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Human capability peaked before 1975 and has since declined
Bruce Charlton's Miscellany ^ | June 22, 2010 | Bruce Charlton

Posted on 06/24/2010 2:37:38 PM PDT by xjcsa

I suspect that human capability reached its peak or plateau around 1965-75 – at the time of the Apollo moon landings – and has been declining ever since.

This may sound bizarre or just plain false, but the argument is simple. That landing of men on the moon and bringing them back alive was the supreme achievement of human capability, the most difficult problem ever solved by humans. 40 years ago we could do it – repeatedly – but since then we have *not* been to the moon, and I suggest the real reason we have not been to the moon since 1972 is that we cannot any longer do it. Humans have lost the capability.

(Excerpt) Read more at charltonteaching.blogspot.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: apollo; moon; progress; regression

1 posted on 06/24/2010 2:37:42 PM PDT by xjcsa
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To: xjcsa

Go to the moon? How on earth can we do that when we have to fight poverty and global warming?!?! There are environmental impact statements to be made.


2 posted on 06/24/2010 2:41:50 PM PDT by Weird Tolkienish Figure
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To: xjcsa

No, it’s the Alien Moon Base that’s kept us from going back:
http://www.consciousape.com/news/moonbase-are-there-aliens-on-the-moon/

LOL


3 posted on 06/24/2010 2:41:50 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Don't care if he was born in a manger on July 4th! A "Natural Born" citizen requires two US parents!)
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To: xjcsa

Well the proof is in the White House...


4 posted on 06/24/2010 2:42:40 PM PDT by 2aberro
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"Humans have lost the capability."

Bravo Sierra

5 posted on 06/24/2010 2:43:19 PM PDT by Cyber Ninja (Rebuke, Renounce, Repeal, Repeat,...)
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To: xjcsa

Peak human?


6 posted on 06/24/2010 2:45:18 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At the end of the day, with 0bama, we're on a slippery slope sending a message to an underachiever.)
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To: Weird Tolkienish Figure

Yep, we have to devote “resources” to “fight poverty”, “fight racism”, “fight gender bias”, allow “homosexual marriage”, promote “economic justice” and “social justice”. A moon landing and space exploration are trivial compared to the problems of the poor and downtrodden and “ghetto” conditions under which the poor and downtrodden are forced to live by a sinister exploitative system.................(sarcasm)


7 posted on 06/24/2010 2:45:18 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: xjcsa
And looking at the younger generation, I don't think it will stop declining in the near future. I blame it on our socialistic, union , commie loving teachers. ( and don't forget idiotic parents that vote for inexperienced Chicago street thugs, and teach their children the same)
8 posted on 06/24/2010 2:48:18 PM PDT by fish hawk (Hussein Obama: Golf/Gulf, not very good at either.)
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To: xjcsa

It’s not that we’ve lost capability...it’s that our politics have become more and more stupid as time has gone on. Our time, energy and intellect is spent [wasted] solving “problems” that don’t really exist as directed by the political forces seeking permanent establishment at the top of the heap.


9 posted on 06/24/2010 2:48:26 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: OnTheDress

“Bravo Sierra”

Nah... read the article. The premise is sensational, I suspect to draw attention to the piece, but the guy is right-on with his observation.


10 posted on 06/24/2010 2:48:34 PM PDT by Gordon Greene (www.fracturedrepublic.com - I have a theory about how Darwin evolved... more soon.)
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To: xjcsa
A bit hyperbolic in assuming that human capacity has reached its zenith.Re. the Moon Pgm. It was difficult, but well within the abilities of the scientists, engineers, and existing technology of the time

Why we haven't been back is multifold.One of course is politics and spending. A second is education.Having just retired after 38 years in the classroom I recall the many arguments I have had over curriculum and methods.I always reminded my colleagues that we went to the Moon, led by men whose early education was in a world of rote, screw down desks and inkwells.I illlustrated the point using the ApolloXIII scene where the engineers have to find a way to scrub the CO2. They're told two parts have to be connected and are given only the materials at hand in Aquarius.Modern education has not been able to develop people to match the critical thinking and problem solving skills shown by the NASA and Grumman enginners in Apollo XIII. That's why we seem to have stagnated intellectually. It's not nature. It's nurture.

