Better Brother

10 July 2006

Forget Big Brother, NASA TV coverage of the current Shuttle/ISS mission is strangely compelling. It’s something about the huge team of people sitting in front of that big screen focussing all their attention on every action of Earth’s most vulnerable people. Combine that with the very intimate dialogue between the astronauts and ground crew, often quite tender (first thing the morning, last thing at night), but always couched in this strange space-speak, stripped of all ambiguity in a situation where you really don’t want any misunderstandings (“Oh THAT button…”).  But also mundane, like requests from the ground to “power cycle the colour printer” (that’s “switch it off and on again” for those of us unlucky enough to have an IT helpdesk at work) as it “keeps dropping off the network”.  They’re floating around in a tin can, doing office admin.

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