Sunday, July 21, 2013


Daniel Greenfield writesapropos yesterday's anniversary of the Moon landing:
"Forty-four years ago, a nation that we now know was racist, didn't care about the environment and drank too much soda, landed on the moon.
We were going to go the moon and then to the planets beyond. We could find new frontiers, plant our flags, build colonies, jump from world to world, star to star, and turn our civilization into something more than another archeological dig. Maybe it was all just a crazy dream, but looking at the eyes of the men who did it and who died and die seeing it undone, there is that sense that they believed that it could be done.

Going to the moon was a crazy idea of course. Going beyond it would have been even crazier. Instead we settled down to the important things, like race relations, the importance of listening to music, breaking up the family, importing huge numbers of people with little use for our way of life and all the other stupid suicidal things that dying civilizations do to pass the time.
We could have gone to the stars, but we took another road instead. Maybe we can still turn back to a time when we could do great things before it's too late."
But wouldn't that be "turning back the clock" on all the wonderful "progress" that's been made since, uh, erm...? Well, yes. Progress in deconstructing society, certainly. Can it be done? I don't know. Should it at least be attempted? Certainly.

Space colonization may be impractical, as Charles Stross has argued, but then again, it might not. But practicality is less of a concern than the loss of drive. After everything has been deconstructed, people are wondering if anything has a point - to the point where reality offends them. So instead of doing great things, they turn inward and embrace the ennui. Retreat from space is just a symptom. Every health chart of a dying civilization shows some form of this.  The story of Buzz Aldrin's secret Communion suggests that the rot was already setting in, even then.  Fred might be right.

Note, however, that this applies to one civilization in particular. And while influential and powerful, it forgets it alone is not humanity. There is a world elsewhere.

1 comment:

jack said...

"and all the other stupid suicidal things that dying civilizations do to pass the time.

And more than a few wars either overtly especially after 9/11 or covertly like in Syria, Chechnya, Xinjing, Central Asia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Tibet, Iran, etc or both as the case with Kosovo and perhaps Syria in the future.

The US space program itself was largely created by foreign elements recruited by the US like German rocket scientists and as a new documentary is allegedly claiming was mostly created by Yugoslavia and sold to the US by Tito in exchange for foreign aid.