A small public service announcement

Allow me to translate some of the things that I’ve been reading in various places for about the last month or two:

“You know, there’s some doubt about whether we ever really landed on the Moon.”
“I have a brain the size of a walnut. I continue to believe things that have been explained or disproven for decades because, being stupid enough to believe them, I am also too stupid to process the explanations.”
“Space travel costs so much! We need to spend that money down here on Earth!”
“I obviously think that the $2 billion (spent over a decade) for one space shuttle or robot to Mars got raked into a gigantic pile and lit on fire or packed into the rocket and blasted off to Mars, as opposed to having been spent down here on Earth to create good-quality jobs for people, many of whom got their diplomas in public education.”
“We could put that money into social programs! Or infrastructure!”
“I cannot do math at all. Not even a little bit.” There are 600,000 bridges in the United States. There are 55 and a half million miles of paved road in the United States. That $2 billion divvied up would make for a whopping … $35 for each. I’m sure it will make a big difference. We could instead address that question to the bank bailouts, but that raises the next question:
“Well yes, I know, but we have to do something!”
“I’d rather attack something small, worthy, weak, and easier to kill than go after the actual problem and make a real difference.” (Sort of like if you can’t kill Pol Pot, you might as well kill Jonas Salk because, hey — at least you’re killing somebody, right?) Okay, according to Bloomberg, the bank bailouts cost … wait for it … $12.8 trillion dollars. Now, if you aren’t even vaguely capable with math, large words that end with -illion are all likely to sound the same to you, but if you pay attention, you’ll note that the budget for a shuttle or Mars rover is about 1/6,400th of the cost of that. If I take a dollar, and generously give you 1/6,400th of it, I doubt it would make a difference. In fact, let me help you out — the following graphic will show you the relationship between the bank bailouts and the cost, over a decade, of one shuttle or rover:

See that thin blue sliver? I can’t either.
Click to enlarge.

Well, that invisible sliver is what one shuttle or rover costs, relative to what we pissed away bailing out the people who sent an entire planet over the edge of total economic collapse. Still think the space program is the problem?
“Yes but!”
“No, for real, I can’t do math or think logically at all. Stop talking to me. It’ll just raise your blood pressure.”

This should get the idea across in that case.

(I’ll get back to music, I promise. But this sort of thing just builds up sometimes and has to come out.)

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