Does anyone else think Space is REALLY boring?
On Saturday morning I read this blogpost and it's sent me into a bit of a rant. As I've put directly in a comment there, what annoyed wasn't so much the content of the post, rather the general discourse of space science it sampled. E.g:
The inspirational power of space and rocket ships [...] captivated and fired the scientific and technological imagination of a generation of young people. Some became the scientists and engineers of the Golden Age
When we talk about space in popular culture, we often use such lofty language. The sense that space, especially space exploration, can provide some 'inspirational power', ready to fuel a whole generation of scientists is also a familiar tune. There's been some controversy over manned spaceflight vs other space science recently, and this post isn't about that debate. What I want to pick out is the dependancy on superlatives.
It's not just rocket-science, astronomy similarly bangs on about the majesty of the night sky (and let's just draw a line under cosmology now). All this talk of how space is awe-inspiring/ exciting/ wonderful/ simply-just-the-most-amazing-thing-ev-er just makes me roll my eyes. I'm tempted to say its self-aggrandising, but I think I'll just settle on calling it boring. Mind-numbingly boring.