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Forum » SpaceEngine » Off-topic Discussions » Science vs Military budgets (Where should the money go?)
Science vs Military budgets
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 09:01 | Message # 1
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Split from another thread

Quote (DoctorOfSpace)
I say we give them more money, as much as possible really. Just think of what NASA could accomplish if they had a budget even 1/8 the size of the national defense budget.

I agree wholeheartedly. Even if their budget became just 1% of the federal budget (double what it is now), then we could accomplish anything. It would probably also lead to vaccines and cures for diseases that the pharmaceutical industry can't develop even with tens of billions of dollars. Money spent on space science tends to have a disproportionally large impact. Historically, money spent on space has lead to economic growth equal to 7 times the original investment within twenty years.

Also, I advocate for taking money away from the Pentagon and either using it for something else, like science, medicine, and technology, or just not using it and lowering the national debt. We owe so much money to China and if they ever decide to cash in on it we're in trouble. But I digress.

I ran some numbers some time ago, and concluded that even if you slashed the DoD budget to as low as $350 billion, barely more than half of what it is now, you could still defend the United States just as effectively as is done currently, if not more so. As Reid Gower so effectively pointed out in the Sagan Series, the world's governments spend $2,100 billion on military programs each year, versus $38 billion on space programs. This is, frankly, appalling. Our governments care about instruments of death and destruction 55 times more than they care about exploring new frontiers, and I can only assume that we the people who elected them do as well. If both of those numbers were $400 billion then I would be happy.

I think that at least 10% of the federal budget should be dedicated to scientific, technological, and medical research and development. A very large percentage of our most significant problems could be solved in this way.





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Saturday, 11.08.2012, 09:07
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 09:16 | Message # 2
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A documentary in the works that covers this subject and a wide range of other issues with our space program.

http://www.kickstarter.com/project....mentary

I'll be glad when this documentary is done. If you haven't seen the preview trailer then I recommend watching it.





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SpaceEngineerDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 09:39 | Message # 3
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Imagine how much money could be released if the USA just stopped making wars in the Middle East, cut down its military bases spread around the world and just used country-based defense systems.

I dream of some threat from outer space that forces humanity to develop space technology to reduce our internal conflicts. Maybe even an alien race that could hit major military bases and run away, and then, after 100-years, they return and say that they made it with no aggressive intentions, but only to help accelerate our space expansion.

*





 
Antza2Date: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 13:27 | Message # 4
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Quote (SpaceEngineer)
I dream of some threat from outer space that forces humanity to develop space technology to reduce our internal conflicts. Maybe even an alien race that could hit major military bases and run away, and then, after 100-years, they return and say that they made it with no aggressive intentions, but only to help accelerate our space expansion.

Unfortunately that would probably just lead to development of more powerful weapons of mass destruction and not actual space exploration. If aliens attacked and withdrew then colonising other worlds would be the last thing we'd do. We'd just huddle down on Earth and make an immensly powerful defense system. Like a turtle huddling inside it's shell.





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anonymousgamerDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 14:02 | Message # 5
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Quote (Antza2)
Like a turtle huddling inside it's shell.


OGame much?

But yeah, we would probably try to invent new weapons tech and if we were to go out and colonize, we would be way more wary of possible threats and maybe seem more hostile than we really are.





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pebbleDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 14:48 | Message # 6
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I am a lover of peace, and the exploration of the universe. I'd send all my tax money to the space program and other non-aggressive, life-affirming expenditures if I had the choice. The fact that I can't is a direct measurement of how much growing up my culture (at least) has yet to do.

I am encouraged, however, by the international community which has formed around Space Engine and related things. It demonstrates (in a small but important way) that we are bound by curiosity, a love of the magnificent vastness we call the cosmos, and a common desire to share and explore.


Edited by pebble - Saturday, 11.08.2012, 14:49
 
pebbleDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 14:51 | Message # 7
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Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Imagine how much money could be released if the USA just stopped making wars in the Middle East, cut down its military bases spread around the world and just used country-based defense systems.


I agree wholeheartedly.
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 16:29 | Message # 8
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Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Imagine how much money could be released if the USA just stopped making wars in the Middle East, cut down its military bases spread around the world and just used country-based defense systems.

I very much agree with this. You could cut the US military spending by half if you used the resources to defend the country's borders rather than have bases in Germany, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere, while simultaneously fighting ineffective wars in various unstable places. Military is for defense, not intervening in other countries' affairs every time you don't like them. The US is not the only country that is guilty of excessive intervention, though it certainly the biggest offender.

Quote (pebble)
I am encouraged, however, by the international community which has formed around Space Engine and related things. It demonstrates (in a small but important way) that we are bound by curiosity, a love of the magnificent vastness we call the cosmos, and a common desire to share and explore.

