November 3, 2010


A friend of a friend of mine, Bryce Zabel, has co-authored a new science fiction book called “A.D. After Disclosure” about the extraterrestrial aliens among us.  Richard M. Dolan, who wrote the book with Zabel, is a noted authority on UFOs, his seminal work being “UFOs and the National Security State.”  Zabel is no light weight, either, having created the NBC series “Dark Skies” and Hallmark’s “Pandemic” among others.

The authors have chosen to produce their new book themselves rather than seek a publishing house. Going out on their own doesn’t strike me as a risk as they are well known in their fields and have a built-in audience. Their book is bound to sell well. But selling well is not their sole aim, I’m told. They want to attract main stream readers as well as sci-fi enthusiasts. In other words, they’re ambitious enough to have laid out a new challenge for themselves.

Ambition is not to be confused with competition. Many creatures want to be top dog … or lion… or chimpanzee. But in certain human societies ambition is not a means to an end. It’s become an end in itself. To accuse someone of resting on his laurels is no compliment. Success is expected to beget more success.  

I wonder what makes some societies seek new horizons while others struggle to preserve a way of life centuries old. Obviously, I don’t know. Finding the answer shall have to be left to scientist and sociologist who marvel at a beetle’s track.  But, if I’m allowed to vote, I vote for ambition. I abhor the status quo and see no greater virtue in the past than in the present moment. We should explore and seek new ways.

True, so far our discoveries have led us to greater efficiencies in blowing ourselves up; but we can heal ourselves better too. Ambition has driven us to conquer some of our greatest enemies: small pox, polio and the plague among them.

Perhaps I’m merely a product of my culture, but I celebrate ambitions great and small. In life we are all voyagers. Why shouldn’t we boldly go where we have never gone before?