Thursday, January 27, 2011

Link roundup

1. Sale this month at Tenacious Toys.

2. Ann Althouse on Obama's state of the union speech:

This is our generation's Sputnik moment. What is? Are we playing let's pretend? Nothing is scaring us and lighting a fire under us. In fact, it's hard for us now, with our long perspective, even to understand why Sputnik was such a huge motivation. Ask some under-50 Americans today: Why was it so important to beat the Soviets in sending men to the moon? Ask them when/if the Soviets got a man to the moon. I'll bet they can't even give plausible answers. I'll bet even the over-50s are hit-or-miss when it comes to answering the question whether the Soviets got a man to the moon.

So what on earth — or on the moon — does Obama think he will get out of the mere verbal tag "Sputnik"? If you remember how Sputnik felt — and I do — you'll probably say, but there is no equivalent of Sputnik. There are just a lot of countries, full of human beings, trying to get ahead economically, like us — not against us.
3. Relatedly, the first ten years of the 21st century were the best decade, for the world, ever. (Best ten years in my life, too.)

*Buy cosmonaut collectibles at eBay.

2 comments:

  1. Sputnik was a huge deal because it was deemed a threat to national security due to the progression of rockets. The fear was that if the Russians could get a rocket in space, they could also tie an H-bomb to it and wipe out our country in the bat of an eye. It wasn't a space race as much as an arms race and without it I doubt we would have visited (then never visited) the moon until decades later.

    So in part, I can agree on the President's analogy that we are getting left behind by countries like China and North Korea which could pose a threat given the recent attacks they have made via the internet, but that's what happens when you can't sacrifice millions of people or the environment to fuel a giant pissing match like they can. I don't think the solution is shoving billions of dollars into providing wireless internet so people can update their facebook pages and watch porn on Uncle Sam's dime.

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  2. But what does getting left behind mean? That we buy cars from China? The soviets wanted to dominate the world with a repressive regime. China just wants an improved future for its people.

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