Transterrestrial Musings

Defend Free Speech!

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type 4.0
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« The APS Plot Thickens | Main | NewSpace 2008 Wrap Up »

Netroots And Space

Chris Bowers: on why "progressives" should support space programs. There's a lot of typical mythology in the comments section about NASA and the military, and spin-off. We would have had PCs without Apollo, honest. We needed microchips for the missiles, which was at least as big a driver.


0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Netroots And Space.

TrackBack URL for this entry:


K wrote:

Agreed. LSI? Military funding. VLSI? Military funding. The "NASA techology spinoffs"? A cherished myth which has lived past it's time.

Carl Pham wrote:

I'm going to guess that it wasn't the guidance systems that drove military IC development. I dunno that ultraminiaturized logic is necessary for that application; it's not like the logic is all that complicated anyway.

I would put it instead at the feet of nuclear weapons development and its insatiable need for really fast, really powerful computers. The only way to develop small and powerful nukes involves enormous numerical calculations, more or less calculating exactly what happens in the first few milliseconds of the explosion, and tuning it just right. There was a pressing need for small and powerful nukes to fit the small SLBMs and allow MIRVing the ICBMs.

Karl Hallowell wrote:

I agree with Carl. The history of scientific computing during and after the Second World War is deeply intertwined with nuclear weapon modeling. I'd go as far as to say it was probably the first killer app (pun not intended) for the modern computer.

Ken wrote:

Whether or not the Left "should" support space, they never will, for the same reason they hate gun owners, and indeed all "outdoor" types: they are filled with envy at what they can never be. Their entire lives are spent sitting at Starbucks, sipping latte and gossiping about how unsexy all those blue-collar hicks are.

Bottom line: we're not going to advance technologically by convincing these sissified targets to join us. We're going to advance by caving in their skulls.f

Don't think of them as the "opposition"; think of them as the enemy. Actually, don't think of them as people, but rather as fertilizer.

People who spend their whole lives flapping their whole lives giggling and sponging off others, while furtively checking out little boys, should not have any say whatsoever in the direction of the nation we patriots have built and fought for.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Ummm...Ken? Consider yourself speaking for yourself. You sound as hateful and crazy as a lot of them.

Mike Puckett wrote:

Sounds like Ken described ElfShitz very well.

Ken wrote:

The difference is that I have cause for hatred. They have never had anything but pleasure in their lives, while, thanks to them, I am in constant hell. I served in the Marines, yet they have banned me from the love of women by whispering in the ears of women, "Tee hee, Marines are sooooo Eighties," and then, when war broke out, "Tee hee, all Republicans are chickenhawks, so he's a draft dodger and we're war heroes, even though we have never set foot outside our whoring mothers' basements." Because of these cowards' lies, I have been denied all my dreams.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

To Ken:
I suggest following some of those who've been through the same before and leave for a new shore, you owe it to yourself to have a different life.

I don't think any culture or philosophy has managed to solve it. There are plenty of military expats in this world for good reason.

About computers:
deciphering and cryptography, ballistics simulation, then more directly ICBM-related stuff and in that order as far as I know and then the ball just couldn't stop rolling: too many uses which eventually/unavoidably led to personal computers in the seventies. Maybe it's ignorance but I don't see any major role played by NASA.

Leave a comment

Note: The comment system is functional, but timing out when returning a response page. If you have submitted a comment, DON'T RESUBMIT IT IF/WHEN IT HANGS UP AND GIVES YOU A "500" PAGE. Simply click your browser "Back" button to the post page, and then refresh to see your comment.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on July 19, 2008 12:04 PM.

The APS Plot Thickens was the previous entry in this blog.

NewSpace 2008 Wrap Up is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.1