Fifty years ago Friday, the first – but sadly not the last – fatal spaceflight accident struck NASA when a fire claimed the lives of Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Ed White during a training exercise at Launch Complex 34. The accident, a major setback for the struggling Apollo program, ushered in the first understanding of the “bad day” effects of schedule pressure for spaceflight and brought with it words and reminders that still echo today.
The article provides a very detailed and accurate look at the history and causes of the accident, as well as its consequences, which even today influence American space engineering.
Screens are no longer simply bicycles for the mind; they are bicycles that children can ride anywhere, into the virtual schoolyard where they might encounter disturbing news photos, bullies, creeps, and worse. Setting a child free on the Internet is a failure to cordon off the world and its dangers. It’s nuts. We inure ourselves to this craziness by relying on the basic innocence of kids: they could type all sorts of unseemly things into that Google search box, but they usually don’t.
The comfort of games is that they are partially walled off from the larger Internet, with their own communities and leaderboards. But what unsettles parents about Internet gaming, despite fond memories of after-school Nintendo afternoons, is its interconnectivity.
Minecraft is played by both boys and girls, unusually. Players can join together to build worlds together: airports, castles, cave systems, roller coasters, an accurate replica of Westeros. At its best, the game is not unlike being in the woods with your best friends. Parents also join in. The Internet is full of testimonials of parents playing with their kids, of children reading their first word in Minecraft, and other milestones usually performed in the analog world.
According to Agger the significance of Minecraft is how the game shows us that lively, pleasant virtual worlds can exist alongside our own, and that they are places where we want to spend time, where we learn and socialize. “To me what Minecraft represents is more than a hit game franchise,” says new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “It’s this open-world platform. If you think about it, it’s the one game parents want their kids to play.” We need to meet our kids halfway in these worlds, and try to guide them like we do in the real world concludes Agger. "Who knows how Minecraft will change under Microsoft’s ownership, but it’s a historic game that has shown many of us a middle way to navigate the eternal screens debate."
Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal