Media Casualties Mount
Administration Split On Europe Invasion
Administration In Crisis Over Burgeoning Quagmire
Congress Concerned About Diversion From War On Japan
Pot, Kettle On Line Two...
Allies Seize Paris
Gore Book Sales Tank, Supporters Claim Unfair Tactics
Satan Files Lack Of Defamation Suit
Why This Blog Bores People With Space Stuff
A New Beginning
My Hit Parade
Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds)
James Lileks Bleats
Winds Of Change (Joe Katzman)
Little Green Footballs (Charles Johnson)
Eject Eject Eject (Bill Whittle)
Alan Boyle (MSNBC)
Space Politics (Jeff Foust)
Space Transport News (Clark Lindsey)
NASA Space Flight
A Voyage To Arcturus (Jay Manifold)
Dispatches From The Final Frontier (Michael Belfiore)
Personal Spaceflight (Jeff Foust)
The Flame Trench (Florida Today)
Rocket Forge (Michael Mealing)
COTS Watch (Michael Mealing)
Curmudgeon's Corner (Mark Whittington)
Tales of the Heliosphere
Out Of The Cradle
Space For Commerce (Brian Dunbar)
The Speculist (Phil Bowermaster)
Spacecraft (Chris Hall)
Space Pragmatism (Dan Schrimpsher)
Eternal Golden Braid (Fred Kiesche)
Carried Away (Dan Schmelzer)
Laughing Wolf (C. Blake Powers)
Chair Force Engineer (Air Force Procurement)
JesusPhreaks (Scott Bell)
Nanobot (Howard Lovy)
Lagniappe (Derek Lowe)
Geek Press (Paul Hsieh)
Redwood Dragon (Dave Trowbridge)
Turned Up To Eleven (Paul Orwin)
Cowlix (Wes Cowley)
Quark Soup (Dave Appell)
Assymetrical Information (Jane Galt and Mindles H. Dreck)
Marginal Revolution (Tyler Cowen et al)
Man Without Qualities (Robert Musil)
Knowledge Problem (Lynne Kiesling)
Cut On The Bias (Susanna Cornett)
The Funny Pages
Cox & Forkum
Day By Day
Happy Fun Pundit
Amish Tech Support (Lawrence Simon)
Scrapple Face (Scott Ott)
Quasipundit (Adragna & Vehrs)
England's Sword (Iain Murray)
Daily Pundit (Bill Quick)
Daimnation! (Damian Penny)
Z+ Blog (Andrew Zolli)
The Kolkata Libertarian
Midwest Conservative Journal
Protein Wisdom (Jeff Goldstein et al)
Dean's World (Dean Esmay)
Yippee-Ki-Yay (Kevin McGehee)
Spleenville (Andrea Harris)
Random Jottings (John Weidner)
On the Third Hand (Kathy Kinsley, Bellicose Woman)
Inappropriate Response (Moira Breen)
Inadvertent Comic Relief
Warblogger Watcher (Cowardly Anonymous Idiotarians)
Other Worthy Weblogs
Ain't No Bad Dude (Brian Linse)
A libertarian reads the papers
Anna Franco Review
Ben Kepple's Daily Rant
Dropscan (Shiloh Bucher)
End the War on Freedom
Insolvent Republic of Blogistan
James Reuben Haney
Mind over what matters
Page Fault Interrupt
Sand In The Gears(Anthony Woodlief)
The Blogs of War
The Fly Bottle
The Illuminated Donkey
What she really thinks
Where HipHop & Libertarianism Meet
Zem : blog
Space Policy Links
The Space Review
The Space Show
Space Frontier Foundation
Space Policy Digest BBS
USS Clueless (Steven Den Beste)
Unremitting Verse (Will Warren)
World View (Brink Lindsay)
The Last Page
More Than Zero (Andrew Hofer)
Pathetic Earthlings (Andrew Lloyd)
Spaceship Summer (Derek Lyons)
The New Space Age (Rob Wilson)
Rocketman (Mark Oakley)
Site designed by
More Space Plans From "China"
Via Mark Whittington, an article in which he (as usual) takes false hope, with a misleading title: "China Aims to Put Man on Moon by 2020."
