7 Questions, 7 Insights - Part I

"You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself."

- Alan Watts

Steve Schild — Part of the dissipated MarsOne program. 

Q: Why are you okay with the prospect of leaving Earth forever? 

A: Because humankind has to expand. We need more space and new ways… It’s my biggest dream to go to Mars... Since I can remember, Mars has fascinated me.

Leon Teale — Senior Penetration Tester, certified ethical hacking instructor

Q: How arbitrary is the line that is drawn between ethical/unethical hacking?

A: It’s a very thick black line. You either do something ethically or not. You either are a good guy or a nob, really. Blackhat isn’t cool.

“Gill Bates” — Resident of a dry cabin in an undisclosed part of Alaska:

Q: What do you think you gain, psychologically, from living the way you live compared to those in, say, an urban or more ‘connected’ area?

A: Dry cabin life is a little quieter. And it feels nice to have things a little simpler inside the cabin. For example: everything just takes extra steps to do and is more satisfying as a result.

Anonymous — A commanding officer in the Israeli military:

Q: Are you willing to die for your country and, if so, why exactly? If not, why not?

A: I am not willing to die for my country — I am willing to die for my family, friends and everything I hold dear to me.

Olga Khazan — Health reporter & author: 

Q: How does unity in a time of crisis (i.e. during this pandemic) either hinder or bolster the practice of non-conformity?

A: Pandemics lead to a surge in conformity. Because of the behavioral immune system, when we’re worried about getting sick, we start to fear norm-violators and other types of outsiders. I predict a huge retrenchment toward traditional norms and values after this — you’re already seeing that with people celebrating the idea that women are “back at home” with their kids and cooking for their husbands.

Agbeke Abdullahi — Former ivory poacher 

Q: How did you (or do you) justify the practice of poaching?

A: I too must eat. I too must feed my family … This is the life that I have been given. Why shame what I am doing to make money for my family when there are those who do worse to humans, to their own family ... [Those] who hunt me are no different.

Daniel Wilson— PhD candidate studying cognitive neuroscience 

Q: As we find ourselves increasingly stimulated by tech and media, why is it more important than ever for the mind to have idle time today?

A: I think that with anything balance is the key. And idle time is part of that balance. I think that the way the attention economy is designed we are pushed in fairly unhealthy directions (more engagement, more engagement) as the two profit mechanisms are coming from serving ads and collecting user data.

These insights are cultivated through various forms of social media including Instagram, Twitter, Reddit and directly via email or phone. All questions asked are original to Borealism .

Image by Arek Socha