Once Upon a Time in 1969

Once Upon a Time in 1969
Ray Charles to the flower power
The countercultural in the '60s was the hippies. We landed on the moon in July of 1969. Woodstock started three weeks later, and with the benefit of hindsight, that’s when progress ended, and the hippies took over the country. Today the counterculture is to believe in science and technology.
- Peter Thiel

I recently watched Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and it hit me like a sack of non-existent flying cars that Tarantino's indictment of hippies was cut from the same cloth as Thiel's. Tarantino's film shows an alternate history where Charles Manson's hippie cronies are unsuccessful in their attempt to murder famous actress Sharon Tate and her friends. The actual murders took place three days before Woodstock. Instead, Brad Pitt's (while on acid) and Leo DiCaprio's characters, along with Pitt's literal pit bull, take the hippies out, even torching one of them with a flame flower I mean thrower. It is absolutely incredible.

The hippie movement, summer of love, and Woodstock weigh far too heavy in American consciousness as a "beautiful time" compared to man landing on the moon. Listen, being open, enjoying music, spreading love, sexual freedom, doing drugs to increase consciousness- these are all fine things and in moderation I support them. The problem is when we hold these ideals to a higher standard than the things that actually create them, that's when society crumbles. Because society doesn't spread love or increase consciousness by just talking about it. Society advances in direct proportion to our ability to do big things and innovate. The most effective way to spread love and prevent war is to make sure every human on earth has as much opportunity as possible. This means we all have plenty to eat, plenty of career opportunities, can provide and be provided for by our families, etc. And the only way to ensure this is technological progess. Which lowers the cost of energy, food, transportation, healthcare, education, compute, everything. Yes, solid government policy is important, but the only way to a more prosperous future is to invent and create and build.

I'll leave you with a quote from Ayn Rand on the Apollo 11 mission that took man to the moon. Her whole essay on the topic is worth reading in full.

“The next four days were a period torn out of the world’s usual context, like a breathing spell with a sweep of clean air piercing mankind’s lethargic suffocation. For thirty years or longer, the newspapers had featured nothing but disasters, catastrophes, betrayals, the shrinking stature of men, the sordid mess of a collapsing civilisation; their voice had become a long, sustained whine, the megaphone of failure, like the sound of an oriental bazaar where leprous beggars, of spirit or matter, compete for attention by displaying their sores. Now, for once, the newspapers were announcing a human achievement, were reporting on a human triumph, were reminding us that man still exists and functions as a man.”
-Ayn Rand

See you at Woodstock Mars in 2069.