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Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:07 PM

 

America used to do big things.

Telling our teenager tonight about what it was like to grow up in the 1960s. Space geeks, even tiny ones like me, we knew all of the astronaut's names and thrilled as they went from the first 15-minute flight to the Moon in what... 8 years? Was it really just 8 years?

A real-life adventure. Starring nerds. Serious, serious nerds. Engineers with nerves of steel, riding huge controlled explosions into the stars. Absurd in all respects, but the job got done.

I get very excited reliving it, my son thinks I'm a little crazy. He's never known an America like that, how exciting it is to launch forward as a nation instead of civil warring over achingly stupid crap.

We'll do big things again! Good, big, things! Hopefully soon!

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Reply America used to do big things. (Original post)
MannyGoldstein Mar 2014 OP
hrmjustin Mar 2014 #1
deathrind Mar 2014 #3
1000words Mar 2014 #2
madinmaryland Mar 2014 #4
MannyGoldstein Mar 2014 #5
madinmaryland Mar 2014 #9
MannyGoldstein Mar 2014 #13
madinmaryland Mar 2014 #18
MannyGoldstein Mar 2014 #20
madinmaryland Mar 2014 #23
MannyGoldstein Mar 2014 #26
madinmaryland Mar 2014 #29
Gidney N Cloyd Mar 2014 #6
RKP5637 Mar 2014 #7
Jgarrick Mar 2014 #8
MannyGoldstein Mar 2014 #10
Jgarrick Mar 2014 #11
MannyGoldstein Mar 2014 #21
Jenoch Mar 2014 #12
ProSense Mar 2014 #14
MannyGoldstein Mar 2014 #17
oldandhappy Mar 2014 #15
pokerfan Mar 2014 #16
GeorgeGist Mar 2014 #19
hatrack Mar 2014 #31
msongs Mar 2014 #22
Rex Mar 2014 #24
alarimer Mar 2014 #25
joshcryer Mar 2014 #27
MannyGoldstein Mar 2014 #28
joshcryer Mar 2014 #30
Spider Jerusalem Mar 2014 #32
ConservativeDemocrat Mar 2014 #33
mathematic Mar 2014 #34
MisterP Mar 2014 #35

Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:08 PM

1. The GOP are blocking big things.

 

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:10 PM

2. Perhaps our fall will be epic

 

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:14 PM

4. Unfortunately it will not happen in our lifetimes. I'm an engineer

and my colleagues are more interested in "intelligent design" and how they can install their technology in churches rather than what can be done to move society forward.

Edited to add: They are the "I've got mine, fuck everyone else" crowd, who expect everyone else to pray for their success.

I also grew up in the 60's and can't understand the lack of curiosity in this country. Sadly, I do not see anything big happening in this country for many years. Don't know what it take to change things.


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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:22 PM

5. How do we knock some sense into these people?

 

World War II was horrible, but it did produce a generation of confident Americans who understood that Science beats Happy Thoughts every time.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:27 PM

9. Are you suggesting a return of..

Hitler?

No, I didn't think so. We had a rude awaking in late 2001, and all we could fucking do is attack the wrong fucking country and waste at least two trillion dollars.

We also had a financial meltdown of proportions that had not been seen since the Great Depression and what did this country do?? Next to nothing.





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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:34 PM

13. I am in no way suggesting that World War II was a net positive,

 

or that Hitler was in someway helpful in any way.

Not. At. All.

I was talking to a family friend recently who's a pretty high-level HR person on Wall Street. She said that the hottest degree on Wall Street is an EE degree, because they're considered to be the smartest "trainable" people. Once on Wall Street they don't do engineering, of course. Well, maybe Scam Engineering.

Anyway, that's where our top engineering talent goes these days. Most of the kids from Harvard, too.

Feh.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:48 PM

18. No. I don't believe that you suggested any of those things....

Now, now, now, I have a EE from the early 80's and where did I end up???

20 years of IT consulting for WS firms. Yeap. I have now graduated to the MIC (Medical Industrial Complex) consulting work.

BTW, I'm not from Harvard, but a highly rated university from the midwest.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #18)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:57 PM

20. MIC IT?

 

The other MIC is very, very, big. Are you thriving on "meaningful use"?