11 posted on 06/24/2010 2:51:11 PM PDT by xkaydet65
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To: xjcsa

Ridiculous.

Since the Apollo landings on the moon we have launched many historic explorations into space that have proven our intelligence and progress in space exploration.

Right now, the Cassini mission is discovering amazing new and interesting things that we never even knew existed.

While zerobama’s budget cuts for further manned moon exploration are a huge dissapointment, it has no real bearing on what we are capable of.


12 posted on 06/24/2010 2:51:13 PM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
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To: xjcsa
Taken in itself, the idea that human beings have become less capable over the last 35 years is intriguing.

But the notion that we're less capable because we haven't colonized the moon is flimsy.

We only went there to begin with because of the Cold War space race.

We'll go back if we have to or if we think it's worthwhile.

13 posted on 06/24/2010 2:51:33 PM PDT by x
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To: xjcsa

I think he’s right and wrong but mostly wrong.


14 posted on 06/24/2010 2:54:16 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Hail To The Fail-In-Chief)
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To: xjcsa

Idiocracy was a documentary.


15 posted on 06/24/2010 2:55:57 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: xjcsa
I completely believe this.

However, it can be explained culturally, that is, the 3rd world tards who have been encouraged to come here, breed, and get teaching degrees would certainly have the same effect.

For example, there is no Mexican or Muslim invasion of China, and they are arguably getting "smarter" (what's actually happening is their application of capitalism has increased).


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

16 posted on 06/24/2010 2:56:16 PM PDT by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
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To: xjcsa
the real reason we have not been to the moon since 1972 is that we cannot any longer do it.

Tell you what, Pal.

If the government raises your taxes high enough that you pay for it, then you can go to the moon.

17 posted on 06/24/2010 2:57:19 PM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: xjcsa

It is from a generally very interesting site. I will spend some time there, I think.


18 posted on 06/24/2010 3:00:30 PM PDT by arthurus ("If you don't believe in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KEueJnsu80


19 posted on 06/24/2010 3:02:08 PM PDT by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: xjcsa

Not to say that humanity doesn’t have serious problems, but I think “been there, done that” is a more plausible explanation.

I’ve been to San Francisco twice, and have no desire to go there again. But I do still retain the capability.


20 posted on 06/24/2010 3:03:20 PM PDT by devere
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To: xjcsa

"What? You mean it's all downhill from here?"

21 posted on 06/24/2010 3:04:28 PM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: xjcsa

I am old enough to have witnessed the whole space program. When flights to the moon ended prematurely, I sensed that something was wrong. The infamous oil embargo further convinced me right then that I had witnessed America’s zenith. I remember the cultural revolution of the 1960’s and the spiritual/moral/educational decline since then. I lay the blame squarely on the Communists that have infiltrated our institutions and rotted our society from within. The spectacle is sickening. I am ready for another revolution which may never come.


22 posted on 06/24/2010 3:08:49 PM PDT by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: OnTheDress

Tell him that correlation does not equal causality. This is about cultural decay, not human capability.


23 posted on 06/24/2010 3:11:55 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I'm no longer so frightened. I'm simply disgusted, It feels better.)
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To: x

actually, I agree with this opinion mostly. It reminds me of Iron Man when that government employee was screaming at his scientists to build a suit like Iron Man’s “He built it with spare parts!!....IN A CAVE!”

We can only wonder how our grandparents generation did so much more than our own.


24 posted on 06/24/2010 3:13:08 PM PDT by MNDude
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To: xjcsa

25 posted on 06/24/2010 3:15:49 PM PDT by Dr.Deth
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To: xjcsa

The fastest production air-breathing aircraft is, to this day, the Blackbird family (A-12/SR-72/YF-12). Which was a late-1950s design retired in the 1990s. At the time the Blackbird was revealed to the public, either Ben Rich or Kelly Johnson (of Skunkworks fame) said that the next step would be Mach-8. We’re still not there for airbreathers ...


26 posted on 06/24/2010 3:16:42 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: xjcsa

Wonder this turdface ever saw a cellphone, or a laptop computer? Which, by the way I’ve heard is to be outmoded. Many inventions were devised on the drawing board, and had to await technology to enable them to actually be produced.


27 posted on 06/24/2010 3:16:53 PM PDT by Waco
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To: xjcsa
Human capability peaked before 1975 and has since declined

Certainly that's true for some of us.

