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 51 
 on: Yesterday at 10:08 PM 
Started by eira_arian - Last post by Aileen
Um. No. I disagree with this on two levels.

Firstly, a number of really crucial scientific advances have come as a result of scientific research aimed at problems that don't appear to have immediate Earthly applications. One example: MRI and CAT scanners which are absolutely vital to modern diagnostics medicine use technology originally developed for analysing astronomic images.

Another: the general theory of relativity - one of the predictions of which the LIGO experiments have just proven - is critical to GPS technology.

Secondly, it's human nature to be inquisitive and to look for answers to the really big questions. We should encourage and embrace that nature.
I did acknowledge that there had been huge steps science, medicine and technology, and if MRI and CAT scans are the result of astronomic technology, then that's fine, but it seems to me that GPS technology is of little benefit to most people, and if  you've ever had to 'track' a parcel, as I often have, then most of the time it certainly isn't accurate.  I've had goods turn up when, if you believe the firm's tracking system, it's still either on its way or even at the depot!  Satnavs seem to be a bit questionable as well given how many people, including the emergency services, have ended up in the wrong place.

Of course it's human nature to be inquisitive, but so far as seeking answers to 'the really big questions' goes that, surely, depends on what big questions are of importance to each individual?


 52 
 on: Yesterday at 09:52 PM 
Started by eira_arian - Last post by Fiverings
Unfortunately it seems to me that it's you that's sneering Fiverings.  Hasn't it occurred to you that the 'ill-informed' and 'unimaginative' people you refer to were that way because, certainly before the early years of the 20th century, the levels of education were so poor that only few were, at best, semi-literate, so couldn't read books or newspapers even when these became widely available?  Only a privileged section of society could afford to be educated either privately or at public schools.

Now, thankfully that isn't the case, with the result that most people are intelligent enough and well-educated enough, greatly helped by television and more particularly by the internet, to be able to reach an informed decision about things, and I put myself in that category.  The invention of the telephone and computers was actually of benefit to mankind, even if some were sceptical at the time, but what does or doesn't go on outside the confines of our planet certainly isn't, and never has been, apart from the interest shown the global warming theorists.

I sat Higher English when I was at school (which I passed as it was my best subject anyway), and the essay I chose to write was on the subject of whether scientists should spend more time improving life on Earth than they should in exploring outer space (a hot topic in 1960).  My argument was in favour of the former and I still hold it to be largely true.  Yes there have been enormous steps in the fields of science, medicine and technology which have gone a long way to improving life, but there is still quite a lot to be done.  However if scientists want to go poking around in matters such as this, then I see it as being purely for their own gratification, so please don't expect me to jump up and down with excitement about what they're hailing as 'a triumph for big science'.
   I didn't mean to be offensive, Aileen, and I'm sorry if it appeared that way. The people I had in mind were usually highly educated professional men who were stuck in their own "expertise" and couldn't see beyond it.  And I remember the "useless space exploration" debate of the 60's and 70's  as well - but I was very much on the other side from you!  I agree with Boogers, I'm afraid, on the value of pure science. You never know where it will lead, good or bad.

 53 
 on: Yesterday at 09:43 PM 
Started by Caz - Last post by althusser
Closing it will require combination of massive tax rises (double digit percentages), and double digit expenditure cuts.

Yeh there is literally no answer coming on that one.

Will anyone break ranks to seriously confront this i wonder?

 54 
 on: Yesterday at 09:42 PM 
Started by eira_arian - Last post by boogers
I sat Higher English when I was at school (which I passed as it was my best subject anyway), and the essay I chose to write was on the subject of whether scientists should spend more time improving life on Earth than they should in exploring outer space (a hot topic in 1960).  My argument was in favour of the former and I still hold it to be largely true.  Yes there have been enormous steps in the fields of science, medicine and technology which have gone a long way to improving life, but there is still quite a lot to be done.  However if scientists want to go poking around in matters such as this, then I see it as being purely for their own gratification, so please don't expect me to jump up and down with excitement about what they're hailing as 'a triumph for big science'.

Um. No. I disagree with this on two levels.

