…and the night sky.
For people who choose to live in the rural American West, a hundred horses couldn’t drag us away from our lightly populated zip codes.
However, with that location come a few givens: Simple grocery shopping is a half-day affair. Most friends don’t ‘just-drop-by’ when they’re in the neighborhood because they’re not and the internet is slow…like dial up slow…like can’t Zoom slow.
One internet provider figured it’d cost about 3 million dollars to run a fiber cable down a road where, at the most, they’d gain three customers. It’s understandable why no one was interested in footing that bill.
Now we hear Elon Musk, one of the world’s wealthiest men, in a fit of innovation and commerce is launching hundreds of geo-synchronous satellites, forming the Starlink system. This is intended to bring rural folks up to internet speed standards. Catching up with the rest of the world, so to speak.
There’s a problem, though…
Many of us rural types live in the darkest, least light-polluted regions of the nation where stars are counted in the gazillions. As Elon Musk’s project reaches fruition, squadrons of satellites are beginning their march across our beloved night sky. And there are more to come.
It won’t be the folks in the big city who notice the change in the sky. The ones who’ll see it are the astronomers seeking answers from the universe, natives who still cross the desert guided by the North Star and a few lonely cowboys who are dreaming of a girlfriend that’s no longer there.
So, Elon Musk is posing an unasked question to us rural types…’Are you willing to sacrifice your deep, dark, desert skies for faster internet speed and more connectivity with the rest of the world?’
Here at the cafe, we honestly don’t know…we just don’t.
Maybe one of us can Google the correct answer, that is, if none of our neighbors are bingeing on Netflix.