Brains Full of Mush

This week’s New Blog Showcase from Truth Laid Bear includes this little piece from Esmeralda of “word gets around” who asks:

I don’t know exactly how much it costs to go to Mars, but I’m sure it’s a lot. Is it right to spend so much money on going to space when it could be used elsewhere? Like in Ethiopia where they might be facing another famine. I know it’s a simplistic question. For a start, money can do a lot, but it is not the solution to everything. Anyway, even if raising money is difficult, knowing who to give it to & how to spend it is just as complicated. That doesn’t stop me wondering, why don’t governments do more to help people who are in trouble (not just in Ethiopia) instead of going to Mars?

I think that there’s a difference between research for things like medicine, and space exploration. Some research has to be done, if possible, regardless of what else is going on in the world. With other research, it’s less clear. I don’t know much about these things; I just feel that it would be a good idea to sort Earth out before going to other planets.

Her commenters pile on:

Couldn’t agree more… apparently this Mars mission is costing something like US$800 million.

These trips to Mars, and the whole man-on-the-moon thing fascinate me, but it’s nice that I live in a rich country where I have enough to eat and even enough for a computer etc etc. What about all these people, everywhere, who are never going to get to see pictures of Mars?

Yeah. I agree entirely.

I too agree. It is more than just a waste of money. It is a question of values, or rather lack of them.

However there must be intelligent life out there, otherwise they would have contacted our sick societies.

You tell em Esme, No we really cannot have both, unless one believes in alchemy, or right-wing BS.

How can a sane, empathetic populace waste time, money, resources on such inanities when so much suffering goes on among people and other sentient beings on this planet?

Perhaps the greedy powers that be wish to distract the brain-washed with ever more bread and circuses.

Let’s see, one commenter who is glad (and possibly ashamed) that (s)he has enough to eat and a computer while others do not. Ok.

Another commenter hates the U.S. (and possibly the world, but I think more likely just the U.S.) and our “sick societies.”

A third bitches that our populace isn’t “sane” or “empathic.

Let me see if I can answer her questions. Why should we go to Mars? Because the future of mankind is not on this planet, it’s out there. And the sooner we start, the better. The argument that we should spend our money saving Ethiopia and other nations with severe problems is the argument that the entire world should be made uniformly miserable – just so it’s “fair.” I’m sorry, but I’d rather we forged onward and dragged everybody along into prosperity after us. That method has worked far better than top-down imposition of “equality.” Investment into directed scientific research to solve real, identifiable problems does wonderful things for our economy – particularly when the results of that research aren’t stamped “secret” and hidden in vaults because the research was done to build a better weapon system.

As to ‘sort(ing) Earth out before going to other planets’ – if that attitude was the historical one, the New World would never have been discovered by the Europeans. (Yes, yes, I know. That’s the ideal alternate history of the Left.) But then there wouldn’t have been a migration out of Africa into Europe, either.

And we’d all be living in Ethiopia.

All 5.5 million of us.

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