In my travels and various inane conversations, I’ve found that there are two types of people: those who like space more, and those who like the ocean more. I fall into the former category. I just like stars and also the different things that the universe makes me think about on a scientific and philosophical level. Like, we thought that the world worked a certain way because of the way things worked on Earth, BUT when you leave the atmosphere, things work in a completely different way. Black holes. Dark matter. Stars maintaining a constant velocity no matter where they are in the universe. Think about it. These things are awesome. Fuck off, tuna fish. The ocean “wins” in terms of sheer sustainability and diversity of “life,” but space challenges the way we view existence, and may eventually change our definition of what “life” is, and for Bill Clinton what “is” is.
Sometimes I think I like space as a coping mechanism for softening the emotional blow of the destruction of our oceans. Is it callous to just lose hope in humanity’s ability to not fuck up? Space is the last frontier (reference not intended) of what could possibly be ruined by humans (based on transportation technology developments, it goes land, water, air, space), and I’m pretty sure that won’t happen in my lifetime, plus space is so huge that I don’t think humans could possibly mess it up, no matter how hard we tried. The fragility of the ocean ecosystem doesn’t sound so beautiful and majestic now, does it? But is it really callous to hold the hope that there’s answers out there that we don’t even know the questions to yet? That the limits of possibility are ever-expanding like the edges of the universe?
From Wikipedia via The Last Combat:
An ocean (from Greek Ωκεανός, Okeanos (Oceanus)) is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface (an area of some 361 million square kilometers) is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas. More than half of this area is over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) deep. Average oceanic salinity is around 35 parts per thousand (ppt) (3.5%), and nearly all seawater has a salinity in the range of 30 to 38 ppt.
Space is the boundless extent within which matter is physically extended and objects and events have positions relative to one another. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of the boundless four-dimensional continuum known as spacetime. In mathematics spaces with different numbers of dimensions and with different underlying structures can be examined. The concept of space is considered to be of fundamental importance to an understanding of the universe although disagreement continues between philosophers over whether it is itself an entity, a relationship between entities, or part of a conceptual framework.
SPACE VS. OCEAN SHOWDOWN
1) Crab vs. Crab Nebula. Puh-leaze.
images not to scale
2) Anglerfish vs. Alien. They both live in the dark. They both have crazy sharp-looking teeth. Only one hunts Sigourney Weaver. But I’m terrified of all aliens and hope that they don’t exist so ocean can have this one.
3) Movies about the Ocean (Sphere, Deep Blue Sea, Finding Nemo, The Life Aquatic) vs. Movies about Space (Sunshine, 2001, Serenity, Contact). Verdict: tie, if only because The Abyss falls into both categories. But Wes Anderson should definitely make a movie about space.
The ocean just seems like a more manageable version of space, something we’ve pretty much got figured out. I feel like I just have no tolerance for something that I already know the answer to. The ocean is like playing Jeopardy to an episode you’ve seen already. Space is like playing Jeopardy, but the game lasts forever and there’s no commercial break and they’ve even cut out that horrible part where the constestants talk about their dumb lives.