Yes. Whatever the political, cultural, and ideological differences that may hinder peace and cooperation among nations, the past few decades of the information revolution have shown that there are people all around the world that are desiring peace, progress, and cooperation, and that our mutual admiration for the wonders of living outweighs our mutual distrust of each other.

Quote (Antza2)
Unfortunately that would probably just lead to development of more powerful weapons of mass destruction and not actual space exploration.

Unfortunately, I agree with this. It would just cause more mistrust, stockpiling of weapons, and adversarial behavior. Like the Cold War but worse.

The world's peoples may generally love each other, but the world's governments do not.

Also, this thread is not just for discussing United States budgets, it just started out with that because Doctor and I live there. We should be discussing the money being spent by all of our countries smile





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Antza2Date: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 18:12 | Message # 9
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)

Unfortunately, I agree with this. It would just cause more mistrust, stockpiling of weapons, and adversarial behavior. Like the Cold War but worse.

What i meant with my comment was that governments of the world would probably be more cooperative but wouldn't focus on space colonization because they now know that there are dangerous aliens out there and colonies would need military resources. Instead they would start producing more effective weapons against the aliens and probably create a worldwide defense network of nuclear missiles / ion cannons / railguns or whatever weapons they would have developed.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 18:40 | Message # 10
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Quote (Antza2)
What i meant with my comment was that governments of the world would probably be more cooperative but wouldn't focus on space colonization because they now know that there are dangerous aliens out there and colonies would need military resources.

Ah, okay. Well then I would say that I don't completely agree. Yes, there might be greater cooperation, but I also see there being increased tensions and eventual mistrust, which could ignite a Cold War v2, which would be much more complex and fragile than the previous one. But I do completely agree that an attack by extraterrestrials would certainly kill our space programs, especially in the short term. And when we did finally leave Earth again, it would likely be for military purposes.





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Antza2Date: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 19:13 | Message # 11
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Ah, okay. Well then I would say that I don't completely agree. Yes, there might be greater cooperation, but I also see there being increased tensions and eventual mistrust, which could ignite a Cold War v2

I can totally see your point and that is a very likely scenario. Perhaps i'm just too optimistic biggrin





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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 19:48 | Message # 12
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Quote (Antza2)
Perhaps i'm just too optimistic

Perhaps, but the opposite could also be said of me wink

On an unrelated note, this is an amazing video that directly relates to the topic of this thread: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j96a_bjfnyI





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Saturday, 11.08.2012, 20:19
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 21:04 | Message # 13
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
On an unrelated note, this is an amazing video that directly relates to the topic of this thread: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j96a_bjfnyI


I find it funny how we took Russia as such a huge threat and yet now the USA seems to be largely ignoring China's space program.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 22:14 | Message # 14
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Quote (DoctorOfSpace)

I find it funny how we took Russia as such a huge threat and yet now the USA seems to be largely ignoring China's space program.

Well it's not quite the same thing. Sputnik was the first demonstration to the West of the Soviets' ballistic missile technology, and the US technology was at that time less developed. So there was a panicked race to catch up and to surpass them, to ensure that the US would be able to deny the Soviets superiority in space.

Presently, the US technology is more developed than China's, though that gap is diminishing. Also, there is still the matter of how much the US depends on China, so they try not to piss them off too much.





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AerospacefagDate: Sunday, 12.08.2012, 00:51 | Message # 15
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Beside the military budget there's, you know, such thing as diplomacy, intelligence and all sorts of influence from so-called "civilized" countries to the rest of the world.

The problem lies even deeper. From my position it seems as if only a fraction of a percent of all people really do care about overcoming the approaching challenges together, by themselves, and everyone else do not care about these questions, or ready to overload them on other people's shoulders.

That is the meaning of this - if you don't want to solve something yourself, make someone do it instead - it is always working for the last several hundred years. However, it is been discovered that the Earth is round, and you can't import your problems all the time. Maybe it is about several decades left for us to make a decision, to surrender the concept of confrontation the greater idea of cooperation, equality, or at least something that will stop the destruction.

I already heard many complains about ecological problems, about overpopulation, pollution and defending the people. Except the most stupid ones, some may attract your attention by suggesting the easy ways to overcome them - by applying some temporary or transitional measures, introducing some minor economy changes or even, most attractive, concealment of information, misdirection and creating virtual threats. By these measures, people think, that the most valuable question is the people's right to own a gun, or displacing a politician, or putting some economy pressure on a country. Or, at least, choosing the one to be bombed into the dust next time.

Therefore, I summarize it - one can not solve real problems only by redirecting them with war, money or influence. The only result of these is that some day there will be no place to hide from them. Trivial thing, isn't it? I don't even know what is the outcome of this situation, it seems to be trivial at first glance but I feel like it is pre-WW situation is coming all over again.
 
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