Yesterday I spent half an hour looking at pictures of a metal disc from earth smashing into a comet millions of miles away. Feeling excited, happy to be part of the human race... it's an amazing achievement! And so much more information to come: I love information, I love filling up my brain with the stuff.
In the letters page of my local newspaper this morning were a series of ungenerous letters, basically along the lines of: "Deep Impact, Big Deal".
My *favourite* was one that trotted out the tired old argument that we should be spending the billions of dollars that we waste on spurious space research [that was the gist of his letter, not my opinion] on combatting world poverty, which he apparently just noticed because he watched the Live 8 concerts on the weekend.
In other words, because PC (those are his actual initials!) doesn't personally benefit from the science of the Deep Impact probe, it's a waste of money. All those scientists, engineers, astronomers, technicians and admin staff at NASA should be prepared to sacrifice their jobs, homes and cars so PC can sit in his home and drive his car and forget about world poverty until the next time Bob Geldof puts the wind up him.
As if billions of dollars would solve the poverty issue. Start with equality, respect and self-determination... otherwise you might as well blast all the money out into space. And if you learn something new about yourself and your cosmic home in the process, well, in my book it's worth it.