Beware of Pretty Pictures

On space.com today, one of these reports is not like the others:

http://www.space.com/20449-swiss-private-rocket-plane-2017.html

http://www.space.com/20461-russia-moon-robots-missions.html

http://www.space.com/20452-scotland-first-satellite-launching-soon.html

The first two are articles describing a space mission or technology concept accompanied by a slew of excellent computer-generated graphics, an impressive description and an ambitious timeline. These hyped-up but meat-lacking reports are a strong indicator of being over the tinfoil hat line in the bad way. While I’m in favor of crazy ideas, portrayals of them as straightforward sure-shots without caveats is similar to crying wolf: it makes people more cynical towards way-out-there ideas with actual substance behind them. 

Contrast those to the last article, which shows a bunch of smiling researchers around a real-life piece of technology. While the actual mission (and graphics) might not be as ambitious and flashy, reports like this one are the real substance worth excitement.

 In short, beware of pretty pictures. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s