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THE BIG PICTURE

LIVING ON EARTH AS MEMBERS OF THE UNIVERSE

The purpose of this page is to portray a big-picture perspective on human existence and on the human condition. Often, in their daily preoccupation with making a living, many humans do not take the time out to stop and seriously contemplate or ponder the big picture. What is the big picture?

In a nutshell, the big picture is this: Humans reside on a planet called Earth; humans are members of a much grander system known as the Universe.

Watch [Powers of Ten (1977)]


How did the Universe begin—and everything in it including Earth and life on Earth? Why did the Universe begin? Where is the Universe headed? Nobody really knows the answers to these questions with 100% certainty. The following cosmic calendar link represents a manifestation of the scientific view of existence.

The Cosmic Calendar: Time

The "Parade of Life" page of this website contains another snapshot view of existence in accordance with the scientific perspective.



EXPANDING THE BOUNDARIES OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE

The prevailing scientific perspective or theory concerning the Universe's beginning and its first 13.7 billion years of existence and concerning the Earth's beginning and its first 4.5 billion years of existence is summarized in the following two videos:

Watch (The Really Big Picture: Things We Know About the Universe, and How We Know Them)




Watch (15 Billion Years in 3 Minutes - Earth - A Brief History Trailer )




Watch (What Caused the Big Bang?)


The reader should keep in mind that the scientific perspective is not the only perspective. There are various—and often competing—religious perspectives concerning metaphysical matters such as the origins of life, the meaning of life, and the fate of Universe.

The more immediate question becomes this: What happens next? What lies ahead in the next 13.7 billion years to come?

Much like a contestant who loses on the television game show Let's Make A Deal, some pessimists speculate that humans will lose in the game of survival. Some pessimists speculate that, ultimately, humans will destroy life on Earth and will become extinct—and perhaps humans will become extinct sooner (say, within the next 100 years) rather than later (say, within the next 100,000 years).

Watch (Let's Make a Deal: The Three Dogs)




Watch (Donald Fagen, New Frontier)


Much like a contestant who wins on the television game show Let's Make A Deal, some optimists speculate that humans will win in the game of survival. Some optimists speculate that humans, ultimately, will grow wiser, will evolve into higher consciousness, will elevate their conduct to the highest ethical plane, and will go on to colonize deep space—and, along the way, perhaps humans will make some (friendly) connections with space aliens much like the some of the friendlier alien encounters depicted in the Star Trek television program.

Watch (Let's Make a Deal: It's Meant to Be...)




Watch (THE ANSWER, New Horizon | Napalm Records)


Who is right, and who is wrong about humankind's future and humankind's ultimate fate? Will humans win or lose in their quest to survive and thrive? Nobody really knows the answer.

One thing is certain, and it is this: Humans are fortunate to be a part of the grandiose Universe. Humankind is fortunate to have survived on this Earth for some 200,000 years so far.

One thing is known, and it is this: Humans can think. Humans have the thinking capacity to make choices that will enhance their chances of surviving much, much farther into the future. At the present point in time as of 2014, humans have reached the proverbial fork in the road of life and existence. Assume Road A has a Hell-like destiny waiting for humankind with extinction as its ultimate outcome. Assume Road B has a Heaven-like destiny waiting for humankind with survival, continued prosperity, and continued evolution as its ultimate destiny. Which road will humans choose? In the spirit of the television game show Let's Make A Deal, will humans choose Road A or Road B?

How will contemporary world leaders choose to proceed into the future as determined by their domestic decision making and by their approaches to international relations? How will the next generation of world leaders decide to manage the Earth as they seek to cope with societal issues such as education and progress; liberty and justice; inclusiveness and equality of opportunity; allocation of resources; law and order; crime and punishment, and so forth?

How will the next generation of world leaders decide to address global challenges such as environmental preservation and balance; debt and trade; population and migration; guns and bombs; nuclear weapons; war and peace; water and food; health and disease; poverty and hunger; knowledge and power; science and technology, and so forth? Will world leaders engage in more or less international cooperation and planning for the future? Will world leaders engage in more or less international cooperation and planning for the long-term sustainability and viability of Earth to host life?



IN SEARCH OF NEW FRONTIERS AND NEW HORIZONS: MARCHING FORWARD INTO THE FUTURE IN A POSITIVE DIRECTION, OR SLOWLY ASCENDING THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

On the individual level, the questions ultimately come down to these:

Date and Time Right Now:




Mariner 2 Launched August 27, 1962 (Inactive Communications)


Watch [NASA's Mariner 2 Spacecraft Flies by Venus (1962)]




Pioneer 10 Launched March 3, 1972 (Inactive Communications)


Watch (The Pioneer Program)




Pioneer 11 Launched April 6, 1973 (Inactive Communications)


Watch [Jupiter Odyssey - The Official NASA Mission Film for Pioneers 10 and 11]




Voyager 2 Launched August 20, 1977 (Active Communications)


Watch (A Brief History of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2)




Voyager 1 Launched September 5, 1977 (Active Communications)


Watch (ScienceCasts: Voyager)




Hubble Launched April 24, 1990 (Active Communications)


Watch [Hubble Celebrates 20 Years (April 23, 2010)]




New Horizons Launched January 19, 2006 (Active Communications)


Watch (New Horizons Spacecraft: Florida to Kuiper Belt)




Watch (Making NASA History)




Listen (Bette Midler, From a Distance)




Listen (The O'Jays, Stairway To Heaven)





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Intellectual Property Disclosures: All videos and songs (as well as many of the images) referenced or spotlighted throughout this website are the legal and intellectual properties of others. All content and opinions on this website (bruessard.com) are those of the author (Edward Bruessard) exclusively and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the contributors, creators, owners, and distributors of these referenced videos, songs, and images. The author holds no legal interest or financial stake in any of these referenced videos, songs, and images. The contributors, creators, owners, and distributors of these referenced videos, songs, and images played no role at all regarding the appearance of said videos, songs, and images throughout this website; they had no clue that this website would be spotlighting their works.


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