The coming bright age

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As regular readers of Behind The Black know, I routinely report on the depressing state of western culture, where our intellectual academic community appears more interested in standing with their eyes closed and their fingers in their ears yelling, “La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!!!” as loud as they can so they can avoid learning new things or hearing facts that might disturb their tiny little bubble of incorrect assumptions. Such behavior is comparable to the close-minded thinking that caused the medieval dark ages, when the search for knowledge died and Roman culture withered. It took a thousand-plus years for western civilization to come out of that shadow and begin to grow again.

The success of SpaceX yesterday to vertically land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket while also successfully putting eleven smallsat satellites in orbit however that gives me hope that a dark age is not coming. Despite living in a time when freedom is denigrated, when free speech is squelched, and when oppressive regulation and government control is the answer to every problem, the enduring spirit of the human soul still pushed through to do an amazing thing.

SpaceX’s success is only the beginning. The ability to reuse the engines and first stage will allow them to lower their launch costs significantly, meaning that access to space will now be possible for hundreds if not thousands of new entrepeneurs who previously had ideas about developing the resources of the solar system but could not achieve them because the launch costs were too high. In fact, the launch of Orbcomm’s smallsat constellation by this Falcon 9 demonstrated this. Not only is this company proving the efficiency of smallsats, they now have a launch vehicle, the Falcon 9, that they can afford to use. In the past Orbcomm would have been hard-pressed to finance its satellite constellation using the expensive rockets of older less innovative launch companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

SpaceX however is not alone in revolutioning the launch industry. Blue Origin has also demonstrated some of the same launch capabilities as SpaceX, vertically landing its first stage. In competition these two companies and their armies of brilliant and creative engineers are going to make it possible for the human race to explore and colonize the solar system.

Even as old Earth sinks into increasing regulation, oppressive rule-making, and tyrannical close-mindedness, the explorers of the solar system, led by this new American launch industry, will break away from that morass. Hopefully, the new space-faring societies they create out there amid the stars will, like the settlers of North America in the 1600s, help re-establish freedom for future generations back here on Earth.


  • Desmond Murphy

    You only post anti climate change stories when you post anything on climate change. There is room for a great deal of debate on both sides of the issue. Are you at all guilty of avoiding learning new things? Pot, kettle?

  • You are absolutely correct in noting that I focus on posting stories that emphasize the uncertainty of climate science. I do so because there is a relatively small but unfortunately very powerful cadre of political activists in the field who are insisting no uncertainty remains, that all the science is settled, and that anyone who mentions that uncertainty should be blackballed.

    Well, the field of climate change still has enormous uncertainties, despite what these activists say, and I think it is important to make the public aware of those uncertainties. And while I also spend a lot of time looking at the pro-global warming research (which means I am not avoiding it), there is little need for me to post much about it here because the mainstream press (most of whom could be described as pro-global warming propagandists) does a much better job than I ever could making it available to the public.

  • D K Rögnvald Williams

    There can’t be a reason to post a “pro” man-made global warming story as long as corrupt academicians and governmental bodies fake data and suppress contrary research. To do so would replace science with political ideology.

    Back to SpaceX… A wonderful accomplishment which might make a manned mission to Mars affordable. Kudos to Elon and the gang.

  • Edward

    Desmond Murphy wrote: “There is room for a great deal of debate on both sides of the issue.”

    Desmond, is there a particular point about the debate (I thought that Gore and others refused to get into debates about the issue) that you would like us to debate on this site or in this comment thread?

    If you lack specific ideas, perhaps we could debate why the refusal to debate, why the insistence that a supposed 97% consensus should shut down debate or any publication of alternate ideas,* or why they tell us that the science is settled when it is clear that reality is not behaving as predicted by Gore, Mann, Jones, Briffa, and others of the supposed 97% consensus.

    * Did even 3% agree with Darwin when he first presented his theory?

  • fred k

    Great blog post! I could not agree more.

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