Some Kind of Wonderful 

Jim Woods

Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker, financial journalist, and money manager.

Today, I watched something wonderful.

That something was the second space flight of Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ company that is dedicated to making space travel a commercial venture for individual citizens, not just professional astronauts.

One citizen of note on this flight was a man who’s acutely associated with space, and he is Captain Kirk himself, “Star Trek” actor William Shatner.

The crew: Chris Boshuizen, Glen de Vries, Audrey Powers and William Shatner. Photo courtesy of Blue Origin.

Shatner is an extremely engaging man. I found that out firsthand a few years ago, as he was one of the keynote speakers at the FreedomFest conference, the annual celebration of free minds and free markets that I implore you all to attend. It is by far the best week of every year.

I recall Shatner speaking passionately to me about horsemanship, as we share a common love of knowing how to direct our steeds to behave in precisely the way we want by using just the right amount of subtle rider persuasion. Learning this difficult skill takes time, effort and passion, and it was nice to find that we shared this equine love.

Based on my past engagement with Shatner, it came as no real surprise to me that he was brilliant and engrossing immediately after exiting the Blue Origin capsule upon its return to Earth. Here’s what he told Jeff Bezos after the two exchanged an emotional embrace:

“What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I hope I never recover from this.”

I don’t know about you, but I want to feel that wonderful, too.

And as Shatner added, “Everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see it.”

I agree. And, when the time comes that I get the opportunity to take a Blue Origin flight, you had better believe I am going to suit up and be first in line for the ride.

Now, the emotional power of Shatner’s words really stuck with me, and the reason why is because everything about this event is what makes humankind so great. 

First and foremost, the launching of a manned rocket into space, and then the safe return of both the rocket booster and the capsule containing the crew is the quintessence of reason in action. 

Think about the time, mental calculations, capital, knowledge, scientific discoveries, human ingenuity, courage and grit it takes to accomplish such a feat. To achieve this task is a validation of man’s ability to command nature, reorder and reorganize its constituent parts, then recreate reality based on his values. 

In this case, it is the value of democratizing space flight. It’s also the value of laying the groundwork for offering space flight — and making it a profitable venture in the long term.

In my mind, this is a concretization of all that’s right with humanity. And given that most of the mainstream news is an orgy of negativity, anti-human values on display, anti-man attitudes in society and anti-capitalist bromides, it is something truly wonderful to witness man’s mind triumphing the way it did via Blue Origin.

If you are the type of person who laments the current state of society, as I am, for much of its obvious absurdity, today’s Blue Origin flight should serve as a glowing tribute to what’s possible when mankind is at its collective best.

So, to Jeff Bezos and Captain Kirk, thank you for showing us some kind of wonderful.

Thank you for demonstrating man at his best, the man of the mind, the man of reason, and of reality, of science and of achievement.

I raise my glass in a toast to this “kind of wonderful.”


On Receding Horizons 

“The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons.”

— Edwin Hubble

The brilliant astronomer was the first to prove that many objects previously thought to be clouds of dust and gas and classified as “nebulae” were actually galaxies beyond the Milky Way. This insight expanded the fields of extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology. More importantly, it expanded human minds to the thought that the universe is much grander than we previously thought. And since his namesake telescope was launched, that insight has proven to be even grander. Man, do I love science!

Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote that you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.

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