In response to:

Guns Gone Mad and Asteroids Gone Crazy

Fredward Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 7:02 AM
Seriously? That's your priority?
myer Wrote: Mar 05, 2013 4:57 PM
Lets see, NASA was a government project, the Manhattan project was a government funded project, every drug we have from the Polio Vaccine to antibiotics were funded by the government. Without research sponsored by the government no0ne of the medical advances would have happened. Private sector research is efficient because the government pays for the basic research and government pays the bills for the drugs once they are on the market.

But I am sure you dont believe that
Curtis108 Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 11:33 AM
Allow me to defend the CEO of IBM Given the state of the computer at the time, ie, the ones IBM would build and sell, he was absolutely correct. Fortunately, they didn't stay that way.

Consider the forecast for buggy whips in 1887, when the first cars were sold in the US....
FletchforFreedom Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 10:36 AM
And the CEO of IBM was proved LAUGHABLY WRONG in short order (and without consideration of the space program at all). The whole premise is ludicrous. By definition, if government can see a demand for computing power and become a CUSTOMER for such technology, obviously so can others. Similarly, the assertion about medical breakthroughs is built entirely on the same ridiculous premise. The PRIVATE SECTOR is the key driver of research (including medical) and has always been VASTLY more efficient. The myth of government driven technological strength is long debunked.
Rich L. Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 9:37 AM
The SR-71 was also built with sliderules. So what? That does not mean that computers and smart phones would not have been developed without the space program. It may have taken a couple of years longer, but people would have seen the usefulness of computers that the CEO of IBM couldn't.
Chris from Kalifornia Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 7:51 AM
In the 50's the CEO of IBM said there was maybe a market for 2 or 3 computers in the world. If they hadn't put them to use in the space program it's doubtful that we would have the plethora of options we have now. Plus there are hundreds of medical breakthroughs that were a direct result of the space program. I only used computers because they are the most obvious (to me anyway). I still remember when a 4 function calculator was $500. The space program was built using SLIDERULES!!! Does anyone remember those?
FletchforFreedom Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 7:36 AM
Again, that computing power was put into place in the space program doesn't change the fact that it was rapidly increasing both before and after space program applications because (as you've demonstrated) the demand for such increased computing power was already there. I'd love to give some credit to my dad for all the gadgets we have today (he worked at Martin's on the Gemini Program) but it just ain't so.
Chris from Kalifornia Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 7:15 AM
What? That I want to spend more on research than on myself and other old folks? Research, when done properly (not in global warming mode) always pays off in unexpected ways. Nobody expected home computers to evolve out of the integrated circuits that were used in the space program. Your typical smart phone has hundreds of times the computing power of the computers that flew us to the moon and back mostly safely.

With science today largely funded by government, you knew it wouldn‘t be long before the recent asteroid encounter in Chelyabinsk, Russia would lead to well-meaning, but mostly hysterical cries that we MUST DO SOMETHING about it;  “something” that costs a lot of money; “something” that involves thick scientific studies; and- the best part- “something” that promises no results for the fifty-to-a-hundred thousand years of program costs, run by the central and federal  government of the US-of-A.

If we don’t do “something,” NOW they’ll say, we’ll risk plague, locusts, drought and the usual assortment of frogs lets loose by the...