I was listening to a podcast today which was an interview of a true “geek hero” of mine: Richard Garriott. I suppose a little history is in order. Richard, aka “Lord British” is well known for creating the Ultima series of games. These were amazing for their time, and even today they are worth replaying now and again. Sure the graphics have aged, but the storylines never get old. I have very fond memories of the hours and months that i used to put into these games as i was growing up. I’m not a big game player, but i loved every minute of Ultima. And the few games that i do tend to play nowadays always seem to be similar (in concept) to Ultima in one way or another.Moving on. Richard made his millions and did very well for himself. Since then he’s used his money to do some amazing things, such as go on African safari’s, ride to the bottom of the ocean on research subs (more than once), take a few trips to Antarctica. Little things like that. And recently he followed his father’s footsteps and went into space. The podcast tells the amazing story about how he was told as a young boy that he’d never be able to be an astronaut due to his poor eyesight. He determined he’d make it anyway. And now he has. Bravo! He’s someone who made the most of his opportunities, and did it in a way that didn’t suck.
He also mentioned that after a zero-g flight with Stephen Hawking, that the two have been working on ways to extend mankind’s reach beyond earth in case of the untimely demise of the human species (you know – asteroid impact, supernova explosion, alien invasion, zombie apocalypse, whatever the case might be). He put together a program called Operation Immortality, which is “a time capsule with the digitized DNA of select video game players and space aficionados
Personally i’m a big believer … if you are lucky enough by whatever means to find your way into an extraordinarily unique and valuable location or circumstance … wherever it might be … i find that the experience is far richer, and far more fulfilling, and far more personally interesting when you can go beyond that [tourism] and find ways to bring back real value from that experience. And i don’t mean specifically commercial value as in making money, i mean value as in scientific value, or find knowledge that you can bring back and share with people that adds meaning to the experience you’ve just had.