I couldn’t help but make a reference to my favorite band when I wanted to talk about the first ever image of a black hole humanity has ever gotten.
So I know it’s been a while… since May of last year if memory serves… since I typed away at my keyboard; ranting to an audience I don’t have and treating my personal website like a bad LiveJournal offshoot… I’ve gotten off topic.
What topic, you might ask? This black hole is amazing. It took so much effort on the part of those involved, and gave us such a mind boggling discovery that I wouldn’t be surprised to see this image as one of those “pictures that changed the 21st century” compilations in 30 or 40 years time. Assuming our civilization lasts that long with the disease that is willful ignorance.
I’m not particularly hopeful.
Ah, willful ignorance. The willing and deliberate act of not learning when new information comes your way. It can be simple, like not being willing to change how you read a strange name when you are corrected to its proper pronunciation. It can be hard, like breaking free of the learned belief that god is real or Pluto is a planet on par with the other full size planets.
I find intelligence attractive. Smart people willing and able to change with new information and with a drive to learn. You don’t have to know everything, but you have to be willing to learn anything.
Counterpoint: I find willful ignorance bordering on and surpassing simple stupidity so terribly offensive, nearly sickening, I hardly speak to a certain coworker on account of their certainty that the Earth is flat.
And this morning I watched a YouTube pundant (for what else is everyone’s personal soapbox good for) explain how science, evolution, and the 1969 moon landing are all wrong and you’re an idiot for thinking any of them exist because NASA (and he says only NASA, despite all the agencies responsible for creating this fascinating image) could have made the black hole picture in photoshop in ten minutes and on no budget. He goes on to make a badly photoshopped black hole in about that time frame. And narrated it.
The level of stupidity here is so great that my breakfast is considering making a my reappearance as something foul.
But that’s it for now. Black holes are cool, conspiracy theorists are offensive to me, smart people rock. And I have to go into work now.