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 Why are telescopes built?

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EightFingers Posted - 08/11/2019 : 10:59:07
Well.....sounds like a good question.
So why ARE they built?
It seems to me a telescope is not really a business thatís supposed to generate a profit, or maybe is it?
Are they mostly taxpayer funded projects used solely for the pure joy of discovery?
Are some of them privately funded? Is TMT privately funded? Whoís funding that one and why? What do they get out of it?
Are they used to research things that may benefit man either now or in the future? I think most people would answer yes to that?
How does someone go about justifying the funding for these huge projects?

Iím asking, not to look for negativity, but more for the why.
I donít know if maybe I missed some answers to the above in the many thousands of words posted here on Punaweb, or if maybe the questions were never really answered, and that is why Iím posting this.


Puna: Our roosters crow first
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
TomK Posted - 08/15/2019 : 19:57:40
Frank - you can look at some of the numbers here:

https://www.maunakeaandtmt.org/get-the-facts/tmt-supporting-the-economy/#economy

PS. This is old but still relevant:

"TMT business manager David Goodman says 20 percent to 30 percent of the $1.4 billion will be spent in Hawaii, with most of that on Hawaii Island. In round numbers, that means about $300 million to $400 million spent in the state from groundbreaking in April 2014 to completion in 2022. That includes an estimated 300 temporary construction jobs on Hawaii Island, which has yet to fully recover from the financial crash of 2008."

https://www.hawaiibusiness.com/thirty-meter-telescope-could-boost-hawaii-islands-economy/
kalakoa Posted - 08/15/2019 : 09:53:53
accounting of funds and Fair distribution of said funds...

This problem already exists and will persist whether or not TMT is built.

Nobody ever has enough.

There is, however, a big difference between "not enough for my needs" and "enough to make sure nobody else gets what they need".

Banana republic here we come!
HereOnThePrimalEdge Posted - 08/15/2019 : 09:46:53
The issue is, imo, accounting of funds and Fair distribution of said funds...

Does the DOE get a fair distribution of funds from the state? Ask a teacher.
Does DOH get their fair share? When the head of DOH tells us during the height of the dengue outbreak "You're on your own," probably not.
Do OHA & DHHL receive enough funding so all board members can approve bids for their cuz on something? Ask the cousins.
Do employees in most work places get paid what they in their opinion justly deserve?

In an interview with Yoko Ono and John Lennon before he died, when their estimated net worth was about $150 million a reporter asked if they had reached a sense of security with that much money. In other words, was it enough? Maybe, maybe not:

PLAYBOY: "Has it reached that level yet?"
ONO: "No, not yet. I don't know. It might have."
PLAYBOY: "You mean with $150,000,000? Is that an accurate estimate?"
ONO: "I don't know what we have.

http://www.beatlesinterviews.org/dbjypb.int2.html

Nobody ever has enough.
randomq Posted - 08/15/2019 : 09:44:09
quote:
Originally posted by Frank
bold by me...I suggest "it must not be enough" is NOT my or the issue...The issue is, imo, accounting of funds and Fair distribution of said funds...classic politics will determine?



"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" -- Karl Marx

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" -- George Orwell
Frank Posted - 08/15/2019 : 09:09:02
quote:
Originally posted by ironyak

would the Big Island rather be known for amazing scientific discoveries, or deplorable banana-republic conditions? (...and if it's the latter, can we fire the government workers and abolish taxes?)

yeah right - bananas (and their republics) can't graft themselves!

I like Frank's summary - I don't know at all how much is being paid, but it must not be enough. I sense a career in local politics for him.



bold by me...I suggest "it must not be enough" is NOT my or the issue...The issue is, imo, accounting of funds and Fair distribution of said funds...classic politics will determine?
ironyak Posted - 08/15/2019 : 08:36:20
would the Big Island rather be known for amazing scientific discoveries, or deplorable banana-republic conditions? (...and if it's the latter, can we fire the government workers and abolish taxes?)

yeah right - bananas (and their republics) can't graft themselves!

I like Frank's summary - I don't know at all how much is being paid, but it must not be enough. I sense a career in local politics for him.
kalakoa Posted - 08/15/2019 : 08:27:40
Direct revenue from construction was estimated at $30M/year x 10 years.