28 posted on 06/24/2010 3:21:31 PM PDT by x
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To: devere

Well, you can say that, but I think people expected a plan of increasing our presence on the moon and doing all kinds of things. They said the public got “bored” with it - well, after you’ve watched a few grainy vids of dudes in white armor jumping around on a dead black and white surface, you’ve pretty much seen it all. What the public never understood was that apparently there was never a plan for what we were going to do when we got there. There was never a reason to go except to say we did. Same with the little house circling around 180 miles up. They’ve built it, now they don’t know what to do with it. The more I think about it, maybe that b-stard is RIGHT. Why pay for a manned space program when they don’t have a purpose, it’s just feel-good fun.


29 posted on 06/24/2010 3:27:37 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I'm no longer so frightened. I'm simply disgusted, It feels better.)
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To: TexasRepublic

You’re right. The joke is on us. The punchline is, one day the communists are going to laugh and say what you talking about capitalism? You’ve been communist for 50 years and you never even knew it.


30 posted on 06/24/2010 3:33:44 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I'm no longer so frightened. I'm simply disgusted, It feels better.)
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To: TexasRepublic

But the laugh is really on them because all they’ve done is prove (again) that communism doesn’t work.


31 posted on 06/24/2010 3:34:24 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I'm no longer so frightened. I'm simply disgusted, It feels better.)
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To: xjcsa
To go to the moon today would mean starting basically from scratch, with the advantage of greatly enhanced technology. The problem is not a decline in capability, but a loss of institutional memory--the same problem holds with nuclear arms--the guys who used to know how to do all this have retired, been fired, or died.

There also is a decided decline in program commitment. For all its stumbles, NASA was a dedicated team who worked night and day to get it right, down to the last nut and bolt-- with equipment that today would be considered downright primitive.

This decline began to be seen with the shuttle program, when the mandate to do it cheap began to pollute the commitment to zero defects. Challenger was the canary in the coal mine--many do not recall that the day before the launch, there was a stuck valve, and the technician fixed it by climbing up and hitting it with a pipe wrench. The media thought this was cool-- and marked the beginning of the end of the manned space program.

32 posted on 06/24/2010 3:39:11 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

Actually, it’s been downhill since the garden of Eden.


33 posted on 06/24/2010 3:44:52 PM PDT by Phillipian (Post Tenebras Lux)
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To: xjcsa

Who was it that said 90 percent of humanity don’t contribute anything to the world and are simply using up oxygen?


34 posted on 06/24/2010 3:46:15 PM PDT by GSWarrior (Be wary of all politicians..... especially ones that you admire.)
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To: xjcsa
Professor Charlton is making the same observation that millions of others have been making, increasingly, for the past couple of decades.

In academia, business, government, the markets, any industries, any sectors of the economy, any set of organizations for profit or not, and the vast majority within any representative samples will follow this rule:

The competency pyramid is completely upside down. The farther up the ladder of responsibility you look, the less qualified and less competent you will find the holders of those positions. Our whole civilization is being held together with baling wire and bubble gum, and mostly by people whose incentives to keep showing up are being diminished day by day.

35 posted on 06/24/2010 3:51:04 PM PDT by meadsjn (Sarah 2012, or sooner)
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To: xjcsa
Photobucket
36 posted on 06/24/2010 3:55:41 PM PDT by rfp1234
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To: xjcsa
I suspect that human capability reached its peak or plateau around 1965-75 – at the time of the Apollo moon landings

...and Chappaquiddick.

37 posted on 06/24/2010 3:57:01 PM PDT by rfp1234
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To: rfp1234

So it basically started declining once the Pittsburgh Steelers started winning Super Bowls.


38 posted on 06/24/2010 3:59:03 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

Yup, the decline can be traced exactly to the Super Bowl IX moment, when Fran Tarkenton assumed the fetal position on top of the ball in his own end zone.


39 posted on 06/24/2010 4:02:37 PM PDT by rfp1234
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To: xjcsa

I disagree, for the reason that America didn’t go to the Moon just once, but several times. We had learned so much with the existing technology that there was little else we could do there, and we had many other very potent science priorities that we wanted to attend to.

