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Comment: Re:This is a good thing. (Score 1) 100

by KeensMustard (#48576177) Attached to: Australia Pushes Ahead With Website Blocking In Piracy Fight
More like "War on Poor People/Pensioners","War on Small Business", "War on Manufacturing", "War on Wind Farms", "War on Students".

But of course, the fact that this government has announced an intent to do this is almost certain death for the idea. They are so disorganised and so incompetent that they could never get it done.

Comment: Re:One good turn... (Score 1) 234

by KeensMustard (#48567439) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

More generally, he stated that there is no actual data to support the notion that race does not contribute to intelligence, making a specific reference to Africans, and which happens to be a politically incorrect notion, but is still an accurate statement.

So he is saying that Africans are more intelligent than Europeans?

Comment: Re:"Expected" to release methane (Score 1) 329

by KeensMustard (#48566087) Attached to: Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

That climate science, to date, has been poor at prognostication is indisputably true.

Actually the point of this discussion is that the statement One must note that environmental science is best at observation, and typically poor at prognostication. is in fact unsubstantiated. Simply repeating that assertion multiple times does not substantiate it.

Comment: Re:the evils of Political Correctness (Score 1) 201

by KeensMustard (#48544885) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Medal Sells For $4.1 Million

For science to work you must be able to state an unpopular opinion and not get slaughtered for it.

No. You need to be able to present your research without being slaughtered for it. When it comes to opinion, scientists have the same rights and are subject to the same criticisms as anybody else.

How many white people do you see in professional sports?

Heaps.

Cricket, for instance, is dominated by white guys in Australia and England. On the other hand, India, Pakistan and the West Indies have very strong teams - why? Because cricket favours places where kids can play the game in the street. Genetics don't enter into it.

Another example: Aussie Rules versus Rugby. Aussie Rules has a disproportionate number of Aboriginal players, whereas Rugby (in Australia/NZ) is dominated by Maoris and Islanders (Samoans, Vanuatans etc). Are Aboriginals genetically pre-disposed toward Aussie Rules, or is it actually because they grow up playing and loving Aussies Rules (Whereas Samoans grow up loving and playing rugby)?

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 1) 59

by KeensMustard (#48534257) Attached to: Test Flight For NASA's Orion Capsule Slated for December 4

Describe SPECIFICALLY what it is that humans can do better than robots in the vacuum of space : And I don't mean meaningless tripe, I mean practical tasks to do with the point of going into space: to explore. Show how the need to perform this task justifies the extra expense associated.

[no response]

I take it from you lack of response that you cannot think of anything?

It would help if you actually read what I wrote:

Here is what you wrote: Deep sea drilling even has divers that go underwater for weeks at a time for critical repairs... doing things that are enormously expensive and even approaching costs for sending astronauts into space. I've highlighted the section that caught my eye. How much does going underwater cost? I couldn't find any figures related to the costs of divers going underwater to repair deep sea drilling rigs. I did uncover the cost of James Camerons DeepSea challenge (http://deepseanews.com/2012/04/shouldnt-we-be-more-skeptical-of-the-deepchallenger-dive/) which works out around 5 million dollars. I'm sure you would agree that 5 million dollars a person would not get you to LEO, let alone beyond LEO (which, thanks to the necessary delta V) starts at a floor 10x that of LEO.

In short, I was being generous.

Since you got this so wrong, I need not reply any further.

You don't get to decide.

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 1) 59

by KeensMustard (#48517095) Attached to: Test Flight For NASA's Orion Capsule Slated for December 4

What you are demonstrating is a clear belief without objective facts to back up what you are saying.

I question your beliefs so must somehow have beliefs of my own? YOU said: Presuming that there is something worth doing in space at all, you need eventually to put a crew there.

We have been trying to uncover the reasons behind that assertion ever since.

My point is that there is a role for crewed missions into space.

No, your point was: Presuming that there is something worth doing in space at all, you need eventually to put a crew there.

There may be some better planning that goes on too with those missions and money might be better spent in some cases on robotic missions too, but it is just flying in the face of logic to say that robots alone can get the job done as well.

Describe SPECIFICALLY what it is that humans can do better than robots in the vacuum of space : And I don't mean meaningless tripe, I mean practical tasks to do with the point of going into space: to explore. Show how the need to perform this task justifies the extra expense associated.

Robots working in a coal mine do occasionally need human technicians to pull things apart and rework the equipment.

There aren't any coal mines in space. On earth, it makes economic sense to use humans to repair robots because, you know, breathing. In space, we would use a robot to perform the repair. Or, just send another probe if the first broke down. No biggy.

Deep sea drilling even has divers that go underwater for weeks at a time for critical repairs... doing things that are enormously expensive and even approaching costs for sending astronauts into space. They use robots with those human in these very difficult situations, and I am suggesting this won't end at the edge of the atmosphere of the Earth either.

So you base your argument on a set of criteria confined to low earth orbit, as if humans in low earth orbit are exploring.

None of this even touches the need for humanity to spread beyond the Earth as a species and become multi-planetary in terms of its long-term survival.

Demonstrate this need using objective criteria.

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 1) 59

by KeensMustard (#48509599) Attached to: Test Flight For NASA's Orion Capsule Slated for December 4
I'm not interested in you opinion any more than a child's christmas list to santa - unless you can tie that opinion to a hitching post in the world of objectivity.

