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315 comments

But the moon is full of cheese (2)

James McGuigan (852772) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287261)

Bring home the moon cheese and there will be enough for everybody!

Re:But the moon is full of cheese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287693)

But it's moo-moo cheese, therefore sacrosanct.

Re:But the moon is full of cheese (0, Troll)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287983)

Am I the only one that finds it funny that in a country with a bunch of cows people are afraid to eat them? I suspect is was originally just a matter of not having enough pasture land back in the day the made someone say they are holy so you can't raise and kill them. But if they are there ... mmm steak.

Maybe now that the US is largely out of the space business India has a chance but did anyone in India really think they had a chance of doing ground breaking space work? Most of these "me too" countries just repeat the space race from 50 years ago: hey look we got a guy in space, we've orbited, we've shot something at the moon etc. A country that can't figure out that a call centre needs to be staffed by people that speak english well enough to be understood can't really expect much for cutting edge space work IMHO. (only somewhat joking)

Re:But the moon is full of cheese (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287771)

But the moon is full of cheese

So's my crotch.. Want some?

Re:But the moon is full of cheese (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287801)

I'm sorry, but even though the moon is made of cheese it would cost 100x as much to harvest the cheese from the moon vs producing cheese here on Earth.

Thoughts... (4, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287269)

1) Humanity eliminates all poverty, is subsequently wiped out by asteroid....CONGRATULATIONS!!!

2) Poverty, one aspect is that it's strongly tied to a lack of space. If we develop the means to expand our habitable environments. Poverty can be greatly reduced. We see this, with the discovery and colonization of America's, which in fact improved Europe by allowing many of the impoverished to migrate and become land owners.

Re:Thoughts... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287283)

You're a complete loon, you know that?

Re:Thoughts... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287303)

2) Poverty, one aspect is that it's strongly tied to a lack of space. If we develop the means to expand our habitable environments. Poverty can be greatly reduced. We see this, with the discovery and colonization of America's, which in fact improved Europe by allowing many of the impoverished to migrate and become land owners.

So India should put all its poor people on the moon?

The Oregon Trail! (4, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287349)

Yes, because driving West in a wagon with a gimpy wheel and grandma strapped to the roof to some new homestead next to a river and zap apple trees is perfectly comparable to development of the Moon- an airless, irradiated wasteland a quarter million miles up slope on a large gravity well.

Ah well, at least they won't die of dysentery.

Re:The Oregon Trail! (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287429)

Ah well, at least they won't die of dysentery.

I wonder if anybody has the mortality rate of Western settlers to compare with astronauts.

Re:The Oregon Trail! (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287753)

I don't know, I crashed more lunar landers than I killed pioneer families, but there's no log of how many astronauts were in the landers. Of course, I sold a lot of lemonade in the 'burbs too, and no one died there.

Re:The Oregon Trail! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287805)

The mortality rate for astronauts is 7.736%. It is estimated that approximately 53,000 people travelled the Oregon trail between 1840 and 1860. Of those about 10% died along the way. So by those numbers being an astronaut is safer. However, that's not a very good comparison.

No astronaut has actually "settled" space since it has always been a relatively short-term stay. Valeri Polyakov only stayed in space 437 days and 18 hours. Most pioneers went out and stayed out and it would have been difficult to go out and come back in a single year. In addition, there were a number of epidemics that added to the problem (cholera, typhoid, dysentery, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, malaria, yellow fever). These epidemics were not exclusive to the western expansion so should they be included? Many of these diseases actually killed more people than were being born. Often it was these diseases that drove people westward just as the American Civil War did since it was easier for some to rebuild in the West than in the devastated cities of the East (particularly in the South where Sherman's campaign raged). Popular myth holds that gunfights and Indian attacks decimated many pioneers, but that is truly myth. People were more likely to die from disease or accidents than from violence. The most common place to meet violence was along the Snake River plain in Idaho, but these were still relatively few and deaths were very few. Also, the people who went West were not all top-notch physical specimens like astronauts and were comparatively very poorly funded.

