Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology > Some Recent Examples of West Losing Touch with Physical Reality

Some Recent Examples of West Losing Touch with Physical Reality

It is no secret that the so-called ‘West’ is in the midst of a terminal death spiral and there is no shortage of evidence, especially over past two decades, to supports this assertion. We can go over tons of data-points and trends ranging from changes in fertility rates, technological stagnation combined with loss of existing abilities, rise of magical thinking and cults such as environmentalism, centralization of power into hands of incompetent professional managerial class, rapidly rising inequality and many more. While it is possible to keep trudging on in the presence of one or two of these adverse trends, facing them all at once is.. to put it lightly.. not survivable in the medium to loner term. I will now add the knowing and unknowing loss of touch with physical reality to this growing list of adverse trends.

To be fair, the ‘West’ (especially USA) is the not the first empire or culture to have exhibit this particular trend. Indeed, almost every single dying empire and civilization in recorded history has exhibited such behavior pattern. The noteworthy point about this pattern is that it occurs towards the very end of that empire or culture. In other words this is a marker of imminent demise or permanent loss of status. Here are a few examples of such behavior throughout history. Towards the end of the western roman empire, specifically the last 4-5 decades, it became unable to defend even its main cities against repeated sackings by groups who the empire had successfully kept at bay for centuries. While many “academics” pretend that the end was part of a longer trend, we know they are spouting bullshit because the eastern roman empire survived centuries after its western counterpart was distant memory.

But have you ever wondered what the “elites” in western Roman Empire were thinking when all this shit was going around them? Well.. a few saw what was coming and some others tried to change with the circumstances. However a majority of them only paid lip service to the idea of substantive change while believing that all of this would blow over and things would return to the previous status quo. They also came up increasingly elaborate explanations to convince themselves of the validity of their beliefs, even if those beliefs were clearly not congruent with objective reality around them. And they were far from the only dying empire which did so. In the early 20th century and WW1, the Ottoman Empire kept behaving as if everything that was going within their domain and in the course of WW1 was not occurring or as serious as it was.

The same is true for both the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Romanov Dynasty and their courtiers in Russia. In the first few years after WW2, Britain kept behaving as if it still was a global superpower in spite of losing all its major colonies until severe economic and military setbacks forced them to accept reality. It took getting defeated and kicked out of Algeria for France to finally accept that it was just another second-rate western military power. It took decades of defeats at hands of western power for China (century of humiliation) to finally accept that their previous system and status quo was no longer workable. And it gets worse.. a rather large percentage of Indians still haven’t accepted the reality about why they were repeatedly colonized and exploited by foreign empires and continue to labor under delusions that their myths and legends are completely factual. Crazy.. huh.

But what any of this have to with USA and the ‘West’? Well.. a couple of news items within past 2-3 days brought the issue of these countries losing touch with reality to the forefront.

The first one concerns development and recent approval of a vaccine against COVID-19. Yesterday many blue check mark dumbfucks on Twatter were busy claiming that USA was still innovative because it had developed and approved a vaccine against COVID-19 before any other country. Except that this not true. Both China and Russia have approved adenovirus-based vaccines against COVID-19 at least a couple of months ago. In fact the first Chinese vaccine has been already used to vaccinated more than a million people in multiple countries while the Russian vaccine has been used on over 200k people. I should also point out that the adenovirus-based vaccine is far closer to the kinds of vaccines we have some experience with in humans and animals. RNA-based vaccines, like those from Pfizer and Moderna, have never been previously approved for use in humans or animals.

In addition to that, they are deliberately doing slower and more deliberate rollouts to catch rare but severe side effects. Compare that to USA and ‘West’ who want to inject hundreds of millions with vaccines based on new technology for which we have no historical long-term safety data. It is also worth mentioning that China is also developing multiple protein-subunit based, whole-virus based and RNA vaccines and many of these are in Phase II or Phase III human trials as we speak. The way China has gone about developing vaccines shows a far better appreciation for issues such as not betting the farm on one new technology, concern for long-term safety and an appreciation of the logistics of production and deployment. And yet, the vast majority of “intellectuals” and “elites” in USA and ‘West’ are acting as if this reality does not exist. Mind you.. these are the same idiots who have no realistic long-term plan to control COIVID-19 spread in their own countries or just live with it.

