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Thread: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

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    re: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    It isn't a strawman at all you said: "How will knowing that "Nasa is effective" benefit me or really anyone for that matter? How will "rock samples" from Mars benefit me or anybody? How will knowing whether Mars does or has ever sustained life benefit me or anybody?" and so I think it was a reasonable question to ask whether or not all programs had to show a causal benefit to yourself before passing your personal muster.
    Perhaps you should read the entire conversation to gain a sense of context instead of jumping in halfway and making assumptions?

    goldsmith declared that the trip to mars was not simply an exercise in intellectual curiosity and that it had positive externalities. I challenged him for examples of externalities I could expect to enjoy from this trip. He responded with the aforementioned list. And I proceeded to ask for clarification as to how each of the items benefitted me (or anybody), because it was not, and still is not, readily apparent.

    This is where you jump in with your big fat wrong assumption.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    Various posters have expounded significantly on the potential benefits derived from a Mars mission like this, as well as the potential benefits from expanding manned operations significantly. This has included listing past benefits both in the scientific, technological, and arguably educational realms, as well as positing future benefits along those lines.
    Yes, and as I have pointed out most of these purported benefits are insignificant or dubious at best.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    You are either discounting those, or only counting ones which will have an immediate and causal relationship to any benefit that can be delivered to you or the public.
    Yes, I consider a certain degree of causal link to public benefit as a defining criteria of positive externalities.

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    re: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    It cost less than $380 million a year over an 8 year period to build that probe. What on earth is that money taking away from?
    You can't think of anything worthwhile to spend $380 million dollars on? Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    This is also the worst kind of mentality I think we face as a civilization. Our future and our potential lies in space.
    What could possibly make you think that our future lies in space? We're a fragile species, evolved to survive only in an extremely narrow band of precise conditions (temperature, gravitational forces, radiation levels, suspended in an oxygen-rich gas, with a continuous supply of edible organic matter, to name some of the obvious). 99.9% of space is nothing like this. Space is extremely hostile to humans. We exist in a tiny oasis amidst a ocean of poison.

    The only hope we have is to find other golddilocks oases that just happen to have all the right conditions and quickly leap frog from bubble to bubble. Unfortunately, even if we are to ever discover such an oasis, einstein pretty much put the kabosh on that idea.

    Look, I would love to zip around from galaxy to galaxy Milennium Falcon-style, partying with ewoks on Endor and playing beach volleyball with some of Jabba's bikini-clad hunnies on Tatooine. But, unforunately, it's not going to happen. There are insurmountable physical limitations in the way.

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    re: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

    Quote Originally Posted by solletica View Post
    The lack of aliens zipping around that are within the radar sights of humans is not evidence that precludes the possibility of FTL travel, for 2 reasons.

    1) Based on current physics, anything that travels faster than light does not have a real number mass, i. e. it cannot exist under the current notion of existence, and all human radars are only designed to detect objects that are confined to that definition of existence.

    2) Any responsible interstellar civilization (i. e. similar to the fictional Federation on Star Trek) would ensure that warp-capable civilizations do not make contact with pre-warp civilizations.
    What you're suggesting is that there may exist inconceivable (currently inconceivable) technologies and understandings of physics that render faster-than-light travel possible. As far as I'm concerned, such wild speculation falls into the realm of science fiction, not science.

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    re: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

    Total tax rates- People living in poverty: 16.2%. The median American: 27%. Working people who make over $140k/year: 31%. The top 1%: 30%. Super rich investors: around 15%. Help the democrats retake the house.

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    re: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

    So, we spent 2.6 billion tax dollars to get pictures of a desert. What exactly is the point in all this? And more importantly, what's the return on this investment?
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

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    re: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    Perhaps you should read the entire conversation to gain a sense of context instead of jumping in halfway and making assumptions?

    goldsmith declared that the trip to mars was not simply an exercise in intellectual curiosity and that it had positive externalities. I challenged him for examples of externalities I could expect to enjoy from this trip. He responded with the aforementioned list. And I proceeded to ask for clarification as to how each of the items benefitted me (or anybody), because it was not, and still is not, readily apparent.

    This is where you jump in with your big fat wrong assumption.



    Yes, and as I have pointed out most of these purported benefits are insignificant or dubious at best.




