[extropy-chat] Re: SPACE: where are we?

Russell Evermore nanowave at shaw.ca
Sat Feb 7 05:42:56 UTC 2004

Getting back to Robert Bradbury's original puzzlement over why Nasa/JPL
seems a little stingy with the goods. Honestly guys, I can't believe you're
having difficulty with this one. Think meta-perspective and you will soon
begin to see how the pieces fit together.

1. The primary role of the space program is not, and never has been,
scientific exploration. When Sputnik went up, did the Americans say: "Dang
it,  those Russian scientists are sure accumulating shit loads of fine data
with regard to launching satellites!" Nope. When Kennedy made his famous
speech about going to the moon, do you suppose he was laying awake nights
wondering what the chemical compositions of moon rocks were? Hah!

But that's ok, because science was definitely onboard for the ride.

2. And you must realize that having twin robot probes crawling around on
Mars is primarily about showing the world EXACTLY WHAT A FREE  NATION (read
more free than you) IS CAPABLE OF, when it puts its formidable minds and
resources to the task. Two lonely little humminoids on opposites sides of
the Red Planet - apart, yet working together for the benefit of humankind. I
suppose that Spirit would be the one churning its wheels in the "Eastern
hemisphere" then?

3. And you've no doubt noticed that the "big science news" tends to hit the
wires at or about the same time as the "medium-shit-hitting-the-fan news"
right? Not the big-shit-hitting-the-fan news - like 911, mind you, as that
would be a total waste of good news as well as way too obvious.

So if you really want to see the "centerfolds" doled out by the handful,
then just wait around a bit for something sufficiently bad to happen and the
powers-that-be decide the hysteria balloon could use another prick. Think
"raising or lowering interest rates" if you need a cognitive parallel. Not
that I'm not criticizing any of this. It just makes good utilitarian sense.

Russell Evermore
nanowave at shaw.ca

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