A better comparison might be to look at the Lewis & Clark expedition which left with 33 people and all, but one survived - 3% mortality rate. Apparently it's less dangerous going someplace where you don't have to worry about explosive decompression and running out of oxygen. I would also speculate that if you're going to get dysentery it's a whole lot less pleasant in an enclosed weightless environment... :-(

Re:The Oregon Trail! (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287517)

I think he was talking more about colonization of space in general, an important stepping stone which might be some sort of moon colonization or at least further efforts in that direction.

As for whether that will help India's poor any time soon, that's definitely an open question.

Re:The Oregon Trail! (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287575)

How would the moon help with that?

It is not even outside the earths gravity well. So not like you get a cheap launch to the next location.

Sounds like more space-nutter talk.

Re:The Oregon Trail! (2)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287687)

It is not even outside the earths gravity well.

How exactly do you define a gravity well? I've heard the term gravity well used, but as far as I know there is no "outside of the well", simply the amount of energy needed to escape earth's gravity. If there another way of using this phrase that I am unfamiliar with?

Re:The Oregon Trail! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287719)

Good point. I more meant to imply that the moon a satellite of the earth and as such launches from there still have to overcome the gravity of the earth vs say a launch from mars which would not be impacted measurably by the gravity of the earth.

Re:Thoughts... (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287391)

"Poverty, one aspect is that it's strongly tied to a lack of space."

They obviously haven't looked between your ears.

Re:Thoughts... (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287495)

2) Poverty, one aspect is that it's strongly tied to a lack of space. If we develop the means to expand our habitable environments. Poverty can be greatly reduced.

The old argument "We need to explore space to have more room!" is doesn't hold water. In his trilogy beginning with Red Mars [amazon.com] , Kim Stanley Robinson makes the point that with the current world population, even with multiple space elevators you couldn't move more people off the planet than are being born on it at any given time.

And if you had some way of lowering the population so drastically that you could move some significant amount of people away, you wouldn't need to anyway.

Re:Thoughts... (4, Insightful)

ZiakII (829432) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287615)

XKCD has an interesting write up [xkcd.com] on the topic, I found it fairly interesting.and recommend that people give it a read.

Re:Thoughts... (2)

Zorpheus (857617) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287839)

I would say the conclusion of that writeup is that it is possible to send everyone into space, if we would put all efforts in this.

Re:Thoughts... (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287931)

One thing that will need to be developed if we are to have a future off this planet is a self contained living pod that you can set down anywhere and you'll be able to live there.

It will be easier to build these for Earth first, and they are needed here on Earth first. Once that technology is widespread then it will be modified for other planets and that is what will allow us to get permanently off this rock.

but once they nuke pakistan (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287285)

but once they nuke pakistan from orbit they'll have enough wealth to spread to everyone!

that's how nuking works, right?

Reasonable Goals Already Accomplished (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287293)

The reasonable firsts have already been done. First satellite, first man, first woman, first moon landing. Mankind has won. It is time to reap the rewards of this era of not racing to space, and instead engage in domestic investment. This goes for any nation, including (and especially) India.

Re:Reasonable Goals Already Accomplished (4, Insightful)

littlebigbot (2493634) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287911)

The point of going to space was not simply to say, "we've done it." but all the advances it caused us to make, and to be able to better explore the universe, we need to start somewhere.
And we're still reaping the rewards of having raced to space.

Not just space, but research in general... (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287301)

You cannot eat research.

Those early men who tried to make fire by rubbing some sticks together in vain were obviously wasting their time. They could have better spent that time chasing a mammoth, and humanity would have been far better off.

Re:Not just space, but research in general... (1)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287357)

So you think somebody the specific early men that were sitting there, rubbing some sticks together were forced into that program by the leader of their tribe?

You there, instead of going hunting and gathering, so you can have something to eat and some new skins for protection against the elements and instead of looking for clean water, you are going to be sitting there, rubbing sticks together.

If you don't, I'll bash your head with this stone until either you start rubbing the sticks or the sparks from your eyes light up this wood.

Is that your idea?

Re:Not just space, but research in general... (2)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287729)

Do you think the people working at NASA, or for the Indian space program are doing it because they fear have their heads bashed with stones, or whatever the modern equivalent of that is?

Re:Not just space, but research in general... (0, Flamebait)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287831)

Oh, man, oh, how sad, how sad, I can't express sadness enough, there is no such HTML tag unfortunately.

