I am still working on the Guide to Anonymous and Evidenceless Internet and The Feynman Constant. One of my wife’s parents is in from out of town and as you can imagine what little free time I had is being largely consumed with the necessities of maintaining the image of the perfect son-in-law. Fortunately the early risers are now napping, and I have a few minutes.
President Obama’s speech yesterday disappointed me, as it likely disappointed many of you. It was remarkably unremarkable. He said what you would expect someone in his position to say, and no more. And while I agree with what he said, in the need for the sea change that will make space a destination driven by commercial forces rather than governmental ones, I think we all hoped President Obama would challenge us as President Kennedy once had, to “choose… in this decade… [to go to Mars and do the other] things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our [global] energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win…” President Obama had that opportunity, and it looked like he was going to take it; but, he didn’t. While it does not constitute sufficient evidence as yet, the heightened interest being shown in my services in the week leading up to the President’s speech has fallen off markedly. I’ve not received a single contact today or yesterday, compared with the daily calls I had been getting. I cannot but pause and wonder if something changed. Perhaps Obama had another Kennedy-esque speech he planned to deliver, along the lines I originally suggested, but he found it necessary to abort it at the last minute. And if so, what could have altered that course, what could have muted those loftier ambitions?
A more conspiracy minded person than I might believe the answer is found in the Great Midwest Light Show of the night before his speech. They might compare that event to the very different but similarly impressive lights above Norway before Obama’s Nobel Prize speech. They might suggest the fireball seen by hundreds of thousands was a message meant for the President, a repeated reminder to him that others wield great and unopposable power, that others did not agree with his more ambitious plan for space, and for the disclosures which may come from such a program.
It’s a pity I’m not more conspiratorially minded.