6
   

Vice President Heads for Moon

 
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:33 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

Not what I said.

1.) I am very pro exploration of space. While I am for exploring space, I am not enthused about colonizing space.

2.) I am pro exploration of Earth. However I think we've sprawled over too much of it and less colonization would've been good -- which is different from no colonization.

I respectfully ask you to consider the opinion that mankind's best destiny is to explore and expand to other solar systems, and to meet and establish whatever relationship is possible with the other intelligences that have evolved. Mankind is surely better off than when it occupied only sub-Saharan Africa, and in ways that the humans who undertook risks to spread to new places couldn't have predicted.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:36 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Jesus, here we go with that Columbus bullshit again. For the umpteenth time, Isabella did not fund the Columbus voyage. She seized the property (ships) of private individuals by royal fiat, and gave them to Columbus. The rest of the cost of the voyage was funded by private individuals.

If you know how to pull off the same thing in our contemporary world, then by all means, go for it.

Who the f...k mentioned Isabella? You can't stick words in my mouth and then triumphantly show that they're wrong, when I didn't even say them. I said "Would you have recommended funding Columbus?" How is that a reference to Isabella?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:45 pm
@Brandon9000,
What what the hell else would it mean in the context of calling for government funding for space exploration, bright boy? The Columbus voyage was not funded by government, and if you're saying you knew that, then you willfully employed a non-sequitur.
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:45 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
"Would you have recommended funding Columbus?" How is that a reference to Isabella?
Um thinking---------
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:50 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

What what the hell else would it mean in the context of calling for government funding for space exploration, bright boy? The Columbus voyage was not funded by government, and if you're saying you knew that, then you willfully employed a non-sequitur.

How is the question "Would you have recommended funding Columbus?" a non-sequitur? I asked her if it was worth funding based on the criteria she had just enunciated. There is absolutely no reference to Isabella. Am I now required to defend myself against things I absolutely didn't say?

I've noticed that you typically appear in posts and accuse someone of some bizarre interpretation of what they've said, so that the discussion descends into their insistence that they didn't say it versus your insistence that you're a greater expert on their intentions than they are, rather than any discussion of the underlying topic. Deny it all you want, you have a massive hostility problem which you really need to deal with.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:51 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
sozobe wrote:
Oh... so you created it as a fake news item? OK. Clearer, thanks.

As for the topic -- I'm just not enthused. The money and resources that would go towards uncertain outcomes makes me itch -- I'd much rather spend that money on keeping Earth (and the people who live upon it) in good shape.


Would you have recommended funding Columbus? Sounds like the answer is no. We live on this tiny little speck of dust in a galaxy of two hundred billion stars (many of which are thought to have planets) in a universe with hundreds of billions of galaxies. Take the blinders off. Colonizing other worlds would be a good thing. And our speck of dust is not immune to disasters of various sorts, just because it hasn't happened lately. If the criterion were to wait until everything is great at home, even the surface of the Earth wouldn't have been explored.


This is the entire context. Soz is objecting that she would rather see (public) funds to keep earth in good shape. Then you respond with that Columbus bullshit. If you knew that Columbus' voyage was not funded by government, the most that can be said is that you were willfully comparing apples to oranges.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:54 pm
@Brandon9000,
I do deny it, that's total bullshit. I just quoted the entire post you made, and you were saying that if exploration had not been funded in the past, the earth would not have been explored, and you were saying it in the context of how public funds get used. You can't use the first Columbus voyage into what was then the unknown in that context, because government didn't fund it. So you can either accept non-sequitur, or apples to oranges. Either way, you're playing fast and loose with the truth here, and your own post is the proof of that.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:56 pm
@Brandon9000,
By the way, Brandon, you're the one here with a hostility problem, and you're the one who is introducing an hysterical hostility into the discussion. Discussing how the g0vernment used public monies to fund projects, and which ones ought to get priority is very much a discussing of the "underlying topic" here, whether you're honest enough to admit it or not.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 01:03 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
Would you have recommended funding Columbus? Sounds like the answer is no.

You mean, on the rationale Columbus offered (finding a westward trade route to China)? No. Knowing the Earth's circumference and the size of Eurasia within a few percent, I would have concluded that this is not an economic route to travel on -- and I would have been right, even if America hadn't been in the way.

