So why is it then that Scale went viral? Was it the quality of the animation or the idea behind it? I can only guess, but I’d argue for neither. Rather I wonder if ‘Scale’ might have inadvertently tapped into a common curiosity in people that perhaps hadn’t been tickled in a while. I had no prior conception that this animation might do so, but the measure of success it enjoyed rekindles the hope in me that people still want to know about the natural world — that human curiosity about the sciences still thrives. While my piece does very little to satisfy that curiosity, I can at least hope that it inspired some people to pick up a book, subscribe to an astronomy podcast, or seek out a documentary on the stars. In an age where support for science is dwindling and the success of pseudoscience is skyrocketing, it’s encouraging to see people expressing curiosity about the real forces of nature that surround us.
I suppose that’s more hopeful optimism than a developed theory. A boy can dream, right? In any case, for now all is quiet, and I’m back to the business of haphazardly chucking my observations of the world up on to the internet. They’re available here for anyone who’s interested, but I happily expect that segment of people to remain small. Whoever or wherever you are, please consider yourself part of an exclusive, but not necessarily exceptional, club.
Just how I like it. It reminds me of the tight-knit group of friends that I maintained as a young man, and what I would say to people about my relationship with them. I’ll paraphrase that sentiment here: It’s better to speak intimately with a few precious people than to speak superficially with them all.