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This article discusses the NIAC Spring Symposium I attended last week, featuring some of the stunning ideas receiving small grants from NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program (I am on the Board of Advisors). Oh there are still great ideas. Now to restore the confidence and ambition of a scientific civilization: Is NASA Boring? Not A Chance
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16 comments
 
When do I get to move to Mars?
 
Very interesting technologies. Now if we can just hurry them out of the lab to implementation.
 
If only the democrats in this administration would restore some of NASA's funding we might have a chance of actually leading the world in space exploration again.
 
I think the 100 Senators who each want a piece of any big NASA project in their state has a lot more to do with NASA's funding woes than the decisions of the current Democratic minority in the House.
 
We need to find a way to keep lmr.nasa.gov lunar VLBI from being seen as a threat to more expensive space telescope projects.
 
I always believed in supporting government funding for science, such a NASA. I've had to re-examine those beliefs in the last couple of years. I'm beginning to believe that placing science mainly into the hands of government programs like NASA is similar to saying that only the U.S. Post Office can deliver mail (a legal monopoly). It's not a question of how much progress that government programs have made, but more of a question about relying only on government for progress in science. SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and other commercial space operations have the potential to open up space to the average person, instead of only astronauts.
 
+Clifford Hamblen I too am disappointed in the democrats' position on science. They have only restored some, not all of the savage eviscerations of science that occurred under Bush. I hate Pelosi for NOT reversing Gingrich's action in the 1990s, destroying every last bit of independent scientific counsel in Congress and banishing the Office of Science and Technology Asssessment.

I have nothing but contempt for the timid, partial way that the Dems and Obama have sort of halfway stood up for science against the all-out War on Science that pours daily from the Saudi-owned Fox Network, lobotomizing 1/3 of Americans.

It seems you and I are in agreement. After crushing the GOP this fall, I say we give the DP just one year to give us back a scientific, future-eager nation, or else we crush them next! Deal?
 
But you've got to crush the GOP first or it's not a valid trial. Again, the Senate is where good legislation goes to die. This election, there are 10 GOP seats and 23 Dem seats up for election, and most of the GOP seats look safe. The Democrats need at least a 60-seat majority to prevent the GOP from filibustering everything like they have since 2007.
 
+Mike DeSimone is it really 10 Republican and 23 Democrat senators up for reelection? That is the most depressing thing I've read all year.
 
Yes it is. Remember, the current set of seats are the ones up for grabs in 2006, when the Dems had a landslide. Now they need to try to keep the landslide... while the 10 GOP seats are ones that the GOP won in 2006... It's an uphill battle.

I'll settle for the Dems taking the House back and holding on to the Executive, but remember, that just puts us back in the state we were in for the 111th Congress (2009-2010)! And we know how well that went. (Pretty darn well, all things considered, but could have been much better.)

The key thing to remember is that it all comes back to We The People, like it should. The Senate puts more power in the hands of smaller states, so if we want the Senate to go along with out plans, we have to convince the voters in the smaller states first!
 
Well, maybe it will give the Dems the gumption at last to demand REAl filibusters. If you want to stall the Senate, like "Mr. Smith"... then stand and speak on and on and on...
 
Not sure it would matter, since they could take turns. The Dems had a chance to change the rules back in early 2011, but well... yeah.

The Dems are totally Charlie Brown, and the GOP is Lucy with the football.
 
How about a constitutional amendment requiring states to make congressional districts maximally contentious (instead of maximally safe as the parties prefer)? That would force candidates to run on the center instead of the extremes.

Also, rootstrikers.org has theanticorruptionpledge.org which looks a lot more likely to do something useful than the99declaration.org
 
Here's the deal. Allow states to gerrymander up to a point, with a max ratio of perimeter to area. BUT! "There shall be minimal overlap between districts for state assembly, state senate and congress."

Hence, if one house is gerried to be maximally partisan, the other two will not be! They'll have different psychologies.
 
+David Brin Could you please amend that into my amendments at keepthewebopen.com ? -- It's supposed to be the new version of SOPA which Rep. Issa just turned live recently, but it doesn't say anything about copyright yet so we should make the most of it. You want Section 1.5, subsection (3).
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