On Friday October 4, scientists of the USSR opened a new era in the history of the world. Close to midnight, from a rocket launcher north of the Caspian Sea, they fired a three-stage rocket which ejected an instrumented globe named Sputnik into space above the earth's atmosphere. It weighed 184 pounds, was 23 inches in diameter, and had four extendible radio transmitting antennas, through which signals have been coming continually. This of course is a magnificent, epoch-making achievement. The Soviet people and all human beings everywhere can take great pride in it. Certainly it is on a par with the Italian sailor Columbus's discovery of America.I'm not entirely surprised by this approach; as a shortwave listener and reader of electronics mags, I knew at the time that the world of science was more united and less warlike than the world of politics. Berkeley knows the difference between systems from personal experience:
The scientists who launched the rocket had enough resources to make very certain that it would be launched in exactly the way they desired. They oriented the whole third stage rocket to the position, direction, and velocity that they desired, and then separated the parts of it. There was evidently no stinting in the supply of all that was needed - and this time for a basically scientific achievement and not a military one. I am reminded of something I was told on a short visit in Russia in 1934, about planning in a socialist society: a man might need a great ship to accomplish something worth while, but he would never need 50 pairs of shoes or a house with 50 rooms.On the fucking dot.
It seems apparent from various accounts that the rocket energy, productive capacity, and skills at the command of the Russians are almost certainly greater than what is at the command of Americans. In the first place, the space satellite planned to be launched by the United States is only about 10 inches in diameter and is to weigh about 30 pounds. Compare this with the 23-inch diameter Sputnik weighing 184 pounds. In addition, the Russians have stated that they have successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. At least some American authorities say they believe this statement. The Russians have added that they can place such a missile on any spot on the earth. Almost all of us in the United States have no access to information which enables us to judge whether this statement is likely to be true or not. In comparison, however, the Americans have only partially tested an intermediate range ballistic missile, and there have been a number of tests that failed. These facts imply however that the Russians have essentially escaped from the confinement of the ring of American bases surrounding the Soviet Union.Sound familiar? In this case the FACTS are familiar, but our propaganda, then and now, was the exact opposite of the FACTS. Berkeley stated the FACTS correctly. We were ready to attack Russia from all angles, and Russia broke our ring. Putin did the same thing two years ago with his hypersonic missiles. We are always trying to invade and destroy Russia, and Russia is always trying to break out of our ring and survive.
Why has a Russian moon happened? There are several reasons of great importance, which do not require the elaborate reasoning of automatic computers and data processing to demonstrate them. First, the Soviet Union has been putting forth a massive effort in good, sound education, especially education in science and technical fields. It is currently graduating something like twice as many scientists and technicians as the United States. And there is good evidence that they are educated much better.ON THE FUCKING DOT A TRILLION TIMES. As I've hammered a hundred times, we responded to this FACT by making our education even worse than before.
Fourth, professors, scientists, and intellectually able people are highly regarded in the Soviet Union as they are in most of Europe. In the Soviet Union they are well rewarded for good work, with a very high standard of living. They are not ridiculed in a stereotyped way as highbrows, eggheads, queers, and eccentrics. It is not considered that their careers should be secondary to those of good mixers, star football players, and organization men. It is no doubt true that they may be looked on with suspicion and investigated as likely to be subversive, in the Soviet Union as well as in the United States. Exceedingly few Soviet scientists are permitted to travel outside of the Soviet Union into the Western world; we are sure that they have less freedom than Western scientists. But this fact does not seem to affect very much the quality and quantity of scientific work being done.Note the remarkably even-handed objectivity about "freedom". Freedom to work means having the resources and training to do good work. Russia valued freedom to work in all fields, not just science. SKILL was valued and cultivated and appreciated in every possible way. At the end of the article Berkeley converges to standard Cold War alarmism, probably in an attempt to keep his credentials. The facts are easier to digest when coated by normal branding. = = = = = Here's a repeat of my usual Sputnik anniversary scene, this time placed in Brahe's Star Castle.
The current icon shows Polistra using a Personal Equation Machine.