something grand? I did. Like I managed to live on a 1000-calorie diet for some time now!
Jules Verne taught me in his books that science would save the world. He was wrong. Nor science, nor technology alone can do that, alone. We need something more, direction. Yet to be able to discern the possibilities that science and technology bring us, we need to know science, not merely know about science.
We can’t judge science for the cool things it brings to us, nor for how we use it. We need to know it by itself. By now, we all know that digital security is a trade-off! No more, no less!
The story of the tear who became an orange
A very short time ago, in a nearby place, a kid was crying. From his right eye, the one that wept the most, a sad tear was born. The poor tear slipped down the boy’s face to drop down into the air.
As it fell, the poor tear wailed: “I was born sad from a very poor barefoot boy”, she said, “I will live the blink of an eye, and I will die crushed onto the earth”.
But behold, then she opened her eyes to see the morning light. Sun filled her face with bits of orange beams. Then she saw that she was falling into a furrow of a well-worked field and she remember her cousin, the water drop. “I’m watering the earth!”, she exclaimed and smiled for the first time in its life.
A tiny one-thousandth of a second before her death, she kissed a tiny seed who, thanks to her, became an orange tree. The tree grew and dressed itself with beautiful delicate white flowers… that made the boy smile.
With time and good care, an orange fruit was born. Her name was Tear, and the boy thought it tasted quite well. So he planted the pips and more and more orange trees were born.
And so this tear who was born sad from a very poor barefoot boy, made happy many, many people for as many years as stars you can see in the sky. This story always puts me to sleep in such a peaceful way that I thought I’d share it with you.