After completion, 150 new permanent jobs.

Rent from the lease.

Tourism. Especially the Japanese.

There's something to be said for prestige -- would the Big Island rather be known for amazing scientific discoveries, or deplorable banana-republic conditions? (...and if it's the latter, can we fire the government workers and abolish taxes?)
randomq Posted - 08/15/2019 : 08:20:38
The economic benefit (or loss) to the Big Island is huge, not just in the 1.4 billion construction, but the ongoing operations which are estimated to contribute 10+ millions of dollars a year in salaries, contracts, rent, and educational donations. Plus all the knock-on effects of that income being spent at local restaurants, shops, housing, recreation, healthcare, etc. And the knock-on of that, that we all have more and better options available as consumers and workers...

BUT, even if ALL of the economic benefits were set aside, the TMT would still be worth having. It will be the best telescope in the best location in the northern hemisphere. Humanity's knowledge will be increased, the planet will be a little safer from asteroids, and maybe we'll find life or life supporting planets out there. Something for all of us to be proud of.
Frank Posted - 08/15/2019 : 07:45:47
Not suggesting paying more at all...just asked the question...If $1.4 billion, I have no idea how much kala is generated for the State, were not part of the mix, where would this conversation be?.

Would you, Hopte, be arguing science or location? At this point I get the drift of It's all about the money - my pay, his job, ect ect. My observation of course
HereOnThePrimalEdge Posted - 08/15/2019 : 07:32:03
I'm speaking to the income to the State.

How much should nonprofits pay? Hereís a good accounting of the profits and royalties generated by Hawaiian observatories. Frank, if you are suggesting they pay more, please explain what you see as their income, and ability to pay more from their activities:
http://darkerview.com/wordpress/?p=26596
Frank Posted - 08/15/2019 : 07:17:23
Hopte, TomK,..No wonder your not following...I'm bot speaking to the investment, I'm speaking to the income to the State. Entirely different conversation from my point of view.
TomK Posted - 08/14/2019 : 22:05:16
"BREAKTHROUGH: THE IDEAS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
The Telescope"

https://www.pbshawaii.org/breakthrough-the-ideas-that-changed-the-world-the-telescope/

On now, and if it's important to anyone, narrated by Patrick Stewart.
TomK Posted - 08/14/2019 : 19:51:04
PS. If anyone is wondering why telescopes are built, you might want to watch PBS Hawaii tonight at 10 pm.

"BREAKTHROUGH: THE IDEAS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
The Telescope
"

https://www.pbshawaii.org/breakthrough-the-ideas-that-changed-the-world-the-telescope/

And also on PBS Hawaii tonight:

8 pm - NOVA Pluto and beyond

https://www.pbshawaii.org/nova-pluto-and-beyond/

9 pm - NOVA The planets: ice worlds

https://www.pbshawaii.org/nova-the-planets-ice-worlds/
TomK Posted - 08/14/2019 : 19:35:02
Frank - I am really having a hard time understanding your points. Telescopes in the northern hemisphere can see objects in the northern sky, telescopes in the southern hemisphere can see objects in the southern sky. There is some overlap, but there are unique objects in both hemispheres but half will not be observable if there is no large telescope in the northern hemisphere. Not having the three largest telescopes in one hemisphere is simply common sense.

As for the $1.4 billion construction costs, you've lost me, I do not understand what your point is. That is the cost of construction which is being paid by several partners. If you take that money off the table it won't be built anywhere - that's what will change. You say you support science but your posts don't seem to show that.
HereOnThePrimalEdge Posted - 08/14/2019 : 17:36:55
If we took the $1.4 off the table, no money involved

There is no money on the table.
$1.4 billion is not state or county money, it canít be used for anything else except a telescope. Donít you think it took every TMT partner involved to come up with the money for the project? They canít print cash like the federal government, so what should they do, hold a bake sale for an unspecified ransom payment which may or may not allow them to complete the project? What if they pay off this group of protestors as you seem to suggest, and another unaffiliated group sets up new lawn chairs in their place?

Please explain where you think the money comes from, where it goes, and how additional funds can magically appear?

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