Hi, My name is…. er…
The Solar System is part of the Milky Way galaxy. Other planetary systems have cool names, like Upsilon Andromedae and Gliese 581. We get “The Solar System”. I think that’s pretty lame. Kinda like naming your car model after one component. And I doubt neither Ford nor Citroen are gonna be releasing the Handbrake 1.8xl any time soon.
The name may have worked way back when the finest minds in the world were discovering space around us and coming up with explanations but times, as well as knowledge bases, have changed. We know a lot more, and we also know we know a lot less than we thought we knew. Which just goes to show it’s possible, even necessary, to be ignorant if one is also going to be wise.
But I digress. Often, actually.
My point is that as important as it is to honour the past, it’s also good to acknowledge that things have moved on. People have a habit of stubbornly holding onto ideas and concepts that they are also fully aware no longer apply. Incidentally, it’s my theory that this ability to still be rational while accepting multiple contradicting ideas as both being true at the same time probably goes a long way to explaining both tolerance and man’s propensity to create confusion and chaos in the world.
The second idea this train of thought brings up is that people are happy to concede that we need a new name for Solar because they’re aware that this admission requires nothing of them. They’re not going to be expected to follow up their standpoint by heading down to the Planetray Systems Bureau tomorrow morning and apply for a name change. It’s beyond their immediate grasp and in the hands of Them. Whoever they are.
Which makes me wonder, how many things are there out there we do have the power to change but haven’t bothered to because we believe it’s beyond our sphere of influence?
As for Solar’s new nom deplume, personally, I like Frank.