That mega mainframe you speak derisively of had transactional and security capabilities that these cloud idiots are still trying to re-invent, and using them didn't require stitching together code in 4 languages with 100 libraries that all suck and which some alleged genius will reinvent next week anyway.
One might argue that neither of the outcomes was all that great, with the former relying on a reliable-by-throwing-money-at-it serial machine and the latter being a hack. There's a lot of good CS that hasn't made it into practice yet since most software would have to get recoded to take advantage of it and that would make these things cleaner in cheaper distributed systems. But now you have two legacy systems instead of one...
The point was equally valid in 2010 when President Obama abruptly and without warning canceled the Constellation space exploration program.
"Without warning"? You mean that the Augustine commission was secret? Nobody saw it coming that a lousy program that had delivered too little by that time for too much money got scrapped?
This is now. Later is later.