I know, you’ve all given up, and just assumed that the piece in The New Atlantis was just another drug-addled Simberg fantasy of grandeur. That when I kept saying it would be Real Soon Now, that it was just vaporware. Well, Now has finally arrived.
As I wrote in an early draft, if extraterrestrial aliens had contacted the White House after the last lunar landing in 1972, and told the president that humans wouldn’t be allowed to move into space beyond earth orbit, and to pass the message on to his successors, but that the public was not to know this, it’s hard to imagine how policy actions would have been much different. Let’s Hope that this can finally Change with the new administration. That (unlike most of the rest of the agenda) would be Hope and Change that I could believe in.
[Late Friday update]
I want to thank everyone for the kudos, but I can’t accept it (did you know that kudos is not plural?) without acknowledging that this was a collaboration. Adam Keiper, the first and only (to date) editor of The New Atlantis, encouraged me to write this piece and, more importantly, played a key role in making it what it was. While we lost some things in editing (that I’ll rectify in a later Director’s Cut, and perhaps expand into a book), he focused it and almost certainly helped make it more influential in getting more to read it now, when we are at such a critical cusp of policy decisions.
But beyond that, he really helped write it. I was tired when I finished, and had a weak ending. The final paragraph, one of the best in it, if not the best (and it may be), is his.
And I’m grateful for the opportunity that he provided to get this message out, not just with The Path Not Taken five years ago (was it really that long?) but this and other pieces. The links in it are his, which indicates to me that he’s been following this topic closely. The most amazing thing is that this collaboration is a result of a snarky criticism by me of his own space-policy punditry, over half a decade ago. Rather than taking umbrage, he opened his mind to new possibilities, and the result is this (so far at least) collaborative magnum opus.