The people working for Indian space program are on government welfare, more precisely they are paid by the people whose heads will be bashed if they don't give up portion of their time, portion of their effort in life to run this program.

How sad and pathetic your comment is... and the moderation......

Re:Not just space, but research in general... (4, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287393)

The modern world is like a game of Civ III where everyone has the Great Library. Any important piece of research discovered somewhere will be usable by everyone at practically the same time. Oh, you might have to pay a little more for it than if you had discovered it yourself, or you might be 20 years behind everyone else, but you'll reap the benefits soon enough. Not everyone on the planet needs to be a creator for the system to work, I don't see why that shouldn't be true on a national level as well.

Re:Not just space, but research in general... (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287447)

I don't think there were mammoths or people in India back then. ROFL!
But anyway, fire was more immediately productive than space travel is. They could instantly use it to cook. Also, that wasn't how fire was invented. It's theorized that it was borrowed from forest fires and lightning strikes and stuff then after that, humans developed ways to light a fire manually.
There is no reason for a country like India to go to space. Launching satellites is one thing but sending humans up there is pointless. They're so far behind other countries scientifically in space-based research that it's a gigantic waste of money that's being spent purely to boost up their country's ego.

Re:Not just space, but research in general... (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287837)

It's theorized that it was borrowed from forest fires and lightning strikes and stuff then after that, humans developed ways to light a fire manually.

So rubbing sticks together was even more worthless. They already had fire, and they were wasting time trying to figure out how to make it from scratch. *shakes head*

Re:Not just space, but research in general... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287879)

GPP was more relevant than that. They were rubbing sticks together trying to find a better way to start fires. Not invent fire. Just like India is trying to find a better way to get to space (or get there at all) not get there for the first time.

Either way spending money in society helps all, and provides incentives for others to become more productive.

Re:Not just space, but research in general... (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287681)

It's unjust to paint people with different priorities as generally anti-science. There could be many research on the topics on how to achieve greater crop yields, fight diseases, improve hygiene, build up infrastructure cheaply. Research only improves life when followed by a subsequent development and deployment of the discoveries.

Dear Prime Minister Singh... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287305)

...Tell them to fuck off.

I'm sure you'll be able to phrase it more diplomatically, but that's the answer you need to give detractors.

Sacking a space program is not going to solve poverty. It's not even going to help in any way.

Keeping a space program isn't going to magically cure poverty, but your country will see a rather nice return on investment, to say nothing of the return mankind itself will be rewarded with.

Re:Dear Prime Minister Singh... (0, Troll)

Larryish (1215510) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287465)

A prediction for the future, based on my experience with welfare programs in the United States of America:

India will decide to put the money into a welfare program.

Poor (and lazy) Indian girls make sure to get pregnant at the proper early age to ensure full benefits from the welfare program.

Then the Indian women will spend it all on fake fingernails and ridiculous-looking weaves while their children live on "Kraft dinner" and Kool-Aid.

They will then raise several generations of mindless, obese, unmotivated parasites who can't be bothered to get up from in front of the television long enough to kill the cockroaches that run across every surface in their government-provided housing.

And if you ask them, they will tell you it is "all whitey's fault".

Re:Dear Prime Minister Singh... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287695)

You are mixing up cause and effect. Poor people do not set out to get pregnant, that is how they end up poor.

Also the majority of welfare recipients are white, so I highly doubt they are blaming whitey.

Rupees are easy to find... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287327)

If they need rupees just smash some pots.

Re:Rupees are easy to find... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287417)

it's dangerous out there... take this.

Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287331)

Money is actually something virtual, just a way to transact goods and services.

So if the money should go to the poor instead of space research, this actually means: people spending time on space research, should actually spend time on helping the poor instead.

Is it indeed worth it to stop all progress, to help the poor first, until everyone is exactly as rich, and only then continue advancing technology?

Re:Money (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287799)

How is this advancing technology?
They could buy launches and know how from many companies already doing them.

This is just nationalist waste.

