Old Aliens

When I was a kid, smart adults still believed that humans would be visiting other planets sooner rather than later. That was mostly a carry over from the previous generations, who managed to get from zero to the moon in roughly a decade. If you were into this stuff in 1968, it was hard not to think that the next stop for man was Mars and then from there the rest of the solar system. By the time I was becoming aware of the world, this was fading, but there were plenty of optimists and romantics, with regards to space travel.

It really was a generational thing. By the time my generation was noticing things the space program had stalled and there didn’t seem to be a point to it. The competition with the Russians had decayed into a fight over the mundane and pointless. My guess is beating the Russians in hockey counted for more to most Americans than the space shuttle managing to take off, go to space and come back in one piece. Subsequent generations are simply too self-absorbed and self-indulgent to care much about space travel.

Of course, a big part of it is the self-inflicted wounds from previous generations that continue to tax us to this day. If Boomers and their parents had not decided to violate the rules of human nature in the 60’s and 70’s with a laundry list of social programs, things may have been different. The money spent on “fixing race relations” could have financed several trips to the stars. Our ruler’s endless fights with observable reality is like a leash keeping us from doing much more than squabbling over our own destruction.

Putting aside the Spenglerian interpretation of the recent past, there is another way to understand the technological stall. This post the other day by Steve Sailer had some interesting stuff in it, but the space travel stuff is what got my attention. Freeman Dyson is of that generation that thought we would be much further along in exploring the universe than we are today. He still assumes it will happen, despite the obvious decline in overall human capital due to changes in demographics and social mobility.

What occurred to me reading it is humanity probably needs to go through a different period of technological advance, before we can make the great leap to exploring the stars. If you look at the generation of geniuses who took us from propeller planes to rocket ships, peaking with the moon landing, it all happened in about one generation. It really was a remarkable run. In the 1930’s, the concepts of rocketry were being worked out and 30 years later a rocket was hurling men to the moon. That’s a great career.

That’s what it really is, one career. The sorts of people who work on these types of projects are not starting as teenagers. They go through years of education and apprenticeship, before they get on the big project. A career making project is going to be one that happens within the normal span of a human career, which is about 30 years for a cutting edge scientist.  A guy like David Reich, who is doing groundbreaking work in ancient genetics, is never going to do much of anything else. This is his peak.

Well, if you are an ambitious guy looking to do space work and be part of a great project, you’re not picking one that will take 50 years to finish. Some people may be fine toiling away at some small aspect of the 50 year project, but most people, especially the people funding it, are not going to find it appealing. If Elon Musk is going to bankroll a trip to Mars, he wants it to happen in the next decade, so he can take credit for it. The same is true of the scientist he would recruit. They want to get it done before they retire or die.

What this means is that space travel, beyond orbiting the earth or maybe revisiting the Moon, is going to first require extending the human life span. A mission to land people on Mars and return them to earth is probably 30 years away. Getting propulsion technology to traverse the solar system is a fifty or sixty year project. Figuring out how to survive longer periods in space is an even longer project. Before humans figure any of this out, it is going to mean living much longer lives so that a person can have a 50 or 60 year working life.

Think about it. If a person could reasonably assume a working career that started in the mid-20’s and goes strong to 100, with a slight decline at the end, that’s roughly a 60 year prime working life. With twice the time, you take more risks and you take on different career objectives. Suddenly a twenty year project to put men on Mars is not that big of a deal to the financiers or the scientists. Stretch the lifetime out further and the much more daunting projects can be chipped away at by a team expecting to finish in their lifetime.

Logically, it means the same would hold for some alien species that eventually comes to visit us on earth. Those aliens we have stored in Area 51 are probably very old, as their species had to unriddle problems that would take hundreds of years to solve, not to mention the fact that it was an extremely long trip from their home planet. The nearest habitable planet outside out solar system is roughly four light years from earth, which means it was a very long trip for our alien visitors. They must have been extremely old.

The other aspect of this is a longer life would mean more experience. Our IQ may be fixed, but we have an infinite capacity for screwing up. The longer the life, the more trial and error a person would endure. Someone living 500 earth years is not going to be any better at math, but they would be much more prudent. That would mean at the upper limits, the species would become less rash and less prone to error. Those dead aliens in New Mexico are an outlier, because their kind rarely misses its intended target.

