You... you... you've insulted me. I'm hurt. I hurt, and my soul hurts!
Oh, now I'm OK!
The Germans say: "Totgesagte leben länger", in English there's life in the old dog yet (or, to misquote Twain: "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated"). Are there things wrong at NASA? Of course, you can read that on
Maybe you are right. Maybe NASA it its current form should die, so a New NASA can rise like a phoenix from its own ashes. Leaner, meaner, and a-political. But that's just a dream. Senator X from Y needs to make sure the industry in Y gets part of the pie, so does Congressman M from N for N's industry.
But the main point is: NASA needs to find something the American people can rally behind. That's Mars. Whether that takes us to the Moon first, and Phobos second, and Mars third doesn't matter. Whether it takes us until 2050 to set up all the infrastructure, digging the underground habitats, having the drones/rovers collect and move enough ice/water doesn't matter as long as there are defined waypoints with successes, a new Moon landing, a Phobos landing, etc. But you can't get the big budget if you're not with the popular crowd in the average American's mind.
Back in the time of the Apollo program, NASA was very popular. Today the Moon is been there, done that. Mars rovers? We currently have G3 roving around. G4 isn't going to generate tons of excitement. But going to Mars? To put, since it's NASA, good ol' American Boots on the soil of another planet? To be the first to have Real American Heroes planting the Stars and Stripes on the Red Planet broadcast "live" to a worldwide TV and streaming audience? That's going to generate a hype we haven't seen since, indeed, Apollo. Without sending Americans to Mars, NASA will only be of significance to the science community, with the associated budgets appropriate for that role.
What NASA can learn from the Mars One project is their idea to use tv coverage for funding. Set up a consortium of broadcast partners from around the world and negotiate. No need to give everything away for free.
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In New Zealand we got Proportional Representation in 1996 which has given us a bunch of coalition governments.
The one issue all parties in Parliament seem to agree on is tougher copyright laws.
What's the situation there with "campaign donations"? How about pure and simple bribery, like recording industry execs and lobbyists taking politicians and their party (wives,friends,kids) on VIP-arrangements to concerts, including backstage meet-and-greets? Because it's not something that's going to make them very popular with their constituents, there must be another motive.
Seriously people still use the goto statement and love it? I have never meet anyone that loved the goto statement.
Wow. I guess a 20 year patent term, after which the invention joins the public domain and becomes part of our heritage, doesn't discourage inventors from inventing. Why wouldn't the same apply to creators if copyright is limited to 20 years?
Every little picofarad has a nanohenry all its own. -- Don Vonada