Gil Not-Heron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287341)

Neil Armstrong died today
(with Sambo on the dole)
He’s done picked up and gone away
(and Sambo’s on the dole)
We can’t afford no moonshots now
(with Sambo on the dole)
Ten years from now we’ll be broke still
(with Sambo on the dole)
The man jus’ upped my taxes
(’cause Sambo’s on the dole)
No roads, no parks, no space program
(but Sambo’s on the dole)
I wonder why he’s uppin’ me
(cause Sambo’s on the dole?)
I paid over 50 grand last year
(with Sambo on the dole)
Taxes takin’ my whole damn check,
Gangstas makin’ me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin’ up,
An’ as if all that crap wuzn’t enough:
Neil Armstrong died today
(with Sambo on the dole)
He’s done picked up and gone away
(but Sambo’s on the dole)
Was all that money I made las’ year
(for Sambo on the dole?)
How come there ain’t no money here?
(Hmm! Sambo’s on the dole)
Y’know I jus’ ’bout had my fill
(of Sambo on the dole)
I think I’ll sen’ the taxman’s bills,
Airmail special
(to Sambo on the dole)

Space program will solve poverty problem (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287347)

I'm all for this. An Indian space program will solve their poverty problem and the rest of the world's Indian problem. Just cram all those soulless cow-kissers in to a can and shoot them in to space.

Oblig. They don't shoot the money into space... (4, Insightful)

doug141 (863552) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287351)

they hire workers with it.

Re:Oblig. They don't shoot the money into space... (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287459)

they hire workers with it.

There's a typo in that. You meant to say they hire workers (scientists) from other countries with it.

Become great to eliminate poverty? (2)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287361)

Does a country have to eliminate poverty to become great? Or does greatness help to eliminate poverty? Or is there a balance of the two?

Ultimately, that's probably the question I'd be asking if I was the Indian prime minister.

Re:Become great to eliminate poverty? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287481)

Yes. No (Well, OK. Sometimes). Yes (but the equilibrium is situated near the "no poverty" point). Any other questions?

Re:Become great to eliminate poverty? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287525)

The Soviet Union had an amazing space program yet many Russians still live in poverty.

Re:Become great to eliminate poverty? (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287747)

You are using the wrong adverb. Not "still", but "again". Soviet people weren't rich, but by the time the space program was working, this kind of poverty did not exist anymore.

Re:Become great to eliminate poverty? (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287795)

I think the key thing to understand here is that poverty is likely to always exist in situations where resources are limited. And sometimes, that poverty has less to do with what you have, and more to do with what you do with it.

At this point, the question is, does throwing a billion dollars at the poverty issue actually help, or is it like throwing water on a grease fire? Is the problem the lack of funds or what is being done with the funds that are already being allocated?

If you put more money into feeding more people, then more people are going to have more children. You will then need to feed more children or they will live in poverty. If you, instead, throw the money at birth control, you will have fewer people, but those people will not necessarily become educated people. And even if you have more educated people, you need something for educated people to do, as they will likely either not be doing farm work, or they will not be able to do manual labor because of replacement by technology or cheaper labor.

In India, it is clear that they are motivated to create a space program and the money they are spending is being put more or less efficiently, into the goal of building a space program. That is something educated people can do. While they may well be pulling scientists and experts from other countries, India is not exactly unable to provide educated people already.

Certainly, much of the space program, despite its long term necessity, is definitely a short term luxury. To get around that, patriotism is used to provide encouragement where short term thinking will not. This is one case where taking the focus away from what you are missing, to what you can do together if you try is useful, I think.

Space is definitely a goal with need for significant capital investment, but considering the amount of resources in space, in the long term, it might be the only real solution to the problem of poverty. Simply trying to divvy up a limited (and shrinking) pool of resources is not going to end poverty. So in the end, I think it is good to consider aid for the poor, but it is not like India does not already have programs to assist with poverty. Sometimes you have to invest in a better future or your future will remain looking much like your present.

Re:Become great to eliminate poverty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287919)

They should just take a lesson from China, both countries have similar population sizes, large landmasses and useful resources.

One of these countries is exporting cold hard goods, doing hard physical work to do so, and acting as the world's manufacturer producing tangible objects people want. This has led to a massive boom for the country, launching it up the list of world economies to become second in the world.