93 thoughts on “Old Aliens

  1. My guess is the space program would require a lot more money to make that next leap. Sadly as we’ve seen lately the Washington DC corruption is so intense who knows when we’ll ever get off this rock ?

    Agree with a couple of other posters that genetic engineering would need to happen to make more robust examples of ourselves to handle the rigors of space travel.

    Right now our main concern seems to be who gets to use the bathroom at Starbucks. God help us.

  2. I’ve often said that had early European Americans thought to pick their own damn cotton, then Neil Armstrong would have been on Mars in 1969.

    There are reasons we can’t have nice things.

  3. To get anywhere in our galaxy requires immense periods of time. Genetics and robotics will lead the way. Why send up living humans? Send Human DNA from selected individuals and combine it 20 years from the place of interest. Grow it in an artificial womb and nurture it via a robotic nurse. Teach it the same way.

    Of course you can’t actually tell anyone this is what you’re doing, I can hear the howling about it. I would suggest the DNA would be selected from the people working on the project, thus they would have the ultimate incentive to devote their lives to it.

  4. I think another thing you have to consider besides length of career is length of terms in office. Kennedy had intended that the moon shot would occur while he was still in office (if he hadn’t gotten shot and the Apollo 1 disaster hadn’t happened, he might have made it).

    The first thing every president does with regard to the space program is cancel his predecessor’s program. So I think you’re stuck with defining goals that can be accomplished within 8 years. So while a trip to Mars may be technically doable, it’s not yet technically doable within our current political constraints.

    This is why i think it was wise of Trump to refocus the manned space program on the moon. Mars may be preferable from a scientific perspective, but at this point it’s not likely to be accomplished within the 8 year limit, making it a non-starter.

    Given the political constraints, it’s probably better to focus on the moon and continue to develop our technology until it’s evolved to a point where a future president can commit to a Mars mission with a degree of certainty that it can be accomplished while he’s still in office.

    However, I note that China doesn’t share our political constraints. They’re in a position where they can commit to a 20+ year program with a high degree of confidence that it will be executed. Perhaps Mars will belong to the Chinese.

  5. If there are really aliens wouldn’t it be much easier for us to figure out how they got here and reverse engineer that?

    Now as for the more likely “rocket age” its maybe possible to explore the solar system but its essentially impossible to explore even near stars

    If we could travel to the planet with best chance of earth like conditions Ross 128 b at 1/10 lightspeed something that would require anti matter rockets which are unimaginably dangerous , a basic mission would take 220 years or so. Its not gonna happen

    Also even solar system travel fails cost benefit analysis other than to stroke the ego of the elite anyway.

    • Yep. Two of the fastest manmade objects ever are the Voyager probes. They’ve been underway since disco was a thing and people thought “President Jimmy Carter” was a good idea, and they’re just at the edge of the solar system.

    • Good point AB. ” If there are really aliens wouldn’t it be much easier for us to figure out how they got here and reverse engineer that? “. Maybe all we gotta do is kick back and wait for a saucer to crash in China. Next thing you know, UFO’s are streaming outta China like hornets from a struck nest.

  6. I always picture Von Braun in his study, as Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon. With a tear in his eye, Von Braun lifts his glass a bit, and says in a whisper “this is for you mein fehurer”

  7. Ah, the hubris of science. We have no evidence confrming or denying that habitable planets exist outside of our solar system. We do have a huge mass of speculation on the subject….

    • Bravo. All this futuristic shit reminds me of Hitler in his bunker, dreaming that V-2s would save him.

      Using science and experience to make life better here on Earth? Naah, too boring.

  8. Thought I’d pop over and see what was here. Stopped reading at the all-too-familiar whine “if Boomers hadn’t”…

  9. I think the biggest problem for American’s and their quest for space is the lack of Nationalism for a common goal. America, like much of Europe, is fragmented into various groups and factions that are all about themselves, and not about the greater goal for the country as a whole. There is no vision of a future beyond the next election.

    Add to that a massive decline in STEM graduates, those who do graduate are not career bound to an industry. Global corporations have made it abundantly clear there is no such thing as corporate loyalty, at least not until they have determined whether or not they have met their quarterly financial goals.

    Technologically, speaking, we’re at a plateau in transportation. Air line travel won’t get exponentially faster (The Concorde put and end to that question). The speed of cars and trains is limited only by government regulations, not technology. As our grandfathers saw us go from horses to rocket ships in their own lifetime, we’d have to see teleportation for it to be an equivalent leap in technological advancement.

