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Comment count is 25
phalsebob - 2010-04-15

Looks like Neil just finished a coffee.

dorje - 2010-04-15

astrophysicist does not understand:

market vs state
innovation vs taxation
property vs propaganda &
the need for normalized space flight.

5 for accurate, timely sentiments.

fatatty - 2010-04-15

I like Neil but I don't know that sending a person to Mars is worth the money and effort if the only real effect is inspiring kids to care about science.

Manned missions aren't going to help us prevent asteroids collisions and we're not building any space colonies/mines until we have advanced nanotech and space elevators. Low earth orbit is the only thing worth pouring money into until then.

James Woods - 2010-04-15


i mean, maybe he's more in tune with the actual timelines of those emerging technologies, but we're in a latency period. nanotech will bring us so much closer to space (us as actual individuals), but we won't understand the profound wonders of nanotech for another 6-10 years in my opinion.

Monkey Napoleon - 2010-04-15

You're missing the whole point he's making. Inspiring kids to become engineers and scientists is an investment in all our futures. EVEN IF no viable tech came from the space program, which would be a LAUGHABLE idea if you had even a remote inkling of what you were talking about, we can never
have enough scientists and engineers.

Every single piece of technology that makes the modern world possible can trace it's lineage (in part, or in many cases in it's ENTIRETY) to solving engineering issues arising during space travel and exploration.

Goddamn you people.

Hooker - 2010-04-15

##CONTENT##.36 on the dollar goes towards the military, not including veterns benefits and interest on debt accumulated for the purpose of the military.

fatatty - 2010-04-15

I get his point; I just don't think that sending people out on dangerous missions into space, that robots could do safer and cheaper, is the best and only way to inspire kids to become scientists.

Mr. Wizard and energetic science teachers in schools have probably inspired as many kids as the space program. Astroboy probably inspired more kids to go into robotics than Neil Armstrong inspired to go to astronaut camp.

And it's not as if NASA has had all of its funding cut or something, technological breakthroughs will still continue with the current strategy. Though just as many breakthroughs will come, and have come, from DARPA and Defense spending.

memedumpster - 2010-04-15

There is no good reason not to send a person further than people have ever been. It's downright unnatural sounding.

pastorofmuppets - 2010-04-15

Monkey, I am going to be anal and say that you are only correct if "issues arising during space travel and exploration" is broad enough to include things like navigation by stars, which then gets you telescopes > optics > microscopes > germ theory, etc.

In particular, the progression of attempts to explain the motion of the planets has a nice resemblance to the development of science as a whole. But that's not specifically space exploration.

Hooker - 2010-04-16

Was defense spending really the most efficient way to get all the non-killing-people technological advancements that have resulted from it?

fatatty - 2010-04-16

No defense spending is not. I would love to see more government spending on universities and even some of those people claiming to be on the verge of cold fusion. But I doubt sending people to Mars will facilitate that.

HankFinch - 2010-04-15

I don't like this guy. I've seen a few interviews and he seems a couple of steps away from science.

Jellyneck - 2010-04-15

You should like this guy because he is a couple steps away from science, trying to lead the rest of world those couple of steps closer.

I recently read his book "Death by Black Hole" and as someone who has no idea what the hell astrophysics is all about, it was a really engaging read and I honestly felt I learned something, even if it is not really a science book.

fluffy - 2010-04-15

He routinely gets hate mail from people for being part of the commission that decided that Pluto is not a proper planet. He made a decision and he quite publicly stands by it, and doesn't apologize for how it hurts peoples' feelings. Allowing fact to override sentimentality is a big part of what science is about.

Monkey Napoleon - 2010-04-15

I like Neil because he's so lovably goofy. When he gives talks, there's all these awkward pauses where he thinks he just made a really funny joke.

I also agree about the couple of steps away from science thing Jellyneck mentioned. When it comes right down to it, problems like the economy, the environment, governmental corruption, sickness and disease, etc, are really sort of secondary problems. The best thing we can do to solve the myriad issues in modern society is to make the general public better informed about science, technology, and critical thinking.

HankFinch - 2010-04-15

"Allowing fact to override sentimentality is a big part of what science is about."

That is why I don't like this guy.

Tuan Jim - 2010-04-15

Are you retarded, Hank?

You might be retarded.

HankFinch - 2010-04-15

I am retarded.
But what I was saying is that Tyson doesn't override sentimentality. He romanticizes science and that isn't what science is about.

pastorofmuppets - 2010-04-15

I thought that's what you were saying. It's not dumb; it's noble.

In a perfect world, science boosters wouldn't have to exist. But... in America, only half of our politicians can say "science" without losing votes, and even then they tend not to take the risk.

I don't like to go down the "should we be skeptical of skepticism" road, which is where these things eventually end up. So I'll just say that my *opinion* is that we shouldn't. More specifically, it doesn't bother me that Tyson is sure of his mission. I think if you really understand how many people are out there that are doing their damnedest to keep us in the dark ages, you'll begin to see why we need people like him. Almost 3/4 of Republicans claim to believe in a young earth. Many of them keep their kids out of school because they'd rather believe that the schools are engaged in a vast conspiracy than question what they've been taught. We need more science.

Syd Midnight - 2010-04-16

The reason he's being sentimental about it is because he believes he is correct, and he is explaining it to a wide audience. Don't judge the guys science on his showmanship.

I remember hearing Lawrence Krauss discussed as an heir to Sagan as science spokesperson, but his hyperactive personality made people nervous. Tyson knows how to deal with a crowd.

fatatty - 2010-04-16

We definitely need people like him, and Sagan, as ambassadors of science. Just because he simplifies and romanticizes science doesn't mean he's hurting science. Scientists studying in the field will continue to use rigorous logic while he sells their breakthroughs to the masses.

And really science is beautiful and romantic. Maybe not in its methodology but certainly in its results, breakthroughs, technologies, applications and the order it's able to find in the seeming chaos of the universe.

The point is we do need to get people excited about science and I applaud anyone or any method to do so. Even if that means our new scientists may be a little disappointed by the sterility of the work they enter into.

THA SUGAH RAIN - 2010-04-15

Your earth problems are so fucking pathetic. If you dont fund NASA, kids are going to be retarded when they are hit by an asteroid.

Monkey Napoleon - 2010-04-15


Syd Midnight - 2010-04-16

Idea for rock opera: Kids start growing up all retarded and ugly and the cities burn down because some shit fell from space or came out of the sun or something, and nobody knew enough computers and math and shit to cure the mutants and make phones work again.

megaspy2000 - 2010-04-15

he's no carl :(

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