Everyday Astronaut and a SpaceX Launch

A blue rocketYesterday, I watched Everyday Astronaut live stream a SpaceX launch. The satellite was lifted on behalf of the government of Luxembourg. It was exciting that some of Luxembourg’s national leaders were watching the launch in person.

I’m proud to be a budding space nerd. It’s much more fun than being a computer nerd. A computer nerd can’t watch the Amazon fraud prevention team over the shoulder and jump up and cheer when they ban another dodgy vendor like you can when a Delta IV lifts off from Vandenberg.

After a rocket launches, there’s commentary that you can review. There’s always new things to learn including nearly a century of history behind space travel. For example, it’s amazing to watch this narration of a slow motion video of Apollo 11’s Saturn V first stage engines as they ignite and leave the ground.

Tim Dodd is awesome. He’s really fun to watch and has entertaining yet informative videos. He has a Russian space suit he wears for some videos. He proposed to his wife in it at Machu Picchu–so awesome! He makes his own music. If you want to support him, you can join him on Patreon.

Apparently I was a baby space nerd in high school, but I had forgotten. This week I found my 1979 term paper about the Space Shuttle. It would be interesting to compare the projections for the shuttle in 1979 with what actually happened.

Vulnerable

Thought bubble
In the book “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other,” Sherry Turkle said “With some exceptions, when we make ourselves vulnerable we expect to be nurtured.” (p. 235) She’s referring Erik Erikson and the expectations coming from basic trust. That’s something that’s completely counter to the way that the Internet often works. For the most part, any time you put yourself out there, you’re at risk of being attacked or ridiculed rather than built up and comforted.

One place for this risk comes from places that encourage intimacy. It’s not always easy to trust people to begin with. Letting your guard down out there in the social media dystopia isn’t always safe. If one makes comments that might be too hard to share in person, it can still end up hurting.

One reason for this is that anonymity allows people to be more negative and exhibit the dark tetrad personality traits when, in person, they wouldn’t act out. To them, the idea that people have feelings or that they are afraid of being humiliated is alien. Often, the enemy only feels good by getting some lolz.

Sometimes you can find a community of like-minded people where you can be safe. This reflects Sherry’s comment “Communities are places where one feels safe enough to take the good and the bad.” (p. 238) I’ve found some, like deviantART, are different than most social media. One reason is that to belong there, you have to put in some work. You can’t just repost an inane meme and belong. A member of dA is a creator. A pretender just looks around and is lurking.

Every time you get in front of a computer screen and post something on Twitter or Facebook, it’s possible to misstep and be misunderstood catastrophically.