The existence of the waves, predicted by Einstein, was not greeted by a surge of popular excitement like the one that was produced by the discovery of the “God” particle. That is because “gravitational” has a lot more syllables than God, and also because all average people and even most below-average people are aware of gravity from a very early age, because stuff falls when you drop it.
Even primitive men were conscious of gravity. They made it work for them by chasing mastodons off cliffs and then climbing down and dining on them. You can prove its existence yourself any day you want to by drinking most of a bottle of your favorite liquor and then trying to walk down a spiral staircase.
But gravity didn’t even have a name until Isaac Newton got bonked on the head with an apple and came up with a theory that perfectly explained the motions of the sun, moon and planets and the advisability of wearing a hardhat while visiting an orchard. What Newton didn’t have was an explanation of why gravity worked, or what it actually was. When pressed on the issue, he would say things like “It’s some kind of space gravy that causes objects to slurp together,” or “It’s what you’re going to feel in your hiney when I kick your barstool over.”
Then Einstein came along and proved that even though Newton’s theory worked, it was completely wrong, because from a very early age Einstein loved to crap on other people’s theories. This proves the importance of doing what you love, because eventually Einstein started getting paid for it.
Now that scientists have once again paid homage to him by discovering yet another phenomenon he predicted, it’s time to start making gravity waves work for us. Disappointingly, most of the gravity wave discoverers seem to be pro-gravity. It’s true gravity does important things for us on Earth, like holding on to our atmosphere for us and making water flow in a predictable direction, but the real money is in anti-gravity. When everybody can fly around in George Jetson cars to our condos in the sky, where we will all have a zero-gravity room to have sex in, then we are going to start appreciating the wonder of gravity waves, and we’ll be giving Nobel prizes away like baby parts in a Planned Parenthood clinic to gravity scientists.
That will take a while, though, so for the time being, keep your feet on the ground.