Prisoners of Gravity

Rick Green said it best, during an episode of the eponymous and innovative Canadian spec-fic documentary series.  And on this 40th anniversary, this celebration of the voyage of an ancient diving bell — amidst all the back-patting and self-congratulations (especially the CBC’s desperate Me Too! efforts to convince this nation of low-self-esteem self-professed underachievers that Yes, it was really us Canadians at the heart of the Apollo Program) — I am sad to observe that the question Green asked almost twenty years ago is even more relevant today:

“If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they put a man on the moon any more?”

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Monday July 20 2009at 02:07 pm , filed under rant . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

7 Responses to “Prisoners of Gravity”

  1. The Question:

    “If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they put a man on the moon any more?”

    Possible Answers:

    1) Because we pissed off God when we invaded his turf and he sent us George Bush and CarrotTop in return.

    2) Because nothing will ever match the ratings that Michael Jackson’s death got, so why even try?

    3) Because NASA is foolishly refusing to let Coke, Viagra, Pizza Hut, Nabisco, Shell and Major League Baseball advertise on the side of the new moon module, thus greatly reducing the cost of the entire affair.

    4) The Moon? Fuck the Moon! There ain’t no hot chicks or oil there! Why in the hell would we want to go back?

    5) Because a new Moon Mission might show that the human race has actually grown up a little and is starting to value knowledge over profit. Damn, we wouldn’t want to let that get out, would we?

  2. According to Charlie Stross because the engineering know how isn’t there anymore…
    See http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2009/07/bad_blogger_no_entry.html

  3. Hey, I could go to the Moon to if I had an unlimited supply of stolen money. Now that money isn’t there, so the only way to get to the Moon is to pay for it yourself, and nobody actually values doing so enough that they’ll pay for it without forcing everybody else to as well.

    Good.

  4. “If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they put a man on the moon any more?”

    That too has been discussed to death the past few weeks.

    Also: just because we have not, does not mean we cannot.

  5. Maybe because back when they put a man on the moon they used slide rules instead of the Windows operating system.


  6. “If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they put a man on the moon any more?”

    Simple.
    Because, it’s not worth it.
    And there’s no money to do it again, because it’s all being spent on national security or welfare… both of which are more popular with the electorate and big corporations.

    It was a PR stunt, and a very expensive one. The Reds were beaten, USA came out on top, it’s superiority re-affirmed in yet another area and a lot of pretty illusions were built up. (see film 2001 or a host of other naive fiction written by people who never bothered to crunch the numbers)

    There’s a history book suggesting that Apollo was also an effort to bolster aerospace engineering through non-military spending in anticipation of an arms race.


    Hey, I could go to the Moon to if I had an unlimited supply of stolen money.

    This is very funny. America has an almost unlimited supply of money. (it’s not actually stolen, but it’s going to be stolen
    They keep borrowing, and just the gov’t already owes 12 trillion (10^12) dollars...

    USA has a ~trillion in credit card debt.., 14 trillion $ of consumer debt (fun fact, world GDP is 40 trillion $)
    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CMDEBT

    There is a theory Americans have been abusing
    (the opportunity arose, and politicians were unable to resist the lure of easy money) the unique position of the dollar*
    to fund their military-industrial-congressional complex and economic growth through massive increases in debt**.

    * (= global reserve currency, I believe 60% of foreign reserves of all countries were in dollars. It’s changing now, but very slowly. )
    ** (while letting real wages stagnate and letting the chumps borrow more easily)

    It’s called the dollar hegemony..
    see..(especially the comment by Taggart)
    http://www.japanfocus.org/-K_Takahashi___R_T_Murphy/3028

    more concise:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollar_hegemony

    The sweetest thing about it is, the rest of the world can’t do anything about it.
    We all have to play along. If the dollar collapses.. we are all fucked, since the global economy is interconnected. And it’s bound to collapse. These days everyone is trying to quietly diversify their reserves, but if a panic starts, and a run on the dollar occurs..

    However, global economics are so complex that if one doesn’t spend years
    studying the issues, one can’t be sure about anything.
    (though, if we consider human nature, it’s very, very likely that those in power are ***-ing us all over because they can. That’s been the case ever since hierarchical societies came into being, and our nature has not changed since then)

    —————–

    The next three decades are going to be very interesting indeed…

  7. For some reason they prefer to spend $503.4 billion per year on military expenditures than to shoot it at the moon.

    http://www07.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=countries+military+expenditures