Saturday, August 26, 2006

Lunar Supremacy and Lunacy

"The manned moon shot, like the war on terror, is an example of the inferiority of the political allocation of resources. In their choices of projects, political leaders do not seem to display a high degree of rationality, or at least their rationality seems distinctly below what common sense or even a small amount of thought might produce. The reason for this is that they have power to implement what they think is right or want without having personally to face the full measure of the consequences. They do not directly face the market test, which is this: Will consumers fork over their hard-earned money for the product? Politicians have a higher chance of implementing hare-brained schemes based on false theories. And if they can con the public, the degree of rationality falls even more steeply."

The entire essay is worth reading.

Those who have been following the discussion here re: state investments in spaceports - that last bit should be particularly of reference.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Shoot the Messenger

Well, for those who haven't been following along on the little debate on the merits (or lack thereof) of Government investment in spaceports, here's a little update on the happenings in New Mexico.

Apparently, not liking the advice given to them by their hired investment advisors (Fort Washington Investment Advisors), the State Investment Council of New Mexico chose to instead terminate their relationship citing a "divergence of interests".

In plainspeak, a divergence of interests appears to mean that they didn't like it when FWIA told them that the decision to put $20m into t/space (and their consideration of another $20m into Virgin Galactic) was not sound investment but rather an economic development program. For space boosters, this is a no go.

Off with their heads, so to speak.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Congratulations to STS-CXXI

Just a slightly belated congratulations to the crew of STS-CXXI, which boldly sailed to ISS on July IV, MMVI, with a crew of VII on a mission lasting XII days, XVIII hourss, XXXVII minutes, and LIV seconds.

Just another shining example of what western civilisation can do, and why we are ultimately superior to those "other" people who have adopted the concept of "0" and the arabic numbering system.

Because, after all, the aborigines couldn't go to the moon, and the Aztecs apparently never thought about going to space.

Or something like that.