    Yes, I consider a certain degree of causal link to public benefit as a defining criteria of positive externalities.
    The point absolutely still stands, it is a tremendous scientific venture that may yield enormous benefit to us in the future, it is impossible to know directly though there are more than decent avenues of inquiry if we want to examine what these benefits might be, and they have been listed. Furthermore in line with what others have said the entire enterprise of supporting our space program is a worthwhile endeavor for a variety of reasons. With the logic you are using we should have shutdown Tevatron years ahead of schedule, scale back from ITER, etc. The frontiers of scientific research and technological development have no immediate payback.

    hat could possibly make you think that our future lies in space? We're a fragile species, evolved to survive only in an extremely narrow band of precise conditions (temperature, gravitational forces, radiation levels, suspended in an oxygen-rich gas, with a continuous supply of edible organic matter, to name some of the obvious). 99.9% of space is nothing like this. Space is extremely hostile to humans. We exist in a tiny oasis amidst a ocean of poison.

    The only hope we have is to find other golddilocks oases that just happen to have all the right conditions and quickly leap frog from bubble to bubble. Unfortunately, even if we are to ever discover such an oasis, einstein pretty much put the kabosh on that idea.

    Look, I would love to zip around from galaxy to galaxy Milennium Falcon-style, partying with ewoks on Endor and playing beach volleyball with some of Jabba's bikini-clad hunnies on Tatooine. But, unforunately, it's not going to happen. There are insurmountable physical limitations in the way.
    Our future is in space not because of a far flung hope to colonize Titan or Mars in a mass scale (though I wish Elon Musk well in trying) it is because we have fantastic amounts of resources in space and an excellent base from which to expand into colonies. The line of approach that scientists, engineers, and space advocates have been pushing for, for decades has been a staged approach starting with a lunar base and the deployment of a mass driver to facilitate the refining of the resources in the lunar regolith for the eventual launching of those materials into orbit at the Lagrangian Points where colonies held in geosynchronous orbit can be assembled and spun. It is from there that solar satellites with microwave radio transmission antennas can be deployed (an engineering concept that has been thoroughly vetted and is currently being explored by EADS and India) for the generation and disbursement of power on a mass scale. From these small beginnings albeit with great financial investment mankind can begin his ascent into the stars and the exploitation of the resources that our solar neighborhood has to offer.

    There is so much we could do, so much to exploit, and so much that could help speed it along from NPP ships to legislative overhauls.

    It's also our destiny.

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    re: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

    Quote Originally Posted by Surtr View Post
    So, we spent 2.6 billion tax dollars to get pictures of a desert. What exactly is the point in all this? And more importantly, what's the return on this investment?
    The return on this investment aside from the voluminous scientific information we will acquire, the sociological impact on giving Americans a reason to pursue the sciences, and supporting continued public understanding for the value of what space exploration can bring (because the vast majority of Americans disagree with your disdain for the program thankfully), it is also one small step in pushing our species and civilization in our path that leads to the stars.

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    re: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    The return on this investment aside from the voluminous scientific information we will acquire, the sociological impact on giving Americans a reason to pursue the sciences, and supporting continued public understanding for the value of what space exploration can bring (because the vast majority of Americans disagree with your disdain for the program thankfully), it is also one small step in pushing our species and civilization in our path that leads to the stars.
    So basically, hope for a future that may not exist because we keep spending on frivolous propaganda fodder like this while plummeting even further down a multi-trillion dollar deficit? Awesome. NASA is great, I love NASA and what they've done in the past, but now isn't the time to be spending over two and a half billion dollars to play with a remote control toy.
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

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    re: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

    Quote Originally Posted by Surtr View Post
    So, we spent 2.6 billion tax dollars to get pictures of a desert. What exactly is the point in all this? And more importantly, what's the return on this investment?
    What was the point of the first of our ancestors to poke their heads out of the valley they evolved in? What was the point of exploring Europe and Asia? What was the point of crossing the Bering Straight to explore the Americas?

    It's what we do.
    Total tax rates- People living in poverty: 16.2%. The median American: 27%. Working people who make over $140k/year: 31%. The top 1%: 30%. Super rich investors: around 15%. Help the democrats retake the house.

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    re: NASA's rover Curiosity lands on Mars [W:206]

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    What was the point of the first of our ancestors to poke their heads out of the valley they evolved in? What was the point of exploring Europe and Asia? What was the point of crossing the Bering Straight to explore the Americas?

    It's what we do.
    expansionism and financial gain. We can't move to Mars, and unless it's just brimming with oil and precious metals, we aren't going to be making any profits from it, either.
    Last edited by Surtr; 08-10-12 at 02:20 PM.
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

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