Firstly, a number of really crucial scientific advances have come as a result of scientific research aimed at problems that don't appear to have immediate Earthly applications. One example: MRI and CAT scanners which are absolutely vital to modern diagnostics medicine use technology originally developed for analysing astronomic images.

Another: the general theory of relativity - one of the predictions of which the LIGO experiments have just proven - is critical to GPS technology.

Secondly, it's human nature to be inquisitive and to look for answers to the really big questions. We should encourage and embrace that nature.

 55 
 on: Yesterday at 09:19 PM 
Started by eira_arian - Last post by boogers
I saw that Fiverings. It's simply mind-boggling. Space, "the final frontier."
Do you ever listen to "The Infinite Monkey Cage?" I know plenty of people can't stand poster boy Brain Cox but they usually have very interesting guests. The last one was on "reality." Made my poor brain hurt....Wink

   No that's new to me - must check it out.

+1 to that. It's a really good show.

 56 
 on: Yesterday at 09:13 PM 
Started by Caz - Last post by boogers
  ******** - complete and utter.  The Scottish and Greek economies could scarcely be more different.

No, it's not "complete and utter". The Scottish economy has a huge structural deficit. One that is double that of rUK. Closing it will require combination of massive tax rises (double digit percentages), and double digit expenditure cuts.

There's a lot of blathering about how a truly independent Scotland would have "levers" it could pull to somehow magic away that gap. But the brutal reality is that the UK's growth rate is already higher than all other European countries, and nobody has presented a credible plan as to how iScotland could thrive.

Brexit simply makes that outlook look even more bleak.

 57 
 on: Yesterday at 09:11 PM 
Started by eira_arian - Last post by Aileen
   Dearie me Aileen - the sneer of the ill-informed and unimaginative down the ages. Not that I think that's you - just surprised you endorse it.  I'm reminded of the men who thought the telephone could never replace the message boy, or the guy who thought that a country would need five computers, perhaps, at most.
Unfortunately it seems to me that it's you that's sneering Fiverings.  Hasn't it occurred to you that the 'ill-informed' and 'unimaginative' people you refer to were that way because, certainly before the early years of the 20th century, the levels of education were so poor that only few were, at best, semi-literate, so couldn't read books or newspapers even when these became widely available?  Only a privileged section of society could afford to be educated either privately or at public schools.

Now, thankfully that isn't the case, with the result that most people are intelligent enough and well-educated enough, greatly helped by television and more particularly by the internet, to be able to reach an informed decision about things, and I put myself in that category.  The invention of the telephone and computers was actually of benefit to mankind, even if some were sceptical at the time, but what does or doesn't go on outside the confines of our planet certainly isn't, and never has been, apart from the interest shown the global warming theorists.

I sat Higher English when I was at school (which I passed as it was my best subject anyway), and the essay I chose to write was on the subject of whether scientists should spend more time improving life on Earth than they should in exploring outer space (a hot topic in 1960).  My argument was in favour of the former and I still hold it to be largely true.  Yes there have been enormous steps in the fields of science, medicine and technology which have gone a long way to improving life, but there is still quite a lot to be done.  However if scientists want to go poking around in matters such as this, then I see it as being purely for their own gratification, so please don't expect me to jump up and down with excitement about what they're hailing as 'a triumph for big science'.

 58 
 on: Yesterday at 08:41 PM 
Started by laundry - Last post by Fiverings
raj

 59 
 on: Yesterday at 08:34 PM 
Started by eira_arian - Last post by Fiverings
I saw that Fiverings. It's simply mind-boggling. Space, "the final frontier."
Do you ever listen to "The Infinite Monkey Cage?" I know plenty of people can't stand poster boy Brain Cox but they usually have very interesting guests. The last one was on "reality." Made my poor brain hurt....Wink
   No that's new to me - must check it out.

 60 
 on: Yesterday at 08:25 PM 
Started by eira_arian - Last post by blueberryhill
I saw that Fiverings. It's simply mind-boggling. Space, "the final frontier."
Do you ever listen to "The Infinite Monkey Cage?" I know plenty of people can't stand poster boy Brain Cox but they usually have very interesting guests. The last one was on "reality." Made my poor brain hurt....Wink

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