The other tried to outdo the west in terms of services, things like call centres, software, it spread a lot of FUD about how it's schooling system allowed it to have as much talent as the west, and how it's call centre staff were all graduates, when in reality said call centre staff were about as capable as a rock and it's software engineers about as useful as a random text generator. This particular nation is still lingering around 10th place in the economic league tables, having half the economic power of nations like Germany despite having 15 times the population, and nearly 1/3rd of Japan despite having 10 times the population and a much greater land mass.

Honestly, if India wants to pull itself out of poverty it needs to just resort to good old fashioned hard work. Trying to outdo the west at it's own game and playing around with space programmes are of little use. Many companies in the West have long begun to realise that Indian call centres and software outsourcing are probably the fastest way to lose customers (i.e. Dell which has basically gone from major computer manufacturer, to footnote in history since it embarked on it's great Indian outsourcing experiment) and are starting to pull away. There's no doubt India has a lot of talent - it's sheer population size is bound to make that a statistical certainty, but it didn't have the armies of Western quality graduates manning call centres that it claimed, on the contrary, said staff were often not graduates at all, and those that were often from fake universities with fake accreditations. Put simply it was a scam, and no one is going to fall for that indefinitely- particularly not when it starts losing them customers.

So if India wants to eliminate poverty, it needs to take a leaf from China's book and start working hard, rather than try to be the world's con artist.

Even Jesus Said (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287371)

"The poor you will always have with you"
http://bible.cc/matthew/26-11.htm [bible.cc]

We will always have poor, and we will always have the responsibility to care for those who cannot help themselves, and help those who can help themselves to begin helping themselves (you have my welfare policy in a nutshell). But, we cannot allow it to be an all consuming policy that detracts from allowing those who do earn from progressing and from mankind as a whole from advancing.

Spave vs Poverty debate is a false dichotomy and I encourage Slashdotters to not fall into this trap.

Re:Even Jesus Said (-1, Flamebait)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287409)

Sounds pretty lame to me. I don't think we need to pay much attention to religious justifications for economic inequality from ancient carpenters or middle eastern sheepherders.

Re:Even Jesus Said (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287449)

Sounds pretty lame to me. I don't think we need to pay much attention to religious justifications for economic inequality from ancient carpenters or middle eastern sheepherders.

I've yet to hear a justification for equality. [alternativeright.com]

Re:Even Jesus Said (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287485)

Thank you for illustrating an ad hominem attack so well.

Re:Even Jesus Said (-1, Troll)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287741)

You're quite welcome. Ad hominem attacks are of course, appropriate when the original statement makes no appeal to reason, logic or facts. Moreover, those quoting religious figures as justification for anything are unlikely to be swayed by any sort of rationality. The best you can do is make them look ridiculous by pointing out the most absurd features of their arguments. Fortunately, this is rarely difficult.

Re:Even Jesus Said (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287827)

How would you discredit an argument appealing to mythology without someone calling it an ad hominem?

I guess appeal to authority could be pointed out.

Re:Even Jesus Said (4, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287587)

It was not a religious statement. It was an observation of fact. There will always be people who have less than others. Those who fall below some threshold will be classified as poor.

Re:Even Jesus Said (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287917)

The more you provide for the poor, the bigger the poor class becomes. It is very unfortunate, and the simple statement of this observation comes dangerously close to suggesting that if we just let the poor starve to death then everyone would be better off (which isn't true for many reasons, the least of which being the inescapable crime wave that would result).

But whether we like them or not, the facts remain factual. Poverty is not created by an imbalance of government spending, and it will not be cured by a proper balance. The proper balance of providence is important, but in order to be a "balance," it must include spending on things that actually bring new technologies to mankind.

People who really want to help the poor beyond what the government can afford can spend their own money doing it. If they don't want to do this, then I question the authenticity of their demands that other people's tax money must be used for this purpose.

Re:Even Jesus Said (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287941)

Except even in America today, where people with air conditioning, Xboxes, and cell phones are considered poor, we still have actual poor people who don't have homes. It's usually because they're mentally ill or don't want to take advantage of private and public assistance, but they are around, and they're what anyone except early hunter-gatherers would consider poor (today's actual-poor are essentially hunter-gatherers with comparatively nice clothing, environments, and equipment).

