Sunday, May 18, 2014

In Space No One Can Hear You... If You're Not There.

There are a lot of reasons why we're basically stalled in space. Worse than stalled — When was the last time anybody was on the Moon? I grew up reading Science Fiction, even before Sputnik, and when Sputnik did go up, all of us Asimov and Heinlein fans knew it was finally happening, and we'd have a colony on Mars and be mining the Asteroids in a few years. Nope. It was, some would say, the last great achievement of Western Civilization. All our technological development since seems to be devoted to entertainment.

What are the reasons? Well, some say the end of the Cold War mean a "space race" was no longer necessary — but the rot set in long before that. Some say a lack of public enthusiasm, and that's certainly a contributing factor. Libertarians and conservatives say that NASA is choked by bureaucracy, so what can you expect. And that's definitely part of the problem. But NASA was a bureaucracy back when it was accomplishing things, so that's not the whole story.

If you think about how it all slowed down, and what political/social developments coincided with the slowing, you're on the right track. Here you go:

1972 -- The Year NASA's Mandate Changed From Exploring the Stars to Promoting Affirmative Action, Diversity, and Equality

The NASA Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity(ODEO) represents the great impediment to the next step in human evolution.

It hinders our adventures in space exploration and scientific advancement, precisely because this office works to handicap NASA with color-conscious hiring instead of merit-based hiring.
Quibcag: This is the crew of the Bentenmaru, from Bodacious Space Pirates (モーレツ宇宙海賊パイレーツ Mōretsu Pairētsu). The Bentenmaru does not have an Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, so it flies around in space.


  1. Not to brag but: I have an IQ of about 142, which is about the bottom end of genius (I also have a talent for impressing myself by how dumb I can be). My daughter Nichole is smarter (and also an MD who was involved working with NASA for a while). The fact is genius level IQ is about evenly distributed among all the races. Sadly, actually being a genius or talented at whatever your objective is has never been something considered by bureaucrats when pursuing their goals. Do you really think they dare let the smartest among us get together in space or anywhere else?

  2. Correction: That's the Space Yacht Club behind the Odette III iirc. The series is on my desktop and my bed is comfortable, so I'm gonna put in there. The girls are all highly motivated and very smart. They didn't have to include anyone of some color or orientation (even though they do and the VP and Prez are lovers). Just the smarts and the drive. You know, the right stuff. Because this is a group of girls who always go on week-long intra-system cruises on an old (but well maintained) space yacht without parental supervision and only one or two academic advisers.

    Something I think today's NASA can't handle nor would my generation, well mostly.

    But still, a fitting image.