While many were excited to watch rich people get to space on technology developed by us commoners, I’ll be the pooper. I promise this is not wealth envy. It is a complete disdain for a system that has been effective in getting the majority to do the work. It is a system that uses the intellect of the most to benefit just a select few.
SPACE? Another billionaire free media advertising spectacle for the gullible?
I wish I could feel the glee and excitement I see on the faces of so many reporters covering the Virgin Galactic launch of billionaire Richard Branson into “space.” But I cannot help but look at it with contempt as it is like the media exhilaration with Trump, for something that may not seem as evil but is actually worse.
As a mechanical engineer myself, real scientific accomplishments really titillate me. This development infuriates me because it endeavors to make money for a few rich people from a few rich people. They are commercializing the technology which all Americans paid for over 60 years ago. And they are using some advancements from other technologies Americans paid for.
One should remember that the private sector, for all you hear, does not take as much risk as you would believe. They generally socialize their losses. In other words, they find a way for we-the-people to pay for it either through tax cuts, allowances, write-offs, or straight out pilfer of the treasury. But that is for another blog post.
As I watched “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” they broke in to cover the event. As I watched my taped episode of Fareed Zakaria GPS, they broke in to cover that story. I must commend Fareed Zakaria for giving it the best context thus far by having Neil deGrasse Tyson as his guest. He gave scientific accuracy to all the hype being carried by just about all of the networks.
He made it clear that while the U.S. Space Station is barely in ‘space’, Virgin Galactic’s flight was not really a space flight. He gave scope and scale to how little was really accomplished. Technically speaking, we did more in 1961, 60 years ago, with limited technological advancement than was accomplished for the world by Virgin Galactic today. But it is hard to break through the hype.
Only the public sector can do space for the right purpose
I absolutely believe in space travel and all the research for it. But I think having billionaires expand on technology we all developed is a sell-out of the American people. We should continue with our tax dollars investing in research.
As Neil deGrasse Tyson said, that it took 60+ years for the private sector to execute this is surprising. Of course, one should not be surprised. The private sector is profit-based. As such, they are not necessarily looking for innovation that does not have profitable mass appeal.
We must be responsible for researching and developing technologies to find and nudge life-extinction meteors and asteroids. That is not a job the limited-risk nature of the private sector would do.
Please listen to the entire video, both Tyson’s and my point of view.
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