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General => DnD Central => Topic started by: OakdaleFTL on 2020-11-15, 01:18:52

Title: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2020-11-15, 01:18:52
"Dismantling the structures that govern our current world and building new ones will not be
easy. We are calling on the decadal committee to engage in that fight, even knowing there will be
resistance. Policy is an essential tool in this struggle, but it will require a wider change in philosophy.
Space exploration, instead of being the "final frontier," can be a catalyst for a transformative change in
how we consider our relationships to other forms of life, to land, and ultimately to each other."

So ends the paper submitted to NASA's Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 titled Ethical Exploration and the Role of Planetary Protection in Disrupting Colonial Practices... (link to PDF (https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/2010/2010.08344.pdf))

I'm reminded of Theodore Dalrymple's expository piece, Bees With Degrees (https://www.takimag.com/article/bees-with-degrees/)...the crucial part of which was
Quote
Is it not possible that we in our societies have duped tens of millions of young people into believing that the prolongation of their formal education would lead them inexorably into the sunny uplands of power, importance, wealth, and influence, when in fact many a PhD finds himself obliged to do work that he could have done when he was 16? No one likes to think that he has been duped, however (it takes two for fraud to be committed, after all), so he looks around for some other cause of his bitter disappointment. It isn't ignoramuses who are pulling down the statues, but ignoramuses who think that they have been educated.
And I find it disheartening that such pretentious twaddle as EEatRoPPiDCP is encouraged by academe. (The "acronymic" is as enlightening as the expanded title!) Must everyone who thinks he's Napoleon be patronized?
Didn't there used to be institutions where they were humanely (and safely) housed?
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: Frenzie on 2020-11-15, 08:56:56
Quote
Is it not possible that we in our societies have duped tens of millions of young people into believing that the prolongation of their formal education would lead them inexorably into the sunny uplands of power, importance, wealth, and influence, when in fact many a PhD finds himself obliged to do work that he could have done when he was 16?
Could have done in many cases quite likely, but note that most without degrees couldn't have done it then and perhaps still can't now. Unless the guy's referring to flipping burgers we also would've never been allowed to. It's not our fault that a job we could've done at 16 requires a college or even a university degree to get it. Back in the '60s that was different. Then a high school diploma was enough to get started at virtually the same job.

The guy's either deluded himself or he hasn't got a clue. What we believe is that not having a degree would put us at a significant disadvantage, not at an advantage. The only thing I may have been semi-duped into believing is that it'd lead into sunny uplands of more interesting and challenging than a job I could've done or at least gotten back when I was 16. Yet depending on the job you manage to land I'd say that's indeed somewhat to mostly true, and it's true for me now. It's one of my previous jobs where the demand for a degree seemed rather odd... but from a hiring perspective I suppose the vast majority of people without one couldn't do it now and especially not when they were 16.

Also, wealth is relative. My starting wage a few years back was some 600 a month more than a mail carrier with 35 years of experience. Perhaps that says more about how little people with unskilled jobs make, but on the flip side they can live well enough. The difference is that I can save or waste more. Last I checked that's still wealth.
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2020-11-15, 09:52:51
I take your point, Frenzie. But you should have read Dalrymple's entire essay... (It's not that long.) And had you read the paper presented to NASA, you might be tempted to agree with me! :) I took Dalrymple out-of-context (...mostly) to highlight the perils of "modern" higher education, where the Frankfurt School has flourished...

Suffice to say: If that submission to NASA were taken seriously in the here and now, we'd have to shelve plans for treatments and vaccines for Covid-19! The poor little almost-critters have as much right to almost-live their almost-lives as we do, don't you know? :)
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ensbb3 on 2020-11-15, 10:39:13
Suffice to say: If that submission to NASA were taken seriously in the here and now, we'd have to shelve plans for treatments and vaccines for Covid-19! The poor little almost-critters have as much right to almost-live their almost-lives as we do, don't you know?

Looks like you only bring things up to take them out of context.
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ersi on 2020-11-15, 13:39:48
...to highlight the perils of "modern" higher education...
What are the perils of modern higher education? With a higher education it is impossible to get a burger-flipping job (at least over here) because common employers do not want their employees be more educated than they are and some well-meaning ones would say to the candidate that he should not be aiming so low. I know that it is possible to earn more as a trash truck driver or some types of construction worker than what I earn at my white-collar job, but to get those better-paying jobs I have to delete my degree in the CV.

The education fails to inform the students that the modern civilisation is out of meaningful jobs, regardless of the level of education. An added peril in USA is that higher education is insanely expensive. And if you think the education is also futile, then the price is unjustified.

Anyway, the whole idea that the degree should help the graduates to get a (better) job or that it should reliably tell the employer how good the candidate is misses the point. Life is not so simple and probably should not be.
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: Frenzie on 2020-11-15, 14:44:26
some well-meaning ones would say to the candidate that he should not be aiming so low.
You already get that if you apply for a job that "only" requires a bachelor's degree.