    With declining brain power around the world, the future is not that bright. Western Europeans brought us into the age of enlightenment. The duksy fellows still haven’t developed or fully grasped the most basic technology, with the exceptions of those things western civilization gave to them. And in most cases, they used it against themselves or their neighbors as they always have for thousands of years.

    Today’s information age does not raise all ships on a common tide as the industrial age once did. Where rail and steel made life better for everyone, everywhere, access to information is useless without the means to access or use it effectively. Railroads made life better for everyone through the distribution of goods and access to services, Easy access to porn and Twitter do very little to make a society better.

    • Karl;

      You raise a number of important points about technological flowering, aerospace technological progress in particular, maybe indirectly. If one looks at a number of exceptionally productive periods in particular countries it seems that they have in common:
      – strong nationalism,
      – a technological knowledge base created and maintained,
      – foreign pressure on the national elite (to maintain focus and provide funds, etc.),
      – a goldilocks amount of technological management focus.*

      All of these factors are lacking now. So it may be that little will happen about going into space for quite some time.

      For example, there is no disputing that these factors applied to Germany, which made exceptional contributions to aeronautical engineering from the 1920’s through the 1940’s.** And AFIK, Nazism, per se, had little to do with it.

      It was apparently true of Russia in the same period for the same reasons. But since it was all highly compartmentalized and super secret, they derived much less benefit from their efforts. France mostly lacked focus and urgency. The English lacked funds for most of the period.

      The US in the same period was all about commercial aviation and so in 1940, our fighters sucked and our transports (and bombers_?) were second to none. Were it not for UK goading and tech transfer we might not have caught up in fighters.

      After WWII, the above factors applied to the US during the Cold War Space Race. When the USSR collapsed our national spring break kicked off and devolution set in.

      BTW, this analysis can be applied to the Age of (European) Discovery starting in the mid-1400s. Islamic aggression both cut off trade in the Med and focused the elites in Spain and Portugal. There was an Atlantic shipping knowledge base. Prince John of Portugal and Queen Isabella of Spain applied funds and direction, etc.
      ____________________________

      *Not too narrow, not too tight.

      ** Germany invented, demonstrated and put into production: The ICBM, the cruse missile, the jet fighter, guided stand-off anti-ship weapons, etc.

  10. I don’t think a fairly safe, spacious and comfortable moon base would be all that hard to build. You know those inflatable tennis court structures, around an acre in size? Well find a suitable size crater for one of these. Plop one down and slightly inflate it with low pressure. Now start back filling regolith (moon dirt) on top of it and gradually increase the air pressure as you do it. With an internal air pressure of 15 PSI you will need ~40′ of dirt piled on top (assuming 5g/cc and moon gravity) to balance the air pressure. Reinforce the interior and outfit at your leisure. The 40′ of dirt above provides protection from cosmic radiation, protection from micrometeorites, thermal insulation, and relieves you of needing a strong pressure vessel. A long while back another poster elsewhere suggested a design modified from a nuclear submarine as a manned construction shack.

  11. Humans, if they don’t destroy technology, will eventually have a strong grasp of genetic engineering. That will lead to what we now think of as immortality, and improved intelligence.
    If I had to guess the fate of humans, I’d guess the solar system will eventually be colonized, and Earth will only be a part of a larger political entity. Whether it is benevolent will be seen, but the colonists will probably have escaping the tyranny of Earth as one of their reasons to leave.

  12. I live near Cape Canaveral and go up to the space center from time to time. The thing that most impresses me is the Saturn V/ Apollo display they have hanging from the ceiling. The first time I looked up there at the Apollo capsule and Lunar Lander, I was like; “Holy Shit! those guys had giant brass balls to go to the moon (and hope to come back) in that tiny, cobbled together beer can.” I don’t think the West produces many men with testes of that size and composition these days. I’ve been in combat and have spent a career at sea, including deep-diving research submersibles and a long stint working in Antarctica, but just thinking about rolling the dice the way those guys did gives me the heebie-jeebies. If I had a son I’d try to instill that kind of fortitude, but since I am blessed with a brace of daughters, well…

    • There was an apocryphal story told about an interview with one of the Mercury astronauts. His response to what it was like sitting in the capsule on top of the rocket…”well how would you feel sitting on top of half a million parts, each of which was let out to the lowest bidder…?” I think Wolfe may have recounted it in “The Right Stuff”

  13. Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field called the Van Allen Belts. They protect us from the radiation that permeates outer space. Human travel outside the magnetic field is treated like work in a nuclear power plant. You get a radiation badge, once the badge has filled up you don’t go back into a nuclear plant or back outside the Van Allen Belts. There is at present no practicable solution to this problem when it comes to human space travel.

