Been reading Stephen Baxter, eh?
Is it just me, or has the past 12 years or so been straight out of a Stephen Baxter novel? A couple come to mind: Titan (obviously, but we won't get the last-chance Shuttle-to-Titan), Evolution, Coalescent (the story of the Fall of the Roman Empire through Regina's eyes is spooky).
I remember having the same feeling of dread when the Concorde was grounded, especially as the 'faults' everyone crowed about were only due to a slack-arsed yokel contractor doing a near-enough-is-good-enough job on a completely different plane, and the different airline did the 'lalalala it wasn't US it was our third-party contractors, your honour' dance.
If humanity couldn't be arsed to get something as downright simple as a conventional airliner working properly, let alone an SST (yes, looking at you A380, B787) there seems to be little hope for space.
Yes, religion & superstition are back. Hedonism is cool. Violence now seems to be everywhere - not the fault of video games / comics / the latest moral panic - but the fault of lack of education, ignorance and just plain arseholism. Oh, with a good bit of my god is better than yours biffo thrown in.
Playing Fallout 3 seems more and more like practice rather than entertainment; Stephen Baxter reads like a prophet rather than entertaining fiction.
I've been reading Iain Banks lately, so I was sort of hoping The Culture might drop by; my guess is that T.S. Eliot's 'bang / whimper' is going to be a long, drawn-out wail.
FAIL - because homo sapiens sapiens has become homo baka moroniens