I know that it is possible to earn more as a trash truck driver
It may not be the most educated job, but I figure a truck driver's license can definitely be seen as a fair bit beyond untrained labor. That's vocational training like a hair dresser or a chef (except they do make more than those).

The education fails to inform the students that the modern civilisation is out of meaningful jobs, regardless of the level of education.
Definitely things we discussed in philosophy and sociology and the like, in high school too. Nowadays the popular term seems to be bullshit jobs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs) but the concept is ancient.
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ersi on 2020-11-15, 14:55:23
The education fails to inform the students that the modern civilisation is out of meaningful jobs, regardless of the level of education.
Definitely things we discussed in philosophy and sociology and the like, in high school too.
Wow, your education is more real than mine. In my high school there was no philosophy and no sociology. Some minimal accounting basics were part of a single lesson in math and the topic "who do you want to be when you grow up" belonged to essays in literature.

In the university we were given an idea what a self-typed CV should look like. But in reality we end up going with whatever crap is autoproduced by the web-based job application platform(s).
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: rjhowie on 2020-11-19, 00:08:09
Billions spent in space is a terrible waste of money and in hard fact does little to look forward to. Visit a planet and slowly stumble about in a heavy spacesuit be limited what you can do and so on?
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: Colonel Rebel on 2020-11-19, 22:51:03
Billions spent in space is a terrible waste of money and in hard fact does little to look forward to. Visit a planet and slowly stumble about in a heavy spacesuit be limited what you can do and so on?
Sounds a bit like your description of Glasgow currently, to be honest. :right:
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: rjhowie on 2020-11-20, 00:17:11
Heavens that coming from someone who lives in America of all places that are not factual or great!
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2020-11-27, 05:40:14
With a higher education it is impossible to get a burger-flipping job (at least over here) because common employers do not want their employees be more educated than they are and some well-meaning ones would say to the candidate that he should not be aiming so low.
Many years ago I read an edition of What Color Is Your Parachute? (https://www.parachutebook.com/). One bit of advice I remember remains apropos: If you're seeking work that is "below" your education, try listing your academic achievements under the heading of Hobbies in your resume! :)

For your amusement -which is to say, not just for your edification!- I have remained "un-credentialed"... :) I'd question the motive you mention, ersi; but only because my opinion of people in general tends to be higher than that of most people I meet who discuss such things.
And I question much that is accepted on the basis of "experimental" psychology. Among other things but chief in my estimation as the culprit for untenable results in the field is a poor understanding of statistical reasoning. Too many would-be scientists rely on cook-book statistical tools, as taught in introductory courses; it's easy to become enamored of a thesis, and easier still to allow one's affection to preclude what is often called critical thinking...
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ersi on 2020-11-27, 13:57:38
And I question much that is accepted on the basis of "experimental" psychology.
I don't do experimental psychology. Just experience.
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2020-12-16, 13:55:43
Anybody willing to talk about the original topic? Or its subsidiary...? :)
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ersi on 2020-12-16, 15:53:19
Sure, you are free to. You can start by listing your papers submitted to NASA's Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey and how you hate your pretentious twaddle be encouraged by academe.

From my point of view, the meaningful topics here are:
 1. What is the value of (higher) education? Does education have any relation to success in worklife? Why (not)?
 2. If (higher) education is mostly worthless, why does it cost so insanely in USA? If it is near-worthless, shouldn't it be mostly free of charge or at least heavily subsidised like in Europe?
 3. Is e.g. home-schooling a way out of the perils of (higher) education? Any other ways?
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ersi on 2020-12-16, 19:50:22
4. Is peer review an adequate check on scientific publishing? Are more checks needed? What kind? Should peer review be abolished?
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2020-12-16, 23:35:18
I had noticed that the topic went sideways... That's not a problem; it's to be expected -- these forums are more about conversation than debate, as they should be. (Although too often they devolve into school-yard taunting...) So, continuing as you'd prefer, ersi, is okay with me.

Some higher-ed is both needed and required for success in certain fields, certainly. Most forms of engineering. The hard sciences. (Physics demands a PhD, if you're not Freeman Dyson! :) ) The "soft" sciences seem to have been swathed in ideology; as such, they're mostly useless status games...
As has always been the case, post-grad work is as much or more about mentoring than instruction. No field displays this more plainly than medicine.
Degrees such as MBAs are as much about securing and keeping "contacts" as they are about any academic topics.

But BAs no longer provide a "liberal education". I'd hazard the guess that they token only perseverance and focus, traits that used to be commonly presumed of young adults... After-school (what we call high school here, say 8th through 12th grades) jobs instilled  that adequately, way back when.

