Adam Keiper (who edited and published my recent piece in The New Atlantis, as well as previous ones) contrasts my approach with Bob Zubrin’s, though (as Glenn Reynolds points out) I’m not sure that “conservative” is a useful label for either. I’m basically a libertarian (though to be fair he does talk about “conservatives and libertarians”) who doesn’t think that the goal of space development has been, or ever will be, well served by a massive centralized government program. My policy advice is predicated on the assumption that it will continue to be funded, regardless, and as a space development (and ultimately space settlement) advocate, I’m just trying to funnel the funds in the most productive direction to those ends. I’m not sure how to characterize that position, politically, and I’m not sure that it really matters.
[Update late afternoon]
Sigh. Where to start with Mark Whittington’s latest uncomprehending blather?
NASA alone wastes money and is buffeted by political shifts as its budget is cut or shifted around according to whim. The private sector is simply not capable of mounting expeditions to the Moon or beyond or constructing settlements in the foreseeable future. Together, though, NASA and what people are taking to calling “new space” can do anything.
How to mesh the two so that the strengths are brought to bear is a fundamental problem of our time. I don’t think Rand, for all he praise he has gotten for his New Atlantis article, has answered that question.
Mark (as usual) confuses his inability to comprehend my answer to the question with a failure to answer it.
Part of the reason is a flawed understanding of the history of the space age; Rand has a simplistic notion of why things happened and why they did not.
Hilarious. Perhaps Mark can provide us with his oh-so-much-more sophisticated notion of “why things happened and why they did not,” and thus enlighten us (not to mention actually make a case for this kind of nonsense — something he never does). Perhaps he could even do it so well that he would be invited to write for a publication such as, well, perhaps Mad Magazine, if not The New Atlantis.
Rand also demonstrates a bias against government and an excessive impatience toward its fundamental inefficiencies that seems to foreclose any notion that NASA has any role but servicing the commercial sector.
A complete mischaracterization of my position, (again, as usual) providing zero evidence for it.
A government space effort, while it should be commercial friendly, is much more than just a conduit toward space faring corporate welfare.
So he ends with (what else?) an idiotic straw man.
[Friday morning update]
Per some thoughts in comments, I went to check Technorati, and Mark has a grand total of seven links in the last couple months. All but one are from either me or Jon Goff (the other blogger whose arguments he fantasizes about)l, and most from me, always in response to some outrageous misinterpretation of what we wrote. So maybe I should stop feeding the troll. His hittage might improve if he’s forced to write intelligent things to get hits, and we stop rewarding him for this behavior. Assuming, of course, that he’s capable of it.