Posted by Peter Lawler
Why it makes some sense for Tom Wolfe to think so is explained by ME here. If you scroll down, you can read Jim Ceaser’s report on his summer vacation in Kansas--with a validating picture.
"Eventual war with china?" Over the debt that will never be paid back? They are seeing unrest like never before right now so mabye we should stoke those fires so we don't have to have a war later on. Before they get a philosopher they need better PR people. They can come up with a better story than we taped over the moon landing footage. Either they are covering up for the fact that its an obvious fake in the lost footage or they could have just lied about it. With all the lies we here could they not at least say it burned in a fire or something that at least sounds plausable. For a luxury item in a bankrupt nation I would think that shocking incompetence would not be put on display. I really think we need priorities straight, freedom is dying on earth so we should think about trying to stop that before we worry about spreading anything. I would feel sorry for the poor civilization that recieved the "wisdom" of our current times. What would we send, Federal Reserve banking and Political Correctness?
Walt Disney liked Wernher von Braun. I remember him from my childhood and thought nothing of his being German. I think there were newspaper or magazine articles by him, too, though they are not as easy to find as the above, which I found by an easy name search. Von Braun, sold me on the probability of space flight when I was a child. He did leave me with the vague expectation that I would be able to go when I was a grown-up.
However, human life shifting itself to other planets does not seem a pleasant option, given the planets in our system. Beyond that, we have to overcome space and/or time. We have a way to go, yet.
Brutus, beyond the war with China part, I can't understand what you are writing about.
Look at this.
The coolest reason to bolster NASA that I've heard (and I mean a realistic, pragmatic reason - not find aliens, which is way cooler than what I'm about to type, but not really likely and/or immediately useful) is to build solar panels on the moon and beam the energy back the United States. Now THAT would be awesome.
Space is so cool. The community college (actually, I think it just became a 4-year college) in my town has a planetarium and I can't get enough of it. Hardly anyone goes to the shows, but they are SO AWESOME!
Most of the reasons given don't convince, and there is an ambiguity about what we mean by "space program". I'm all for using space for US military applications. I'm all for the commercial use of space for communication and such. I'm all for commercial space travel ("space tourism". I'm all for space exploration - though not at any price.
But I don't think that is what Wolfe and Charles Krauthammer are driving at. Its like they are trying to recapture the romance and adventure of the collective experience of watching a tiny elite go farther than any other human being ever has. A "space prgram" will mean that in part, but it will also mean more prosaic uses. I also worry that the "romantic" justification for space exploration and its thin rationalizations ("We have to get to Mars! The sun will burn out some day!) point to some other unmet emotional need.
Peter, right, Walker Percy asked why is Carl Sagan so lonely.
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