Editorial #87 Space Program results
It hard to believe this week marks 50 years since Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon. The Wright Brothers made their first flight only 65 years earlier when most people were still using horses as their main means of transportation. Comparing these events is useful in pointing out the speed at which technology is racing in our lives.
We all work to keep our lives as simple and manageable as possible but we are, inadvertently, swept up by these marvels of technology regardless of any attempt to resist. These changes are more dramatic today as most people did not live long enough to notice the major changes of modernization, if they lived in the first half of the 20th century.
The only things that are certain in life, is death, taxes and change. To expect things to remain constant is ridiculous thus the stress of change is ever increasing. In 1899 the commissioner of the US Patent office wanted to close it because he believed everything that could ever be invented had occurred.
At the beginning of the 20th Century it took 100 years for the total amount of information in the world to double. After WWII, information was doubling every 25 years with the current rate estimated at one day.
Dysfunctionality occurs in society today because of this rapid rate of change. Even the most ridiculous ideas get some traction, because they circulate so quickly. In past times, the absurd was ignored and died before it could get any traction or be called fake news. But with the rule of large numbers, a very small percentage of a very, very large number is a very large number. If only 1% of our country believes the fake news they hear, that is over 3 million people.
Being an engineer, I have always enjoyed the wonders of science, engineering and technology. I thought I could spend my entire life in that area and not worry about politics, social problems or the government. That may have been possible at the start of the 20th century, but because of the avalanche of information today, that is not possible. We are finding out about almost everything, instantly, with the things that violate our value systems the most disturbing and disruptive.
When looking at the tax dollars used in the space race, trillions of dollars were invested, not spent, in developing the marvels of today’s world that were initially, developed to solve problems involving putting a man on the moon. The criticism that the money should have been spent for social programs is the short sighted argument social justice warriors still use.
With the trillions spent on social programs, the United States is the home of the richest poor in the world, with the number of poor always increasing. The money spent practically made no difference in solving any social problems. In fact, they are worse!
If the investments were not made in getting a man to the moon, advances in computers, communications, medicine and transportation along with numerous material innovations would not have occurred. It is difficult to imagine life without these technological wonders. Some of us might still be using horses to get around but it is safe to say about the same percentage of poor people would still be struggling to get through life, regardless of all the money spent to fix it.
These are the blessings of capitalism because of the incentives it breeds into our society. Of course, we should always help our fellow man by teaching them how to fish and not giving them a fish and not expect the government to do it for us. This happens through example and encouragement to learn and achieve, not by having the government spend the trillions on social programs with little to show, other than the need for more money because the bureaucracy found more victims that needs help from the government.
This is Keith Kube wishing you the best in making the world a better place.