July 20, 2019 - CHAPTER 2 - A 2019 Interpretation of the Apollo Moon Landing
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Author:  KindaSkolarly [ Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:58 pm ]
Post subject:  July 20, 2019 - CHAPTER 2 - A 2019 Interpretation of the Apollo Moon Landing

This chapter consists of two subheaded parts:
* THE PATH TO 2019 - An excerpt from the inaugural speech delivered by the President of the United States in January 1993
* LOOKING BACKWARD - A historian of 2019 interprets the first Moon landing

The chapter opens with another leap forward in time, from the book's publication date of 1986 to an imaginary inaugural speech delivered in 1993. The president says that by July 20, 2019 we will have a space station in orbit, a permanent lunar base, and men on Mars.

The look backward from 2019 chronicles the high points of the Apollo program, and Clarke wonders why we lost the will to continue with manned space exploration. The chapter is full of cultural references--from Carnaby Street of the 1960s to Mary Jo Kopechne's death at Chappaquiddick--and he refers several times to the Woodstock music festival, which took place just three weeks after the moon landing. He says that both the moon landing and the festival affirmed the peaceful nature of people and acted to unify a divided nation.

Clark points out that every forty years or so the US undergoes a crisis of values. In the 1920s the mass-produced automobile and urbanization led to enormous social change, then in the 1960s the hippie revolution protested war and materialism. And then came the War for Humanity, which began in 2005. In this "antitechnological anticomputer" revolution, millions of youths ("the greenies") rejected the pervasiveness of computers and took to the streets to protest the corporate values that were blighting mankind. Yeah, right. Lemme look that up on my iPad.

Clarke closes the chapter by harkening back to the imaginary inaugural speech at the beginning. He says we need research scientists and thousands of settlers on the moon.

*I learned about the Soviets' Luna 15 mission in this chapter. The spacecraft crashed into the moon while the astronauts were there. ... ed-to.html
*I have to wonder what today's Social Justice Warriors would make of this book. Clarke is going to use terms like "manned mission" throughout, and nowadays people who speak like that are losing their jobs. ... fnt&ia=web
*Another SJW issue with the book would be Clarke's use of people like Columbus and Lewis & Clark as positive role models. ... fnt&ia=web

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