Why -you ask- does higher education cost so much in the U.S.? Mostly because the government started providing "cheap" loans to  would-be students. Your presumption that a mostly worthless education should be heavily subsidized or free is part of the problem: Free has a certain psychological allure! But it usually is synonymous with worthless...
Of course, nothing is ever quite free: Someone pays, somehow. The idea that governments just print money is a perverse fiction. Fiat currency and deficit spending have consequences!
(Do you recall Keyes' retort about government's deficit spending's in-the-long-run cautions? He said "In the long run, we're all dead!" Well, while that's true, not everyone will be so lucky: Debt has to be settled, one way or another... :) )

Home schooling and autodidactic study are admirable, and valuable. But without mentoring they seldom yields expertise... Since the explosion of the internet, the resources available have become mind-boggling! Public libraries -specially in college towns- did, however, provide much the same. (Still do! But how many make good use of them?)

The problems with peer review are only intractable if science remains status/credential oriented...
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ersi on 2020-12-19, 15:19:20
Some higher-ed is both needed and required for success in certain fields, certainly. Most forms of engineering. The hard sciences. (Physics demands a PhD, if you're not Freeman Dyson! :) ) The "soft" sciences seem to have been swathed in ideology; as such, they're mostly useless status games...
Some higher education is needed, but not in "soft" sciences? Aren't you constantly whining that e.g. social scientists fail in every way? If no education is to be provided to them, then how do you stop their failures? By diktat? By extermination?

Why -you ask- does higher education cost so much in the U.S.? Mostly because the government started providing "cheap" loans to  would-be students.
This is obviously false. In Europe cheap loans plus student support is provided to students, yet the cost of education has not increased.

Same for medicine: Universal medical coverage in Europe is cheaper both for citizens and for the state than whatever "system" is in effect in America.

I say there is something special about the American "system", either malice, ignorance, or corruption. E.g. recently there was a scandal how elites simply buy the degrees for their offspring in Harvard and such. Knowing the system of donations that the universities employ, it was actually commonly known that this has been going on all along. In a similar way, inpouring Russian money has blown up real estate prices in London - the same economic effect at play.

Of course, nothing is ever quite free: Someone pays, somehow. The idea that governments just print money is a perverse fiction. Fiat currency and deficit spending have consequences!

....Debt has to be settled, one way or another... :)
Some ways to settle debts in society on large scale
 - monetary reform
 - devaluation
 - abolishment of debts in select sectors or social strata

You of course think that since USA never had any monetary reform, then nobody else can have have it either. Here's some news: All countries have had it, including USA at its inception. Economic resets by means of devaluation, monetary reform etc. have been knowingly applied since Ancient Greece, even Ancient Israel, if the Bible is to be believed. You keep displaying the typical American ignorance of how the world works.


Edit: Libertarianism has no value when it comes to economics, sociology, and politics. All its slogans are false. It only has some populist value given some special conditions, but certainly you don't want to limit yourself to populism.

In order to be relevant, perform a comparative review of at least two real-life economies/societies, and draw analytical conclusions from the facts. Stay away from ideologies and drop your presuppositions for the time being. Then maybe you will stand a chance. Unlikely, but let's have hope, shall we...

There is one good thing about you, Oakdale: I have not seen you quote RT yet. RT is the powerful Russian-owned propaganda outlet directed to the Western world (something like Radio Liberty and VOA, except in the opposite direction) that has been affecting the mentality of significantly many Western people lately. RJ, SF, and Krake have quoted from RT and have gone down accordingly.
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2020-12-21, 03:24:24
Libertarianism has no value when it comes to economics, sociology, and politics.
There has always been a strain of libertarianism in classical liberalism. Authoritarians of every stripe have always bemoaned it... It's a form of utopian politics, like communism. But considerably less destructive. :)
Should I spend my time "studying" why command-and-control economies fail?
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ersi on 2020-12-21, 11:05:16
Should I spend my time "studying" why command-and-control economies fail?
It's only because of libertarian brainwash that you have the idea that command-and-control economies fail. This is one of the presuppositions that you will have to let go of.

In reality (that is the world when you move away from your tv, go to work, go shopping, etc.) every economy necessarily has a governing element of command-and-control, namely regulation. Without this, economies invariably fail - because the society around them fails, if not for purely economic reasons. Unregulated economies fail at least as surely as misregulated economies. E.g. an unregulated financial market would be taken over and eaten up (thus ending in fatal market failure) by whichever Bernie Madoff gets there first and is the most ruthless.

Here's an easy book to start with https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/26095
It is hopefully largely free of the usual stupid associations that you tend to make, communists and liberals and whatever other ghosts you have. But if you fail to draw any parallels at all from there to current modern economies and societies, then you have lost the ability to read properly.
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: jax on 2021-01-30, 12:31:11
You have not established the link to the precautionary principle.

