The easiest answer is that the piece of light between here and there needs be perceived for the distance to be real. That is the easiest answer. But perhaps the simplest answer is not the easiest and the next next guess is as good as mine. After all that is the total amount of what they are doing until someone with a ton of money or a crazy plan can come along and put the crazy and intelligent into a room together, make it work, come out the other side with an answer. Perhaps it will happen someday, who knows?
And we look further into the future, at possible solutions and options. But if we get there the future is the present and the past. It all becomes relative in a great ball and we probably will see no reason to continue on our current path. We will just want to forget it or leave this existence altogether.
The winning is not the point. It is the journey. And like the religious fanatics who rule on faith and belief, we will be required to suspend our desire for absolute truth and settle for second best.. for the understanding that the absolute truth is not worth it. The answers to everything will not be worth it. But the journey, the completionist's journey, to understand it all... to explore every corner and depth and peak, to fill out the letters in every encyclopaedia and complete existence as we know it.. that is worth living for and will be why we live. And that is the eternal journey that, by the definition of the universe cannot be completed by man. Even if we know the answer we will not be able to achieve it in our form. We are beyond the answer... no the answer is beyond us. Beyond our dimension.
But then again.. the things we live for, the things we strive to create and form and compress into formats that harmonise with how we experience the dimensions we inhabit. These are things that do not strive to reveal but to co-exist with the things around us. We are creating an amount of insignificant stuff. Stuff that is barely significant on a world scale, on a human scale. Within our universe it is lost completely. Not even anything. It is pointless. And within the universes of universes it isn't.
So why do we do it? Why do I do this? Why now are we so disconnected from the thought patterns and practices that scientifically describe ourselves within this new scope? This unfathomably humongous scope. Why are we so content to let it be and not touch it? I want a philosophy for that. A philosophy that puts us not just in the context of the world... but one that puts us in the context of the Universe. One that demands we land on a rock on Mars or Titan or Pluto or beyond. One that helps us to consider the world beyond our time and space. One beyond the Kuiper Belt. One that gives us a sense of self within the stars, in a space beyond dimensions. That helps us to exists in a scope that outlasts our individual lives and describes our life as a race in one whole within a Universe that is destined to forget us. That philosophy is one that is needed for this generation and the next. A philosophy that rationalises our lives to a point that we are happy to exist for a great purpose, that we are happy to sacrifice our comforts now to protect the next generation and the next. One that makes that understandable and sustainable. One that stops temporary actions and short term gains like war and disproportionate wealth... one that makes wealth irrelevant altogether.
A unifying philosophy that puts each and every one of us in our place and forces us to step back and contemplate our existence in a new scope. A scope that we now understand more fully. That of the tiniest, insignificant blip on the underside of a spec in the corner of a shoebox that sits in the basement of the universe.
Nobody knows we're here.