Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Stupidity in spaaaaaaaaaaaaace!
Idiots write letters
There’s nothing like a successful space mission to set off the smugly ignorant. “Think about the children!” they cry. They wring their moist hands over the millions and billions of dollars that they assume were wastefully blasted into space instead of used for charitable works. This morning’s San Francisco Chronicle provided a perfect case in point:
But what about the hungry?
The land rover Curiosity arrives on Mars safely. What a feat!
But $2 billion to find water on a planet when hundreds of children go to bed hungry, when teachers, police and firefighters are dismissed? Where are our priorities?
People might say, “But look what we get from our space travel.” When a child says, “Mommy, I’m hungry,” does her mother say, “I know honey, but isn’t it wonderful we have Teflon”? What a country.
RMS-O, San Francisco
Damn! The stupid is strong in this one. Did you catch the “hundreds of children”? The ignorant letter-writer doesn’t even appreciate the scope of the problem she is decrying. There are millions of children in the United States alone who lack adequate supplies of food, without even taking into account the more severe problems elsewhere in the world. Totally clueless people should not be giving others advice.
That, however, is not my main point. I want to underscore the stupidity of blaming NASA’s budget for our failure to ameliorate social ills. As Isaac Asimov pointed out decades ago, it makes no sense to take money from one worthy cause to fund a different worthy cause when so many unworthy money-pits are right under our noses. The cost of the Curiosity mission was reported at approximately $2.5 billion (which the Associated Press foolishly cited as “budget-busting”). That total amount would barely have covered three days of the misbegotten war in Iraq. And you may recall that war did last a little over three days.
That sheds a slender ray of perspective-giving light on the subject, doesn’t it?
In the meantime, quite apart from the exciting prospects of scientific discovery and exploration, Curiosity’s budget supported (and supports) teams of engineers, scientists, and technicians. These people are a key component of the nation’s tech base and infrastructure. Should we outsource all of their jobs to China or India? Besides, they pay mortgages and feed their children just like everyone else. None of the Curiosity budget dollars were simply blasted into space. They were spent on the ground, adding to the economic contributions of our technological and scientific endeavors.
Let’s take up a contribution to shoot the San Francisco letter-writer into space. She’ll be right at home in the vacuum.
…False economies, to support commerce that the government doesn’t and should, makes the reason for “ill fated funding’s”…!
…So USA.gov funds NASA, and a lot of working americans, thought it be a pack of apes making up stories, and real real bad told ones ! Meanwhile this justifies, Governments to not manage their social problems! HEAVEN IS NOT HERE! Capitalism never works! It only does as a smoke screen of reality!
…So World governments do not have much imagination how to run the World better. And so this justifies other schemes and “drug money or other”…! Which is dirty money, if not war or slavery money!
SLAVERY SIMPLY CHANGED ITS VICTIMS! PEASANTS SIMPLY DRESS MORE MODERNLY! Human Rights has not progressed much! 2,000 YEARS MOSTLY “DOWN THE DRAIN”…!
…HOW DIFFERENT IT WOULD BE if stories were not told! We would all learn something and feel more satisfied with ourselves!
IF USA GOVERNMENT CANNOT RUN NASA, it is because they do not know how!