Technology Thoughts

Beep..beep..beep – The legacy of Sputnik

Moscow Event

I just love working for Google, an organisation happy to celebrate the great technological advances of our times despite criticism from some. I was lucky enough to be asked to present at a event organised by Google in Moscow to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sputnik.

The celebration involved presentations of Sky in Google Earth, Anecdotes from Cosmonauts including Alexander Volkov, a charming man who just happens to hold the joint-record for the longest space-walk in history and was Commander of Cosmonauts at the Cosmonaut Training Centre, and a presentation by Greg Maryniak on the Google Lunar X-Prize.

It would be wonderful if the X-Prize could rekindle the enthusiasm for space and science and technology in general that the original space race developed around the world. Clearly the political motivation is no longer there and that of course is no bad thing, however we are all the beneficiaries of the massive boost in funding for science that the space race produced.

30 years after man set foot on the moon, the mash-up generation will be back with technology that has its roots in the boost in science and technology funding that came as a result of that iconic beep-beep sound.

Written and submitted from the O’Callaghan Mont Clare Hotel, Dublin, using the hotels broadband network.

One reply on “Beep..beep..beep – The legacy of Sputnik”

There’s a small number of these Rutan speeches floating around, but the ‘Houston We Have a Problem’ speech released by TED is just as significant to share.:

It seemed as though Rutan’s words were helping everyone to kick themselves in the butt just a little — but for an extremely short time. It seems that we need to be reminded of these things these days — or at least that more of us who ‘get it’ really need to speak our minds as to the discontent we feel.

Unfortunately, however, too many companies limit the expression of its employees within the corporate manhandling that occurs — for obvious fear of proprietary secrets to be released into the public. There are a few who express their passions here and there — but overall, it seems there’s more of a disease of inhibition in the current way we approach people, as opposed to coming to some very simple and fundamental concepts which by all practical measure — would only help the companies for which people are employed.

I find that an interesting dynamic, and equally disheartening that it’s in these kinds of atmospheres in our society, that we can only place ourselves at blame for teaching everyone — especially our children — that this is the way to progress.

Such inhibitions aren’t helping anyone except the companies for which uninhibited behavior is enforced — and in many ways, cause more concerns and problems within an organization than actually protect anything of value, in essence, snuffing out the possibilities toward innovation and risk.

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