BBC Breakfast coverage of Mars Curiosity Rover made me feel sad

Why? WHY?!

In the past twenty-four hours one of the greatest scientific and engineering feats of human kind accord when the Mars Curiosity Rover successfully landed on the surface of Mars. The potential the Rover has for expanding our collective knowledge of one of our nearest planetary neighbours… is pretty big.

And yet on BBC Breakfast this morning, one presenter pointed out the project had cost more than two billion dollars and then asked, “What do they hope to get from it?” This framing of dialogue has become all too familiar as the recession continues.

It has long since become ridiculous that almost everything we as individuals and as countries do must be framed in terms of economics. We can no longer do anything, including the pursuit of knowledge, without there being some capitalistic benefit. Admittedly this rot has been established for some time, but since the crash of 2008 it has become even more noticeable.

And I am fed-up with it. What, the Rover cost two billion imaginary dollars? That money never existed, but the hopes and dreams of those involved in the venture do.

I’m fully expecting someone on TV to soon ask what the financial benefit of sex is.

Money doesn’t exist – we shouldn’t be defining our endeavours or selves by it.


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