The Big Picture: Once Upon a Time in The Future

MovieBob

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Dec 31, 2008
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Once Upon a Time in The Future

This week, Bob rants about the abandonment of the Space Shuttle program.

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Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
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Poor Bob.

It fell out of the media spotlight, Bob. That's all that happened. The media would rather give Justin Beiber a music award, or show pictures of racist right-wing idiots, or talk about how to shop safely on Black Friday.
 

House_Vet

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Dec 27, 2009
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I'm probably more at the bleeding heart end of the spectrum, but Bob, I gotta say you have balls to stand up for what you believe to be important. Thanks man.
 

cathou

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Apr 6, 2009
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actually, what happened to the space program is that the USA lack a competitor. The WW2 and the cold war with the USSR, as bad wars are, did give a big kick in the ass to the humanity. By fearing that the communist would populate the moon first, the USA push themselve over their limit and created the apollo program. Now that the focus is only on war against terrorist, that push is no longer there. I bet that if al-kaida was an actual country and that they were trying to go on mars first, chance are that the space program would be still nicely funded.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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Bad move America, looks like it's up to Britian and the space S.A.S. to discover Prothean technology on mars. Don't worry, we'll share the discovery... for a price.
 

unacomn

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There's always the private sector and other nations. The Russians launched Garriot into space and got him back safe and sound.
 

BlueInkAlchemist

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Jun 4, 2008
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I grew up wanting to go into space. When eyesight and other factors made it clear that I wasn't cut out for that life, I focused on writing about space instead.

Bob, I like you am glad that the luminaries of science fiction, from Heinlein to Roddenberry, are, for the most part, dead. This would sadden all of them. It certainly does me.

There are groups on Facebook and whatnot who are interested in seeing programs like Constellation continue. Unfortunately, we're a minority. Since we're not screaming racist epithets or ignorant insults at our current Commander in Chief, it's unlikely we'll be heard. This is a country where clever and smart television like Firefly, Better Off Ted and Rome have to knife-fight for their audience share while American Idol, Jersey Shore and Cougar Town make embarassingly large piles of money for people who don't give a damn about this planet or anybody on it save themselves, to say nothing of other planets that might sustain our population if we just put our minds to it instead of waiting for the next pandering, flickering image to come at us between advertisements.
 

MovieBob

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The problem that the space program faces is a lack of tangible goals. The reason people used to care about NASA was because of the cold war, and the goal of NASA was to beat the soviets, and show American dominance and supremacy through science. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, the US hasn't had an enemy on the same technological level as us, so most people no longer care about progressing technology, unless it's being made by Apple.

The thing about people is that most of them have no foresight, and don't care about the future. This is the EXACT SAME reason for America's recent economic collapse, people not caring about the future, borrowing and spending money that they don't have, with a live now, care later kind of attitude.

When people don't have a direct, tangible goal for the future, they forget that the future even exists, which is why this program is being shut down. This is sad.
 

ANImaniac89

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Apr 21, 2009
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I do see your point Moviebob and agree.
I would even go as far as agreeing with the choice you made in the hypothetical World peace or colonization on mars in my life time.
 

Sylocat

Sci-Fi & Shakespeare
Nov 13, 2007
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I heard an excellent metaphor the other day: "NASA is a teacher at a preschool where the toddlers get to decide whether the teachers keep their jobs or not." That's what having to answer to the American taxpayers and budget-writers is like.

Incidentally, I did some arithmetic one time after NASA had endured yet another round of budget cuts ("cuts" as in "we just cut off your leg, now go run a marathon to prove we shouldn't cut off the other one") and discovered that NASA's bloated, wasteful budget cost me a whopping... quarter. Yeah, if my taxes weren't paying for them, I could buy an extra instance of Damage Protection at my local video rental place.

Public Broadcasting is another favorite scapegoat of people who don't want to cut the actual fat from the budget.

But you know what? I think that if Clarke and his kin were still around, they might actually have done something to prevent this nightmare. People get everything they know from the media these days, and popular sci-fi about space travel would be better at keeping the public interested than any actual education or science ever would.
 

