The Big Picture: Science!

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Aaaaaand this is why I kind of HATE nerds....

Rather than just enjoying the episode, we feel the need to pick apart every single thing he said.

BgRdMchne:

I don't need to be psychic to know these things. Just like I know that Jesus will never come back, there will never be peace on Earth, and that coal will never spontaneously turn into gold.

Your life will be a lot better if you take off the rose colored glasses and accept that this world is shit and that science is no longer about innovation and advancement, merely profit and finding better ways to put dumb YouTube videos on a telephone.

This is completely necessary.

image

unlimitedwin:

You're getting a lot of attention with only four posts, so I thought I'd hop on the bandwagon. :D

Cultured meat: Still more expensive than abusing animals for food. I think that for now, it's more of an economical thing than an ideological thing. But when the economic difference starts to diminish, I think the nonsensical and fanatical ideological part will take over.

Space Travel: (You study astrophysics, so I take it you're comfortable with terminology) Look into Inertial Electrostatic Fusion, as well as Dense Plasma Focus fusion, both of which are based around an a-neutronic p+B11 fuel (ie does not emit neutrons during the fusion process; neutrons are basically useless for energy production). Both of these projects have come closer to fusion than ITER, for a fraction of the cost and and with a fraction of the size (Both reactor types could easily fit in my living room, though the control, fuel and cooling probably couldn't). I can't remember who said it, but it has been said that "The Russians gave us the Tokamak, so that we would never be able to achieve fusion". A Maxwellian particle distribution where a high enough temperature to achieve a nucleon-nucleon distance of 1.3 fermi to get a reaction with 78% loss due to neutron radiation, confined in a separate neutron-absorbing material, confined in a cathedral of supercooled superconducting magnets? Yeah ITER, how's that working out for you?

Small animals: I - too - see no point in breeding bears. And when you have jetpacks, why would you want tiny bears anyway?

image

Bob, you should educate yourself about "teacup puppies" (the ones whose pictures you showed and you see in women's purses). They are an awful and should-be-illegal practice. Yes, they're cute, too bad they have a disturbing life experience with crippled bodies, and die in a few months. They're a scam, and you should be against it.

The Sad Truth about "Teacup Puppies"

It's fucking sick, and now that you're informed about these mini animal abominations, don't ask that question again.

I gotta say, I think I laughed more at this episode than any of Bob's earlier stuff. I don't know how serious he was about any of this (probably not very -- he ought to be smart enough to not think he's smarter than the entire scientific community combined), but he definitely came up with a funny way to say it.

Alandoril:
I'm with you on basically all of that. The problem is that people with real drive and ambition to change the world are forced into corporate niches and never let out of boxes defined by profit margins.

Get rid of the all-consuming pursuit of money, which technically only has the value we decide it has anyway so it's actually worthless, and we solve that problem. Until then all the pure awesomeness that science is capable of will be sidelined, marginalised and just out-right ignored.

I'm curious how you propose we do this. Personal gain is known to be one of the few things human beings are capable of being motivated by. Maybe we could one day figure out a way to hack into people's brains to make them less selfish, but guess what we'd need in order to do that: more science. Science that there's probably even less motive to push for than any of the stuff Bob was talking about.

BgRdMchne:
ITT:

Scientists come and give lame excuses for not giving us things that they have been promising us since the 1910s.

Having to stay within the laws of physics is a "lame excuse" now, is it? The people who "promised" us physics-defying gadgets way back then either were not actual scientists, or were naively assuming that future discoveries would negate what we thought we knew. Well, some of them did, but sadly gravity and the laws of thermodynamics were not among their victims.

I really enjoyed this video- left me to ponder about the possibilities. However, surprised how some Escapists are really rational/offended by this episode. Then again, I'm not here to judge but rather give my opinion on the matter:

OT: Mostly everything you said, was cool. I think personally lying would be bad, but in truth any progress to becoming futuristic is always an approval in my book (unless we advance to quickly, thus plunging us to end up having major critical situations.)