The second recent example of western “intellectuals” and “elites” having lost touch with reality comes in the form of their response to the failed test flight of Elon Musk’s latest scam aka the “Starship” prototype. Not only is the name of that chemical-rocket powered launcher supremely delusional, but it also won’t have a significantly higher payload than Saturn V launcher from late-1960s. Yes.. you heard that right! The full-scale and developed version of that ‘Starshit’ will, even under the most optimistic conditions, not put more into low earth orbit than the upgraded Saturn V launchers NASA wanted to build in mid 1970s.. about 45 years ago. As some of you know, the most recent test of a small-scale prototype of that launcher ended in a spectacular explosion also known as a failure.

But this has not stopped many pressitutes, blue checks shitheads on Twatter and many self-anointed “experts” from claiming that a rocket flight which ended in a giant explosion was a great successes. To be clear, almost every aspect of that flight which these “experts” claimed to be a roaring success had been already demonstrated with Falcon 9- especially during some of its developmental flights. If you still believe that this is innovation, then I have a bridge to sell you. But what is especially troubling to me is that so many people who should have known better were going overboard pretending that the delusional emperor was wearing clothes. Given that Musk is not constantly paying these idiots to pretend that his failures are smashing successes, one has to consider the other option- namely, that they are willingly deluding themselves into seeing what they want to believe.

But why do they want to willingly believe in something which is not real. Could it be yet another sign that “elites” in West have lost touch with physical reality?

What do you think? Comments?

  1. nyolci
    December 15, 2020 at 3:06 am

    Hey DA, sure we don’t agree in quite a few things but you’re 100% correct in this. The two concrete examples are quite illustrating. Here at home (Hungary) people are speaking bs about our government (well, this government deserves contempt…) wants to poison us with the Russian vaccine, a run-of-the-mill adenovirus vaccine, while the mRNS vaccine from the “West” is really uncharted territory. The “Starshit” is a joke, perhaps the only claim for innovation would be the Raptor engine, this would even be questionable even if it was already finished. But not, the engines (and plumbing) started to disintegrate, that was the root cause of failure.

    • (((They))) Live
      December 16, 2020 at 8:16 am

      it was the lack of fuel and/or pressure in the header tank that caused the failure, the engines seem to work fine, should be easy to fix

  2. P Ray
    December 15, 2020 at 5:15 am

    The “losing touch with physical reality” is also apparent with CPUs.

    One of the reasons why Intel and AMD have switched back to solder TIM is because high clock speeds can no longer be maintained with viscous TIM.

    Add that to the reality that performance is only going up (and only for applications that support it) around 20% per generation at best … and it will take around 6 years for performance to double.

    Legacy applications that are single-threaded – and there are plenty still in use, in the medical, utility and industrial sectors – will see 0 performance improvement, along with the reality that you will require a contemporary version of Windows or Linux to even get the processor to run, as it will be disabled or crash-prone on earlier version (just a way to get people to change their operating system).

    It gets even funnier when you realise the new PCIe … allows allocation of fast graphic memory as storage … but at the same time those cards are rare and expensive … and unless you have a hookup, all those improvements mean nothing if you have 0 supply.

    At least I covered myself for everything from DOS to Windows 10, so I’m not worried. I pity the people just getting into computing now though. Their world is going to be one of endless payments and updates.

  3. One Deplorable DT
    December 15, 2020 at 5:56 am

    I have to disagree with the SpaceX example. The innovation is not in payload capacity. The innovation is in a reusable launch system whereby components can land tail first using their engines. Falcon 9 demonstrated this, but not with a vehicle that could be used to land men on the moon and Mars. Starship takes Falcon 9 tech to the next logical step.

    Test failures are common in aerospace engineering. Even spectacular, lost the test vehicle types of failures. If SpaceX loses a half dozen Starships in a row…there may be a real problem. If they fix whatever led to this and start successfully landing Starship…we have a moon and Mars vehicle which is much improved over the lunar lander. That’s innovation.

  4. Just A Programmer
    December 15, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Getting to Hyperloop and Boring Company, all this is such nonsense.

    You want trains? How about getting roadbeds back in shape so that Amtrak can go 100 MPH for the whole run. And getting host railroads to give passenger trains priority over freight.

    Also, 120 MPH is what most of the rest of the world just calls “a train”.

    • falconflight
      December 15, 2020 at 11:28 am

      The entire history of Amtrak is one of gov’t malfeasance; fraud, waste, and abuse of taxpayer money. That entity has never generated one red cent of profit…much like DC’s Metro. If private companies saw a potential profit, they would have devoted the necessary resources. Painful

      So why do similar organisations in Asian and European countries turn decent profits while also maintaining and expanding infrastructure.

