While waiting on a kid to finish some Latin so I can maniacally grade it as it is finished, I read an article on Yahoo about a ball falling from space into a field in Namibia. Apparently, this has been happening in Australia and Africa for about twenty years, but we don't know what these things are. So why am I writing about it?
The comments below were funny and relatively intelligent in their humor—not the most common thing for the comments section of an internet article. But then something struck me in the camaraderie of the geeky humor I so enjoy: the comments section serves as more than a sense of community, more than a forum for airing opinions—it's hard evidence that we still have a reason to hope in the human race. I realize that's more than a dubious assessment of the comments section on most articles, but on THIS one, I realized some important things:
1. People are still reading. Whew. THAT in itself is reason to hope.
2. People will even read articles about space. And geography. Maybe I'm setting the bar pretty low, since Namibia was peripheral to the article and the topic was technically space balls, inciting junior high laughter from the best of us, but still—there was some almost technical stuff in that article. Kudos to those of us outside the professional field who took the time to read it.
3. So maybe the humor in the comments section was based primarily on Transformers and The X-Files, and maybe that's not exactly a measure of intelligence, BUT—applying information and experiences across fields IS a measure of intelligence, and since there was more of that than the bathroom humor that came to mind first when we read "space balls," I'm all tingly with hope and joy and faith that human nature has not become as depraved as other articles suggested. Maybe those are just isolated incidents. Or maybe I've had too much eggnog.
4. Mainly, people are still reading.