There is nothing more invisible than the obvious, than that which is right before our noses. In the last few days I have tried to blur the urgency to focus on the obvious, on what precisely for being obvious, we usually ignore.
The truisms seem not to be connected, but it just seems. The citizen of the digital age has a limited capacity for surprise. Everything seems “normal” and few situations impact on their curiosity. This normality, misunderstood, distances us from great milestones of our civilization that are happening in real time and also from those leaps towards the future, which by obvious we tend to ignore.
In recent days I decided to get out of the maelstrom of this giant wave of noise that the internet vomits to focus on those things that really impact on the present and especially on tomorrow.
Space as curiosity seems infinite.
Speaking of tomorrow, NASA called a press conference that foreshadowed great news. And the agency did not disappoint: it announced that it found at least 7 Earth-sized planets orbiting the same star. They are only 40 light years away from our Earth, but the discovery is especially exciting because planets have the combination of being similar in size to Earth and temperate, which means that they may have water on their surfaces and now comes the most important: they could potentially harbor life.
Another notable fact, closer to our stratosphere was the statement by Space X CEO, the incombustible Elon Musk: who announced that he will send two tourists to a trip around the Moon in 2018. Both candidates have paid a significant deposit for said journey of approximately 7 days. The company not only performs space travel but also continues as a private provider transporting food and equipment for the International Space Station to space on an unmanned rocket. The “privatization” of the space marks another great milestone, since space ceased to be an exclusive place of the states.
Gold and video statues.
It is inevitable in a hyper connected world to filter 100% of the noise, so I could not help but hear about the Oscar awards. Following near the stars, but in this case terrestrial stars, the 89th edition of the Oscars in the Dolby Theater of Los Angeles, was also witness of a change of era.
This 2017 edition was one of the most talked about in history because of the tremendous role of the announcement of the best film. But I do not intend to add one more gram of ink to that fact but to which I think is more relevant to me. Two “outsiders” like Netflix and Amazon were made with statuettes. Netflix + Amazon went from receiving zero nominations in 2013, to 1 in 2014, 1 in 2015, 2 last year and 10 in 2017.
To the classics like Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Metro Goldwyn Mayer or Miramax the smile of Amazon Studios and the Netflix red screen will be added.
“In 10 years, all television content will be on the internet,” said Reed Hastings, founder of Netflix from Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress. It is estimated that by the year 2019 80% of Internet traffic will be video. In these same days, and without leaving the screen, YouTube officially confirmed, that we already see more than one billion hours of video per day. In December 2014 we saw about 300 million hours, in July 2015 we surpassed 500 million, to reach February 2017 with this milestone of 1 billion.
YouTube owned by Alphabet was one of the big technology companies that mobilized before the new governmental initiatives to restrict the access to the country for people of different origins. About diversity and talent, most of these technology companies, Amazon, Apple, eBay, Yahoo! (now Altaba), Google, Facebook, Oracle, IBM, Uber, or Tesla, to mention a few, were founded by first or second generation immigrants.
Almost as invisible as a bacterium.
In the midst of paranoia over a possible bacteriological attack, fueled by the assassination of Kim Jong-un’s half brother with agent VX cataloged as a chemical weapon by the UN or in other words as a weapon of mass destruction, WHO announced the 12 families of Bacteria that are more dangerous to humans. All bacteria are not bad, in fact an ‘average man’ has about 30 billion human cells and 39 billion bacteria.
But the announced superbugs are immune to known drugs thanks to spontaneous mutations and could kill more than 10 million people every year from 2050 onwards. To avoid this scenario, the World Health Organization has urged to work “urgently” on the Development of new antibiotics. It will be the only way to prevent the 12 families of bacteria most dangerous to human health from doing their job. While reading this information I was thinking about how the bad guys could make use of these superbugs. And I was not the only one who thought it, Bill Gates mentioned that a new type of bacteriological terrorism could kill more than 30 million people (almost 7 times the total population of Ireland) in less than a year. “And we’re not ready,” he said.
Peace is elusive.
From those distant planets, 40 light years away, we arrive to Switzerland, where the peace dialogue for Syria resumed without an immediate solution. It is hoped that these negotiations between the opposition and the Syrian regime will pave the way for more substantial rounds and finally end this inhuman struggle.
Nature is still wise.
Finally in the block of my office the city council began with the cutting of branches of the largest trees of the Paseo de Pintor Rosales street. The appearance of the trees have after the pruning is desolate; without leaves and now with fewer branches, they seem sad. But no, a gentleman in a pruning uniform with a chainsaw in my hand tells me, they look sad but they are not. They will grow stronger, healthier. Sometimes it is necessary to remove what is not useful, so that what serves grows stronger. Obviously, seeing and looking are different things.
And it is obvious that there is more than noise to understand where we are and where we are going.
Of course, I told myself, it’s like the noise that deafens and blinds us every day. We should cut it, prune it to be able to see the obvious better, that which really connects us with the human. Open your eyes like the Apollo XI astronauts. To see the obvious to travel imaginary to space bearing the hopes and dreams of all humanity, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration. Let’s continue exploring the obvious where we will find many of the answers that we did not find because we did not look better, beacuse of not explorint where it’s needed.