Quote
Violent colonial practices and structures--genocide, land appropriation, resource extraction, environmental devastation, and more--have governed exploration of Earth, and if not actively dismantled, will define the methodologies and mindset we carry forward into space exploration.

I don't contest the twaddlesomeness of this document, but in effect the "decolonisation of space" has already happened before the colonisation of space ever did. I refer to the sage words of a great thinker:

The Future History of The Expanse (https://jaxroam.medium.com/the-future-history-of-the-expanse-eb474d991268?source=friends_link&sk=c687bd0e2d4def3f4b84718b5c33cf30)

Quote
Imagine an Earth progressing along [the 1970s timeline]: Heavily polluted, air, water, earth. War-torn. Nuclear war with Soviet Union barely avoided. The wealth is predominantly in the West. China is in a perpetual Cultural Revolution. The rest of the world perpetually in famine. "Limits to Growth" a prophecy. The incentives to leave this place would be strong.

We don't need space to handle overpopulation. Our planet is underpopulated as it is.

Neither do we need to exploit the resources, we can get them cheaper and easier on Earth. In any case it wouldn't be such a great idea to strip mine our neighbouring celestial bodies even if we could and wanted to.


A perhaps strawman reformulation of the dilemma: Terraforming Venus -- ethically good or bad?

The paper indicates intervention is bad, but that is based on the implicit assumption that the extra-terrestials might not like it:

Quote
We should afford any potential non-terrestrial microbiology on planets like Mars and Venus, or icy moons like Enceladus, Europa, and Titan an even greater consideration, recognizing that extraterrestrial life may also operate in ways not initially obvious to us. What we determine as "intelligence" based on Earth life may not be relevant on another world, compelling us to proceed with caution.
Fair enough, after all

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQSmfR1_SVE

But what if the planet is not just having an oppressive atmosphere, is hot enough to melt lead, and is raining sulphuric acid, but is well and truly dead and devoid of life? Would it rob Venus of its authenticity? I don't see this listed as any concern, but if there were life on Mars, well, that would in practice be it for the Martian project. It would be practically impossible not to contaminate the planet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZKcl4-tcuo
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2021-02-01, 00:33:09
You have not established the link to the precautionary principle.
From the Wiki article:
Quote
In 1982, the United Nations World Charter for Nature gave the first international recognition to the strong version of the principle, suggesting that when "potential adverse effects are not fully understood, the activities should not proceed". The widely publicised Wingspread Declaration, from a meeting of environmentalists in 1998, is another example of the strong version.  Strong precaution can also be termed as a "no-regrets" principle, where costs are not considered in preventative action.
I certainly took the paper's stance to be based upon the strong version of the principle.
And the current fad of anti-colonialist rhetoric doesn't strike me as particularly useful for anything other virtue-signaling...

While I'd agree that the earth isn't over-populated I think that much of our industry and its material needs would be better sited off-world. Our moon (and others) are reasonably well suited for bases; the asteroid belts are likely rich in usable ores. Unless one assumes Man will remain Earth-bound forever, we will become space faring.
But not with such principles as those contained in that paper.

(I remember Limits of Growth fondly: Its forecasts are routinely trotted out even now, and its author is still lionized! Some folk don't distinguish between Cassandra and Chicken Little... :) )

[The last question you asked in your Expanse piece is intriguing...]
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: jax on 2021-02-01, 07:43:36
Moving life to another planet (or even continent) is pretty much undoable.

Presumably most earth life would perish, but some wouldn't. If there already were Martians there, that would be a major concern.
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ersi on 2021-02-01, 11:21:26
...I think that much of our industry and its material needs would be better sited off-world. Our moon (and others) are reasonably well suited for bases; the asteroid belts are likely rich in usable ores.
Ah, the space. Not very keen to discuss partisan politics now for a while, eh?
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2021-02-01, 19:21:28
No one to seriously discuss politics with, ersi...
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ersi on 2021-02-02, 05:34:58
No one to seriously discuss politics with, ersi...
No one who? No Republican partisan, I assume, because they proved themselves utterly unserious.

I'm still trying to figure how you could have been serious when you said that Trump had had extraordinary successes. As everybody serious knows, he has only had failures upon failures, and managed to top it off with the historically most serious failure just before leaving office. From now on, it is not a laughing matter to deny facts.
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: jax on 2021-02-02, 06:25:14
(True to form, a thread ostensibly about space and possibly the precautionary principle is about Trump while the thread ostensibly about Trump is not.)
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: ersi on 2021-02-02, 07:04:27
Trump made history. Space is history.
Title: Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Post by: Belfrager on 2021-02-02, 07:10:43
So ends the paper submitted to NASA's Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 titled Ethical Exploration and the Role of Planetary Protection in Disrupting Colonial Practices...
Useful idiots...