So while NASA is busy transcribing lefty porn these days, Space-X is not.
In the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo Moon program, a massive national effort was made to put men on the Moon. (about $3.5B/yr for ten years, on average.)
Paid for by whom? Accomplished by whom?
If we remove the political cronyism and shed risk modelsm then ...who will pay for it, and who will accomplish it?
Can we even calculate the return on those dollars spent in terms of human effort and continued economic growth?
In spite of our current national agendas, lack of agendas, and $4T overhead(ie, 4000 billion $) private initiatives to restore gradient have proceeded, struggling to literally climb out of a potential well, and are proceeding,picking up the slack of what even this nation and its government claims it needs to do (place assets into earth orbit)without any national agenda to continue to be able to do so, other than literally, pay the Russians and Chinese and others, and so on, to carry our freight into space, please.
And while we watch China and India reclaim the technological high ground that we left 50 years ago, we are busy mainly with GM caddillac commercials thumping our chest about the glory days and reassurring ourselves that this time, it will be OK to be the Muslims and watch modernity sail away to the next New frontiers.
Steve, I'm still barely active in technical consulting. It is a rout. One by one, I've seen leading edge technical efforts remaining in the US get purchased by the Chinese. They know what they are about. Everytime I've seen an effort scramble for funding, they end up being owned by China. They are down to the on line game companies, now, in gutting this nation of its technical core. We are reduced to spinning our wheels in things like HFT in and around NYC, which is pure carcass carving. The Chinese are buying the very last of the technological meat on the carcass. We are decades late to respond to this.
SpaceX, the innovative spawn of innovative PayPal, is currently scrambling for a new round of investment. It is only a matter of time before the Chinese own that, too.
That's where this nation is. It's not hard to imagine where it is going, and many have, quite well.
Such as Chang-Rae Lee's "On Such a Full Sea.".
Not with a bang, but a whimper, and they're laughing at us. (I don't mean that Chang-Rae Lee is laughing at us; his tale is less about how we get where are going and more about life in that destination.)
An entire army of mofos singing Kumbaya is not going to change this calculus; an entire army of mofos singing Kumbaya is nowhere near calculus; that would be the other guys..
An entire army of mofos straining for decades to come to takeon running uphills might under models other than shed risk carcass carving..
You see any hint of that army, charging up those hills any time soon?
Do you see even the slightest whisper, a hint of that army of individuals mustering?
I've been looking for reasons not to give up on this nation, based on its ideals. I don't see signs of them anymore. I see a gutted shell.
We are sitting in meetings with our tablets these days, tweeting about plastic dog poop when we should be focused up. That's what I literally see when I walk around today's remaining conference rooms..
As a nation, we need to hit bottom before people do what people do when they hit bottom. This nation isn't there yet. We are still in the RoadRunner running in midair stage.
Funding NASA to write lefty porn is as good a national goal as any in this stage of history.
(Edited by Fred Bartlett on 4/03, 7:31am)