As a project in basic research? Perhaps. There would have been a Vast space between the Europe's West Coast and Asia's East Coast, and we wouldn't have known what's there. So there certainly was a case for exploring it. Of course, I would have advocated for exploring it with unmanned robotic probes, if those had been a realistic option in 1492. They weren't then. But their space equivalent is available today, and it's exploring space just fine without us in them. I prefer unmanned exploration vehicles by a great margin. There's no point in spending additional gigabucks just for the postcards of the Vice President in space. Or even just astronauts in space.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 01:17 pm
@Brandon9000,
Let's talk about Columbus. First, Columbus wanted to use existing and well tested technology. While three ships plus provisions are not cheap, they hardly break the bank for a country with the maritime traditions of 15th century Spain and personnel to staff those ships were easy to come by. The risk was similar to a naval engagement or a medium sized merchant run. The US risks more in terms of equipment and people in Iraq every day. Second, the government was not resp0nsible to the people of Spain. Even if Isabella had fully funded Columbus out of the public coffers, the people wouldn't have known. She faced no serious accountability. Third, Columbus presented a significant promise of profit. The idea of breaking the land route stranglehold on Asia to Europe trade was a clear, well defined benefit versus a small risk for Spain.

Compare that to our current situation and the challenges become obvious. If you could get into a plane and fly to the moon to explore, this would be a no brainer, but you can't. You have to build new, very complex spaceships with very little that can even be reused. Western governments are completely responsible to taxpayers who might look upon added taxes for space flight as government waste. Finally, there is no clear payoff, no well defined benefit, no timeline for when the profits will start rolling in. Space travel would probably be a money black hole for at least twenty years, probably more like fifty years. No politician, board member, entrepreneur today should have any expectation of seeing a penny from the space program in his working lifetime. The US Congress cannot even agree to form a panel to discuss deficit reduction so I doubt we could expect agreement to fund programs with no hope of bringing home the bacon in time for the election.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 01:24 pm
@Brandon9000,
First, Brandon9000 wrote:
It was an attempt to provoke a discussion of space travel by giving an indication of what could be done.

Later, addressing Sozobe, Brandon9000 wrote:
You're seriously putting out the opinion that Man shouldn't have colonized the Earth? To my way of thinking, such a bizarre opinion merely discredits anything in this area you have to say.

Just for future reference, Brandon: In your usage, is the word "discussion", identical to the word "agreement"? In other words, was what you were really attempting to provoke agreement with you?

If the answer to that question is "no" -- then how can one realistically disagree with your views in a discussion without ipso facto discrediting oneself?
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 01:32 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

First, Brandon9000 wrote:
It was an attempt to provoke a discussion of space travel by giving an indication of what could be done.

Then, addressing Sozobe, Brandon9000 wrote:
You're seriously putting out the opinion that Man shouldn't have colonized the Earth? To my way of thinking, such a bizarre opinion merely discredits anything in this area you have to say.

...If the answer to that question is "no" -- then how can one realistically disagree with your views in a discussion without ipso facto discrediting oneself?

I stated that the opinion "man shouldn't have explored the Earth" is so bizarre as to discredit someone's views on the subject of exploration. This is hardly equivalent to viewing any disagreement as discrediting someone.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 01:44 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
I stated that the opinion "man shouldn't have explored the Earth" is so bizarre as to discredit someone's views on the subject of exploration. This is hardly equivalent to viewing any disagreement as discrediting someone.

Fair enough. But 1) Sozobe isn't against exploring. She's against colonizing. 2) In the context of Columbus, "man shouldn't have colonized the Earth" would have been a red herring. After all, man, coming from Asia, had already settled in America for millenia before Columbus. Hence, the Spanish policy of colonizing America was a colonization of humans who were already there. How does it discredit someone to find that objectionable? I think it that's exactly what it was.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 01:56 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:
I stated that the opinion "man shouldn't have explored the Earth" is so bizarre as to discredit someone's views on the subject of exploration. This is hardly equivalent to viewing any disagreement as discrediting someone.

Fair enough. But 1) Sozobe isn't against exploring. She's against colonizing. 2) In the context of Columbus, "man shouldn't have colonized the Earth" would have been a red herring. After all, man, coming from Asia, had already settled in America for millenia before Columbus. Hence, the Spanish policy of colonizing America was a colonization of humans who were already there. How does it discredit someone to find that objectionable? I think it that's exactly what it was.

