Quote of the day—Rama Lakshmi

India’s $72 million Mars orbiter is the cheapest interplanetary mission ever. Modi said that India’s Mars mission cost less than what it took to make the famous Hollywood space movie “Gravity.”

Rama Lakshmi
September 24, 2014
India becomes first Asian nation to reach Mars orbit, joins elite global space club
[If India had a more gun friendly political atmosphere I might consider moving there. They still have a lot of messed up political ideas, corruption in government, and religious/class/caste issues but as the United States crumbles it is on my short list of refuges if things get really bad.—Joe]

25 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Rama Lakshmi

  1. One of the more interesting questions to ask people who decry all the things America does is ask them what nation they would be willing to move to permanently that wasn’t an English colony or founded on the basic WASP work ethic. Their answer (as they flail and flop mentally) usually reveals many levels of deep ignorance, and also pulls into focus key cultural features they are usually rather fond of.

  2. I’ll say lots of bad things about Europe any time you nudge me, but I’ll take most European countries (exclude France and the Mediterraneans) over India by a VERY large margin. India combines the bad aspects of English class-based policies, French socialism, English socialism, 19th century discrimination in dozens of styles, just for starters.

    • I haven’t been to India but sort of would like to visit sometime.

      I’ve only been to Denmark and London in the European area and that was 35 years ago. So, I don’t have a lot to base my inclinations on. But I’m inclined to think that Europe is going downhill ahead of the U.S. with India and perhaps some South American countries staying further up the slope.

  3. Decry India’s problems all you want, but when I had the privilege of visiting the Gurkha guards at the airport were carrying Lee Enfields, shiny from use but obviously still able to shoot.

    A country that uses a historic military battle rifle to arm its rear echelon guard forces can’t be all wrong.

    • Not that Gurkha’s even need a rifle to kill the enemy en masse. They fall in that category of very capable, strong willed and just slightly crazy that makes soldiers fantastic at killing people and breaking things…

    • So why don’t you think guns couldn’t be (and aren’t) carried by people in that environment?

      I know you have long standing concerns about people other than the intended target being hit but it seems unlikely there will be much violent crime when there are so many people present. And if there is a need for defensive use of firearms in that sort of environment hollow-point bullets will keep the risk of over penetration relatively low.

      Seattle’s Pike’s Place Market and sometimes the Seattle Center get very high density crowds too. I’ve carried in those environments. I really don’t see what the problem is.

      • In the mind of the anti, everyone who is armed in a given environment will draw and start blasting away randomly, with ecstatic abandon, at the drop of a hat, or if someone looks at them funny or bumps into them accidently, etc., the result being mass carnage. The trigger to that mass carnage is always a hair trigger, just waiting for the slitest nudge to unleash all hell, anywhere, any time.

        Take the guns out of the picture, by force (except for the guns in the hands of cops, who are the only creatures on Earth who have total self-control, total situational awareness, and perfect marksmanship) and everyone is totally cool.

        It is the mere knowledge of the mere presence of weapons in society that causes people to become angry and violent. This is also why we must destroy our nukes and disband the U.S. military— Without them we would have no enemies, Ipso Facto, QED.

        Take the guns away (again, by force and the threat of force) and only then is there any chance for the Peace, Brotherhood and Salvation of Mankind. Once your guns are all gone, the cops won’t need guns, and we probably won’t even need cops, because the provocations for crime (guns) will be gone. Thus, if you are opposed to forcible disarmament, you are opposed to the Peace, Brotherhood and Salvation of Mankind– You are an apostate at best, and probably take your orders directly from hell. As such you are THE PROBLEM on Earth and should be dealt with accordingly and at the earliest opportunity. The only thing standing in the way is that stupid, old, dead-white-guys’ philosophy, culture and constitution, which were created to promote slavery to further enrich and empower the already righ and powerful 1% at the expense of everyone else on the planet.

        The left has told all of these things, over and over, for generations. We might distill it down thusly;
        The combination of the ability and willingness to defend yourself is the singular cause of violence.

        That is the assertion, though it’s always inside of some kind of smoke screen. By extension then, and by observing the actions AND the words of the left for many decades, it means; “Do whatever your told, act like you enjoy it, and there won’t be any trouble!”

        It’s simple, see? In other words; they have everything exactly and totally backwards.

      • Anytime you have an environment where people are pushing and shoving (see the video around 0.45), you have a chance for an accidental discharge. It’s kind of like the idea of arming football players while they are on the field. I don’t see anyone advocating for that, yet football players should have the right to armed self defense too.

        • If you believe being in an environment with pushing and shoving increases the chance for an accidental discharge with a holstered gun then you need to get up to speed on firearms and holsters designed some time in the last 100 years.

        • Rather than prance around with PC terms and detailed explanations, I’ll just state: Bullshit.

          Prove your moronic assertions, or just STFU, ubu.

          • Ubu doesn’t know anything about riots, either.
            By the way, the term is “negligent discharge”, not “accidental discharge”. And yes, that’s what holsters are for. (And of course the seriously concerned can carry on an empty chamber, it they are sufficiently optimistic.)
            It would be worthwhile looking up the rate of negligent discharge per capita, for the population at large and for the police force. The police might come out higher. Just as they are known to come out higher on the frequency of killing the wrong person. And possibly also on the rate of missing the target.

      • Also, it’s funny you would say this: ” unlikely there will be much violent crime when there are so many people present.”

        I was reading an article in the LA Times about a place that was preparing to reopen (and would attract a lot of people) and the police mentioned that areas with lots of people experience less violent crime.

        • And you believed him

          Hint: Chicago doesn’t close beaches because they’re empty, but because it’s easier than dealing with the violence that breaks out.

  4. Back to the topic of the post.

    It may only have cost $72 million, but then they have fewer regulations, wages, rent and healthcare are cheaper.

    A better measure might be to express the cost in terms of per capita income.

    So 72,000,000/1570 = 45860 income units.

    Lets repeat that for the US and compare the cost of the MAVEN probe which has a budget of $671 mil with the US per capita income.

    671,000,000/53143 = 12626 income units.

    Oh look! Compared with industrial output our probes are roughly 4 times cheaper! And probably a lot more capable too. And that $72 mil cost of the Indian probe may or may not include the total budget, where the MAVEN numbers do.

    That does put a different light on it.

    Of course, not to rag on India because I’m all for more folks exploring space, random statistic and numbers without context never have any meaning. Which is why the anti-gunners always lose on the facts…..

    Earl

    • India has massive regulation, sorry to say. An abysmal bureaucracy, complete with a Department of Redundancy Department. But they can sometimes ignore it through fiat to get important things done (occasionally). But I like your way of looking at it by comparing it to income or income per capita.

      • Just to clarify, I was really commenting more on the comparison made to the cost of making gravity.

        I’m actually quite happy India has joined in.

      • Why? Space exploration is a wonderful intellectual exercise. Does that justify stealing people’s money? I don’t think so.

  5. Cost effective or not, I think it is great that they accomplished it. Instrument package orbiting Mars, wow. Three Cheers, India.

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