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Desc:Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson's amazing rant on Bill Maher about about plans to slash NASA's budget
Category:Educational, Science & Technology
Tags:NASA, Space, money, Neil deGrasse Tyson, exploration
Submitted:fedex
Date:08/11/11
Views:907
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Comment count is 32
TheOtherCapnS
This was a great episode, and he made all kinds of excellent points throughout the panel.

+850 billion stars for ending the clip as the tea party doucher started sputtering, and before he could try and claim they side with NASA.
Abstract Fainter
"That's..."

Anaxagoras
It would have been nice if they had included at least one of those excellent points in this clip.

gmol
I like Neil, but as a scientist and a skeptic, I don't think it's fair makes some deliberately wrong comparisons and glosses over some obvious problems with spending money on space research.

"Bank bailout" vs. NASA budget? Completely different allocations of money, it makes no sense to compare them. The bank portion of TARP was paid back on the order of months after it was loaned, and the fed has made a profit on its warrant portfolio. This is something very different than long term (5y-20y) horizons in investing in basic research where it is difficult to attribute any sort of return at all.

I'm inspired by all the wonderful things NASA has done in space, but it takes a fair bit of money to do that and the return on that capital isn't obvious. Does the general population appreciate most of the discoveries being made by hubble? Does knowing about exo planets make us more productive? Do we really need to setup another lysozyme crystallization experiments on the space shuttle? How does an engineer or scientist feel when he compares her salary to a 3rd year analyst at a Wall St. firm?

I am curious and want to know all about how the universe came about and how we got here, but it is a fair question to ask: is it really worth it?


chumbucket
I like the guy too but he's no Carl Sagan.

kwash
http://techtran.msfc.nasa.gov/at_home.html

Great technological challenges, like space travel and research, have always spurred the greatest technological advancements in our society.

It may not be apparently obvious why learning about the big bang is going to help us in our day to day lives, but the technology required to do so is definitely going to foster more innovation and drive in our scientists.

fatatty
There's not much of a ROI except for satellites, GPS, the internet, global communication, weather tracking and Tempur-Pedic foam mattresses.

gmol
"Great technological challenges, like space travel and research, have always spurred the greatest technological advancements in our society."

Really? All of them?

Was the oil industry a result of space travel? How about public sanitation or antibiotics? I am not aware of much direct impact on agriculture from space research, but maybe I am wrong.

Yes I know, if you pay a bunch of smart people to discover something...chances are they will discover something. I happen to like a lot of things that people at NASA discover.

But is it fair to scream "SPACE IS REALLY IMPORTANT !!! TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE MOOOOON!" when budgets are threatened?

It is also misleading to suggest that a lot of our "space research" isn't simple defense posturing. People like Neil want a bunch of kids to grow up and become critical thinkers, but blindly pushing the space program (without examining its official purpose) like he does here isn't honest.

Hooker
"I'm inspired by all the wonderful things NASA has done in space, but it takes a fair bit of money to do that and the return on that capital isn't obvious. Does the general population appreciate most of the discoveries being made by hubble? Does knowing about exo planets make us more productive? Do we really need to setup another lysozyme crystallization experiments on the space shuttle? How does an engineer or scientist feel when he compares her salary to a 3rd year analyst at a Wall St. firm?"

Those are the sort of myopic questions and the mindset that has arguably caused the collapse of the American economy. So, I guess my answer to those questions would be, fuck off.

TheOtherCapnS
Try watching the video again and listening a bit closer gmol.

Let me summarize: Making decisions based solely on the short-term, financial returns (often!) isn't always the best long term strategy. In fact, we've been doing just this for a while now, and things are not going so hot overall (though a handful of people certainly have gotten fabulously wealthy).

gmol
Was the before or after the misleading comparison to TARP?

TheOtherCapnS
I know, it was so misleading the way he said that one sum of money was equal in magnitude to another.

gmol
You are denying that was something other than a blatant attempt whip up some populist rage against the pure and true mission of NASA by bringing up the "bank bailout" and TARP?

Niel was not trying to get the listener to say 'Hai we can afford subsidize those wall st. fatcats for monacle polish but not afford to put a man on mars??!??'

Anaxagoras
Give it up, gmol. You're arguing with fanatics that are in love with the space program. They're not dealing in logic or practicalities... they're dealing in how the space program makes them feel.

fatatty
WONT SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE MEMORY FOAM

CJH
i want to fuck an alien one day and you fuckers are fucking it up

memedumpster
Space isn't worth it, you guys.

FABIO
By that logic, we should never ever cut military spending because occasionally some technology developed there trickles down to the civilian sector.

CJH
hey fabio i heard someone was talking about league of legends somewhere! quick dude hurry!

Monkey Napoleon
gmol, you are simultaneously putting words directly into people's mouths while not knowing fuckall about what you're talking about.

You acknowledge a few advances that have come as a result of the space program, while dissmissing them as if they're not mind blowing game changers in human history or something.