    But whatever, we just send robots. That’s the career to pursue: building the spacecraft that can travel to the asteroid belts and drag one back into geosynchronous orbit around Earth. From there you can start cutting off 2 trillion dollar chunks of Platinum and landing them in the Mojave. Eventually you use the asteroid to anchor the first space elevator. The outer space economy grows from there.

    • Sending out robots and viewing the videos and reams of data sent back is the way to go. The kids these days do everything on video screens and on-line anyway. The idea of going out into the woods for an hour or two has too much risk these days. Sending your body into space is simply off the charts and unimaginable.

      • WWII / Korea fighter jocks (with Engineering degrees) like Neil Armstrong and John Glenn did have giant brass balls. There are still similar guys around, they probably just get weeded out by the PC police.

        • For every Neil Armstrong and John Glenn we find to send up, we also have to send up a transgendering handy-capable pygmy single parent nuclear physicist.
          What? There aren’t enough of those to go around? Well I guess we can’t go then.

    • Of course there is. A water jacket around the crew spaces. Since there is a need to bring lots of water anyways (even with cleaning/recycling) the water tanks will just wrap the crew spaces. In a nuclear submarine, a huge water tank sits right in front of the reactor to absorb any radiation that would go forward to (most) of the crew spaces, and all sleeping areas are forward of the tank.

  14. Will we have a big technological breakthrough that makes space travel easy – i.e. a gravity drive? If we had a drive that could push a ship at 1G, anywhere in the galaxy is reachable in less than a lifetime. (for the passengers, not outside observers)

    If not, going to even a near star is a giant engineering challenge. An improved nuclear rocket design or solar sail still makes for a long trip. Maybe multi-generational unless we can figure out hibernation techniques.

    • Interesting question: Is it moral for a group of young astronauts to reproduce on an intergenerational trip, in order to transport the human species farther than we can go in a single lifetime? We would be denying their offspring the freewill choice to spend their entire lives on such a journey.

      • Is it immoral for a group of young settlers to travel across an ocean and reproduce in a new, unexplored land, denying their offspring the freewill choice to spend their lives in this new land?

        Some moral questions are interesting, but moot.

        Barring safe, reliable hibernation technology, multi-generational ships would be the only way. The offspring would simply have to deal with it, like kids born in any new frontier.

        • Fair point, except the settlers’ children can return to their ancestral homes with a short voyage (e.g. two months for the Pilgrims), whereas those on the space journey cannot. And it’s a bit different living your entire life in an artificial bubble hurtling through a vacuum than living in Massachusetts. Well, maybe not that different.

          • And it’s a bit different living your entire life in an artificial bubble hurtling through a vacuum than living in Massachusetts. Well, maybe not that different.

            Heh.

      • In the Expanse series, the Mormons had commissioned a multi-generation ship to travel to a different start. Basically a giant spinning farm.

        • Yes, that ship was the closest thing to a pitch for Mormonism that would ever have a chance to work on me.

      • I don’t see that it would be any more immoral than reproducing on earth. It’s not like you have a lot of alternatives if you don’t like it here, either.

    • Given that the particle physicists haven’t yet been able to detect gravitons, let alone generate anti-gravitons, I don’t think a gravity drive is in our near future.

      Humans visiting other planets in our lifetimes using conventional rocket technologies is probably doable, but being able to travel to stars is still probably centuries away, if it’s even doable at all.

  15. Here’s the thing about space travel/colonization of the stars, we’re a species that has evolved through our ancestors) over millions of years to exist on this one planet with a singular environment (air breathing, 1G feeling, protected from hardcore cosmic radiation by the geomagnetic field…). This environment is near impossible to recreate in space, barring building another planet.
    The genetic and physical changes have been recently documented by those twin astronauts, one of whom stayed in space for a year. The changes to the space twin were not advantageous to his long term health and included a change of approximately 7% of his DNA now expresses itself differently than it did before.
    I’ll go with Carl Sagan on this one, we’re on spaceship Earth whether we like it or not. I for one am not interested in finding the next Xenomorph…

  16. If a person could reasonably assume a working career that started in the mid-20’s and goes strong to 100, with a slight decline at the end, that’s roughly a 60 year prime working life. With twice the time, you take more risks and you take on different career objectives.