Re:Even Jesus Said (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287997)

and religion is irrelevant.

it does not 'cure' poorness and it surely does not cure richness.

it sits there and acts much more righteous than it actually is.

yes, poor will always be around. because mankind is a piece of shit, quite often, and is run by the 'I got mine, fark you!' mentality.

religion does not enter into this. why keep bringing goat herders fiction from thousands of years ago into this?

Re:Even Jesus Said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287653)

A message itself is not IN-correct because "gestalt_n_pepper (991155)" doesn't like religion. One of the alleged core failings of dogmatic religion is the failure to rationally and honestly seek truthfulness. This statement shows that same failing.

Re:Even Jesus Said (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287785)

It's stupidity I'm not fond of. Religion is a broad topic. It would be more accurate to say that I dislike theology, gurus like Jesus, Mohammed, et. al. or their fan clubs.

Re:Even Jesus Said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287475)

Try another example, from religon to education, To psychology. There will always be, is it a lack of oppertunity, how to create oppertunity? Could it be the lack of a "dream" of how to get out. Remember not all are created equal. Some need the helping hand to excape the shackles of lack.

Re:Even Jesus Said (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287569)

I tried parsing your text as best as I could. My response is that there will always be poor from the standpoint that resources are limited, and regardless of the absolute levels, there will always be inequality. As long as their is inequality there will be, at a minimum, a level of people who are below some perceived level of poverty. In short, the definition of poverty will change to ensure some people are in poverty.

There are two broad categorizations of resource utilization: current needs/wants and investment in the future. Current needs/wants feel the most important, and investment in the future never feels as important. Our monkey brains seem to be wired poorly to allow us the proper perspective we need on the future. The intelligent of us most step outside ourselves and lead the world to where it needs to go, and not allow the baser reactions to dominate.

Cop-out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287565)

Sounds like a cop-out to me. Actions speak lounder than words. When government decides to spend tax money on program A instead of program B, what else could it possiblly mean except that program A is worth more to government than program B? In other words, government stands to gain more from program A than program B.

Again, WHAT ELSE could it possibly mean?

Re:Even Jesus Said (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287593)

Why would a third hand quote from some tradesman from 2000 years ago matter in the slightest? You don't think some technological and scientific advances in the meantime might have changed the game a little? That advances in philopsophy and economic theory and ethics might make a difference?

Now they mightn't have of course, but surely you can find a quote from someone a little more recent with at least some credentials (or better still published studies) to back up their claims?

Sure if you are refering to relatively poor - but then the statement is meaningless anyway.

Re:Even Jesus Said (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287633)

A second ad hominem attack out of four replies.

Re:Even Jesus Said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287875)

well, mission accomplished then! out with the banner!

Re:Even Jesus Said (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287733)

This is India we are talking about. They have a caste system that specifically forbids a poor person from being rich and the other way around as well. That is to say, you are born into a fixed position in life and that is it.

Re:Even Jesus Said (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287775)

I think youre taking that grossly out of context. I dont think he was saying "forget the poor, theres no reason to care about them."

Re:Even Jesus Said (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287963)

jesus helps us.... exactly HOW, again?

oh right, he doesn't.

he's dead.

and not coming back.

adults who believe in fairy tales are a sad case, indeed.

Weird coincidence with the India Space stories... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287397)

It's a weird coincidence that all these stories are coming up now.

One of the main plot points in the new Doctor Who episode (which occurred in the future) was that the Indian Space Authority was involved in making sure that a huge out of control spacecraft did not hit earth. It was obvious that the Indians were major powers in space at the time of this story... to the point that they were taking the initiative to protect the entire earth.

Now there is a lot you can read into this story, but at least on some aspects it implies that the Indians become a major technological force in the U.S. One interpretation is that they use this to help bring massive numbers of people out of poverty.

I don't know... it's interesting that these questions come up at the same time that a sci-fi author sees that India could be a major force in the future world's space programs.

Re:Weird coincidence with the India Space stories. (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287809)

It's a weird coincidence that all these stories are coming up now.

Not a coincidence at all. This is an election year in the US and the sitting President is trying to cut space spending and shift the money to social programs.