But if you read the article, it's clear that "China" has no such "aims." The only person with such "aims" is the "deputy commander of the Chinese manned spaceflight program." He himself makes clear in the paragraph following that this is not (yet) a national goal:
But the goal is subject to getting enough funds from the government, Hu said, explaining that the space program must fit in the larger scheme of the country's overall development.
If Mike Griffin's deputy said, "I think that in about fifteen years, we could have the capability to send humans to Jupiter," would Mark then agree with the headline "US Aims To Put Man On Jupiter By 2020"? Would he say that there are "indications" that this is a US goal?
Well, given his apparent gullibility, perhaps he would.
[Monday morning update]
Mark amusingly (as usual) misses the point:
Of course landing a man on Jupiter and landing one on the Moon are exactly analogous. At least it seems Rand thinks so.
First of all, I didn't say "land a man on Jupiter." But then, reading comprehension has never been Mark's strong suit, either, at least when it comes to reading me. But ignoring that (non-trivial) distinction, for the purpose of this discussion, they are in fact analogous. The point is that a statement of technological capability (and we could in fact send a man to Jupiter if we so chose in that time period, not that it would be a sensible thing to do) is not a statement of intent, or a declaration of a national goal. Even Mark might realize this, if he actually read the article he cites with such misplaced hope, and thinks about it a little.Posted by Rand Simberg at November 27, 2005 06:13 PM
Rand: 'If Mike Griffin's deputy said, "I think that in about fifteen years, we could have the capability to send humans to Jupiter," would Mark then agree with the headline "US Aims To Put Man On Jupiter By 2020"?'
For starters, there's a huge difference between 'to Jupiter' and 'on Jupiter'!
Is there any chance we can send George Bush and Mark Whittington to Jupiter?Posted by Chris Mann at November 28, 2005 02:26 AM
Actually Rand, I'd be careful claiming that these are goals of isolated individuals. My take is that China exercises great control over the media and over government employees talking to the media. So it is somewhat suspicious to see multiple people associated with the space program talking to the media in such a way.
This may indeed be the start of an official lunar program. However, this doesn't strike me as evidence of a more rapid pace in their space program.
Karl, even the official quoted doesn't claim that they are plans. He in fact notes that they are currently not.Posted by Rand Simberg at November 28, 2005 05:25 AM
That is true, he isn't saying that. Doesn't mean he's telling the truth though. There's plenty of historical examples of organizations that made plans, but refused to admit that they made such plans. It's definitely not what I'd call firm evidence that China is heading to the Moon on any sort of schedule.
It is interesting to glance through headlines on the subject. Eg, "China Plans Manned Moon Mission, Space Station Within 15 Years", "China aims to put astronauts on moon in 2017", "Manned moon mission expected in 10 to 15 years", or "Space program sets 15-year moon goal". Pretty big words given it's just a few officials saying that it'd be nice to do if they're given the funding.
Of course it doesn't mean that he's telling the truth. Perhaps the truth is that there are plans to have a colony on Mars in ten years, and this is all smokescreen to divert us from that.
The point is that if one is going to point to something as evidence for a proposition, then it should actually be evidence for the proposition. When one claims that counterevidence is evidence for one's proposition, one wanders off into paranoid conspiracy fantasies, in which everything is evidence for it.Posted by Rand Simberg at November 28, 2005 06:04 AM
I see that Rand is in full blown Clinton mode and is parsing his own words again in order to wiggle out of the embaressment he has made for himself. The fact of the matter is that his analogy is silly, given the technical challengers of sending people to the Moon and the far greater (impossible) technical challenges of sending people to Jupiter (which, by the way, sort of implies landing on it IMHO, a neat trick for a gas giant.)
Finally, I swear I do not make posts about China and it's possible space plans with the sole intent of making Rand leap the length of his chain. His behavior may make it seem that way, but it is nevertheless not true.Posted by Mark R. Whittington at November 28, 2005 06:25 AM
I think, by the way, Karl makes an excellent point. Even NASA officials do not spout off too often about future possibilities unless they are looked upon with favor by people above their pay grade. I think we can conclude that at the very least a person to the Moon program in the next decade is under active consideration in Beijing.Posted by Mark R. Whittington at November 28, 2005 06:28 AM
Fine, Mark, continue to ignore the point, and logic. It's just what I've come to expect from you.Posted by Rand Simberg at November 28, 2005 06:42 AM
I think we can conclude that at the very least a person to the Moon program in the next decade is under active consideration in Beijing.
