Steven Hawking also has Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Amotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which has left him confined to a wheelchair for many years. The pronounced muscular degeneration caused by the disease has left him barely able to move and unable to speak. He must now use a computer setup that tracks his eye movements and allows him to pick out words from a screen by blinking to compose his thoughts. When he is finished, a computerized voice speaks for him.
For the TED video, Dr Hawking had prepared a speech that was spoken through his computer. The computer does not amplify his voice. Steven Hawking can no longer speak at all. He can barely move.
When the talk was over, Chris Anderson, the host of TED, asked Dr. Hawking the following question.
“Dr. Hawking, based on your current understanding, do you think we are alone in the Milky Way Galaxy as a civilization of our intelligence or higher?”
otherwise we would have heard radio waves. The alternative is that civilizations don’t last very long or destroy themselves.”
It took Steven Hawking, one of the most brilliant scientific minds on the planet, SEVEN MINUTES to give a thirty-five-word answer to a question he already knew the answer to.
That’s an average of five words per minute.
That’s one word every 12 seconds.
Take one minute, just one, to see what that feels like.
Look at your watch.
Take a full minute, 12 seconds per word, and say,
That's what Steven Hawking, staggering intellect, world-reknowned theoretical physicist, and possibly the longest living survivor of amotrophic lateral sclerosis has to do
By the way, a light year is about six trillion miles.
That's 6,000,000,000,000 miles.
A few hundred light years is a very long way to have to go to find someone in the galaxy who is as smart and as gifted as you are.
It might be good to remember that now and then.
And rave on.
You can hear Stephen Hawking by going to:
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805/680-5572. Namaste.