Space vs. Poverty? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287399)

Right. Because the space program's goal is to load tons of rupees into a launch vehicle and launch them into orbit. And that's not counting the rupees stuffed into the launch platform to muffle the rocket exhaust or the solid fuel boosters whose fuel consists primarily of shredded rupees.

The money spent developing these capabilities is spent on Indians working on jobs. Developing a technological industrial base will help far more people over the long term than just dumping truckloads of rupees on the streets in Calcutta would.

Going to space (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287415)

Means that you also have technology to improve the situation on the ground - satellite monitoring is useful for planning and development.

And you also develop technology that has spin-off use on the ground.

Silly India (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287439)

Scientific progress is only for the rich. It's like giving Intel's best i7 processor to a cambodian farm boy.

in space we trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287451)

Yes, "India still has a large number of people living in abject poverty", but it has a large (enough) number of people NOT living in abject poverty and who wish to move forward with their lifes making use of their wealth AND/OR skills (and by that, -hopefully- move the rest forward).

Space is good (2)

Novogrudok (2486718) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287493)

Spending money on ambitious projects in space will make India richer in more than the monetary sense of the word. How much do you value the pride of a nation? Or the pride of individual engineers working on a space program?

Not everything is measured in GDP. You need big ideas to unite people and to create (at least an illusion of) movement towards the better life.

Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287527)

People are poor because they dont have money.
If they had money, they wouldn't be poor.
I think poor people should get money so they wouldn't be poor anymore.
They need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

Whitey on the Moon (1)

kid zeus (563146) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287589)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtBy_ppG4hY [youtube.com]

Whitey on the Moon, by Gil Scott-Heron

A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey's on the moon)
I can't pay no doctor bill.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
(while Whitey's on the moon)
The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
('cause Whitey's on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
I wonder why he's uppi' me?
('cause Whitey's on the moon?)
I wuz already payin' 'im fifty a week.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin' up,
An' as if all that shit wuzn't enough:
A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face an' arm began to swell.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Was all that money I made las' year
(for Whitey on the moon?)
How come there ain't no money here?
(Hmm! Whitey's on the moon)
Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)
I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
Airmail special
(to Whitey on the moon)

Red Herring??? (4, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287639)

Space exploration vs poverty relief always comes up, but IMHO it's a red herring. As big as space budgets sound, at the national scale they're generally a pittance - much smaller than is already spent on poverty assistance or any of a great range of things. Heck, in the US we spend less on the space program than we spend on oil exploration subsidies to highly profitable businesses.

Personally, I wonder if it's "convenient misdirection," holding up the space exploration budget as "potentially wasteful" in order to keep the general populace from looking in more wasteful places. In addition there doesn't tend to be a wealthy, powerful champion for the space program these days. The contractors who get rich on the space program also get rich on defense programs - one of those possibly more wasteful places - defense programs are easier to defend.

Parallel? (1)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287647)

"The debate raging in India parallels a similar one that has simmered in the United States for decades."

If by that you mean the debate that rich people believe that the government shouldn't be using their money for space; so they can keep it and spend it on hookers and blow... then I guess that's a parallel.

money isn't really all that important in this case (4, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287673)

Item 1: The poor in India aren't poor due to overtaxation.
Item 2: India's government is in better shape than most in Asia but there's still a fair level of corruption.
Item 3: If the corruption were cleaned up and civil institutions were impartial then the working poor could improve their situations in just a generation or two.
Item 4: The amount of money spent on the space program is pretty negligible in the big scheme of things. At least it gives the country a boost in the international ranking of such things and showcases the smart people in India which can have a lot of intangible benefit.

Interesting to note (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287697)

As the U.S. have resolved the dilemma by slashing both the space program and the poor!!

Re:Interesting to note (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287819)

Hey, at least our privately owned prison system is strong and providing lots of $8/hour jobs. With 48 states guarenteeing 90% bed occupancy, it is a system too big to fail.

(blarf... would be nice if the US can be known for something actually cool for once.)

