On March 13, 2018, the world received the news that renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking had passed away at the age of 76. Hawking was arguably the most brilliant mind of my generation. I know it’s a stretch to try to relate his life and accomplishments to the waste and recycling industries.
The thing is… we do face numerous challenges and struggles as we race into a new era of technology and advanced equipment that can redefine the way we do things. Perhaps some memorable observations made by Hawking can help guide us as we move forward through time.StormCon: The Surface Water Quality Conference and Expo - Join us in Denver this August 12–16 at StormCon: The North American Surface Water Quality Conference & Expo. Your colleagues from around the country will be there at the largest stormwater-specific conference of the year and you should be there too! Get details & register today at www.StormCon.com.
There were pearls of wisdom such as his assertion that “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny,” and “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Before I go further, did you know that Stephen Hawking recently considered changing his computer voice to someone more famous than himself? There were even auditions.
Not wanting to waste this opportunity to honor Hawking, I’ll recycle some of his more notable observations.
— “For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”
— “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”
— “We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”
— “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special.”
Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking. I would definitely have gone with the Liam Neeson voice.