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Warren DeMontague

Profile Information

Name: Easy D Montague
Gender: Male
Member since: Thu May 20, 2004, 05:02 AM
Number of posts: 80,708

About Me

History always serves us right; I've got a few tricks left, a dog in this fight

Journal Archives

These are all really good questions.

1) Higher, absolutely. NASA currently gets a sliver of the discretionary budget and yet, science and exploration always pay off not just in material benefits but also in knowledge (and the two are linked). Prime areas for redirecting funding towards NASA could come from the Military/Industrial Complex and the Drug War, for starts.

2) See above: I think it's ludicrous that we spend a Trillion on the Military, we spend 60 Billion a year to try to keep people from smoking pot... NASA gets, what, 12? 16? I think that the entire DEA budget could be subsumed and given to NASA, that's a start. How much, dollar figure? Increase it by an order of 10 from where it is, just for starters.

3) Both are important. Obviously given the current status of technology, deep exploration will need to be robotic for the time being. I'd like to see a situation where one does not always need to come at the expense of the other.

4) Is pretty tied up with 3), also 2) and 1). If we're talking percentages, split it down the middle.

5) I actually think the idea of a specialty-focused science and environmental gov. org separate from NASA is not a bad idea; nevertheless, NASA is leading the way in understanding planets as whole systems, which is what the Earth is. But NASA's core mission should be exploration and knowledge of the universe off-Earth. If budget allowed, Earth sciences going to a new department is a reasonable idea.

6) Solar observation? Sure. Solar science could remain a NASA job. Perhaps a partnership.

7) If by "worlds" you mean Planets, moons, and dwarf planets, that's another good question. Mars first. Then Europa. Ceres if it looks interesting enough (we should have an idea next year) Enceladeus, Titan.. Venus has gotten short shrift but I think it could be an interesting case study. Jupiter. I'd also like to know what is out in the Kuiper belt. We're going to get a close up look at Pluto-- so how about Eris next?

8) Mars is the obvious next destination for landing humans, to my mind.

9) Ceres, again. A Venus flyby is technologically feasable near-term and could provide crucial mission experience for long-duration spaceflight outside the near-Earth environment. Science might be low but the historic factor would be high. Plus, again, everyone likes to blow off Venus because, obviously, it's so frikken hellish there, but it is close and might have some interesting data points. Beyond that the moons of the 2 big gas giants are an obvious additional destination for human spaceflight, depending on how well issues like radiation can be dealt with.

10) I think the shuttle, with its inherent design flaws, brought the risk rate too high. There will always be risks. That said, I don't know what the acceptable rate is.

11) Depends on my personal life situation. I have others who depend on me so that factors pretty highly into any decision I would make that would put me in danger at this point in my life. Plus, I'm probably getting too old.

12) Yes, although like I said, I'd like to see the military cut and the drug war ended first. Yes. Unknown, since again these things don't take place in a vacuum. The fantasy political will to raise NASA's budget significantly (namely, in a universe where I ran everything) would also include the will to re-prioritize the areas I've mentioned, as well as others.

13) Unknown, although I personally believe that humans will be living, for instance, on Mars permanently by the end of this century. Colonization implies familes and children. I think when humans decide to go to live there, they will take their kids. That's how it works.

14) If I could go anywhere? I'd like to see other solar systems. That's not likely to happen. If I could go anywhere in this solar system? I think looking at Saturn from one of its moons would be the best view imaginable. But I'm old school, I'd have to go to Mars to appease my inner 8 year old, who would never forgive me if I didn't make that my first choice.

15) Another good question. I think humans will live on the moon and Mars- I think eventually (1000 year timeframe) humans will begin to Terraform Mars and, perhaps, other worlds of the solar system, depending on our abilities. Mars seems most doable. I suspect humans will establish outposts on Ceres and also Jovian and Saturnian moons. If we're still technologically backwards enough to need to burn hydrocarbons, humans may utilize the methane lakes on Titan, etc.

16) Another excellent question. I think social predictions for the future are hardest of all (look how ludicrous past ones all turn out, like how in the 1950s by 2000 we were all going to be wearing shiny unitards and plastic skullcaps) but I do think, if history and human nature are any guide, social and governmental experimentation will continue to take place in their most innovative, or at least different, forms at the frontiers of human exploration.
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Fri Sep 12, 2014, 06:02 AM (0 replies)

Because her aspect ratio is all fucked up?

Seriously, that thing is giving me a headache.

Anyway, if there's one thing I can't stand almost as much as Kardashians, Hiltons, and other emblems of vacuous famous-for-being-famous-osity, it's breathy, overwrought pontificating on the ominous implications impled by said phenomena.

Yeah, who cares. Kim Kardashian is a celebrity mobius strip, an Escheresque strange loop of self-feeding (and self-enriching) media pretzel logic. So what? Is (so-called) "late-stage American-style capitalism" really the only human endeavour that glorifies, basically, nothing? (Let's avoid dovetailing into what seems to me an almost inevitable digression into religion, here) No, actually, it's not. Very few "celebrities" around the world are Dalai Lamas, at least compared to the number who are on TV because they can look good in a tank top while eating a banana.

And ever was it thus.

And that "famous for nothing, rich for just being there" as thing? Yeah, okay, maybe the part about fighting the revolutionary war to be free of royalty is a bit overstated, given that the impulse seems to be hard-baked into at least the supermarket tabloid aspects of our collective English-speaking psyche.

But come on. Whatever it is, it's not exclusive to the US, and it's certainly not new.

Posted by Warren DeMontague | Sat Sep 6, 2014, 06:12 AM (2 replies)
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