History, Philosophy, Social Commentary, Space, Space History, Technology and Society 52nd Anniversary July 16, 2021 Rand Simberg 5 Comments Apollo 11 launched on this day in 1969. I’ll be on The Space Show on Tuesday night, talking about Evoloterra.
5 thoughts on “52nd Anniversary”
If you are open to amending your ceremony, look into the passing through ceremonies practiced across cultures and times. They are some of humanities’ oldest rituals symbolizing regeneration and rebirth. Although, it might be more fitting for when humans cross the asteroid belt.
I tried offering a passing through ceremony to students in a circuits course. I explained that when sailors cross the Equator for the first time, there is a ceremony to mark this passage and offered that a similar ceremony is in order after the lecture where students are initiated into the meaning of reactive power in an AC circuit.
Students didn’t find reactive power nor initiation into the select few who knew what reactive power is to be of special interest.
Reactive power, by the way, is that component of the instantaneous power waveform that exchanges power between a generator and a load at twice the powerline frequency without any net transfer of power to the load. It is a problem because it can lose generated power by heating up transmission lines and result in reduced voltage at the load.
The management, or rather mismanagement of reactive power is the means by which the political insistence on renewable energy sources on an express timetable (Net-zero by 2050) will result in the collapse of the electric power grid and the End of Civilization as we Know It.
“I explained that when sailors cross the Equator for the first time, there is a ceremony to mark this passage and offered that a similar ceremony”
This is an interesting example of something that has likely been done since before we were humans. Do you have any details about this ritual to give us some insight about its purpose?
The strange thing about humans is that we posses the capability for reflective thought but also for fart jokes and physical trails that are meaningless beyond one’s ability to endure them and the bonding with other suckers.
Wikipedia, our most authoritative information source, offers
The purpose of such a ritual? Unit cohesion. The article indicates past practices that devolved into cruel hazing. Let’s just say that if I were Secretary of the Navy or even the US President, I would not forbid such rituals, provided they didn’t get out of hand. Military personnel should be given some latitude on how to develop relationships amongst themselves that may be of extreme value in times of combat or non-combat emergency situations.
My ritual for initiation into the select few knowing about reactive power? I spent, at most, 10 minutes of lecture time out of an entire semester impressing my students that they have become members of a very select group of people to be clued in to what reactive power is and what it means and that going forward, they were part of an elite who could influence public policy in a positive direction to prevent catastrophe in our society and social order that relies on reliable electricity.
The remark about “bonding with other suckers” is not one I would make about those who have had a calling to military service. I would not characterize engineering graduates that way, men and women who have acquired specialized knowledge of how the world and the things in it work that those things we take for granted can continue to work.
“The remark about…”
Perhaps but neither group is above a little mockery. Poking fun is also a ritual of bonding.
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