03 June 2010

Technological miracles

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OK, so this BP oil-spill catastrophe is something bad bad bad and I'm not going to comment beyond that. I drive cars that average 20 mpg and heat a 5,000sf house. We can all rail about how evil BP is but all of us who use oil are absolutely complicit in the destruction of the Gulf. But I post this not as a political screed but to reflect on one of the least-remarked-upon technological miracles in living memory.

Right now, there are about a dozen ROV's operating on the ocean floor of the Gulf of Mexico. You can pull up and watch the live video from each of those at any time, and millions of people are doing just that. A mile under the sea, three thousand miles away, a robot just grabbed a pipe and started moving it. And I was watching it. And you are too, now. If it weren't so awful it would be awesome.

It reminds me a little of what it must have been like watching the grainy footage of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon, only instead of being an astonishing feat of humankind's most extreme efforts, it has become banal and commonplace.

It's terrible, but still, what an amazing time to be alive.

1 comment:

  1. Take it easy after all you only live once, enjoy what you have and stop complaining around this stuff guy.


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