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Topic: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space (Read 248 times)

  • OakdaleFTL
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The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
"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)

I'm reminded of Theodore Dalrymple's expository piece, Bees With Degrees...the crucial part of which was
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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?
  • Last Edit: 2020-11-15, 01:33:24 by OakdaleFTL
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #1
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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.
  • Last Edit: 2020-11-15, 09:09:54 by Frenzie

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #2
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? :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ensbb3
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #3
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.

  • ersi
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #4
...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.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #5
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 but the concept is ancient.

  • ersi
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #6
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).

  • rjhowie
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #7
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?
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Colonel Rebel
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #8
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:

  • rjhowie
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #9
Heavens that coming from someone who lives in America of all places that are not factual or great!
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #10
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?. 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...
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: The Precautionary Principle Goes To Space
Reply #11
And I question much that is accepted on the basis of "experimental" psychology.
I don't do experimental psychology. Just experience.