What I would like to ask science is this- why are you guys studying things we already figured out? I know there can be things we've missed about them, or to add new theories behind them but I think the World needs other spots to be studied on for the sake of humanity. I mean, studying how particles can travel quicker then light is legit, but I think studying on how to cure cancer would be better (I am aware a lot are doing so, but I feel it's not enough.)

DVS BSTrD:
Actually, they totally already have your jet pack all ready for you Bob. Do you have their $100,000?

brazuca:
The meat "problem" is not a science problem, it's a capitalism problem.

Ninja'd in six posts. Awesome.

Nicolaus99:
2: Back to including your liberal politics, on a website called "The Escapist". Irony fail.

What irony? Please explain.

Escapist ate my post.. sorry for double post.

I think it's interesting that by far the most resistance in this thread is toward the genetically engineered meat. Sure, it's nowhere near perfected now, it is much too expensive to produce on a mass scale, and it is presently inferior to the current product. These same arguments were leveled against the horseless carriage, the TV, the home computer, and the cellphone.

I think the honest motivation for the resistance to this idea is that you are taking a knife out of the people's hands. Trying to take weapons away from a species that likes to use them and know they're being used leads to a lot of berserk blowback. It's human nature.

MovieBob:
Science!

Hey, science guys, we need you to answer a few questions.

Watch Video

ok lemme hit those in order

1) the jetpack: you can have it, if i have a choice between a jet pack and genetic alteration, I'm going for the one that dose have my stopping at 711 to fill up. (i'd be going for a draconic styling btw)

2) synthetic meats: good idea, BUT, there's a MASSIVE money issue in the way of that as i see it, not to mention it would destroy the lively hood for a LOT of people, and as much as I'd like to see animal rights people shut the fuck up, I'd rather have them pissing and moaning then put hard working people out of work.

3) Space: >.> call my a blasphemer if you want .... but .... not really into the whole 'space' thing, granted I totally think its important we get up there and start poking around, (maybe find those sparkle dragons Yahtzee was talking about), but I'm really not a not a 'space' person, inter-dimensional travel, i could TOTALLY get behind that.

4) making big things small: do.want. hamster. sized. bear

MrDeckard:
Aaaaaand this is why I kind of HATE nerds....

Rather than just enjoying the episode, we feel the need to pick apart every single thing he said.

And I now kind of like you. Not that I didn't before. Just a first impression thing.

My question to science is also, "why are we not colonizing other planets so we can get away from the doucheholes?"

klasbo:

Cultured meat: Still more expensive than abusing animals for food. I think that for now, it's more of an economical thing than an ideological thing. But when the economic difference starts to diminish, I think the nonsensical and fanatical ideological part will take over.

Studying science they like to drill the whole 'ethics/morality' thing into your pretty hard.
This sort of bioengineering science is always used as an example case of ethics halting 'progress' for better or worse.

I hear that for many scientists in this field of research, they feel the ethics is the major issue (remember if the people think it's unethical, there will be no funding to continue research)

klasbo:

Look into Inertial Electrostatic Fusion, as well as Dense Plasma Focus fusion, both of which are based around an a-neutronic p+B11 fuel (ie does not emit neutrons during the fusion process; neutrons are basically useless for energy production). Both of these projects have come closer to fusion than ITER, for a fraction of the cost and and with a fraction of the size (Both reactor types could easily fit in my living room, though the control, fuel and cooling probably couldn't). I can't remember who said it, but it has been said that "The Russians gave us the Tokamak, so that we would never be able to achieve fusion". A Maxwellian particle distribution where a high enough temperature to achieve a nucleon-nucleon distance of 1.3 fermi to get a reaction with 78% loss due to neutron radiation, confined in a separate neutron-absorbing material, confined in a cathedral of supercooled superconducting magnets? Yeah ITER, how's that working out for you?

Cool :D

The answer for those questions is all the same: practicality.

