Tuesday, November 11, 2008

RE: [cet86] Lunar mission, what it means..

> We managed the difficult Lunar Orbit Insertion  (LOI) successfully on Nov 8 th,
> the first time on our maiden mission. The US did it only after 6 failures and the
> USSR failed 13 times .. Also we managed the moon mission at one fourth the
> cost of other comparable missions.. Does that testify something related to our
> technological prowess, ie. our cost competency and technological superiority ?? 

It may.  But there could also be other explanations.  We are a country that is coming
out of and growing from financial problems since Independence and hence tend to try
and optimise and streamline our projects and spending.  Once we get bigger, we will begin
to imagine (just like the US started imagining a couple of decades ago) that we can afford
not to be lean and mean in all aspects of development and manufacture (the state the US
is in currently).  Also, we currently have a labour force that is still inexpensive in terms of
dollars and we have a larger pool of resources to fall back on.  So, we may have many,
many good people competing  for a small pie and hence can afford to pick and choose
the best from that pool.  The current developed nations had to make do with what they
could get.  I am not saying they didn't get some brilliant brains from outside their own borders,
but the selection list was still small.  Part of the reason was because of restrictions on who they
could hire on sensitive projects like these.

I agree with you that India and China should work together rather than against each other for
the greater good of humanity.  We should actually learn from our failures with Pakistan and
Bangladesh, where we let the Brits divide us on issues that meant nothing to the greater
society.  If we had spent less of our energies going at each other's throats and worked
together, things may have been different.

Also, I don't necessarily hold your views that we'll be the good cop of the world, because
power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  The same goes for wealth and
affluence.   All one needs do to see this in action is to watch youngsters from nouveau riche
families that grow up in India today.  That is simply human nature.  Human beings tend to be
considerate and look out for each other when they are weak and poor.

Once people don't have to worry about where their next meal comes from, and lose that sense of
insecurity that comes with not having money or power, they change.  When people get to that
point it is a free for all.  Just look at who the greatest opponents of progressive taxation are to
see this.  Usually it is the wealthy who oppose progressive taxation (of course, as with all things
there are exceptions to this generalisation - Bill Gates and Warren Buffet appear to be, at least in
public), because they stand to give back the greatest share of their wealth to the government
while the common man is all in favour of it, because he gains the greatest benefit from progressive

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