You said that manned exploration is superior to robotic exploration. This flies in the faces of what we observe in the real world - where robots perform amazing feats and bring great increase to our storehouse of knowledge about the bizarre and beautiful world outside our atmosphere. It flies in the face of logic - what would a fleshy, air breathing body and it's associated bacterial load bring to a cruise to the Oort cloud? You apparently can't tell us.

An opinion that can't be justified in objective terms would be best described as a belief - would you agree? That your opinion that manned space exploration is superior to robotic exploration is in fact a belief?

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 1) 59

by KeensMustard (#48505165) Attached to: Test Flight For NASA's Orion Capsule Slated for December 4

The argument is pretty simple: When you have researchers on the Earth running a robotic probe, you have at least a half hour or longer reaction time trying to respond to anything that happens on Mars. It gets worse the further out in the Solar System you travel... simply due to the speed of light. K

But once again - noticeably vague about the exact circumstance in which human levels of intelligence (hampered by the limited human body) would provide a noticeably better result than the types of AI that are currently available. Perhaps if you were to describe a specific circumstance in which a typical space probe - say Mars Orbiter, or Cassini, or Rosetta, would maneuver better if ta human was onboard flying it. Taking into account orbital mechanics, momentum and the like.

I'm merely invoking the MSL researchers because if anybody has a reason to be "robots first!", it would be them. They are obviously folks who are getting paychecks from the robotic missions being run by NASA and have the most to gain by dissing the crewed missions of NASA (like Carl Sagan did). If they instead are pointing out the need for crewed missions, it would seem like a contrary opinion that needs some extra attention.

It seems to me that if these people are the experts and their knowledge of the state of robotic tech is current, that this view should be able to be articulated in detail, rather than referred to in generalities. Can you enlighten us?

If you think we don't need to send people to Mars or Europa, my argument is that we don't even need to bother with space exploration in general either. Stop sending the robots too because it is a waste of time.... for the very same logic that it means we shouldn't send people either. The whole enterprise is either necessary to send both or it is important to send neither. There is no reason to make a preference for one or the other and judge that only robotic exploration is necessary.

We should go to Europa and Titan and Triton and Pluto and Neptune and the Kuiper belt becase they are interesting. We've been to Mars, nothing much happening. We should send robots because they are far more capable and do a far better job than humans do. Sending humans is like sending monkeys or voles or siamangs. Sure, animals are cute and fluffy. But the interesting part is the destination, not the cargo. Why should we continue to hinder science because a vanishingly small number of people cling to some dusty notion about humans in space? We don't spend billions of dollars on medieval re-enactments, or steam train, or gas street lights - better, cheaper technologies have replaced them. Same with manned space flight.

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 1) 59

by KeensMustard (#48497995) Attached to: Test Flight For NASA's Orion Capsule Slated for December 4
Then by your own criteria, manned spaceflight serves no purpose. We will never have sufficient lift capacity to move significant numbers of people - and if we developed that technology (i.e. an engine with sufficient power to fuel wieght ratio) we would be sufficiently advanced that overpopulation ceases to be an issue.

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 1) 59

by KeensMustard (#48496233) Attached to: Test Flight For NASA's Orion Capsule Slated for December 4

The unfortunate problem is that it is important to actually send researchers eventually to these locations or at least somewhat close to them for more timely and relevant scientific investigations.

So it is said - without proof. The point of investigations is to get the outcomes of those investigations back to earth since information stored locally on a hard drive (be it actual hardware or wetware) is useless.

Some people are suggesting that artificial intelligence may be the key, but like nuclear fusion, warp drive, teleportation, and several science fiction concepts, artificial intelligence is always 30+ years away from actually being developed. It is much harder than it appears where computer scientists who predict silly notions of human like intelligence any time in my or your lifetime is just not facing reality.

Some people claim (without proof) that human levels of intelligence are required locally for a mission to be successful. The problem is that premise, which needs to be proven before we worry about how long it will take to invent AI.

No less than the lead investigator for the Mars Science Lab (aka the Curiosity rover) has openly stated he would gladly pay even a premium over the costs spent on that rover simply to have a few scientists there on Mars to perform the scientific studies there. I'll also point out the involvement of Harrison Schmitt who arguably performed more actual scientific studies and investigations outside of the Earth than all of the robotic missions combined. There is a very real need for human researchers in these places for actual space exploration to happen.

What were those arguments in detail? Do the arguments generalise beyond Mars (noting that Mars is the most boring place in the solar system)? I'm disinclined to bow because the pope of outer space made a pronouncement.

Crews are going to be needed for actual exploration of space, not to mention that sending people to these places also captures the imagination of those pursuing scientific and engineering disciplines. It has been said "No bucks, no Buck Rodgers". I argue the opposite though, as a soulless spacecraft running around on Mars is not nearly as inspiring as somebody like Buzz Aldrin who can stare you straight in the face and tell you honestly that he has walked on another world.

Apparently he wasn't inspiring enough 40 years ago, otherwise the program he was involved in wouldn't have been cancelled.

That is why we need to send people to Mars, to Europa, and to other places in the Solar System. They both inspire and create opportunities to make things happen.

No they don't.

An authority is a person who can tell you more about something than you really care to know.

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