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  • Worthwhile Reading

    Posted by David Foster on July 22nd, 2019 (All posts by )

    Haven’t posted one of these for while, so here are a few links I found interesting…

    Tom Wolfe on the space race as a combat of individual champions in the ancient style.

    Zoning rules as an enemy of shade.

    Sarah Hoyt on the human tendency to assume that the conditions of the past still apply.  (Even the purely imagined and stereotypical conditions of the past, in some cases, I’d add)

    Interesting ‘blog’ by Holly (Maths Geek).  (Actually a Twitter feed…people who are on Twitter would IMO do well to mirror all content onto a traditional blog unless they are willing to have their work at the mercy of Jack Dorsey and his minions)

    Despite all the concern and hype about Russian hacking, China’s spying and influence within our borders are rising.  See also this case of a former GE engineer and a businessman charged with stealing turbine technology, with the “financial and other support” of the Chinese government.  Additionally, see my post So, really want to talk about foreign intervention?

     

    8 Responses to “Worthwhile Reading”

    1. Grurray Says:

      The president was in a terrible funk. He kept muttering: “If somebody can just tell me how to catch up. Let’s find somebody — anybody … There’s nothing more important.”

      He was also reeling from the just failed Bay of Pigs fiasco, and he needed a Hail Mary pass. Oddly enough, there was a story going around last week alleging that JFK offered to partner with the Soviets on the moon shot.

      That offer was recorded in a long-forgotten speech to the United Nations, in which the president said: “There is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space.

      “I include among these possibilities a joint expedition to the Moon…Why therefore should man’s first flight to the Moon be a matter of national competition? Why should the United States and the Soviet Union in preparing for such expeditions, become involved in immense duplications of research, construction and expenditure?

      “Surely we should explore whether the scientists and astronauts of our two countries – indeed of all the world – cannot work together in the conquest of space, sending some day in this decade to the Moon not the representatives of a single nation buy the representatives of all our countries.”

      Maybe Reagan was channeling a little of JFK’s magic with his “alien threat uniting humanity” speech.

    2. David Foster Says:

      “Why should the United States and the Soviet Union in preparing for such expeditions, become involved in immense duplications of research, construction and expenditure?”

      Might have had something to do with the fact that probably at least 70% of the technology and skill sets involved in space exploration are the same as those involved in ballistic missile technology…

    3. tyouth Says:

      …talk about foreign intervention.”……….I suspected that the link would lead us to British spooks and skullduggery.

    4. David Foster Says:

      Geopolitical Futures draws an analogy between the American moon-landing program and the Portuguese voyages to India:

      https://geopoliticalfutures.com/going-to-the-moon-and-going-to-india/

    5. MCS Says:

      The original civilian space program tried to be completely separate from the military ballistic missile program. The civilian rockets kept exploding, then Sputnik, and nobody cared what the rockets were originally intended to carry as long as they worked.

      I imagine the JFK line was political BS. By that time, we were a good bit ahead of the Russians and weren’t going to give them anything.

    6. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      Don’t confuse me with facts. We all know that women are discouraged from going into math and science.

    7. miguel cervantes, Says:

      I remember reading somewhere that the fledgling space program relied on the boosters that the navy used (vanguard) over medaris’s Peenemunde group, had they gone for the latter, they might very well have beat the r 7s that launched sputnik,

    8. miguel cervantes Says:

      this one, among others,

      https://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/harford.html