"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

-- The Dalai Lama

Friday, February 18, 2005

Professor Lakshman Guruswamy

As I mentioned earlier, I went to a lecture last night at the law school given by Professor Guruswamy. I was exhausted but went anyway - I really hate when I plan to do something and then don't go at the last minute. I'm very glad I did because it was a really excellent talk on the future of international energy treaties and the work the Energy Environmental Security Initiative is doing.

Two funny things happened. The first was "weird funny." This guy - a middle aged guy, fairly normal looking, maybe a little hippy-ish with longish hair and a beard - comes in right before the lecture begins and sits down in the front row. The next time I happen to glance at him, a few minutes into the presentation, he has his shoes off and his socked feet up on the railing. It was totally bizarre to me. This was not...No, I can't even think of an example where this is appropriate adult, public behavior.

Okay, the second funny thing was laugh-out-loud funny. Except for J and I had to wait until after we were outside to actually "LOL." So it's question and answer time and Professor Guruswamy is taking one last question.

The questioner says, "So, everything I've read points toward our using extraterrestrial sources for our future energy needs. " The professor nods and confirms that yes, there's research going into space solar power.

The questioner then continues with, "Well, I don't think we should..." at this point I'm expecting the end of the sentence to be something like: "...because it would be too expensive." But,alas, no. The end of the sentence was actually: "...because it would compromise human sovereignty!"

Woah. Compromise human sovereignty, indeed. Now, I've been known to entertain "crazy" ideas in my time. I've even been called a "whacko" a time or two. But this guy actually took the time to mention, at a serious lecture, his reservations about utilizing space-based resources based on his fear that aliens will come and take them over, therefore leaving us hopelessly under their alien control.

I sure do hope real law school is as full of wacky antics as these lectures are!


kristine said...

Mr. Angst's comment: "Ooooh, bless his poor little soul."


DeniseUMLaw said...

You waited until you were outside to laugh out loud! My, you're so restrained and proper!

What, pray tell, was the answer?

Shannon said...

A low murmur swept through the crowd, and the Dean quickly saved the moment by beginning a round of applause for the professor. So, unfortunately, in the end, no answer was given.

HumanSovereignty said...

I'm pretty sure the questioner was not asking about space-based solar technology, but instead meant that as energy resources continue to decline and people become desperate to maintain our way of life, we might look to extraterrestrial visitors for gifts of advanced alien technology.

This would have the potential to make us dependent upon extraterrestrial forces and thus put human sovereignty at risk.