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:02 PM

23. Well, there are various options when you order MIC cable...



(this is a non-plenum rated cable):

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #23)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:15 PM

26. That's a lotta bandwidth you're packin' there, mister. nt

 

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #26)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:33 PM

29. Yeap. Too bad my ISP doesn't see it that way. They seem more interested in providing me with this.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:23 PM

6. The RW wants corporations to do the big things and reap the big profits.

If the government leads the way then the flow of profits can't be so easily managed.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:24 PM

7. I remember that extremely well, I was part of the technology build up, the early days of

computers and on up to supercomputers. I feel so lucky to have had the privilege of having been part of those times in America. And the days when the most valued assets a company had were long term highly skilled employees in all types of jobs. Today, most of what I hear is utter nonsense. The flakes in politics today, for example, would have been laughed off the stage as damn fools.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:27 PM

8. We can't even put a man in orbit today. Pathetic.

 

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Response to Jgarrick (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:28 PM

10. We have to pay the Russians to do that for us!

 

Laugh? Cry?

I need an adult beverage.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:30 PM

11. China can do it. Russia can do it. We can't.

 

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Response to Jgarrick (Reply #11)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:58 PM

21. Krugman's right, as always.

 

We need to be attacked by martians. It would fox everything.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:33 PM

12. My father once owned a small-town radio station.

 

He would broadcast live the Apollo liftoffs from Florida. He sold sponsorships to thos special reports. When the space shuttle lift offs were first done he did the same thing. By the time of the Challenger lift off and subsequent explosion there was little interest. I was a young radio announcer at the time. After we broadcast the network's report on the disaster I went back to music, which at the time was on a big reel-to-reel tape machine and completely random. A listener called in to complain because the first song was by Chicago, "If You Leave Me Now."

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:37 PM

14. Obama's signature on Mars!



http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021392992

President Obama Applauds Mars Curiosity Rover Landing

Following the successful landing of NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover, the largest and most advanced such unmanned robot launched by NASA, President Barack Obama issued the following statement congratulating the scientists involved for their work:

Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history.

The successful landing of Curiosity – the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet – marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination.

Tonight’s success, delivered by NASA, parallels our major steps forward towards a vision for a new partnership with American companies to send American astronauts into space on American spacecraft. That partnership will save taxpayer dollars while allowing NASA to do what it has always done best – push the very boundaries of human knowledge. And tonight’s success reminds us that our preeminence – not just in space, but here on Earth – depends on continuing to invest wisely in the innovation, technology, and basic research that has always made our economy the envy of the world.

I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality – and I eagerly await what Curiosity has yet to discover.

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/president-obama-applauds-mars-curiosity-rover-landing


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Response to ProSense (Reply #14)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:47 PM

17. Pr0n in space!

 



That plaque is now past the Solar System.

You know they must have been hellastoned when they dreamed that up.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:40 PM

15. Back then we had adults in Congress.

Yes, I remember. I remember my parents reading books by both Republicans and Democrats. Also remember McCarthy! Our TV broke that summer and I mother refused to get it fixed!

We will do big things again, but maybe not soon.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:41 PM

16. steely-eyed missile men

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:54 PM

19. Now we have billionaires.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:38 PM

31. Indeed: we have The Donald and the Hair From Beyond Time

Oh, and the crazy-eyed monsters from Planet Bible.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:01 PM

22. top leadership with no vision except for finding the corporate give away holy grail nt

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:04 PM

24. Silly, we don't need to anymore. The Right group got rich enough for there to be no need!

 

Big things will only be built when they need them to be built. They are the creators!

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:06 PM

25. Because we have a military that sucks up 70% of the budget.

(or some equally insane figure).

That, coupled with tax-cut mania on the part of even the Democrats, means we can't have nice things like moon landings or, you know, SCIENCE.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:20 PM

27. The technological trajectory is too fast for you to notice it.

You will see self-driving electric cars with VR headsets for the passengers in 5 short years, for instance. We went from people needing a land line to make a phone call to carrying phones around in our pockets in 10 years or so.



Your son will never know what that sort of nationalist effort feels like because it is increasingly unnecessary to achieve goals.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #27)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:30 PM

28. That's a very cool chart, thanks.

 

But where's my jet-pack?


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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #28)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:36 PM

30. You can fly in the metaverse as your car drives you to work.

It could even be an augmented reality version of the roadtrip.

