Monday, August 28, 2006

Talking "Space"

The whole Pluto debate shows how the problems we have with politics occur. I mean, consider what actually goes on: the experts on planets have been perturbed by Pluto for a long time. It doesn't behave like a planet, and it's awfully small. So they have big debate, and at the end they have a new definition of what a planet is, and Pluto doesn't make the cut.

It's at this point that the weird starts, cause for a tiny, icebound piece of rock on the edge of the solar system, so far away that we can't even see it without special telescopes, Pluto suddenly has a hell of a lot of fans. One would think, to read some of the sites, that something essential about Pluto had changed. In fact, it's the same as it ever was; all that has changed is how we describe it. And, just maybe, how we think about it. And that is what people are resisting (Honestly, it's not like there's something magic about calling a spacebound chunk of rock a planet anyway; it's a word left over from previous centuries meaning, basically, a wandering star. Originally, the Earth wasn't one and the Sun was).

Anyway, if people are getting whipped up into a froth over this, if they're resisting a minor change made by the experts in an obscure field, what kind of results can we expect when it comes to changing how we do things on Earth?

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