David SimsEssays

The Overview Effect

by David Sims

AN ASTRONAUT looks down at the Earth and thinks: “How small our blue planet is when seen from here. How small the differences between different peoples and races must be too. Why can’t we all just live in peace?” That’s the Overview Effect.

To some extent, the Overview Effect might be a recognition of racial commonality that manifests as distance puts cultural differences into the background. But that probably only goes so far. A German and a Russian and an American, if all of them are White, can ride a rocket together and forget, for a while, their cultural differences.

But when the Overview Effect is carried across racial lines, it is probably nothing more than unrealistic wishful thinking or virtue signaling. The “We Are One” attitude that marijuana smokers get might be more of an honest, if less sober, attitude than what some astronauts claim to experience.

I am aware that there have been non-White astronauts. But the phenomenon of spaceflight was brought into existence by Whites. No non-White person has ever been to space, unless Whites put him there. Whites could do the same thing for a dog or a monkey.

And, of course, except for a few Chinese astronauts. The Chinese have copied our success; they have not, as yet, caught up. They’re still in the Gemini/Spacelab era.

As for Africa, I suggest that you research the exploits of Chris Nsamba, in order to acquire a sense of where they really are in terms of spaceflight prowess. Mr. Nsamba is a Ugandan hoaxer who built a small wooden glider in the back yard of his mother’s house, with the help of other men in his neighborhood. He painted it pretty colors. He claims that he will fly it to the Moon just as soon as the jet engine that he ordered from Amazon arrives in the mail.

Chris Nsamba also tried to convince the world that he has launched a space probe named Cadimella into low Earth orbit, where it sampled “space dust” and searched for near-Earth asteroids. In fact, Cadimella is a rice-cooker with strips of flexible solar panel (enough to provide 5 to 10 watts of power, assuming that it is real solar panel) glued to the top. Supposedly, it also carried “anti-time missiles” (whatever they are) to defend itself if another country tried to shoot it down.

The truth? Cadimella went up on a helium filled weather balloon, which predictably burst at about 30 km altitude, after which it fell back down to the ground. No rockets were involved. It didn’t go into space at all. At least, not by our definition of “space,” which begins at about 100 kilometers altitude, above the atmosphere. To many Africans, the concept of outer space applies to anything above the tree-tops, starting at about 100 meters altitude.

There are children in America and in the UK who have done what Chris Nsamba did. Western men have chilled their beer by sending it into the stratosphere, then recovering it and drinking it after it came back down on a parachute.

Now, certain African countries, such as Nigeria, do own satellites in Earth orbit. But the Africans neither manufactured them, nor launched them, themselves. Instead, they paid for others to do what they cannot do. Typically, a satellite owned by an African country will be made in the UK or in China, and it will be launched either on a Russian Dnepr rocket, or on a Chinese Long March 3 rocket.

It is one thing to observe that Africans have been sent into space. Saying that would be true. It is another thing entirely to claim that Africans have the competence to carry out spaceflight. Saying that would be false.

The Overview Effect is probably a delusion brought about by a combination of wishful thinking and a loss of detail perception. Astronauts probably want to believe that all people are brothers and sisters who could get along if only… if only… well, I’m sure that we can fill in the details some other time.

The astronauts have come to a place where the thugs, the hoodlums, the adulterers, the thieves, the child pornographers, the usurers, the lawyers, other unsavory folks, and the sensationalist-alarmist newspaper headlines, have been left behind. They fantasize that all the world can be remade to be like their special, exclusive enclave. It’s a seductive thought. But it is a fictional way of thinking.

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Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
8 February, 2018 3:29 pm

“Why can’t we all just get along?” Definitely
heard that somewhere before.