We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“The moon shot has long been a favorite trope of politicians plugging for new government programs, right up there with the Marshall Plan. It was a wondrous achievement, but it presented a relatively discrete engineering problem. If only reforming education, a complex task involving the crooked timber of humanity here on earth, were as straightforward.”

Rich Lowry, giving his less than joyous take on the State of the Union address by The One.

5 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • RRS

    In politics of redistribution, empty pockets reveal the “empty suits.”

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    More to the point, the moon shot did not give rise to a self-sustaining programme of space exploration.

    As I’ve observed before on this website, Project Apollo was a brilliant success on its own terms, but, ultimately, it was a hugely expensive technological dead end. It’s now been forty years since anyone visited the Moon, and it’s likely to be a while before anyone goes back. Quite possibly, we’ll get back to the situation where no person alive has been there, which is tragic.

    Really, it’s not a good example to cite.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Schrodinger – even if one favours a government space program, NASA was a diversion from USAF X plane effort (and the X plane effort would have been the better road to take).

    At least we have not had the “nonstick fyring pans” stuff yet. Which even if true is refuted by Bastiat’s “the seen and the unseen” – opportunity cost (the resources the government takes to do X would have been better left to do Y).

    As for Comrade Barack Obama:

    I see so after a TRILLION Dollars spent on “public investment” including “education” and “green jobs and green energy” he now comes back for more.



    No doubt the stick insect would just say “the stock market is doing well – so spending money must be the solution to all problems”.

    As for “education”:

    South Korea (Comrade Barack’s example) spends LESS on government schools than the United States does.

    Also the ROK schools are NONUNION – how does Barack feel about that?

    And how does his long term Comrade Bill Ayers (the writers of the “social justice” education texts for teacher training) feel about it?

    Indeed I wonder what would happen to Bill Ayers and Barack Obama if they have been “Community Organizers” in the Republic of Korea.

    Methinks it would have involed a length of rope and a long drop.

  • Jacob

    “Project Apollo was a brilliant success on its own terms, but, ultimately, it was a hugely expensive technological dead end.”

    Dead end. Yes. Not only technological.
    It was the ultimate white elephant.
    That’s what government excells at: useless projects.

    The Manhattan Project is also frequently invoked in the context of green energy. These technically illiterate intelectuals (like Tom Friedman) think that anything can be done if you only apply enough force and money – government force and our robbed money.

  • From my position of ignorance, I see the space programme as a basic arms race.