You can't draft up a balance sheet as to the monetary advantage of spending money on space, that's true. Technological advances don't work that way. You can't draw a straight line from space to agriculture, but it's in there. It can be some material that was invented for some project that has been adapted to make stronger, cheaper, more resilient farm machinery. It could be orbital soil surveys taken to tell us the best places to get high yield while causing the minimal amount of environmental damage. It could be advanced weather tracking techniques that tell us when to plant and harvest.

Repeat: These are GAME CHANGER technologies that wouldn't exist without the space program. You can trace elements of the lineage of ANY modern technology right back to the 50's at the start of space exploration. It doesn't end now. We haven't discovered it all. The funny thing about progress is it isn't even possible to tell where it goes.

Whoever said it was like saying never ever cut military spending is an idiot. You can't compare pure science with the byproduct of military spending. One is orders of magnitude more money that, protip, isn't spent on research. I don't love space exploration because it makes me feel good, I love space exploration because the technology we gain from it is the only way humans as a species could ever possibly survive assholes like you.

gmol
What GAME is it, exactly, you are so desperate to try to CHANGE?

NASA, the NIH and NSF have budgets; so science actually does "work that way".

What is this mystery material you speak of that farm machines are now made out of?

Any modern technology? Really? You mean there wasn't a pile of work that had been done that had proceeded the 50s that allowed all these wonderful innovations to happen?

But did humanity (=America) really need those innovations in the first place? Would it have found other innovations had it invested elsewhere?

A critical mind might question what landing on the moon actually did for anyone. Funny that no one has put up the cash to do it for the past little while.....

Even if you do attribute our Short History Of Progress to the space program investment in the 50s (as you seem want to do), the past performance of that investment is not what is in question here; it is the future returns. There isn't a consensus as to whether or not those returns are worth the risk. A reasonable perspective on recent history might suggest they the are not.

Run your tongue along your teeth and check to see that I have not put any words inside your mouth.

memedumpster
You know, it's one thing to be indifferent about space exploration, but it's another to be actively hostile towards it. Your terrestrial super science seems to have too much time on its hands.

gmol
It probably is a waste of time, but the previous post did address me directly, as does yours. Rather odd to address someone, throw in some false accusations and then suggest that they must be have too much time on their hands if they respond.

I don't know where you got the idea that I was hostile towards space exploration? In fact, I say very clearly in an earlier post that I have been inspired by some of NASA's work. That doesn't mean I shouldn't be critical about what they will do in the future.

All of the language I am using is pretty unsaturated (I guess I could start saying things like "fuck off" and "fuckall"), and I'm only attempting to encourage people to think critically about the benefits of investments in this area, rather than be pulled along by an emotional appeal like Niel's (forget about the fact that there is a bit of a conflict of interest).

I'd be cautious around anyone who told me that I've "stopped dreaming" in the same soliloquy where he makes a deliberately misleading comparison towards changing a funding allocation towards something he has an interest in.

TheOtherCapnS
OH, you're making selective replies and cherry picking lines from posts you do reply to because you didn't realize what was addressing you. And here I thought you were just going by the numbers from the shitty troll playbook.

Anaxagoras
No, he's making selective replies because he has limited time & energy to respond to you dipshits. And even so, he has made the longest & most substantive posts in this thread. It's a mystery to me why he has bothered, but there you go.

memedumpster
Holy shit, I'm now replying just to see if you two reply again before this falls off the front page. I want to know if you're that ridiculous. You two have to be teabaggers or something to be this hostile.

TheOtherCapnS
What shitty troll would be complete without the shitty troll's internet girlfriend.

Anaxagoras
Reading comprehension. Try it out some time.

"I don't know where you got the idea that I was hostile towards space exploration? In fact, I say very clearly in an earlier post that I have been inspired by some of NASA's work. That doesn't mean I shouldn't be critical about what they will do in the future."

See? He's not hostile towards space exploration. Rather, he's hostile towards spurious arguments & a lack of critical faculties. These are things that any good scientist & skeptic should be hostile towards. And speaking for myself, I'm both a scientist & a skeptic, so I share his hostility towards those things.

gmol
'collapse' really?
kwash
I realize this is a little bit late to the party gmol, but I'd just like to say:

"Great technological challenges, like space travel and research, have always spurred the greatest technological advancements in our society." - Me


"Really? All of them?

Was the oil industry a result of space travel? How about public sanitation or antibiotics? I am not aware of much direct impact on agriculture from space research, but maybe I am wrong." -gmol

Do you not see it? The reason he's a fucking dipshit?

Here, let me help.

"Great technological challenges, like space travel and research"

See it yet?

"like space travel and research"

And a bit more, just to be clear.

"LIKE"

Dipshit.

Caminante Nocturno
Don't worry, I'm certain this century's new superpowers will eventually start picking up the slack. Hell, they may even remember to mention us when they land on Mars.
fedex
Pretty much

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