- We have created jetpacks, but they can't be used by average Joe's and are too expensive, even to turn on.
- We have synthesized meat, but its too expensive (and not very tasty) to justify using it instead of cows and chickens.
- We have traveled to space, but we know, once our space travel technology as peaked, we would need 8 years to get to the closest star, and we also know there is nothing interesting (i.e. green chicks) happening several centuries around us.

Apparently Bob was drunk and/or out of ideas...

The Great JT:
My question to science is also, "why are we not colonizing other planets so we can get away from the doucheholes?"

Because the laws of physics weren't written by Gene Roddenberry. It sucks, I know. :D

I'm probably not the first to point this out but you can't have oil on Mars without LIFE being on Mars in the first place, and then that life has to have been completely eradicated by a planet-wide catastrophe like the one that killed the dinosaurs. People will figure it out pretty quickly.

Also, they won't leave expensive equipment behind? On the first moon mission we brought the Lunar Rover, which cost something like 38million dollars. The astronauts left it there (it's still there now) and do you know what they brought back instead? Rocks and dirt.

Skeleon:
I know this is just in good fun, but... science is... kind of diametrically opposed to lying. Falsifying data is one of the worst things you can do. Hell, we all make mistakes and get bad data that way perhaps, but lying? No can do, lest we end up like the cdesign proponentsists.

But... But... But... Cities on Mars!
I think telling the morons who run the planet that their finite resource is on Mars in order for us to get there faster is a small price to pay.
Sure Science's integrity will take a hit, but then it'd be on par with religion, but more intelligent.
image

Okay, okay, I know that was a cheap shot, but I couldn't resist.

Djinn8:

BgRdMchne:
trolling post

Yeah we might not have got flying firemen, but you know what we did get: pneumatcs to lift platforms and tools that can pry open metal to pull people out. Vans that can deliver those fire men to where they need to be quickly and pumps that can deliver a thousand times the amout of water to a fire than a bucket chain can. In the case of your phone example, also the ability to communicate the need for help in the first place.

We got stuff a thousand times better than flying firemen. Stuff people back then couldn't have even dreamed off. Why don't you give up this pretense to nhilism you've got and try to look at what is right with the world. If you think the world really is fucked, then what the hell are you doing to help? Maybe your the problem that need a solution.

It's not a pretense. It's been finely honed over decades and decades of caring too much and seeing the poor get shat on repeatedly by the rich; seeing the weak getting abused by the strong.

I try to help. I give my 10% to the homeless, not a church, and it's not enough. I see panhandling made illegal where I live. People are encouraged to give money in drop boxes, so the administrators cut can be taken out and the rest of the money can go to faith based missions that preach more than feed. They claim that the laws that prohibit the indigent from even speaking to passersby will keep them from being drunk and help the "good" ones get back on their feet, but it's just another excuse to make money. Everybody has opposing needs and desires, and I know enough about humanity to know that we are not altruistic enough to be truly kind.

I also don't appreciate being told that I am the problem when I do whatever I can to improve the world the little I can. I also don't appreciate being told that I should be a part of some kind of final solution.

Okay guys, I have actually spent some legitimate time working with fellow researchers to develop the technologies necessary for agriculture in space. If you want help to get us off world, here's what you need to do:

You need to go to these nice people: http://www.ces.uoguelph.ca/
and give them lots of money.

Jetpacks: been explained. They exist already, in various forms. They're just insanely expensive and occasionally really horribly dangerous.