      • Just A Programmer
        December 17, 2020 at 9:26 am

        The USA has consciously been built around the automobile and the airplane for the last century.

        No surprise that the alternatives are starving for money.

      • bonzo
        December 26, 2020 at 5:25 am

        No railroad anywhere runs a true profit, meaning enough to give a return on investment in building the railroad and vehicles. They may run an operating profit, meaning enough income to pay expenses after the railroad is built.

        The most efficient transit system would be based on toll roads everywhere, by charging high per mile fees to all vehicles. This would discourage single occupancy passenger cars while upping speed and occupancy of buses, especially minibuses. Also, a well designed system would fully compensate bus owners for wheelchair accommodations versus burdening then with uncompensated costs.

  5. NickSwift
    December 15, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    So, when do you think doomsday is going to arrive?

    I am putting my money on no later than 2050. I would reckon that there is still one more generation of subsistence, zombie muddling-through that is possible. Then, no more.

    I feel bad for the world. The poor, old thing is just going be lurching along until the wheel finally turns.

    Doomsday and irrelevance for whom? For the West, it be before 2050.

  6. (((They))) Live
    December 16, 2020 at 8:10 am

    This is foolish , you’re comparing an expendable rocket, the Saturn V, with a 100% reusable rocket, if the Starship and first stage were expendable it would beat the Saturn V payload easy, who knows we might see this happen at some point if NASA wanted a fast probe to the outer planets that might be one way to do it. BY the end of 2022 Space will probably have the ability to put 100 tons to LEO for less than $30 million a launch and without the need to build a new rocket they may be able to do it a few times per month, that makes a Moon base possible and people on Mars soon after that

    Despite the latest test not being 100% successful its pretty clear now that the plan for landing Starship is viable, we also know the Raptor engine is close to finished, they used one engine for close to 5 minutes and demonstrated throttling and relights

    If you want to mock companies in the launch business there are far better targets, ULA for example, or NASA and the SLS, how many billions have they spent so far ? or what about Blue Origin, they started before SpaceX and have yet to get payload to orbit despite the world richest man writing yuge checks year after year

    Hating Musk won’t stop SpaceX now

    The biggest cost (over 80%) of any spacecraft launch is the cost of payload and post launch support of payload. Even if SpaceX could launch spacecraft for free, the total cost per launch would be still 80-85% of the previous number.

    Also, the minimum weight of a manned return mission to Mars is over 300 tons- and we are not even going into effects of 9-10 months of microgravity on human body. Remember there will be nobody to help them when they land on that desert planet.

    • (((They))) Live
      December 16, 2020 at 11:19 am

      So now you’re moving the goal posts and talking about payload cost, why ?

      When SpaceX launch a spy satellite on a reused F9 first stage, does your 80% number still work ? does this even matter to SpaceX ?

      If a re-useable Starship with a small crew is the payload, how do you calculate the payload cost ?

      If the payload is Methane/Oxygen to refuel a Starship at LEO, what is the payload cost ?

      You can wonder about payload % cost if you want, but I don’t see how it will change the fact that the reusable F9 first stage makes SpaceX a profit, and Musk believes that a 100 % reusable system will also generate profit, in the end thats all that really matters, its strange to me now that people still doubt that reusable rockets are cheaper and faster

      A question, if Space X can put a Starship on the Moon for $500million, would NASA and others be willing to pay them for seats on the Starship, I think they would, (actually NASA are already paying) I also think SpaceX can get the cost lower than $500million

      • Jack Donovan
        December 17, 2020 at 3:17 pm

        oh hai, They Live,

        who says he reich can’t meme:

  7. anon2020
    December 16, 2020 at 10:23 am

    A test flght which isn’t a complete success is a complete failure? They validated flight control during freefall, cross range flight and landing accuracy. As far as I know no large staged combustion methalox engines have been built anywhere much less flown.

    Comparisons with Saturn is outrageous, the price-performance was shocking, the same was true of Shuttle. The falcon 9/heavy is already a very significant improvement over legacy systems. But in the short to mid term whether starship succeeds probably isn’t going to matter very much.

    What will matter and is probably a better example is nuclear technology which is basically moribund in the west. Advanced power reactors obviously but also research reactors vital for pure science as well as producing mundane medical and industrial isotopes.

    There’s probably no greater disconnect from physical reality in the public mind than energy.

    Well except for covid currently…

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