Public service announcement: As you all know, on September 3rd, in my post, Utah Paranormal and the End of Time, I called for a gathering at a Mayan site on December 21st. I hoped someone famous, like the Ancient Alien guys, would read and use all their influence to pull something together. Now just weeks before the date, I received a postcard in the mail announcing that Giorgio Tsoukalos, the Ancient Alien guy, will be holding an End of the World party in New Orleans on December 21st. I wish these guys would read my posts so they can stay ahead of the curve on these things. Anyway if you are interested, you can learn more about this by going to the website. Good luck, and maybe at the last minute I’ll go. I need to stir up more interest in my ideas and my writing.
Back to our main story for the day:
Recent big Internet tabloid article, which passes for news and is accepted as news by an undiscriminating public, said that NASA has lost its direction. Wow, and wrong in so many ways. Here it is if you want to read it. <link>The first thing that came to mind was NASA looming large in the eyes of the public with the successful placement and operation of the Rover on Mars—pictures and scientific data coming back daily. NASA had rekindled public interest in its activity, but someone just had to jump in front of the parade, claim moral authority, and tries to grab a share of the spotlight. I clicked on the Space Foundation link , can you believe it! Is this what NBC prints? With a link to a student art contest? I suggest that the Space Foundation and NBC provide something better than a student art contest to demonstration of their intellectual superiority to NASA.
This is typical human scavenger behavior, avoid the risk of the initial venture, but run in after someone else has struggled to achieve success, and try to rip off a piece of it. Hyena behavior is rampant among professional bureaucrats.
The article talks about the necessity of long range plans. Really? I have a degree in urban planning. I have done five year plans, year after year for thirty years. Guess what, when plan collides with reality, plan ends up in a heap by the side of the road.
My mentor once told me (when I was so happily engaged in urban planning school) that bureaucrats plan, successful people do, and one of the things they do is respond to reality quickly. Think about it. What would a plan made fifteen years ago look like? Probably a bit silly, because it could not anticipate today’s reality.
Should NASA stick to pioneering, as the report suggests? Why? If NASA were a business would it focus only on pioneering? Another successful business concept is to do what you do best, i.e. use your core skills. NASA’s core skills involve combining highly technical, highly scientific knowledge, equipment and materials to accomplish specialized tasks. I doubt NASA’s core expertise confines within the arbitrary boundary of pioneering. But there you have it, an example of long range planning—no vision.
Those ancient Mayans with their calendar didn’t take into account that this is a very busy time of the year: Dwali, Kwanza, Christmas, Hanukkah. Didn’t they realize we simply wouldn’t have time to face the end of the world until after all of the holiday commotion? Couldn’t they have scheduled it for March or October? Months when there isn’t much going on anyway. If you make a last minute decision to travel to New Orleans, keep us posted. And, go early enough to eat at Antoine’s.