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.


Blogger Shubber Ali said...


it is directed at a couple of clowns who actually made those statements recently in a public forum - that the aborigines didn't go to the moon and that the Aztecs never dreamt of traveling through space, apparently that only western civilisation and our values can and should leave this planet and go to the stars.

I thought i'd do a bit of "its a wonderful life" and see what our space program would have looked like if we didn't build on the advances of other cultures.

sorry that insulted you.

in space, no one can hear a bigot talk.

I suppose that's a good thing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger Michael Turner said...

There's the germ of a cool essay in this one, isn't there? "Rockets, Germs and Steel". It would be written from the point of view of a scholar from an alien civilization that has become spacefaring because--as he persuasively analyzes--local conditions favored it. Among the civilizations surveyed and deemed to be be only *locationally* underprivileged: Earth.

"In short, the Terrans inability to escape their planet had nothing to do with their culture (which as we can see, was hardly more prone to irrationality than ours, and is technologically rather a marvel of improvisation given the circumstances). Nor can it be attributed to their lack of intelligence (with peak intelligence in some Terran individuals that arguably exceeds ours). It seems it had everything to do with their planet having a high surface acceleration, making escape technologically difficult and uneconomical, and to their evolution as a species under the protective blanket of the Earth's magnetic field, making them a poor candidates for survival at any distance from their planet without having to carry quantities of shielding material with them everywhere they went that far exceeded the mass of any other category of necessity."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006 7:25:00 PM  

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