February 22, 2006

 

Technology? Humbug !

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Per Joe's suggestion in the comments of the last post, I perused a list of NASA spinoff technology to enlighten my crabby Luddite worldview.


Rage Against the MACHINE !

The NASA thing is mostly a "for example" suggestion of how our priorities could be rearranged. I don't believe that NASA is useless and I do not advocate scuttling the whole ball of cosmic dust, but for the sake of the dialectic, and you know how we love our dialectic, a couple of things jumped out at me on this webpage:

One cannot even begin to place a dollar value on the lives saved and improved lifestyles of the less fortunate. Space technology benefits everyone and a rising technological tide does raise all boats.

CAUTION: The language in the above statement contains propaganda.

Does anyone smell the sibling of Reaganomics/trickle down? Technological advancements cost big bucks and they hold very high premiums at their outset (often for years - how much was your first VCR?). And for what, a bunch of really neat stuff sold at the Sharper Image? I know, I'm playing a bit of my own devil's advocate here. The "boats" aphorism is the same old voodoo and is especially repugnant to us liberals. That's the logic used to put forth how a flat income tax is best for everybody. It's interesting how they never speak about who owns the yacht or the dinghy.

VIRTUAL REALITY...yadda yadda yadda...creates a telepresence experience.

Our planet needs more of the good ole regular type of reality. Now, the water purification thing is great, but the aerodynamic golf ball and ribbed swimsuit? Some of the medical stuff is laudable, but wouldn't taxpayer dollars be better utilized toward wiping out famine and AIDS rather than what we'll find out in fifteen years about the uninhabitable planet at the far end of our solar system?

It is correct to say that there plenty of other areas of federal spending needing overhaul or elimination far ahead of NASA. But I can't escape my perhaps prejudiced vision of pencilnecks getting their jollies from investigating the vast mysteries of the universe on our dime.

Comments:
Reality is for people who can't handle Asimov.
 
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