    I wonder if that’s how it would play out. For those driven geniuses who are passionately engaged in a project it might, and I suppose that’s what really counts, but I wonder what a 60 year prime working life would do for others.

    I’ve been working pretty much solid for 33-36 years depending on whether you count college (college is hard work if you’re taking it seriously). I’m about done.

    I’m successful and future-oriented enough that I am close to being able to retire and live essentially indefinitely off my investments. Because of that, I might chase new interests simply to keep active, but I doubt I will be as productive in my retirement as someone whose livelihood depends on it.

    For most people, though, life extension takes a ~50-year grind on the old hamster wheel and turns it into an ~80-year grind. That’s got to have some negative consequences.

    Psychologically, I’m not sure how well most of us are suited to living much longer than we already do.

    • As I approach 60, I find I have lost some of the physical and mental nimbleness and strength, and I am frankly less interested in getting out there and making things happen—not that I would not like to see some of them done. The joke is that old folks basically care about their last meal, their next meal, and the state of their health and health care. It seems our broader culture has adopted that attitude over the last few decades. And it doesn’t look like the multi-culti, diverse younger generation has much capability or interest either—specific individual exceptions certainly exist, but the broader movement and capability is gonzo.

      • I’m pretty fit, but I have my age-related complaints. I wonder if we’d feel different in our perspectives if we felt like 30-year-olds. Life extension that increases the youthful and “healthy middle age” portions of the scale would be desirable. But I still wonder about the desirability of much longer careers. I have a really nice, intellectually stimulating job, with lots of opportunities to learn and push boundaries, but I just find myself psychologically not interested in doing that as much as when I was 30 or even 40.

        I’m also pretty disillusioned with corporate life. I’ve been around long enough to understand very well that companies today only pretend to care about you to the extent that they can get sufficient value out of you (and why should they care any more than that?), and that they’ll drop you like a hot potato if the perceive a change in their cost-benefit ratio. I’m no longer interested in being a “human resource.”

  17. The successor to the Moon landings were small-scale computers. From being a hobbyist item in the late 1970s, they’ve transformed society in forty years. The question of the day is, what’s next? Will there be another big thing or is the West played out? If the West is played out, can the East Asians pick up the slack? Perhaps we’ll slide back into subsistence agriculture.

    • Why should there be another big thing? Unless we get to stick around to pass it to our children, why should we bother? Otherwise everything we build is just more gibs, taken from the hands that make to be put into the hands that vote.

      • To pass it to our descendants and their descendants is exactly it. The window to be able to do that is closing fast. Secondarily, there’s also the question of human civilization.

  18. “where are our flying cars?“
    They lost out when LBJ started his $22 trillion, and still rising, spending program – the great society.

    • Neil Armstrong died today
      (with Sambo on the dole)
      He’s done picked up and gone away
      (and Sambo’s on the dole)
      We can’t afford no moonshots now
      (with Sambo on the dole)
      Ten years from now we’ll be broke still
      (with Sambo on the dole)
      The man jus’ upped my taxes
      (’cause Sambo’s on the dole)
      No roads, no parks, no space program
      (but Sambo’s on the dole)
      I wonder why he’s uppin’ me
      (cause Sambo’s on the dole?)
      I paid over 50 grand last year
      (with Sambo on the dole)
      Taxes takin’ my whole damn check,
      Gangstas makin’ me a nervous wreck,
      The price of food is goin’ up,
      An’ as if all that crap wuzn’t enough:
      Neil Armstrong died today
      (with Sambo on the dole)
      He’s done picked up and gone away
      (but Sambo’s on the dole)
      Was all that money I made las’ year
      (for Sambo on the dole?)
      How come there ain’t no money here?
      (Hmm! Sambo’s on the dole)
      Y’know I jus’ ’bout had my fill
      (of Sambo on the dole)
      I think I’ll sen’ the taxman’s bills,
      Airmail special
      (to Sambo on the dole)

  19. If our understanding of physics is correct (a big if I know), then while there may be billions and billions of habitable planets out there (in my best Sagan voice) humans can never reach them. We may be able to detect some of the nearer planets, but even those would take generations of travel time even with a life span of a couple hundred years. Good luck with that.

