Archive for November, 2009

Are Cellphones More Important Than Astronomy?

November 28, 2009

I noticed that many science fiction writers of the past way overestimated technology progress. Read some 20 year old books and according to them we should be in space by now, conquering other planets and have personal helicopters instead of cars. In reality not much had changed. Yes we have faster cars and smaller phones, but that’s about it.

The thing is that money is ruling our current world and science is very expensive. Look around and notice where do we have the biggest technology progress: cars, electronics, pharmaceutics. All those areas are driven by businesses and consumers who buy all that stuff. By the way, if you haven’t seen the story of stuff I highly recommend it. So consumers pay big money for science development in these areas.

What about astronomy and space exploration. Sure it’s cool to watch satellites smash into the Moon and astronauts walking on Mars, but that’s about it — regular people don’t get any immediate benefit from it. Your bed is not softer, your car is not faster, your food is not tastier, so you don’t have a wish to pay for this kind of science, as simple as that.

While I like to talk about science, but there is no way we going to see any cool things in general science in the nearest future, not until our society is driven by money and looks like this is not going to change too. I am not telling that hungry scientists slaving 20 hours a day on a new spaceship is a good idea, just when you make your decisions in life don’t let money drive you. Money is a means, not a goal.