You're misstating facts, and clear facts too. First you accuse me of regarding all disagreement with me as discrediting someone, when what I actually stated was that an very extreme view discredited another poster in that one domain. Now this. It's very tiresome. The statement of hers I objected to was this:

"I am pro exploration of Earth. However I think we've sprawled over too much of it and less colonization would've been good."

Barring further clarification, this seemed to me to be a statement that she feels that the Earth shouldn't have been completely colonized. I won't let you distract me into some boring and meaningless side discussion. Your opinions about the exploration of space, on the other hand, continue to be welcome although I don't agree with them.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 02:08 pm
@Brandon9000,
So given the current political realities in this country, how would you propose President Obama move forward with respect to space exploration? My own position is that there is no significant support for it in the country and that any effort towards spending money on space exploration would be condemned by both parties as wasteful and extending the budget deficit. Without political support from any quarter, he will not pursue it, but if there is an opportunity to work on an international effort, we could join that without too much backlash providing other countries shared the financial burden. Providing tax incentives to drive private business activity will not be effective because there is no business case for space exploration outside Earth's vicinity.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 02:10 pm
@Brandon9000,
Let me make one last attempt by asking you this: Are you making a point about exploration or colonization?

Is your point is about exploration? That's what you suggested when you said, "I stated that the opinion "man shouldn't have explored the Earth" is so bizarre as to discredit someone's views [...]" If it's about exploration, you have no disagreement with Sozobe, whom you yourself quote as saying: "I am pro exploration of Earth." (Emphasis mine.)

Or is your point about colonization? If that's what it is, then Sozobe's point is not absurd. Reasonable people can certainly think man should explore Antarctica but not colonize it. Likewise, reasonable people in 1492 could have thought that Spain should explore America but not colonize it. And in the same way, reasonable people today can think man should explore the moon but not colonize it. Neither of those positions is absurd.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 02:22 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Let me make one last attempt by asking you this: Are you making a point about exploration or colonization? ...

I favor both exploration and colonization. I think we're sitting on one little spec of dust in a vast universe of wonders, and that we ought to take the blinders off. To paraphrase Tsiolkovsky, a baby cannot stay in its cradle forever. I advocate settling a few areas in the solar system to gain experience (and to explore) while we develop some form of propulsion capable of reaching interstellar distances in reasonable amounts of time, and then starting to explore other solar systems with the intention of eventually colonizing some of them. I think mankind needs to spread out and see something new. I should mention that the development of interstellar capable propulsion systems is not really anywhere near our grasp yet.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 02:26 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

So given the current political realities in this country, how would you propose President Obama move forward with respect to space exploration? My own position is that there is no significant support for it in the country and that any effort towards spending money on space exploration would be condemned by both parties as wasteful and extending the budget deficit. Without political support from any quarter, he will not pursue it, but if there is an opportunity to work on an international effort, we could join that without too much backlash providing other countries shared the financial burden. Providing tax incentives to drive private business activity will not be effective because there is no business case for space exploration outside Earth's vicinity.

Yes, someone whose main concern is re-election is unlikely to support the long view. The really big steps forward are rarely popular or well supported by the man in the street when they occur. The president should propose some reasonable continuation of manned exploration just because it's the right thing to do. If you take this attitude of doing nothing until everything is great domestically, you'll never do anything.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 02:45 pm
@Brandon9000,
But every member of Congress is focused on the next election. Even if everything was great domestically, wouldn't both parties attack a President who advocated for significant space spending? On the right, you have the tea party types demanding tax cuts and on the left, those demanding more social spending. This will never be popular in the US and if we started today, will not yield benefits in my lifetime. You hit in right on the head: we will never do anything. I don't see any way of changing that dynamic. I understand complaining about it, but I don't see that as a way forward. Do you have any ideas about how a President of either party could break that log jam? Healthcare is more popular, costs less, has a clear benefit vs risk statement ... and still can't pass. How does space travel stand a chance?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 02:56 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
The really big steps forward are rarely popular or well supported by the man in the street when they occur. The president should propose some reasonable continuation of manned exploration just because it's the right thing to do.

Alternatively, you could explain to the man on the street why he should let the government tax away more of his income so it can fund your space adventure. He'll probably say: "You're a conservative, Brandon. You're supposed to be about small government. Why don't you go fund your own adventure?" How do you answer that?
 

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