    And don’t get me started on Mars, the only other planet in our solar system that is even remotely habitable. It’s horrible. Maybe with a few thousand years of intense terraforming it could be made livable, but given human reproduction rates we’d fill it up PDG.

    If humans can’t get off this planet to expand into the galaxy, then it may be that intelligence is an evolutionary dead-end. It’s the ultimate absurdity of an absurd universe: a veritable feast of frontiers more vast than anybody can imagine, all hanging out there in the night sky right in front of us forever out of reach.

    • Energy is the biggest problem. It takes a tremendous amount just to place even small objects into orbit. Until a form is developed that allows much larger objects to be placed, without bankrupting a country, probes are the best method of space exploration.

  20. “Our ruler’s endless fights with observable reality is like a leash keeping us from doing much more than squabbling over our own destruction.”

    If this statement doesn’t sum up what has happened in the last fifty years, I don’t know what does.

  21. Part of the stall was the bureaucratic take-over of the program and their intolerance for risk. The Space Shuttle could have done far more – send it up to meet more fuel tanks, and it easily makes moon trips. Instead it was turned into a transport to low orbit that was easily replaced by unmanned rockets.

    • It’s also tied with the expansion of the nanny state. To go to space one has to able and willing to take risks. Not just career and financial risks, but actual put your life on the line risks. And those risk takers need to be celebrated for their risk taking.

      Contrast that with the college in Pennsylvania which recently cancelled outdoor activities because they could be…too risky.

      • Hell, they cancel dodge ball because it’s too risky space scares the crap out of lefty’s. Basically they gave everyone at NASA a participation trophy and kept funding them to NOT go to space. The left works another miracle.

    • NASA implemented affirmative action after Apollo, too.

      Once you let the HR sorts have a say on who is hired, you can kiss quick and nimble innovation goodbye.

    • I’ve always found it disconcerting that a song with futuristic lyrics has country inspired music. But the slide guitar can simulate the feel of a rocket launch.

  22. Years ago, when I was still a liberal and watched Chelsea Handler’s first show they would have a round table of comedians and I vividly remember Chelsea saying something about the space program and the black woman comedian saying “you white people and wanting to go to space” like it was a bunch of nonsense. I think the average person doesn’t realize the amount of technology that’s come from the space program that they use in their everyday life . But the main takeaway is the ‘diverse’ people view this is a white person thing.

    • Technological progress is pretty much a white thing. East Asians will adopt technology, just as long as it reinforces their cultural structures. The Japanese are the exception, as they are island people. Otherwise, it is a white thing to try things just to see if it can be done.

      • I agree 100% Zman. My wife is Korean and she told me “if you want something to get done all you need to do is tell and American it’s impossible”. I guess those were the good old days. I still don’t understand why after landing on the moon, building the Space Shuttle and doing a space station why we quit going to the moon and didn’t build a moon base there for future exploration. Actually I do understand why: because it showed American Exceptionalism and it could lead to American world dominance and the leftists in America will have no part of either.

        • We never went to the moon, silly. NASA already admitted a human could not survive the Van Allen belt unless 14 inches of lead surrounded them. The moon lander was sheet aluminum. (Then NASA realized their mistake in saying that and tried to fix it with lies.)

          A little more research next time. First time I’ve been disappointed in Zman. Most humans don’t know physics or their planet, shameful.

      • I don’t believe this statement is true anymore. I’ve disclosed before that I work in the tech field and much of my work involves cutting edge technology with some of the top tech companies in the world. By my estimate engineering positions in the tech sector are now less than 10% white. It’s 90% Indian and Asian.

        I am in the Bay area this week for meetings that will be attended by engineering leaders from top tech companies in the Valley. I will likely be the only white guy in the room.

        The sad reality is that the tech sector simply cannot function without the influx of engineering talent from Asia.

        • I would argue this a result of West’s degenerate cultural shift and the systemic eradication of white men from the tech and science fields, starting in education and ending in the professional employment ranks.

          My father is an electrical engineer and was fired 6 months from his retirement in the ‘economic downturn’ of 2008. He got a new job shortly after at roughly 1/2 the pay. I just learned he was let go yesterday and his replacement’s first language isn’t English. They aren’t just driving the young men away, they are replacing the old ones with foreign models.

