This is topic Crowning Moment of Funny for Daily Show in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Blayne Bradley (Member # 8565) on :
Okay so the context is that India discovered water on the moon and they do some back and forth and Mandvi says "but the Americans did provide us with some Technical Support" and it was just, awesome.

America is now giving India Technical Support [Big Grin]

Its a double pun!

"Where did all the American cab drivers in New Delhi come from? Where did you learn to drive? Jersy?!"
Posted by paigereader (Member # 2274) on :
Reminds me of a joke a girl from Canada told me...
How many Americans does it take to screw in a light bulb? One to change the bulb and one to tell the rest of the world how they were saved from darkness
Posted by Tara (Member # 10030) on :
There's water on the moon?
Posted by Dogbreath (Member # 11879) on :
There are Indians on the moon?

Also, I think you're spending too much time on tv tropes Blayne. You're starting to speak in tropes now.
Posted by 0Megabyte (Member # 8624) on :
I keep saying that, but he doesn't listen to me.
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :

Do you know what the REAL irony of that Daily Show story is?

The actual sensors used to detect the water? They were American. NASA provided the Moon Mineralogy Mapper to the ISRO for use on the satellite, and they partnered up analysis detail for the data that came back. NASA's Cassini mission also detected water a couple years ago, but it was unconfirmed until now. Next month NASA will be crashing a rocket into the moon and then analyzing the soil that gets thrown up in the explosion.

What was the real achievement of the mission? That the ISRO managed to launch the satellite for less than half of what it traditionally costs first world space agencies. Though, I'm not sure if that price includes the expensive sensory equipment that was paid for by other space agencies or not. It's not at all uncommon for the international space agency community to built a telescope or scanner and then have it piggyback on someone else's mission. The ESA did it when the Huygens probe on Cassini, and I think Canada is playing an upsized role in work on the James Webb, but to say that India has made a major discovery is sort of off.

I do think they've made a major leap forward into joining the community of space exploring nations however, and that is to be commended.
Posted by Lisa (Member # 8384) on :
And oh, by the way?
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I do think they've made a major leap forward into joining the community of space exploring nations however, and that is to be commended.

Is it really, tho? We've been discussing this at work the past couple days. Is it a good thing that India spent all of this money (even if it was less than what developed nations spend) to send something to the moon, given the problems that India has? If I were an Indian citizen, I'd be upset at my government spending money there, rather than to feed and educate impoverished children. On the other hand, there are arguments that this reduces brain drain, and then there's the whole national pride thing.

For the second, I'd argue that there are better, more lasting ways to throw money towards unneeded things to build national pride - sports, for example. India was ranked 149 out of 203 nations in soccer by FIFA. If the government built up the soccer infrastructure instead of the space infrastructure that'd probably lead to longer lasting national pride - and it might become money-making in the long run (cricket is wildly profitable in India).

For the first, well, there does seem to be some reversal of the brain drain effect in India. And I'm not sure if the government ought to be that worried about the brain drain of people wanting to be involved in the space industry - it can't be that large a group, after all.
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
The satellite I think cost $80 million. It's practically a pittance in America, despite the fact that he's a huge sum of money, it gets thrown around so much that we don't really value it like we should. That doesn't detract from the fact that yes, eighty million dollars could be vitally useful in opening schools, or creating better housing conditions, or feeding the poor in India...but I still think it's better spent sending a probe to the moon. Why?

Investment, for one. India just proved they could launch a satellite into space cheaper than any nation in the world. That's not just a point of national pride, that's an investment opportunity. Why would an extremely cost conscious NASA contract through Lockheed to pay twice as much for the same results when they could go to India? Even if NASA might be more beholden to choose an American company, I guarantee that major telecom companies are not. They'll go with whoever can launch their satellites into space the cheapest, and that just became India. This could lead to billions of dollars in investment in a burgeoning aerospace industry in a country that is seriously looking for more concrete industries.

National Pride, like you said, but I think in a more meaningful way than sports. I don't think we get it as much in America because we don't really appreciate the world's most popular sport the way everyone else does (despite the often overlooked fact that there are more youth soccer players in America than any other single country in the world outside of India), so though World Cup soccer is big to soccer players, it's not big to everyone here. But even so, that's not the type of pride I'd be focusing on instilling if I were Indian officials. I'd want the sort of pride that launches my country into the realm of first world endeavors, a modern space race in an age where the first world nations don't seem all that interested in space, and merely support it as a matter of course, despite spending vast sums of money on it. I think being able to say "we're doing what they do, but we're doing it cheaper, and we're going to find things they aren't looking for" is a great national spirit.

Brain Drain, is also as you said, very important. It doesn't necessarily matter how big the group of rocket scientists are, it's about inspiring the next generation of scientists. It's about a kid growing up with a sense of pride in his nation's scientific achievements, so one day he goes to America to learn at MIT, then comes home to put that knowledge to use, then as an old man (or woman) teaches at India's version of MIT. I know India produces a vast sum of engineers on a yearly basis, and I know a lot of them leave, and I know a lot of students go to America or Europe to learn, and then stay there for decades. Education, for many, is seen as a way out. If there can be national pride in the scientific achievements of a nation, then kids will want to participate and bring as much knowledge home as possible, and it won't always be rocket science, they'll get interested in science, join other disciplines, and grow them.

It's just part of India's coming out party. They get overshadowed by China all the time, in part because despite similarities in size, population numbers, and the incredible growth rate in their economies, India lags behind China not only in many statistical measures of a nation's well being, but also in image. People see China and they think of a booming economy, the Olympics, maglev trains, being the world's factory, and a growing military threat to be taken seriously. People see India and they think poverty, Slumdog Millionaire, tech call centers with people they can't understand named Abraham, and a lot of other negative images that I don't think are really fair (but at the same time, a lot of which aren't off the mark). This is as much a PR campaign as anything else, with India telling the world that they're elbowing their way into the first world in fits and starts, and we should all take notice. I think that's an excellent thing for India's future.
Posted by Dobbie (Member # 3881) on :
I've got a full day linking other people's jokes instead of coming up with my own.

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