Adding more money will not fix the problem; it may even make it worse because things have just gone over their heads. The expansion of private activity into outer space will create a still bigger challenge for the 20th-century state. Latencies in communication imposed by the limited speed of light mean that real-time control from the center will become impossible in principle. Even the Mars copter is largely autonomous.
Taken together, these developments suggest that the collapse we may be feeling — if one is in fact occurring — is not the fall of a hegemon but the crumbling of hegemony itself. It is probably driven by the drastic increase of complexity in the 21st century, represented by an ever-lengthening flood of bits which, if not understood, is psychologically indistinguishable from entropy. The world, like a team of wild horses, may have gotten away from the UN, Xi, Vladimir, and Joe because it’s gotten too dang complicated to control. Going back to historical metaphors, humanity may be reliving, not the fall of Rome but the fall of Babel.
Vernor Vinge, Neil Stephenson, and others saw this coming.
I haven’t read it yet, but the NASA OIG report came out today.
CNN was suppressing the latest news on their bogosity, for some reason.
It’s been released today. I haven’t read the whole thing yet.
[Update a few minutes later]
“Given the time needed to develop and fully test the HLS and new spacesuits, we project NASA will exceed its current timetable for landing humans on the Moon in late 2024 by several years.”
You don’t say.
Are Elon’s tunnels the future of transportation?
I remain skeptical that they will have widespread application.
I hope this is right. We’ll find out next November, but there’s a lot of damage that can be done to the nation between now and then.
An article about Homer Hickam and Yours Truly. They get this wrong, though: “…while Hickam and Simberg may disagree on the value of safety, they may agree that NASA could not afford to suffer such losses, especially considering pressures from Congress and the general public.”
Homer and I do not in fact disagree on the value of safety. Here is his review of the book.