August 14, 2009

The science narrator who once voiced awe at astronomical size now sounds rather silly.

In last night's Sunset Tavern, rhhardin wrote:
The science narrator genre, made popular in the late 60s.
"There are over 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Simply saying that number doesn't mean much to us because it doesn't provide any context. Our brains have no way to accurately put that in any meaningful perspective."
The quote is from this:



RH goes on:
100 billion is a twentieth of the 2009 Obama deficit.

It's doesn't seem so big now, astronomers.

Needed, a government narrator genre replacing the universe with the deficit.

The Hubble telescope looks at pork.

33 comments:

Gabriel Hanna said...

Richard Feynman said it decades ago in his famous textbook: "astronomical numbers" should really be called "economic numbers".

At that time, the deficit could be numbered in the single billions.

Maguro said...

It sounded kinda silly at the time, too.

The Real Barack said...

Rhardin:

You don't need a telescope to find the pork.

Hell, now that I am president, Mr. Magoo could find it without his glasses.

traditionalguy said...

What is it that economists call it when your dollar suddenly seems very, very small? This video also makes me say "drill here and drill now." The creator of that much stuff surely created enough oil if we will only boldly make it legal, instead of illegal, to tap into it.

Rich B said...

Ann-

It's not fair that you make fun of Obama in a post about astronomy.

Michael Hasenstab said...

RH - Thanks for the perspective. You're the new Carl Sagan, man.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If R.E. Lee were awake he'd be calling this another Sarah Palin post to stir up the Althouse hillbillies.

traditionalguy said...

Is it true that there was a Star hovering over Nairobi, Kenya on the night of the birth of Barak...nevermind that would have to have been been somewhere over Oahu. So many stars and so few Messiahs.

Original Mike said...

More dollars in the U.S. deficit than galaxies in the (observable) universe.

Jesus Christ on a Harley.

Bissage said...

I called Mrs. Bissage to the computer, this morning, to show her that comment by rhhardin, so I’m sort of tooting my own intergalactic space horn right now.

AllenS said...

Well, just imagine then, how many grains of sand there are. So, Obama's got that goin for him.

WV: paryoust

Party on!

ricpic said...

Orgasmic For Obama

Hundreds and hundreds of party hacks swoon
At the thought of the millions of scams they'll run soon
Under the aegis of their thief of trillions chief goon.

Triangle Man said...

Bissage, link?

qwerty said...

And to think of the surpluses we were running on Jan. 19th. Oh, wait . . .

Paul Zrimsek said...

Paryoust: Best selling golf writer, author of Remembrance of Swings Past.

blake said...

qwerty raises an important point.

The balance sheet was negative when BHO took office. And, hey, any negative number is as good as any other negative number. Or bad as. Whatever.

qwerty said...

I don't think anyone believe any negative deficit number is the same as any other, but it would be reasonable to recognize the unprecedented budget deficit accumulated under GWB. I read through this blog every few weeks (or months) and that is enough for me to anticipate the regulars who will post here under the implicit assumption that federal deficits did not exist before 2009.

blake said...

In other words, if not EVERY comment is prefaced with "George W Bush ran up the debt to (no longer unprecedented) levels...", you conclude the person is implying that there were no deficits prior to Obama taking office?

AllenS said...

When Bush ran up the debt, it was wasteful spending. When Obama runs up the debt, it's called stimulus. Now I understand.

Revenant said...

it would be reasonable to recognize the unprecedented budget deficit accumulated under GWB.

Deficits don't "accumulate". They aren't "inherited", either. You're thinking of the debt.

Anyway, you're correct that under George Bush the United States saw record deficits. But that's the old record. Obama broke that record his first six months in office. The first entirely Democrat-controlled government in 15 years brought us a budget deficit four times as large as the previous record. Indeed, the first year of Democratic government is adding more to our debt than the Republicans managed to in the six years they controlled government.

So yes, qwerty, we "recognize" Bush's contributions to the debt. We also recognize that they just aren't that impressive anymore. Ah, for the innocent days when a $450 billion deficit actually seemed like a lot of money... :)

Gabriel Hanna said...

$450 billion here, $450 billion there, eventually you're talkin' real money...

I don't understand the argument "if you didn't complain about Bush's deficit's why don't you complain about Obama's?"

I mean, if you phrase that as "if you didn't mind paying $2 a gallon for gas, why are you complaining now that it's $4?", anybody can see how stupid it is.

Only true believers would say such a thing and think it would convince anyone.

I thought Bush spent too much money, and Obama promised some fiscal responsibility. I wasn't dumb enough to believe him, but even I didn't expect him to quadruple the deficit*.

*Deficit, not debt, for the fiscally challenged who are trying to say Obama's deficit is inherited. Deficit is the difference between income and expenses; debt is the money we borrowed to cover the the deficit, and the debt is of course inherited from Bush.

RLB_IV said...

The One spread out his hands and said: "There is more money in the treasury than...ah..stars in the sky.

Ms Palin said: "The number of stars in the sky are infinite,the dollars in the treasury are not."

bagoh20 said...

That video makes everything, EVERYTHING else seem silly.

After watching that, I really can't justify doing anything but eating and having sex. Oh, and watching "The Mighty Boosh".

Thanks for saving my life, Rhardin

qwerty said...

You guys, (I mean regulars), are pathetic.

qwerty said...

Please, explain to our debtors, the difference you explained.

blake said...

We're trying to, qwerty, but you won't listen.

qwerty said...

I said to our debtors, not to our "librul" dissentors.

wv - coades: to run up deficits while crediting the previous administration.

blake said...

Uh, do you maybe mean "creditors"?

Nobody really cares about being a debtor to us, it seems.

Jim S. said...

I love that video, I posted it on my blog too. Just a few days before I argued in another post about whether the spatial insignificance of earth translates into some sort of ontological insignificance. Everyone feels that it does, but it obviously doesn't stand up to a moment's thought.

Norm N. Conquest said...

Of all those billions of inhabited worlds out there, has any ever made a movie better than "Streets of Fire?" Until they do, I'd say Earth has a monopoly on ontological significance.

Kent said...

"What is it that economists call it when your dollar suddenly seems very, very small?"

Inflation.

humble earthling said...

so...

10 days + good hubble CCD = 3000 galaxies,

11 days + better hubble CCD = 10000 galaxies

ergo,

100 days + exceptional hubble CCD =
1.75 trillion galaxies...

i'm feeling humbly small.

so is my wallet.

John said...

The dollar is looking more and more like the Peronista Peso and our government is acting more and more like we are Argentina.

This will not go well.