July 5, 2010

Obama asked NASA "to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."

To be fair, that wasn't the only goal. There was also: "to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math" and "to expand our international relationships."

Oh, admit it! The point of science is to feel good about how we can do science.

53 comments:

RightGirl said...

Oh for the love of...! What science? They stole medicine from the chinese and chess from the Persians!

RG

former law student said...

Sounds like Obama wants to get Muslims past the "Math is hard," talking Barbie stage of things.

"Muslims traditionally excel in math" is a powerful message to internalize.

Seven Machos said...

This may seem weird at first blush. It might seem uproariously stupid and tone-deaf that Obama would ask the space exploration agency to carry out his politically correct bullshit.

However, Obama has also asked Rahm Emanuel to reach out to conservatives, Joe Biden to do quadratic equations, and Congress to pass an illegal immigrant amnesty program in an election year.

Just like Michelle Obama promised us, "Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."

Albatross said...

I don't know why they need our help to fell better about themselves. After all, Egypt is home to the biggest danged woo-woo devices of them all.

Synova said...

The problem with this is... the thing that did it, the thing that did it before when Kennedy wanted to "inspire children" to math and science was making the whole thing a vital *competition*.

If the Muslim world wants to feel good about Arabic Numerals then make it a competition. Make it a competition with Japan and India and China and, oh why not, Iran. Everyone. And tell the children in OUR schools that we're going up there and we're moving out there and we need Physicists and we need Engineers and material scientists and Chemists and specialists to develop polymers and forget social services, and when we say "environmental scientists" what we MEAN is someone who knows everything there is to know about carbon filters and recycling waste, and when we say "nutritionist" we're not talking about childhood obesity.

Randy said...

Contemporary contributions to same being out of the question, one assumes.

Revenant said...

Personally, I'm hoping the story is inaccurate. The alternative is too depressing.

Seven Machos said...

I posted a comment here. Best. Comment. Ever. Truly the last word on the issue.

It disappeared into the ether.

Fred4Pres said...

What an idiotic message. How about exploring outer space? That is inspiration enough.

Seriously, that is NASA's mission. If not, then why have NASA at all.

blake said...

Ahhhh. Comments were broken, weren't they.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Wouldn't that have the risk of appearing condescending? There are plenty of Muslim scientists and engineers today, including some of the 9/11 fliers. But science asks questions--lots of hard, sticky, impertinent, inconvenient questions. If the culture can't tolerate and even enjoy that questioning, it isn't going to put out innovators.

Toy

From Inwood said...

What an elitist, condescending, fatuous load of BS. As Orwell said, one has to be awfully smart to have an idea so incredibly stupid as this.


As someone has noted (sent to me without attribution):

This is more evidence, if any were needed, of Obama's lack of interest in American achievement or, indeed, American greatness. He seems to believe we've achieved enough (or perhaps too much) and that the trick now is to make nations that have achieved little for centuries feel like we couldn't have done it without them (in the video, Bolden goes on to talk about how much NASA owes the Russians and the Japanese).

Methadras said...

The retardation of this proposal is beyond measure or words. This guy is a fucking tool of tools.

The Drill SGT said...

That was a joke right?

NASA as a social engineering experiment?

Let's cancel the whole agency. They've been drifting that way for a while with their quota driven astronaut selection process and their AGW fixation.

They lost the right stuff

mesquito said...

Never has a bureaucrat captured the ruling zeitgeist so utterly.

Tregonsee said...

Yes Geroge, we do miss you!

edutcher said...

I hadn't heard that NASA was an adjunct of the State Department. Or is it the Department of Education?

PS A lot of Islam's "historic contribution to science, math, and engineering" was supposedly stolen from the Hindus.

rhhardin said...

The first suicide belt on Mars.

Robert Burnham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Burnham said...

Nothing about exploring other worlds, or uplifting human spirits, or even adventure — all typical. The only time His vision soars is when the subject involves him.

Pogo said...

The last bastion of reality dies.

Now everyone in science gets a ribbon, even cultures stuck in the middle ages!

If yer gonna be ignorant, at least feel good about it.

LilyBart said...

I read this over the weekend. If NASA is no longer about space exploration or aeronautics, its time to defund and shut it down. This is idiotic.

Brian Hancock said...

NASA

1958 - 2010

Time to shut it down and restart with something new.

One thing is for sure, Obama is no Jack Kennedy.

I remember what used to inspired kids was actually doing things in space.

Comrade X said...

reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering

what a beautiful left handed compliment.

Sofa King said...

From "can do" to "can't do" to "won't do" in two generations. Pathetic.

Turtledove said...

Oh good grief!

george said...

It seems Muslims are to be put in the same category as children by this administration since both groups are getting essentially the same treatment.

garage mahal said...

Don't laugh. Pakistan medaled in nuclear bomb making in the last Summer Olympics. Their only event.

Mark O said...

Idiot. Can he really be as stupid as I think he is? The real story of his rise through Harvard Law and into the presidency will be a giant best seller.

He's affirmatively dangerous because of his inexperience and lack of judgment.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Hancock said...

NASA

1958 - 2010

Pull the plug on this thing now!

If you want to inspire children and the world, do great things in space. That will the result of doing great things.

t-man/wurly/henry buck said...

