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]

“I’ve long said that capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.”

A quote attributed to USAF Colonel Frank Borman, the oldest living astronaut, businessman, one of the first men to orbit the Moon. He sounds like a splendid chap. This ‘b’ word is of course, is anathema to many in the political elite, as RBS limps on after a decade of State support, and many of the forecasting errors of a decade ago remain unliquidated. As others have noted, just as when a tree falls the light let in through the canopy allows new blooms.

But coming back to our hero, he has recently given an interview on his impressions of his time as an astronaut. He seems to be have set a high bar to be impressed.

“When asked if it was ‘cool’ to fly around weightless, Colonel Borman replied: ‘No.’

He said it was interesting to watch ‘maybe for the first 30 seconds, then it became accepted.’

And Colonel Borman denied ever saying he thought a poet should have been on board.

He said: ‘No, I didn’t- if I did, I didn’t- the last thing I would have wanted on our crew was a poet.’

Mr Cassius Clay, you were not the Greatest. As for the Moon:

He described the Moon as ‘devastation’ and said it was: ‘Meteor craters, no color at all. Just different shades of gray.’

And Colonel Borman revealed he had no desire to step foot on the Moon, as Buzz Aldrin did seven months later.

He said: ‘I would have not accepted the risk involved to go pick up rocks. It doesn’t mean that much to me.’

‘Somebody else wanted to do it. Let them take my place. I love my family more than anything in the world.’

Well, perhaps NASA could ask him to compare the Moon with Detroit?

As he said, he loved his family.

‘The dearest things in life that were back on the Earth- my family, my wife, my parents.’

‘They were still alive then. That was, for me, the high point of the flight from an emotional standpoint.’

‘The dearest things in life that were back on the Earth- my family, my wife, my parents.’

‘They were still alive then. That was, for me, the high point of the flight from an emotional standpoint.’

And the mission itself?

Lovell was mesmerized by space and exploration, and wanted desperately to explore the moon. I was there because it was a battle in the Cold War.

‘I wanted to participate in this American adventure of beating the Soviets. But that’s the only thing that motivated me- beat the damn Russians.’

Would he run in 2020?

14 comments to “I’ve long said that capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.”

  • The Sage

    > Would he run in 2020?

    Don’t you mean 2024?

  • Mr Ed

    Sage, as well, and then the incumbent can run again in 2028.

  • Mr Ed, I think someone other than Trump will be running in 2020 only if several things that would rather depress us were to happen between now and then.

    That said,

    the last thing I would have wanted on our crew was a poet

    may well trigger the snowflakes even more than

    Lovell was mesmerized by space and exploration, and wanted desperately to explore the moon. I was there because it was a battle in the Cold War.

    (noting that that also slightly triggers me; 🙂 I approved the humiliation of the USSR, but I was keen enough on SF to like the moon landing for itself, and I agreed with C.S.Lewis that if governments were going to spend vast sums of their taxpayers’ money, the space race was as harmless a way for them to do so as could be imagined).

  • Historically it rather seems that bankruptcy laws are what prevent moneylending from turning ino slavery.

  • Mr Ed

    WHS

    Historically it rather seems that bankruptcy laws are what prevent moneylending from turning ino slavery.

    And turned borrowing into theft (or conversion) instead.

  • Darrell

    Back when we still achieved great things. 🙁

  • CaptDMO

    “Back when we still achieved great things.”
    Today, any “smart” phone zombie has access to the computational/communications capacity to BURY NASA at the time, several times over.
    The interface is portable by a six year old, and requires a fraction of ONE transformed 15 amp outlet (or maybe a solar panel) to sustain it.
    “Chatting”, with a bloke in (eg)GB, from the US, USED to involve two or three operators, hundreds of mechanical relays, and an ASTONISHING phone bill.
    Beats the hell out of knapped flint. (admittedly, damn impressive at the time I suspect.)
    .

  • In a climate where snowflakes want to transfer glory for moon exploration to the world community, it is a good reminder that Americans did it at great expense and risk to beat down Russian Communism and all the totalitarian agonies implied.

  • ns

    Niall K – part of the rationale behind the rocketry was gathering the knowledge for improved ICBMs. So it was not the most harmless of expenditures. OTOH, the moon landings convinced the leaders of the USSR that the US could achieve great things in a sustained effort, and so Reagan was able to put enormous economic pressure on them to match the SDI, and achieve a victory through economics and not bullets.

  • Slartibartfarst

    Some people (not me, you understand) might say that “USAF Colonel Frank Borman …sounds like a splendid chap”, whilst others might suggest that “His selection typifies NASA’s deep-rooted lack of diversity in the crew selection procedures that prevailed at the time and thank goodness it couldn’t happen today”, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

  • Paul Marks

    Very good post.

  • Paul Marks

    As for the 1960s boxer.

    Anyone who would change his name from “Cassius Clay” (a heroic fighter AGAINST slavery – who the slavers tried to murder many times) to name himself after a SLAVE TRADER who called black people “raisin heads” and claimed they looked like Satan, is a moral cretin.

    By the way – I do not know about his nephew Ali, but Muhammed himself was noted for being very pale, in a crowd of other people Muhammed could be picked out as the pale man (as pale as the palest man from the north). The sources would have no reason to say this unless it was true.

    The original Cassius Clay was named after the Roman Cassius who died trying to save the Republic – the 1960s boxer seems to have preferred the political opinions of Julius Caesar.

  • Mr Ed

    Well it now turns out that Mr Elon Musk, if he can keep ahead of his current legal and financial troubles, is planning to send his first fare-paying passenger around the Moon. Despite a desperate crowd-funding effort to get the FFC up there, the slated passenger is reportedly a Japanese billionaire, who appears to me to be in the happy position of having more money than sense, fine as long as it stays that way.

    Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has unveiled the first private passenger it plans to fly around the Moon.
    Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa, 42, announced: “I choose to go to the Moon.”
    The mission is planned for 2023, and would be the first lunar journey by humans since 1972.
    But it is reliant on a rocket that has not been built yet, and Mr Musk cautioned: “It’s not 100% certain we can bring this to flight.”

    Mr Maezawa will not land on the moon. He will travel on what is called a “free return trajectory”, which will bring his BFR ship back to Earth after it has gone around the far side of the satellite.

    And no poets, but some artists:

    Mr Maezawa made headlines last year after paying $110.5m (£85.4m) for a painting by the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat at an auction in New York.
    The art enthusiast said on Monday he would invite six to eight artists from around the world to join him on the trip.
    “They will be asked to create something after they return to Earth. These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us,” he told reporters.

  • Felipe Grey

    Bravo. +1million.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>