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Really, I just want to meet Dave Lister

Now, I tend to be an unapologetic technophile.  I’m pretty close to thinking that technology and science are unmitigated goods and the more we understand about our world, the better.  Like any obsessive, I have my fetishes.  One of these is space travel.

Now I’m not talking space probes or remote robotic rovers (though those ARE pretty cool).  I’m talking human beings getting out into the universe.  I’m a big believer in the need for a human diaspora and in the idea that the sooner human beings are safely on their way to the stars, the better.  I hope, within my lifetime, to see human bootprints on the soil of a world other than Earth.  I would love it if they were mine, but at the rate and direction I’m going, that’s unlikely.

That’s one of the main reasons why the search for and study of exoplanets fascinates me much.  Doubly so the search for so-called “exo-Earths”, Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars.  One great source for laymen-terms information about that project (and many others) is Paul Gilster’s Centauri Dreams blog.  A recent post of his discusses the possibility of planets and, more intriguingly to me, exo-Earths around red dwarf planets.  Well worth the read if, like me, you like thinking about all the possible places humans might find new homes.

And as interesting as the article itself is, I was struck by one paragraph in particular:

“The devil, it’s often said, is in the details. A friend, exasperated with my enthusiasm for tiny red stars, commented recently that he was tired of all the painstaking numbers — he simply wanted to know whether there was another habitable planet nearby or not. Ah, but it’s just such painstaking numbers that will tell us the tale. We would have no planetary detections at all without gigabytes of slowly accumulating data, from which the signature of distant worlds is finally drawn. A better statement might be, the truth is in the details. Painstaking as they might be, details are the stuff of discovery.”

“…the truth is in the details.”  That is so often very true.  Literally in some cases (like the sciences) and at other times metaphorically so.  And one thing that I think a lot of us have a hard time seeing sometimes.  The big picture is THERE and so often seems so significant.  But often, it’s the little things that really count.

Posted in Geekery, Realtime Autobiography, Science/Tech.