For example, we finally created and launched one of the greatest scientific instruments of all time, the Hubble telescope, only because we had moved from the Apollo Program to the Space Shuttle Program.

And what it achieved was far more important to science than the Moon landing. And it was not alone, but accompanied by the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. And soon to be launched James Webb Space Telescope.

And that ignores all the probes that have been launched, all at a fraction of the cost of a manned mission to anywhere. Probes to the outer planets, even out of the solar system. Probes landing on Venus and Mars.

In fact, for there to be another manned mission to the Moon or Mars, we first need to launch tunneling robots, so that our stay there won’t have to be a short one. If you’re going to spend four months going to Mars, and four months coming back from Mars, wouldn’t it be better to spend some months there, rather than just a few days?

And the way to do that is to have an underground “Mars Hilton” waiting for you. Even going to the Moon, underground accommodations take you out of the extremes of heat and cold, vacuum, cosmic and enhanced radiation, and they terribly abrasive Lunar dust.

And once robots are there, they are in no hurry. Powered by nuclear power, they can keep working like Energizer bunnies, until they wear out.


40 posted on 06/24/2010 4:46:14 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Two New Episodes of 'Futurama', this June 24th, on Comedy Central)
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To: Frenchtown Dan
Right now, the Cassini mission is discovering amazing new and interesting things that we never even knew existed.

Oh, back when we were smart, and had the technology...

One of the really cool things about Science is that it helps us accomplish heretofore unimagined tasks, and in the process, we discover even more stuff that needs to be explained, and then done- ever more affordably. Saturn-V rockets were way cool, but not cost effective. Prestige for its own sake can be extremely expensive, especially when there's a missile gap to be abated. Nostalgia is even worse; if our goals are behind us, then we have no future. It seems that the older I get, the less I know. Not because I'm getting feeble, or that humanity is getting dumber, it's because in absolute terms, the pool of new stuff to consider is expanding at a hyperbolic rate. Too much for my pea brain to process- even Wernher Von Braun would crack if he didn't specialize to a "T".

I've noticed that over the last decade or so the Universe appears finer and more elegant by the day. That ain't no accident.

41 posted on 06/24/2010 5:09:24 PM PDT by Seven plus One
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To: Gordon Greene
Nah... read the article.

Read the article? You've got to be kidding. No one on FR actually reads the article.

The same people who rail for hours about Congress not reading the bills they pass into law feel completely free to waste time and bandwidth pontificating about articles they're sure they understand after having read a one sentence excerpt.

Sigh.

42 posted on 06/24/2010 5:44:06 PM PDT by BfloGuy (It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect . . .)
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To: BfloGuy

“No one on FR actually reads the article.”

Right you are... I’ve caught myself doing the same thing then feeling like an idiot after catching up... it’s an easy trap to fall into since we’re conditioned to perk up on a soundbite, but it’s also what’s leading us down a very dark path.

If we conservatives don’t start reading past the headlines I’m afraid we’re all done for, in my humble opinion. Knowledge sometimes is actually power.


43 posted on 06/24/2010 6:05:32 PM PDT by Gordon Greene (www.fracturedrepublic.com - I have a theory about how Darwin evolved... more soon.)
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To: xjcsa
I'm not sure that I agree that we've lost the intelligence to achieve.

I do, however, agree that as a culture we no longer strive for exceptionalism, in fact competition is frowned upon.
We have a reduced sense of pride in a job well done and a reduced sense of shame when we don't meet our responsibilities.
We implement diversity for diversity's sake.
We fear lawsuits more than we desire success.

I don't see us making a comeback.

Wow. What a downer.

44 posted on 06/24/2010 6:50:54 PM PDT by Washi
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To: xjcsa

The left side of the bell curve is out breeding the right side, the only way things can go is down!


45 posted on 06/25/2010 2:40:09 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second AmenHe doesn't want us to win.dment, A Matter Of Fact, Not A Matter Of Opinion)
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To: Seven plus One

“I’ve noticed that over the last decade or so the Universe appears finer and more elegant by the day. That ain’t no accident.”

Certainly not, no accident.
The Universe is appearing more beautiful each day. Because we are seeing more of it now than ever before, thanks to Hubble, and a score of new telescopes that allow us to see some amazing sights, and thanks to the Internet because we can instantly share them.


46 posted on 06/25/2010 6:06:03 AM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
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