Space: Oh for the... I'm sorry you don't get to ride in the enterprise, but there are more pressing concerns right now. People are not douche nozzles for not wanting to fund your personal wet dream. Maybe they have dreams of having a job again after six months or a year or two years of unemployment. The earthlings of the Star Trek universe live in a Utopia, we don't. It doesn't mean give up all hope, or stop trying to learn more about the universe, but it does mean that when you complain about the rest of the country being unwilling to contribute their nonexistent surplus to something with only a very long-term, indefinite and uncertain benefit, it sounds incredibly childish. Also, suggesting real scientists lie to the public about their findings is not only insulting to the integrity of the scientific community but guaranteed to backfire when the magical moon oil suddenly disappears as quickly as it appeared. Humanity is unlikely to abandon the dream of space travel, or working toward it. We have too many nerds for that. It's just going to take longer, and given that we weren't going to be taking a wormhole jump to Alpha Centauri anytime in the next few hundred years, or quite probably EVER, I'm not really heartbroken that there's no one putting around in orbit right now. We'll get to it, geez. You really wanna make the future happen, invent the replicator and the transporter and figure out how to consistently and controllably move matter or data faster than light. We can do that, space travel will be small beans.

Vat meat: would solve some problems, definitely not all. I mean, the issue with starving people is mostly distribution, not quantity. North Americans probably throw out enough meat (and veggies, and grains etc.) every day to feed a goodly chunk of Africa (do not have exact statistics, not going to look for them.) It does fix the ethical issue. Presupposing FDA approval, I'd be happier to eat vat meat.

Miniature and giant animals: there are miniature cattle, actually. The idea is they make better milk cows because they require less feeding, though of course they provide less meat. And there's miniature ponies and pygmy goats too. And dwarf rabbits. There are lots of domesticated animals with a miniature version, most of them for food reasons and most of which were bred to that size over centuries. Since hamsters are essentially tame vermin and bears are wild animals, we've never had equally complex breeding programs for them. None of the above mini critters were created with SCIENCE!!! in the sense of test tubes and chemicals, just old fashioned animal husbandry, same with dogs.

We totally should do the whole lie about oil on mars bit. People would go for it and having a colony on mars could be extremely useful.

Plus it probably wouldn't turn out to be a lie. There probably was life on mars at one time in the past. And If that life died, was carbon based, and has been under ground for some time now, it should've become oil by now. Or at least it should've become something similar enough to oil by now.

Also, science, where the heck are my giant fighting robots? I know their impractical and a programming nightmare, but you know none of that matters. All cultures in the world have myths about giants, if you build one for the army and strap an m2 abram to the front fear alone will do the rest.

Dear Bob!

All your wishes and air-castle ideas will be fulfilled forthwith under the condition that you surrender the contents of your cranial cavity to SCIENCE! this instant.

Signed:

People who have PHDs in useful stuff.

1 - As others have brought up, the jetpack has been built. It's incredibly expensive to build and even more expensive to run. It's also really heavy.

2 - Cultured meat is far more expensive to produce than cattle. Undoubtedly, there will be people that continue to work on this until it isn't. But we're not there yet.

3 - There are a myriad of problems involved in deep-space travel that have nothing to do with capitalism, particularly with MANNED space travel. Most of the universe will kill, even with all the technology we currently have at our disposal. We need to figure out a way to shield astronauts from radiation beyond the Van Allen Belt, we need to have a better system for dealing with all the crap flying around in space that will hit our spaceships and break them, and most importantly, we need to figure out a way to get enough oxygen/food/supplies/fuel into a rocket ship so that astronauts can get there alive and don't just send back a single message of "We're here! Johnson looks delicious, especially when his lips have turned blue from hypoxia."

4 - Okay. Tiny animals would be nice.

As others have pointed out, the main problem with jetpacks is not air traffic, but the issue with the lower half of your spine being burned off by the exhaust.[edit] Also the jetpacks that do exist are more expensive than high end cars.

Also: until we have our oceans explored to the same degree as the moon, there really is no point in going into space.

[edit]
In addition to what the poster above me said about space travel there is still the issue with the amount of bone density lost by people in zero gravity.

For those you moderately interested in humanity's future in space, this video explains a great deal as to why we aren't there now, and why we won't be for some time. It's also fun to watch Bill Nye attempt to moderate the nerd rage coming from the other experts.

