Thursday, 9 June 2016

IS THERE INTELLIGENT LIFE ON EARTH?


25 comments:

  1. As always, Monty Python does it sublimely

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkkjzmuEBbo

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  2. It's not thgthge lack of cash, sadly, it's the lack of political will, that prevents the exploration of water in Earth's arid areas.

    Personally, I think we should be doing both.

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    1. Yes, I agree. But the priority must be the people who can't get water now.

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  3. Daft choice of comparison. There's enough money and resources in our world to do both. The value of finding clean water for people to drink is a no brainer, but looking for water on Mars is also worthwhile since it adds to the sum of human knowledge about our solar system and how planets develop which, for one thing, might improve our understanding of how to avoid the same thing happening to Earth as happened to Mars. If you want to make savings to spend on clean water for people, there are plenty of pointless and downright destructive human activities that could be more usefully dumped.

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    1. I'd not disagree with the idea that looking for water on mars is a waste of time and money. I'd just prioritise water spending so that people who were dying of thirst got water right away.

      I wholeheartedly agree that the are many things that we fund that we shouldn't, although of course many of these are matters of opinion and taste.

      If, for example, we spent the quarter of a trillion pounds, as it has now become, that we are due to spend on Trident, on water resources instead, we wouldn't be a penny worse off, and many people would be able to drink. (This might help migration!) Of course there are those who would argue that were we to do that we would immediately be subject to nuclear bombs dropping on dear old Blighty.

      You pays your money and you takes you choice.

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  4. Tris

    The world isn't fair, it won't ever be fair as long as we keep electing the same people who allow the few to get away with pretty much what they want. For all the technological advances we have we are going backwards in how we treat people and each other and that is partly down to us.

    We have allowed oursleves to be dumbed down and sedated by fear and by apathy. We are fed the fear every day to keep us compliant and the apathy to keep us off the streets. If we ever show signs of waking up no doubt they will put something in our food. I often wonder where the tipping point is, not the stupid game show on ITV to keep us stupid, but the point where we actually become outraged at what we have allowed the politicians and the wealthy to do to us. Water for example should be a human right, but water is a commodity that can help control the developing world. When I got married in Ghana 10 years ago we provided coke, fanta etc for all the guests and the kids at the reception but we also provided bottled water. We encouraged everyone to take anything away at the end they wanted so it would not go to waste, we were left with the coke and the fanta, the kids took the water and I will never forget that. Water in some parts of the world is more precious than money or gold, to deny anyone water should be a crime against humanity. I also think we need to try and fix our problems here before we spend squillions on going to Mars, no matter how important the science is. In this world as it is, we can't do both.

    Rant over it's nearly the weekend.

    Bruce

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    1. Touching story, Bruce.

      Very touching.

      Ha ha ... have a rant free weekend...

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  5. The photo says more than a thousand words

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    1. Certainly pictures tend to say an awful lot more than my words say... which is why I use them so much.

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  6. These kind of comparisons really annoy me, always have.

    Q. "Why are we exploring space, when there are people starving on Earth?"

    A. "Survival of our species."

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    1. Probably a more appropriate question would be ... why are we spending nearly quarter of a trillion on a weapon we won't use when there are people eating out of bins?

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    2. And a desire to be big shots when w don;t ahve the means... far coats and nae knickers

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  7. These questions are interesting. We generally know the answers. However we do not have unlimited resources, so priorities need to be made. Pure science does not always have obvious benefits, but ultimately good can come.

    Nobody had any idea what to do with lasers or transistors when they were invented. Indeed I remember the ZX80 Sinclair computer - a pointless toy in its day. And nowadays a world without computers is fairly unimaginable.

    Now governments, using taxpayers money, are going to find less votes in philanthropy than they are in building a spaceport in their back yard. So however unacceptable it is that poor people in developing countries lack water, they are unlikely to benefit by rich countries cancelling Mars missions. Indeed quite the opposite. Entrepreneurs in California have form in funding Global philanthropic missions. They also will make money from Mars exploration.

    Very often in developing countries, it is bad governance which stands in the way of development. Aid budgets spent on swimming pools at the presidents palace are doubly squandered as they neither help the intended recipients nor the donor taxpayers.

    S.A.

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    1. Surely all foreign aid could be run properly and the money wouldn't be wasted. Mind asking the Brit government to oversee something to ensure that it is not corrupt is a bit ironic.

      If I were the overseas development minister I'd ensure that the money we spent was handed out in stages.

      You (mr President of a 3rd world country) would come to us in Edinburgh with a proposal. We would evaluate whether it was something we wanted to invest in/ fund.

      If it was we'd issue a first payment...to get stage one of the project underway. if the money was used properly for that, then stage two money could be released, etc etc. if it disappeared into a BVI bank account in the name 90890786756/0 then no more money would be available to that country while that regime was in power. And the instalments would be pretty small so it wouldn't even be worth their while stealing the first instalment.

      Instead the brits throw money at people, whether they want it or not, and of course it gets pinched. Knowing the Brits I'd not be surprised if the pinching starts in London.

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    2. It suits the donors that the recipients are corrupt. Aid, so long as not too much goes to the needy, and the main part goes to the corrupt politicians , who recycle it in London.

      It is another method of floating the capitalist boat around the World.

      The problem comes when the uneducated and avoricious tinted ones want it all and it rather draws attention to the minor scam being perpetrated. Damn shame that.

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    3. Yes BlP If aid were aid, I suspect that what I laid out above would happen.

      But aid is not aid. Aid is bribery; aid is rewards; aid is paying out enough to keep Britain at the top table. Helping people has sod all to do with it.

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  8. We are the most intellegent and at the same time the most stupid species on Earth. It is important for our species to find a potential new home elsewhere in the cosmos, for one reason that we'll probably have buggered this one beyond repair!

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    1. Surely, PS, we can do that AND find enough water for people in places where it doesn't rain for 5 or 6 years at a time, and when consequently there isn't much to eat?

      It might stop the people who live there trying to cross the Med.

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  9. Err so Conan is evolving from an extremist
    nat to a new species of wery extremist nats

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    1. Hello Niko. Where have you been?

      I thought maybe you'd headed off to the imperial capital to celebrate Phil's birthday.

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    2. A wery, wery extremist Nat who thinks that although scientific research can be used for warfare, the reverse is also true. The V1 ultimately gave us a man on the moon via ICBMs, cannon manufacturing gave us steam engines and Colossus gave us the internet. Look it up.

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  10. Strange comparison, and also incorrect. Finding water elsewhere in the solar system alludes to where we may find life. The existence of that life would give us a second genesis of life to look at, see if its the same as here, how it has changed over time and may infact save far more lives over time than providing clean water, in fact it may even allow us to provide clean water in an easier way. SInce the soil on mars is high in perclorates which life does not like, any life there ma have some special ability to filter water that we have not came across.
    Also if you think its more apt to compare it to the amount being spent on nuclear weapons, say that.

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