Wednesday, March 12, 2014

National Wormhole Week

National Wormhole week has kicked off in blogland for 2014. Wormfest is co-hosted by Stephen, Alex and Diane. So shall we begin? The rules are two-fold but fun to follow. Name one thing where science advances mankind, and one where the same technology with unforeseen consequences will go too far and set mankind back.

I've selected Ronald Reagans "Star Wars Defense" which was originally called the Strategic Defence Initiative. The President proposed the Star Wars' initiative in 1983 because I think he wanted Americans to feel safe. The plan was to defend America and the rest of the world against 'the Extraterrestrial Threat' with outerspace interceptors.


The downside to Star Wars defense is it took countless nations by complete surprise. Folks were stunned. Its 'Risky and Unscientific' idealism made several headlines in Time magazine sizing it up alongside George Lucas' fantasy Star Wars. Of course today the whole thing sounds like science fiction but not at the time. The Star Wars thing really was a wakeup call despite being a huge financial flop.

President Reagans Defense Strategy of 'outerspace interceptors' cost America billions and spooked our Russian Friends but we were lucky. Star Wars Defence cracked the ice in the Cold War. President Gorbachev met with Ronald Reagan for several talks which led to peace.






Do you think Science Fiction saved the day? or was Reagans' Star Wars Defence a brilliant prelude for peace?

Glastnost Long and Prosper, trekkers!


10 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It led to peace - good point! I do remember when it was announced. The name alone garnered a lot of support.
Thanks for participating in the blogfest.

planetpailly said...

Great pick. I remember reading about a Soviet scientist who was asked to figure out if Reagan's Star Wars program was feasible. He told his superiors that he wasn't sure, but if the US did build such a system there would be no way for the USSR to counteract it. Supposedly this led to the Soviet Union engaging in more peace talks with the US.

Was that Reagan's intention? I don't know. But it clearly worked out in the end.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Spacer Guy .. I was living in South Africa at the time - so didn't see any reportage about the program, other than probably the name .. your post is interesting and if it led to more peace then so be it ..

Cheers Hilary

Tony Laplume said...

Perhaps it was all a brilliant political ruse. Reagan finally calls the USSR's bluff. But without the bomb. Maybe that was all that was necessary. And he did it with Star Wars!

In the future, when in doubt invoke Star Wars. It'll amuse your friends and befuddle your enemies! And both sides will be wondering if you're brave enough to mention Jar Jar!

Maurice Mitchell said...

There's a long-lasting legacy for this plan, so I'd say it's a success Spacerguy!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Maybe that was his intention all along?

Anthony Caplan said...

Reagan was loopy enough to believe it. I remember at the time how many doubted it would ever work, But it did work, you're absolutely right. It spooked the Soviets.

garrisonjames said...

Excellent choice! Reagan was outrageously ballsy and we're all lucky he managed to see this out to a positive outcome...it could have gone bad so very many ways. People don't always remember that this happened before he started to really suffer from his health issues. These were scary days; much like the Cuban Missile Crisis extended over multiple years. In the end, it was indeed SciFi that saved the day, as we've learned since, that it would have been next to impossible to make the SDI scheme really work, as written and presented, but it worked perfectly as intended. In hindsight we can call it brilliant, for having succeeded, but it remains one reckless gamble that might well have launched WWIII...

JPlovesCOTTON said...

Was trying to get a jump on the A to Z challenge! Love the sci-fi & fantasy pieces of it. Look forward to seeing how you do the A to Z. Mine will be celebrating my current hometown of St. Louis.... you'll be able to catch it at http://janiceperson.com if you are interested.

Toinette Thomas said...

Hope I'm better late than never here...
Throwing in a bit of politics and foreign policy, tricky but cool.
It all worked out in the end, but I think Reagan was sweating the whole time.
Good post.

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