Capitol Hill Blue
Posted By: Mellowicious Deep vs. space - 08/23/21 04:04 PM
I’m pretty sure of my opinion and why I hold it, but I’m interested in what you think.

Should we be reducing our investment in space exploration and increasing our investment in oceanic research, or are our current priorities reasonable (and why?)

I looked for a previous thread on this but didn’t find one.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Deep vs. space - 08/23/21 08:12 PM
This might come as a surprise to everyone, but I favor understanding and repairing the planet we live on over diddling around in space just for shits and giggles.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Deep vs. space - 08/24/21 01:20 PM
So this topic is in the "Science and scientific thought" forum. I have been enmeshed in a thinking binge for over two hours this morning that was brought on by a question posted in the 'biochar discussion group' I follow. The question was about finding a cheap and easy method of measuring carbon content in biochars made in 3rd world settings - primarily relating to determining moisture content. There is a veritable thicket of variables related to the qualification and quantification of biochars, and some of the variables are themselves can vary over time, so this problem of figuring out how to characterize carbon content for the purpose of granting some sort of credit to the producer is very complicated.

That got me to thinking about the same issues involved in selling biochar - should the measurement be by weight, or volume? Moisture content accounted for? Additives to the char? End use considerations?

The fact is, virtually everything that humans buy or sell, say or hear, think or do, is adrift in a sea of similar variability and complexity.

What's life like for other organisms? Thinking about soil science (a favorite application for biochar), is the microbe/root hair relationship complicated? Are those life forms beset by having more information than they can process, resulting in extremely difficult decisions? Do they often misuse the knowledge they have and make mistakes that are not in their best interests?

The capper of all this musing was the thought that the metaphor of Adam and Eve being banished from paradise by eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge might be about this very thing of humans being super smart, but not wise enough to use those smarts intelligently.

As for 3rd world verification of the quantity of sequesterable carbon in biochar, maybe the whole thing is being overthought, and subjected to a paradigm of inappropriate scale and relativity. Maybe we should ask, what would the microbes and root hairs do?

Bringing this back to topic, how well do we understand the desire to go into space? Is it even rational? One of the standard justifications is to point out all of the great technological advances that the space program has produced. But we seldom question the objective value of those advances in the full context of life on Earth. And we are very often completely unaware of the many externalized costs - a for instance is that the aquifer under the White Sands Missile Range is contaminated with perchlorates from the Apollo mission to put men on the moon. Compare and contrast that to the invention of, say, Teflon. Hmmmm...
Posted By: logtroll Re: Deep vs. space - 08/24/21 01:22 PM
There needs to be a forum for "The Nexus of Philosophy, Religion, and Science".
Posted By: logtroll Re: Deep vs. space - 08/24/21 01:26 PM
... or not. LOL
Posted By: Greger Re: Deep vs. space - 08/24/21 05:34 PM
F*ck space.

The ocean is already exploited and abused beyond its capacity to heal itself.

Space will wait. There's nothing there to feed us.
Posted By: Ujest Shurly Re: Deep vs. space - 08/24/21 09:38 PM
Reduce our investment in space vs increased investment in the oceans?

No. Increase investment in both. The oceans to try to save our planet, which we screwed up and increase our investments in space. So, we can move some of our population to another home, just in case this one is destroyed, killed, or become otherwise uninhabitable.
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: Deep vs. space - 08/24/21 10:08 PM
Space does offer lots of energy, materials, and real estate, but all of those require a lot of spending for a long time before they start to pay off. With today's short-term business philosophy, only billionaires with a very long-term outlook will pay for it. As we are seeing!

Sooner than later, somebody will figure out an economical way to extract more substances from sea water than salt, epsom salt, and gypsum. Yes, there are trillions of tons of those things in sea water, but there is pretty much every other element in there as well. Did you know they make bleach by running electric current through sea water? That's all you need to make it.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Deep vs. space - 08/24/21 10:50 PM
Originally Posted by Ujest Shurly
So, we can move some of our population to another home, just in case this one is destroyed, killed, or become otherwise uninhabitable.
I'm all for shooting a bunch of humans into space right now! Just get 'em the hell outta here.
Posted By: Mellowicious Re: Deep vs. space - 08/24/21 10:54 PM
Originally Posted by Ujest Shurly
No. Increase investment in both. The oceans to try to save our planet, which we screwed up and increase our investments in space. So, we can move some of our population to another home, just in case this one is destroyed, killed, or become otherwise uninhabitable.

Oddly, that’s the premise of one of my old favorite TV shows, “Firefly.” One off the comments about that show, and one I saw fairly often, was that by the time we have the technology to move on, Earth’s resources will be so used up that it won’t be possible.

Pondering, your comment that someone will find a new way to extract more substances from the sea seems a bit cart-before-horse to me. The oceans haven’t been thoroughly mapped yet. New species, especially in the very deep sea, are being discovered all the time. Energy in space, yes, but energy in major currents/jet streams as well, and tides. And non-critter food sources.

Yes, we need to get/keep plastics out. And yes, we need strong international fishing regulations, particularly to protect big fish and big mammals.

But in a hundred years - if we still have a hundred years - we can probably find more solutions in the oceans than in space. To be honest, I’m not at all knowledgeable about what problems the space programs are trying to solve.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Deep vs. space - 08/25/21 01:53 PM
Originally Posted by logtroll
Originally Posted by Ujest Shurly
So, we can move some of our population to another home, just in case this one is destroyed, killed, or become otherwise uninhabitable.
I'm all for shooting a bunch of humans into space right now! Just get 'em the hell outta here.
Shower thought...

What is the difference between the idea of escaping a ruined earth vs being Raptured?
Posted By: Greger Re: Deep vs. space - 08/25/21 03:20 PM
Quote
So, we can move some of our population to another home, just in case this one is destroyed, killed, or become otherwise uninhabitable.

Why?
Posted By: Greger Re: Deep vs. space - 08/25/21 03:42 PM
If I believed that we had unlimited time to experiment, invest, and expand into space I'd be 100% in favor of it. Elon Musk is doing just that and I'm okay with it.

Trouble is...global warming is gonna kill us all before space can save any of us.

The ocean can sustain us, does sustain us, and has sustained us since we crawled from the primordial ooze. Space may help sustain us someday after global warming is put behind us.

I think there's more to be gleaned from the sea, and at a lower overall cost, than can ever be achieved in space.
Posted By: jgw Re: Deep vs. space - 08/25/21 06:22 PM
One may be real in time, the other is a waste of time.
© ReaderRant