Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dude... Where's my Pluto?

    I find even the name funny. I’ve Walt Disney for company. He has a character named after it. Pluto.

    And I find the backlash against the International Astronomical Union (IAU) for demoting Pluto to being a ‘dwarf planet’ even funnier. What got me thinking about this was an article in HT about how different groups are coming out in support for Pluto’s planethood. In it was a mention of a society called “Society for Preservation of Pluto as a Planet”. I find this funniest.

    Different people, different views. It is also one of the reasons why the world is such a fascinating place to be in. I, for one, couldn’t care less about it. And the way I see it for a substantial percentage of people in the world, this hardly means anything as well. Apart from this chunk of astronomers and those students who are still in school. Even for the students, it’s just another line added to their textbooks which they’ll forget right after their next exam. Calvin was right on the money when he said that all he learnt in school was to “cynically manipulate the system.” For instance, I learnt about a figure called the Rhombus in school. I never had to recall that figure after that. It’s also unlikely, in the near future, that the Rhombus will have any material or spiritual impact in my life

    I find the Rhombus phenomenon being applied to Pluto as well. A good number of people will ask us to oppose the demotion. People will wear T-Shirts ($25) , put up bumper stickers ($4), sign online petitions, hold demonstrations, raise a catchy slogan and shout on top of their voices, “S.O.S. Save Pluto!”

    My question is: Why?

    Do these people think that IAU is conspiring against the planet? Did Pluto give these experts’ from IAU nightmares? Was Pluto pulling their ties and taking down their pants in conferences? Was Pluto bewitching the families of these experts’? Is there a hidden agenda in the demotion? If the answer to any of these questions is “Aye”, I stand up for Pluto. Else, I’m already bidding my friend a warm goodbye.

    I think in all of it, there’s a lesson. All of us have a problem when something is taken away from us. We might not need it, yet we want it. We won’t even know what to do with it when it’s with us, but we would want it.

    The way I look at it, sometimes it’s just nice to let go off things with a smile.

    P.S. : If I actually get a nice Pluto T-Shirt, I’ll buy it.
    Paradox, you say? Well, I think it’s funny!
    And if it’s there, I’ll just want it!

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Dude... Where's my Pluto?

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