I’ve done a terrible thing. I’ve turned my son into a Pluto apologist, one who’s not happy with Neil deGrasse Tyson. And the thing is, my son is only four. He never knew of a planet named Pluto until this past weekend. I’m working on remedying the situation, but trying to explain to a young and angry child that Tyson did not lose Pluto is no small feat.
But in moments like these, it’s hard not to stop and take note of how different the world is for him than it was when I was a kid. And I’m still young enough to be of a generation that was afforded the luxury of one uphill trip and one downhill trip when commuting to school, and that path was mostly cleared of snow.
I remember being in grade school, hearing about how one day touch screen computers would exist, and that blew my mind. Now I can’t go five minutes without using one. And I keep it in my pocket.
And when I was growing up, we had shuttles that took people to space! That’s not really a thing anymore.
There were two Germanys… in fact, Eastern Europe and most of Asia were completely different maps.
It was amazing that we could control the TV from across the room. Now I can control my TV from anywhere in the world… even though I don’t even need a TV to watch TV.
Hell, I can even watch news for 24 hours straight… and never hear anything that’s actually news. And I can stay current on the state of the world by watching Twitter.
Just two months ago, my daughter saw a pay phone for the first time… and thought it was an electric razor.
We can change the world without leaving our homes and without ever putting on pants.
I can Facetime with my mom’s poodles. And I have. Because I refuse to live in a future where I can’t talk to dogs on the phone.
I know it’s pretty cliche at this point to talk about how much times have changed, but really… really… our world is amazing.
And even though we may have lost Pluto as a planet, we gained a new perspective on the universe.
What is your favorite thing about living in the future? What is your favorite advancement over the last century? What are you still waiting to see happen? How do you feel about the state of our world? Are you nostalgic for your good ol’ days? Do you ever pine for a world with less technology? Can you admit that you still struggle to list the planets without ending with Pluto?
T-shirts with the featured and Pluto images can be purchased at Snorg Tees.
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.