Saturday, January 17, 2009

R.I.P.: We all know the role Ricardo Montalban played in Star Trek, as Khan in the classic original series episode "Space Seed," and most memorably in the feature film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. But also passing away last week was Arne Naess, a philosopher who thought a lot about the future. He was a founder of the Deep Ecology movement, an idea that Star Treks touched upon now and then but without much depth. Naess felt the future depends on humanity understanding the vital value of the Earth's natural environment, and towards the end of his life he felt more hopeful that eventually this would happen. His New York Times obituary ended: " Surveying the continuing destruction of the environment, Mr. Naess was pessimistic about the 21st century but optimistic about the 23rd. By then, he predicted, population control would show results, technology would be noninvasive and children would grow up in a natural environment. At that point, he said, “we are back in the direction of paradise.” Sound familiar?

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