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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Cynicism, Optimism & Lunar Dust Flavored Kool-Aid

n 1: someone who is critical of the motives of others [syn: faultfinder] (from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

I have felt called to write a post regarding a new blog called Space Cynic for a few weeks now. The truth is, I just haven had the time or the energy. But, as Shubber Ali had the time to post a comment on one of my posts, I feel obliged to write my thoughts down about his controversial blog. (To be fair, there are three cynics posting besides Mr. Ali, TomsRants, Professor L, and oldspacecadet but they didn’t comment on my blog –djs).

The comment was, “The giggle factor may be falling, but it appears that the gullibility factor is still at an alltime (sic) high.” This was a comment about a post I maid on the giggle factor going away with regards to suborbital tourism.

Space Cynics sums themselves as:

“A view of from someone who won't drink the kool-aid.”

Okay, I never really like the term, but we will ignore that. The Kool-Aid analogy is perhaps a bit over done, but we get the idea. In a nutshell, Mr. Ali is tired of hearing promises from companies that don’t deliver. It is his mission, at least in this context, to poke holes in new space ideas he deems to have no substance (or money).

Now, I understand were Mr. Ali is coming from. I feel the same way about NASA. All the projects and missions I read about in detail as I grew up are just so much fairy dust. I still support NASA as the NASA Kool-Aid has the strength of a Moon landing in it (very similar to single malt scotch).

I am not sure if I have drank the “” Kool-Aid or not. I am excited about the future of space travel, I will definitely go up if I get the opportunity. I love space. A lot of ideas people propose are nuts, I agree.

So what?

Lets say, for arguments sake, I am a Kook-Aid coinsure. I guzzle the stuff day and night. I go to conference, and talk about space elevators and L-1 solar panels, and antimatter ships to Alpha Centari.

So what?

Lets say I buy stock in SpaceDev and Orbital Sciences and SpaceHAB (or whomever). Lets say I try to build a rocket in my garage. I even write my congressman to try and get more space money into private companies.

So what?

Does that hurt me in some way? Does that make me less noble than Mr. Ali who recognizes the con I am so helplessly falling victim to? If these projects are so worthless, then they will not be funded in the long run and the nation will move forward, weeding out the fluff. So I fail to see the damage that is done.

We all choose were to put our money and our time. People who gamble are stupid, in my opinion. People who spend money on clothes for dogs are stupid, in my opinion. Apparently, you believe I am stupid for putting so much time and money into private space development. Okay, I’ll accept your opinion and ignore it.

I guess, what I am wondering is, who are you trying to convert? It is very difficult to get non-space people to read a blog on space even if it is positive (I know J ). If you are trying to convert us “alt.spacers”, then I have to ask, why?

By the way, thanks for reading.

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