Obviously that's the case. Many things that will never happen are always "under active consideration." But as the article (and official) points out, there's a huge leap between active consideration and definite, funded plans.Posted by Rand Simberg at November 28, 2005 07:31 AM
Mark amusingly (as usual) misses the point:
Finally, I swear I do not make posts about China and it's possible space plans with the sole intent of making Rand leap the length of his chain.
What is it with you two; bad business relationship? Mom liked him (point) best? It's like watching two cats circle the room hissing and spitting ...Posted by Brian at November 28, 2005 09:55 AM
What is it with you two; bad business relationship?
No, I just get a little tired of him making things up about what I write, and believe, and I find his continual beating of the Chinese space-race drum amusing. Of course, probably the only time that anyone even notices it is when I link to him...Posted by Rand Simberg at November 28, 2005 11:07 AM
You two should both put on bikinis, bleached blond wigs, and thick garish makeup then settle this in a wrestling ring.
"You two should both put on bikinis, bleached blond wigs, and thick garish makeup then settle this in a wrestling ring."
Make them do it in a big pit of Jello!Posted by Joe Athelli at November 28, 2005 11:50 AM
Pay-per-view!Posted by at November 28, 2005 11:59 AM
Joe and Cecil, I can't speak for Rand, but in my own case that is not a sight for small children or the more sensitive (g).
Rand, I don't have to make up anything. You really need to take some responsibility, stand by the positions you take, and not try to wiggle out by parsing words or making personal attacks when you make ridiculous statements. It's fine if you disagree with my analysis of China's space goals, but behaving affronted by it is not very edifying.Posted by Mark R. Whittington at November 28, 2005 12:33 PM
Mark, I'm not in any way "affronted" by your views of China's space goals--as I said, I'm primarily amused by them. What I'm affronted by is your chronic mischaracterization of my views on that subject (and many others), something that you seem to find yourself unable, or unwilling to ever defend.
I post what I write, I post your absurd caricature of it, for all to see, and you simply blithely ignore it, instead changing subjects, or moving on to some other fantasy about what I write and believe. That's what "affronts" me (as it would any other reasonable person),Posted by Rand Simberg at November 28, 2005 12:42 PM
"I post what I write, I post your absurd caricature of it, for all to see, and you simply blithely ignore it"
Yes, Rand, I know you keep saying that, but from where I sit it seems to me that the reality is that you make statements and take positions and when people call you on them, you use the "that's not what I said!" gambit as a debating tactic. The latest is your attempt to say that going "to" Jupiter can never mean landing "on" Jupiter, even though you used both words in the frankly absurd analogy that you made. (And, of course, you will now as surely as the sun rises in the east, deny having done that as well.)Posted by Mark R. Whittington at November 28, 2005 01:00 PM
Yes, Rand, I know you keep saying that, but from where I sit it seems to me that the reality is that you make statements and take positions and when people call you on them, you use the "that's not what I said!" gambit as a debating tactic.
Yes, and it's a debating tactic that's effective because it has the ultimate virtue--it's true, because it really is not what I said (and with you, it's rarely what I said--instead being some bizarro/Whittington-world version of what I said). And when you're called on it, you can never back up your absurd accusations, simply moving on to the next subject (just like now).
The latest is your attempt to say that going "to" Jupiter can never mean landing "on" Jupiter, even though you used both words in the frankly absurd analogy that you made.
And so you continue to demonstrate your ongoing cluelessness about my point, about which the actual technical feasibility is irrelevant (though, again, the truth is that I never said "on Jupiter" or "landing a man (or anything else) on Jupiter").Posted by Rand Simberg at November 28, 2005 01:10 PM
Mark, I should note that your statement that "It's fine if you disagree with my analysis of China's space goals, but behaving affronted by it is not very edifying" is a perfect example of this kind of tripe, since nowhere have I said, implied, or indicated that I'm affronted by this. Yet I'm confident that you will persist in delusionally believing it, in the face of any protestations, or reality.Posted by Rand Simberg at November 28, 2005 01:14 PM
Post a comment