PeterDawson

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Feb 10, 2009
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I'm confused. I'm pretty sure Bob had admitted to watching the Colbert Report, and yet he doesn't seem to know that the guy harped on it back when the cancellation was announced months ago? I feel the need to use a Die Hard line here: "Welcome to the party pal." I'll then follow it up with, "There's fashionably late and missing the wagon." Still, its true that public interest in current space programs has waned quite a bit. Even my nephews would rather just sling webs than fly in space. I mean, being Spider-Man would be awesome, but I'd take the Enterprise over it anyday (unless its an NX class, in which case I'll leave it to the Duchess and his/her 'crew').
 

qbanknight

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Apr 15, 2009
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Ever since I was 6 I dreamed of going to the stars, sadly that will have to remain a dream for the time being. I don't mind other countries going ahead with their space programs and seeing what wonderful things they could come up with (hopefully they'll let a couple of Americans in on the party provided we have some good tools to back them up)
 

Daniel Laeben-Rosen

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Jun 9, 2010
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Aw :(.
And just as we here in sweden are finally getting our own stuff underway.
I'm honestly sad that this would happen, as to me space has been a constant fascination since childhood. And in my more mature eyes, I find the whole idea of space-exploration to have the potential to continue being the single greatest human endevour in modern history.
Since it's one of few that doesn't just end with us trying to kill each other.

And space is fancy stuff.
 

Jesus Phish

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Jan 28, 2010
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AjimboB said:
The problem that the space program faces is a lack of tangible goals. The reason people used to care about NASA was because of the cold war, and the goal of NASA was to beat the soviets, and show American dominance and supremacy through science. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, the US hasn't had an enemy on the same technological level as us, so most people no longer care about progressing technology, unless it's being made by Apple.

The thing about people is that most of them have no foresight, and don't care about the future. This is the EXACT SAME reason for America's recent economic collapse, people not caring about the future, borrowing and spending money that they don't have, with a live now, care later kind of attitude.

When people don't have a direct, tangible goal for the future, they forget that the future even exists, which is why this program is being shut down. This is sad.
I've always thought the best goal for space travel is so that when the time comes, humanity wont be destroyed by our sun going nova on us.
 

deonte9109

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Sep 8, 2010
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Humanity as whole has this preposterous idea that the world's problems can be solved. Hunger, sickness, war, poverty these things have always existed and they will continue till the Apocalypse of mankind. Man is too different and diverse for any of these problems to actually disappear. What we need to do is just make sure that our own people are safe and continue to advance as civilization. In America, can anyone tell me a major scientific breakthrough that actually advanced our society forward? Yeah sure we got a black prez. Whoopee not caring but I guess that is the problem with America these days is that we are so ignorant of other things and have ended up creating a vacuuum u pour arses that our heads are so deep in the rest of the world continues to either hate or laugh at us for stupidity. When I was younger I read that we got man on the moon I was like wow i the span of about 20 years we went from sub-orbit to the moon. I was thinking well by that logic we should be able to have people living on the moon by the time I start drinking. Sadly we know this is not to be true. I is things like this that makes me lose my faith in this once great country and want to move out of country.
/rant
Im gonna go cry in a corner now I cant take this anymore.
 

Darks63

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Mar 8, 2010
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The main problm with cities on Mars Bob is we lack terraforming technology to make Mars and the Moon places worth living on. Overall I share ur regret over humanity seeming to be in a tech slump where we try to make a ever cooler cell phones while other dream techs get no time. Sadly much like before we probably need a war to galvenize tech to go forward again, as long as its not nuclear.
 

Technocrates

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May 20, 2009
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I don't have much to add, most of the above posts seems to be covering a lot of the bases, but I just wanted to say: Thank you! This was the first time I actually heard someone express this point of view publicly.
 

Orthon

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Mar 28, 2009
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I was unaware of this, and now feel kind of bummed.

Sure, like you said, we got a lot of problems on this planet that we should try to work towards fixing, but shit.. Space exploration and colonization is supposed to be the future, the next big step for humanity and not something to throw aside.

Bleh, like i said, i feel bummed ;(
 

MovieBob

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Dec 31, 2008
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I get where you're coming from Bob, but can you honestly say You wouldn't jump at the chance to compete on Who Wants To Go Into Space?
Besides getting the Star Trek future means a Third World War and if I can't fight Nazis, it just ain't worth it.
 

Drops a Sweet Katana

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May 27, 2009
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Darks63 said:
The main problm with cities on Mars Bob is we lack terraforming technology to make Mars and the Moon places worth living on. Overall I share ur regret over humanity seeming to be in a tech slump where we try to make a ever cooler cell phones while other dream techs get no time. Sadly much like before we probably need a war to galvenize tech to go forward again, as long as its not nuclear.
It's still worth a go.