A mood elevator that only goes down.

traditionalguy said...

The only science that Muslims use is continuously putting Strong Horses next to Weak Horses as experiments for the last 1400 years. So far the results have always been "to the Strong Horse go the spoils". The captured peoples who had to convert or die produced some good work in the first couple on centuries...but even that has long since stopped.

Henry said...

Guys, that Hindu-Arabic number system is fly. Positional notation? Who knew! We're all over it here at NASA. Thanks for the zeros.

MadisonMan said...

Feature creep. The bane of any science program.

It reads like a way to keep bureaucrats employed.

Big Mike said...

Might just as well close it down.

Jane said...

I am so tempted to call NASA:

"Hello, I am so-and-so from such-and-such educational institution. We want to help NASA in its number one effort to help Muslim nations feel good about their historic scientific contributions. Could you please provide on your website or in an e-mail to me historic Muslim scientific achievements that I can share with my students? I want to help them build bridges, and thought since it was NASA's number one goal that you would be the go-to organization on this information. Thank you."

Jane said...

Here's the rest of my fantasy conversation:

"Yes, 'Allah's a moon god'. Got it. Oh, and flying carpets? Yes, yes. Oh, and the crescent moon and star thing. Yes, that's definitely space-related. Thank you!"

GMay said...

Only the wv can sum up my feelings here:

wv - focks: How much longer do we have to put up with these worthless focks?

Original Mike said...

We elected a boob.

Original Mike said...

I am embarrassed for our country.

Is this what it feels like to be a liberal? I don't like it.

Trooper York said...

I think this is a great idea if it means they are going to send all the Muslims to the moon.

Pastafarian said...

But wait -- if I recall correctly, Althouse and quite a few commenters here, both liberal and conservative, thought that Obama's vision for the space program was just great a couple of months ago, when he decided to scrap all manned space exploration for the foreseeable future.

What the hell else are they going to do, for fuck sakes? They have to keep drawing a paycheck. What did you expect? The point of NASA is now outreach to Muslims (??!), public relations, and the occasional pretty picture of the Horsehead Nebula.

Althouse said: "Oh, admit it! The point of science is to feel good about how we can do science."

I honestly can't tell if you're serious or not. I mean, this would mesh well with someone who thinks manned space exploration is a waste of resources.

t-man/wurly/henry buck said...

Outreach 101

How to sneak box-cutters onto the Space Shuttle

Clyde said...

"What have you done for me lately?"

Other than perfecting terrorist attacks and religious oppression, I mean? You guys can't keep dining out on that zero thing forever, you know.

And it appears that like every other part of our government, NASA is completely out of touch with what their real mission is supposed to be. Someone needs to take their hands, point them at the stars in the night sky and say, "Get busy! And not on giving Muslim undeserved self-esteem. Get Americans out of low-Earth orbit and back onto the Moon, to Mars and beyond. Because THAT is our manifest destiny. And don't you forget it!"

LordSomber said...

As a kid who grew up wanting to be an astronaut, this is beyond shameful.

Big Mike said...

@Pastafarian, mothball the space shuttles in favor of single use, but vastly cheaper, updates to the Gemini and Apollo capsules, check. Replace manned exploration of planets with robotic sensor platforms, check.

Get out of space and science altogether? Maybe just shut the poor old agency down.

Bryan said...

I thought that my respect for Obama and his administration had dropped as low as was imaginable. Then this. Rational discussion with these folks is pretty much impossible as they have a perverse relationship with truth. I don't think this is going to end well...

former law student said...

To paraphrase my ozone-lost comment: Remember all the women up in arms when "Math is hard" Barbie came out? The sentiment was that women could do math just as well as men, thank you very much.

Provoking the sentiment that Muslims can do math and science just as well as anyone else, can help produce the same sort of corps of scientists and engineers that helped China, India, etc. achieve economic success. Successful Muslims will have something to live for, instead of only something to die for.

former law student said...

Education and public outreach is a big part of the NASA mission , by the way.

http://science.nasa.gov/researchers/education-public-outreach/

jr565 said...

The idea that the Muslim world was a mecca of enlightented thought and science is pure hogwash.
But even if it were true, what does the space program have to do with Muslims and what makes the Obama adminstration think that they can reach them by pushing Nasa of all things.
Unless they can weave some jew hatred into it I dont seem them biting. (One suggestion, if Obama could somehow push the idea that NASA intends to move the state of Israel to the Moon, maybe the muslim world can then get behind a space program).
Or maybe the administration is thinking that because Iran is attempting to get nukes it might also like the idea of a space program. Hey, if they like nuclear warheads, maybe they'd also like rockets and shuttles that go into outer space. We can reach them that way! Detente!

From Inwood said...

Speaking of zeros---The One!

Bruce Hayden said...

I would not be surprised if the Moslem world provided us with some science, esp. during the Christian Dark Ages. But a lot of it was probably just transferred from others. They helped keep alive knowledge from the Greeks, and very possibly transferred technology from India (and China?) to the Western World during that time.

But their contributions basically ended maybe 500 years ago. Much of Islam was ruled by an increasingly corrupt and degenerate Ottoman Empire, while science and technology in the West was exploding.

As with others, my view is that this is totally idiotic, but not surprising from the Obama Administration.