Space program = a step too soon (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287713)

I have to agree that in the case of India; that has serious infrastructure [bbc.co.uk] problems, the money would be far better spent on the basics. Once India takes care of most of its' pressing matters and can provide reliable clean water, sanitation, electricity etc to the vast majority of the population, perhaps then they can reach for the stars as a bonus. If you take all the money put into the space program and invest in infrastructure, like the electrical grid/power would the average citizen not be far better off and have a better future? Let's not build towers in the air on foundations quite shaky.

Reject the Caste system.. then talk to me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287825)

Get rid of the Caste system in the Indian society first.

Money or not the society (or dare I say religion) of the Nation itself is the major cause.

Jobs program? (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287849)

Space programs may require a lot of high-tech work, but all high-tech work requires low-tech work. Ie. someone's got to dig the ditch to run the cables, someone's got to build the giant silos and buildings, someone's got to run the steel mill.

Money is like energy - it is not created or destroyed, simply transferred (at least, for ordinary economic activity - there are exceptions). Their space program is funding things on Earth, not shooting barrels of money into space.

Now, maybe it's not the most efficient way to create jobs for the poor, in the short-term, but think long-term. You cannot deny that the space program is a good thing in the long run. So when you look at it that way, it isn't a bad idea to spend some money "inefficiently" now, in order to improve things in the long run.

Teach the poor to fish. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287863)

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime"

India's focus should be on jobs, and I believe a space program is a great way to make them. Giiving that money to the poor would be noble, but stupid and wasteful.

The poor will always be with us (3, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | about a year and a half ago | (#41287905)

Yup, this was said aroudn 2,000 years ago and while the overall standard of living of the poor has improved, there are still people considered to be living in poverty. Now poverty in rural India is a lot different than poverty in the US or EU - my understanding of poverty in rural India is that it is nearly a foraging existance, subsisting on whatever is handed out or can be found lying around. Money? Not only is there none at all, but there wouldn't really be anything to spend it on either. So it is not a lot different from poverty 2,000 years ago.

The problem is poverty is caused by a number of things and "lack of opportunity" isn't a big one. From what I have seen, in most cases it is a matter of bad choices and uninformed choices. An abject failure to learn is also part of the scenario, in a big way.

In the US it is easy to see people spending $20 on lottery tickets rather than food for the baby when it is pretty clear to them that food for the baby is what is really needed. The result is often begging, borrowing or stealing trying to get the $20 for food for the baby. A few weeks later, the same thing happens again. Sooner or later the friends and relatives figure out it is just a really good idea to become really scarce when their friend or relative is looking for money.

Just making bad choices - partying instead of studying, for example, is enough to screw up people's lives in ways they can't imagine when they are young. Having made some bad choices some folks are able to pull it together and with a lot of drive, determination and ambition actually get somewhere but this is pretty rare. Mostly, the bad choices end up leading to more bad choices and not learning from them instead.

Absolutely, there are rich people that inherited the money and had someone to rescue them every time they screwed up or made a bad choice. But these people are the exception. For the most part they are the end of the line and their children will not be leading privileged lives. There are people that happened to fall into an opportunity and have managed to not screw things up, but again this is rare. Most people with more money and resources than their neighbors simply made better choices, planned for the future and have more determination and ambition.

What all of this means is there is no "solution" to poverty. Right now the US could rearrange things so as to give every single citizen a million dollars. Not counting what this would do to inflation and the economy as a whole, this would in effect eliminate poverty. Right? Except it is pretty much a dead certainty that within ten years there would be people who would have blown through the money and be "poor" again. Maybe as little as five years there would be significant numbers of these people. This would mean the entire exercise - and whatever side effects it would have - would be a waste of time. Which is why nobody seriously proposes doing something like this, at least not anyone with any sense of history and how these things work.

So there is no decision between space and poverty - there isn't anything to be done for "poverty" in a real sense. Oh, I suppose slavery is a solution - you take all the poor people and make them relatively pampered slaves and don't make catching escapees a priority. I am sure this would result in anyone with much ambition escaping but those that did and didn't like it would just come back to be taken care of. It would be a solution, but I don't think it is one that the West has much stomache for. At least not yet. Keep pushing the "fight against poverty" and that is where we will end up in some form or another because it is the only real "solution".

The Space Program is Not the Culprit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41287959)

In the US, if the US had spent trillions of dollars on its people, instead of on wars, there would be no poverty in the US at all.

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