We found something better than gold on the moon. We found Helium-3 which would actually make fusion a viable option here on Earth. Fusion would be a good way to fuel all of those spaceships and space things you kept showing. Not to mention break free from any foreign dependence on energy. Also, if the moon were made of gold it would cost more to go up there and mine it than the value of the gold.

BgRdMchne:
ITT:

Scientists come and give lame excuses for not giving us things that they have been promising us since the 1910s.

We were promised this:
image

We got this:
image

Are you saying Jet Packs>Lolcats?

*le gasp!*

teh_Canape:
maybe you should call Dr Insano, he seems like he'd do all that
also, while you're at it, get an extra ticket to the moon for Bill O'Reilly

Liked this one. Pretty sure the lying scientists would go to jail though

Only 4 minutes of show? This episode was awesome, I want more of this!

I want more of The Big Picture, make it 2 or 3 times a week! Work harder for us!
At least talk less about comics, I'm sick of it.

Just wanted to set a couple of misnomers about animals being bread to the point of needing to eat tonnes of grain to survive. The actuality is Cows gain more weight in a field eating grass than they do in a feedlot eating grain. The reason in the field eating grass they are putting on muscle where as in the feedlot they are putting on fat. The reason feedlots are so prevelent is they provide a more consistant end product as in all the carcasses weigh pretty close to the same which makes all the cuts of meat taken from feedlot finished animals as close to the same as humanly posible without cloning the darned things.

The fact is cows and sheep are continously being bred to be putting on more weight for the same amount of feed or less for example look up the droughtmaster breeds developed in Australia. If we stopped farming cows today they would survive quite well their only real problem coming from predators because generally speaking alot of the improvement in meat production on cows has come at the expence of the cows various natural defences. I refrence you to the Hereford breed and the Poll Hereford bred of cattle.

Oh and genetic engineering isn't quite as new as people want to believe. Genetic engineering has been the whole point of farming since we first started. It's funny as thats one of the few areas where people would rather trust some guy in a field with no real formal tertiary education over a guy in a lab coat with 2 or 3 science degrees under his belt and I find it ammusing.

I also want to know where's MY jetpack?

Hm. Has bob ever watched How Stuff Works? A lot of the things we produce are already deeply in colaboration with science and some of these making some of these request rather thoughtless. Like say the idea of cultured meat. Technically they can make meat with wheat. And everyone knows jetpacks can actually be owned its just that it's impractical not unlike steam punk technology.

I know I'm supposed to be against lying within science, ( actually I AM against it), but it will get man into space, I can't disaprove. It's not really a bad thing if you're lying do douchbags right?
Also, I'm a vegetarian, but I'd eat the hell out of lab-meat. If it were more enviromentally friendly than ordinary meat anyway.

Great ep Bob, I hope you do more

Gluzzbung:
Hate to say it, but the reason we're still on Earth is because any type of bacteria on another planet would kill everyone it touched, most likely.

Wot? There's no reason to assume extraterrestrial bacteria would have any pathogenic activity in humans. Do you have any idea how many bacteria OTUs* on EARTH are non-harmful to humans? How many cat diseases can humans catch? Three? Four? Out of hundreds of known pathogens. That's an animal we've had close contact with for millennia, and their pathogens have had thousands of generations to adapt to us.

An alien bacterium would have to have pathogenic action that adversely affects us and that our immune systems couldn't cope with, and the ability to avoid our immune responses despite never having encountered them before. Viruses face an even bigger learning curve- they'd need exactly the right protein sequences to interface with human cells, mechanically compatible genetic material and sufficient internal pressure to drive their RNA into a host cell.

Not saying it's impossible that there are lethal space-germs out there. It's just... unlikely.

-Nick

*EDIT: originally wrote "species", which doesn't really apply to bacteria as they can swap around DNA like baseball cards. Seemingly identical e.coli cells can be as little as 43% similar, or less similar than we are to lettuce. Microbiology is weird, man.

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