          • I meant this post to go to Guest, not Roulf, as poignant as his post was.

            Do you really mean “can’t function?” I operate in a similar environment but I believe we can function without Asian talent. Do you agree that some major factors in the relative lack of whites are the bias of the HR departments and the anti-white preferences of top executives?

        • I dunno. I’ve worked with a lot of leading tech companies over the past 20 years either as an employee or a vendor, and what I see is that in the most agile, core engineering groups, there are still lots of White guys. I saw Asians move in first as part of off-shoring and other cost reduction efforts (cheap visa workers) and then as a deliberate program of nepotism by Asians that had their foot in the door. I have not noted that Asians are particularly better engineers, nor that there is a shortage of White guys. It’s just a foreign invasion on the high end, like the Hispanic invasion on the low end.

          • That sums up my experience as well. We had some great visa engineers, and quite a few duds too. Once one of them led a team it was bye-bye whitey. Only some people are allowed to openly express in-group preference.

        • We did quite well for a long time without importing Bombay specials and Chinese grinders. Things like the space program, the transistor, the microprocessor, microwave ovens, etc. This was all done by white men with side rules.

          What changed was corporate leadership and the fact that a lot of geek leaders are nothing but cheap labor – sweat shop operators at heart.

          If the Chinese were so good they wouldn’t steal everything bit of tech IP they can find. Their space program and much of their military aircraft advances were from stolen American tech designs.

          • I wonder how many cultures have sacrificed themselves on the altar of “Cheap Labor”? I can think of the Greeks, the Romans, the Confederates, the Rhodesians, the South Africans, the Spanish, and the Israelis just barely pulled back from the brink. I may be missing a few.

            If history has any lessons, they are “There’s no such thing as cheap labor!” and “Pick your own damned cotton!” Those Americans who don’t realize this soon will, and good and hard.

          • I’ll agree to that. Anytime I’ve heard the words “cheap labor”, it was only cheap for the immediate consumer. For everyone else, including their descendants, “cheap labor” has turned out to be very, very expensive indeed.

        • To the extent anyone cares, it was me and one other white guy. Everyone else was Indian or Asian. All great people, fwiw. I can’t fault any of them for immigrating and attempting to make their way here.

          I’m not passing any judgments here, just reporting facts. Something is very wrong in our culture.

        • Velcro and Tang predate the US space program by several years and neither were developed for it.

          Com Sats are nice but they also facilitate globalism and oppression so its a two edged sword

          As awful to consider the non White people are right to ask “How does NASA benefit me?” because for many of them, it really doesn’t

          Even White people get little out of space exploration, its a luxury for the geek elite mostly and it makes perfect sense why we stopped it

          In the end most of the money we take in taxes is either used for endless warfare or retirement expenses and welfare

          And note too that Social Security exists for a reason , it reduces capital in circulation which is important. If we didn’t have it, we’d be so awash in capital that the economy would not function well

          The same technology automation and computers that make space travel possible also increase the size of the State.

          Basically more machines, wages down, jobs pay less, welfare goes up to keep the system working , rinse repeat

          That same tech is also responsible in part for the abysmal birth rate and the lack of risk taking.

          In essence the space age was a product of a narrow window just before technology put society into a tail spin

          I doubt even if the Left is rendered utterly powerless in the political sphere we’ll have another space age and frankly for the bulk of us who get little from it, that’s fine.

  23. Well as many boomers have always lamented, where are our flying cars?

    Space exploration really will be limited to this solar system. What a waste for humans to do it and the effects of it will be quite harmful to them no matter what artificial gravity and radiation shielding they come up with. Terraform Venus, there is a project I can get behind.

    Suppose we can make a long hibernated journey to the nearest stars, so what? Is it supposed to be habitable? What if they find it nothing more than a bunch of gas planets. Generations to wait and much money to see basically nothing.

    Yeah, they naysayed …. name your scientific progress story here.

    • Not flying cars. Personal jet packs. Mickey Mouse Club said that I was going to have one and I want it. Before I have to use a walker.

    • LOL.

      Have you seen how hard of a time a good many drivers have navigated their vehicle on just the X and Y axis? Good luck getting them to navigate when it’s X , Y, and Z – AND there’s traffic.

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