RChain Blog

Keep Talking

by Dubravko Golub

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”

–Stephen Hawking

Recently NASA published news about the historic flight of a man-made aircraft on a planet beyond Earth. That aircraft was a small solar helicopter, conveniently called Ingenuity.

As a part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, on July 30, 2020, the Atlas V rocket launched a Perseverance rover and a robotic coaxial helicopter Ingenuity to Mars. On February 18, 2021, Perseverance and Ingenuity have reached their destination on the planet Mars. Their destination on Mars was Jezero crater. The crater is 45 km wide, located in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

The scientists assume that 3.5 to 3.9 billion years ago the crater was flooded. The ancient martian river flowed into the crater, then the lake, forming a river-delta. Therefore the scientists expect to find significant clay deposits, where Perseverance rover could find biosignatures — substances or phenomena that provide scientific evidence of past or present life.

The landing site has been selected after five years of exhaustive research by a group of scientists from around the world. They have examined over 60 locations on Mars, and Jezero crater was selected. In South Slavic languages, the word “jezero” ​means “lake”, an appropriate name for this crater because it used to be a lake aeons ago. It is largely unknown that the crater got its name after a village, actually.

Jezero crater was named after the village of Jezero, located on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a small country in Central Europe. The younger generations may have probably never heard of that county. Those older probably remember it from TV news and newspaper headlines in the 1990s.

Ironically, the Mars 2020 mission, proof of human perseverance, ingenuity, communication, and global-scale cooperation had Jezero crater as a destination, the crater named after a village located in a country that was a symbol of immense human suffering, destruction and death.

Namely, in the 1990s, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the place where the greatest bloodsheds, genocides, war crimes and crimes against humanity took place in Europe after WWII. It resulted in about 100,000 dead, 2,000,000 refugees, destroyed cities and burned villages. Those who remember that time certainly remember the unprecedented horrors committed against civilians, women, children, the elderly.

As always in conflicts of any kind, it did not have to be that way. All that suffering and destruction did not have to happen. None of this would have happened if the people living there choose to trust themselves and their neighbours, instead of trusting power-hungry politicians whose only aim was to misuse those people for their personal gains.

None of this would have happened if the people had cooperated more. If the people had listened to each other more. If the people had talked to each other more.

Mars missions are proof of unbounded human capabilities in achieving the impossible. And communication has enabled us, humans, to collaborate to build the impossible. Mars missions, which are some of the greatest achievements of humankind, have come about by talking. Wars, on the other hand, have come about by not talking.

I am sure the greatest hopes of humanity will become a reality in the future, as Stephen Hawking promised. I hope that the future generation will build a better world, where people will cherish love, reason, and knowledge. But building a world of tomorrow that will belong to our children requires the effort of all of us. Now!

We are all supposed to be the change that we wish to see in the world.

But do we have the technology at our disposal, that Stephen Hawking mentioned? The technology that will help our greatest hopes to become a reality in the future, one might ask, the technology that will enable us to keep talking?

Yes, we have it. It is called RChain.

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