I just finished watching COSMOS this week and I gotta say I want more!
I watched the original COSMOS with Carl Sagan when I was in middle school and I loved that but this latest iteration was addicting. We looked forward to it every week just as much as Game of Thrones. Perhaps we were just starved for something more meaningful and COSMOS was like the best steak I’ve ever had.
Sometimes the information went sailing over my head but that didn’t dampen my enjoyment whatsoever. In fact, it is what probably fueled my appreciation. That week about light was fantastic, and I want to watch it over and over again until I completely understand it.
Sadly, it may be all I get for a while. It appears that while this particular show did well in the ratings, science itself has taken quite a hit overall in the last generation.
It really comes down to the message that’s out there. These days, learning, curiosity and education are not hip or sexy or cool. Making money, being attractive and being famous are all anyone seems to care about. I know this is a generalization, but pop culture is a reflection of sorts of the zeitgeist.
Add to that an active push back against science from religious people or other people who display extreme willful ignorance for some reason or another. It might be for political or monetary gain but it’s not for the general public’s best interest, that’s for sure.
Some days I wish I could borrow Professor Farnsworth’s What-If machine and see what the world might look like if scientists and thinkers and inventors were the superstars, and sports were just something we did once in a while to pass the time. What kind of amazing advancements might have occurred? Would we still be debating about climate change or would we be exploring the solar system and beyond?
The film Idiocracy is a great What-If scenario that shows what might happen when the stupid people win.
There are several outcomes to our present circumstances. If the world starts to resemble that of Idiocracy and other dystopian fantasies involving book burning or drugged up compliance then, I agree with the professor.
Perhaps, in the meantime if you are in a position to influence a child, you might want to try a little of what Neil deGrasse Tyson is proposing and let the innate curiosity of a child be allowed some room to grow. You never know who the next Newton or Einstein might be.