Memorial Day

Written by Frank White on Monday, 25 May 2015. Posted in Overview Effect

On Memorial Day, I think about my father and his life, which included stints in the Army during World War II and Korea. I have shared in another blog post how he introduced me to the interpretation of aerial photography, a skill that he put to good use in the Pacific Theatre during WWII, and later on in civilian life.

I don't know how much those early views of the Earth from above influenced me, and pointed me to the Overview Effect, but I am sure they had an impact. It reminds me that, no matter what we accomplish in life, we do not achieve it alone. Each one of us is part of a greater whole system, extended in time and space. Perhaps our purpose is to contribute to the evolution and well-being of that system, but always to realize that we are not simply individual actors delivering a monologue. Rather, we are part of an ensemble, participating in an extraordinary cosmic play.

---Frank White

About the Author

Frank White is the author of The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, first published in 1987 and re-issued in 1998. A member of the Harvard College Class of 1966, Frank graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, earning an MPhil in 1969. He is the author or co-author of eight additional books on space exploration and the future, including The SETI Factor; Decision: Earth; Think About Space and March of the Millennia (both with Isaac Asimov), The Ice Chronicles (with Paul Mayewski), and Space Stories (with Kenneth J. Cox and Robbie Davis-Floyd). He also contributed chapters on the Overview Effect to four recently published books on space exploration, Return to the Moon, Beyond Earth, Living in Space, and Space Commerce.

Frank has spoken at numerous conferences on space exploration and space development. In 1988, he delivered the keynote address at the International Space Development Conference in Denver. In 1989, he spoke at George Washington University to mark the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He also delivered the keynote address at the first Overview Effect Conference in 2007.

In 2006, the Space Tourism Society awarded Frank a "Certificate of Special Recognition."

In 2008, Frank was one of the speakers at a session of the International Space Development Conference that launched the Overview Institute and announced the signing of the Overview Declaration.

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