[FPSPACE] Here's a question

Peter Pesavento pjp961 at svol.net
Fri Nov 14 19:23:11 EST 2014


Zeger,

You're complaining that politicians/policy makers can't foresee the future.
As far as I can tell, no human being can.  (However, if one is a sci-fi
writer, they sometimes can make a surprisingly interesting go at it--but it
usually deals with technology trends where they "get in the right stadium,"
and not political trends, if my memory serves.) 

Try as one might, future prognostication is always an amorphous
endeavor--amorphous in attempting to figure out what methods, funds, and
materiel to apply to questions tha tmatter to policy makers, and amorphous
in attempting to figure out what will happen on a given topic dealing with a
given country or region, and putting all of that in a document that is
responsive to policy makers' requests.

Usually in American intelligence estimates (they are called that because the
document is indeed "estimating"), they go out about five years, and perhaps
at times, ten years.  But usually only five (or even, sometimes less time).
Sometimes the estimates will attempt to predict out 15, or 20, or even 25
years on something.  But those types of estimates are not as commonly
generated as the five-year ones.  Or the two-year ones (and currently, I
think there are even one-year ones, that might deal with Middle Eastern
trends, etc.).  It all depends upon what the President (and his associated
fellows) wants in regards to a particular topic.  

Then you have to bring in "confidence level"--a qualitative judgement call
on whether the writers/contributors think what is being presented in the
intelligence estimate is decently accurate, or "leaning sideways"--like the
Tower of Pisa.

It all depends.  And the accuracy all depends.

But complaining that the Americans not being able to foresee/foretell the
future....oh please.

And currently, the Russians remain willing to transport US astronauts to the
ISS and back again (money talks, Rogozin's BS walks).  So really, at this
moment in time, things are still proceeding forward.

-----Original Message-----
From: FPSPACE [mailto:fpspace-bounces at www.friends-partners.org] On Behalf Of
Zeger Nuyens
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2014 6:55 PM
To: fpspace at friends-partners.org; clj at panix.com
Subject: [FPSPACE] Here's a question

Chris Jones wrote:

> Two things: the US didn't "pretend" to do so, it did, and is planning to
> do so again.
>
> And, what about Hermes?  If that doesn't qualify as the ESA pretendinit
would fly people into space, what was it?

Talking about Belgium (not EU or ESA) we are too small a country to have 
that kind of capacity.
Now talking about the US,isn't it the country that abandoned a means of 
transportation to the ISS  back in 2003 and went all out to get a new 
and better one to be ready when the shuttle was (finally) phased out in 
2010 (well you got a few extra years)? But even 12 years was not enough 
it seems.
Getting rid of one system before having another one ready,well...
Depending on other people's rockets to get your people up there is not 
an example of sound judgment especially when political situations change 
over time.
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