(Mind you it won't be mainstream in 5 years but it'll exist, VR is making a huge upswelling, what with Facebook acquiring Occulus recently. In 10 years they will be as pervasive as cell phones are now.)

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:50 PM

32. JFK didn't give a damn about the moon, you know.

 

He cared about beating the Soviets, for symbolic value, but going to the moon? Not so much:

President Kennedy: Everything that we do ought to really be tied into getting onto the
Moon ahead of the Russians.
James Webb: Why can’t it be tied to preeminence in space, which are your own….
President Kennedy: Because, by God, we keep, we’ve been telling everybody we’re
preeminent in space for five years and nobody believes it because they have the booster and
the satellite. We know all about the number of satellites we put up, two or three times the
number of the Soviet Union…we’re ahead scientifically. It’s like that instrument you got
up at Stanford which is costing us a hundred and twenty-five million dollars and everybody
tells me that we’re the number one in the world. And what is it? I can’t think what it is.
Interruption from multiple unknown speakers: The linear accelerator.
President Kennedy: I’m sorry, that’s wonderful, but nobody knows anything about it!
James Webb: Let me say it slightly different. The advanced Saturn is eighty-five times as
powerful as the Atlas. Now we are building a tremendous giant rocket with an index number
of eighty-five if you give me Atlas one. Now, the Russians have had a booster that’ll lift
fourteen thousand pounds into orbit. They’ve been very efficient and capable in it. The
kinds of things I’m talking about that give you preeminence in space are what permits you
to make either that Russian booster or the advanced Saturn better than any other. A range
of progress possible it is so much different [unknown].
President Kennedy: The only…. We’re not going to settle the four hundred million this
morning. I want to take a look closely at what Dave Bell…. But I do think we ought get it,
you know, really clear that the policy ought to be that this is the top-priority program of
the Agency, and one of the two things, except for defense, the top priority of the United
States government. I think that that is the position we ought to take. Now, this may not
change anything about that schedule, but at least we ought to be clear, otherwise we
shouldn’t be spending this kind of money because I’m not that interested in space.
I think
it’s good; I think we ought to know about it; we’re ready to spend reasonable amounts of
money. But we’re talking about these fantastic expenditures which wreck our budget and all
these other domestic programs and the only justification for it, in my opinion, to do it in
this time or fashion, is because we hope to beat them and demonstrate that starting behind,
as we did by a couple years, by God, we passed them.


http://history.nasa.gov/JFK-Webbconv/pages/transcript.pdf


The most justifiable reasons for a new Manhattan Project/Apollo Program in the present day? Mitigating climate change and developing fusion. Anything else is just more pointless dick-waving.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:01 AM

33. You're blind, Manny

With a bad memory.

Here we are, communicating across the entire world, on an "internet forum", and you're whining about us not doing big things?

We've discovered over 1800 extra-solar planets just in the past five years, and you're whining about us not doing big things?

Scientists have re-programmed the AIDS virus to cure cancer, and you're whining about us not doing big things?

Our phones became cordless, then became cellular, and now show us faces, just like in all those sci-fi movies, and you're whining about us not doing big things?

Jimminy Cricket on a Stick, Manny. What do you want, anyway?

Seriously, I'm beginning to understand you. You're just a crotchety old man. Unlike me. I'm a non-crotchety old man.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:13 AM

34. Still does, just different things

The Human Genome Project is what comes to mind. It's hard to believe that it was just over a decade ago that the decade long, multibillion dollar project completed. The technology has advanced so far that we can do the same thing nowadays on an individual level for mere thousands of dollars.

Sometimes "big things" are small things done by a big number of people. Take the transformative technologies of widespread connectivity, smart phones, video and music recording and editing, and the Internet in general.

Similarly, open source software is both big and critically important from a freedom-and-democracy perspective.

Some big things right around the corner:
Grid-parity solar power.
Bionic limbs and other medical treatments for things that we've traditionally thought of as permanent disabilities.

It's very easy to get excited about science and technology today, it's just not the same things that have been exciting in the past.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:50 AM

35. I'm oddly certain this is the Shuttle's fault

OPEC and Operation Ranch Hand and generalized failures of the postwar technocracy aside, the SS sorta choked out general rocketry

even if the Venture Bros. dazzle went out of spaceflight, we still had a lot of heavy-lifter options

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