I’m listening to “To The Point,” Warren Olney’s show on NPR. He’s talking about space, and as usual (not for him, for the media in general), he’s asking the wrong question. “Should humans be in space?”

No way to answer that question, Warren, unless you first stipulate what we’re trying to do there, but until you do, it makes no more sense than to ask “Should humans be in California?”

Sadly, he spent twenty minutes or so talking to Bob Park, and now he’s got Donna Shirley on. The assumption, of course, is that the only reason for a space program is science.


[Update a little later]

They also interview Howard McCurdy, who says we’ll commit to Mars in the year 2050…

At least, toward the end, Donna Shirley put in a good word for the entrepreneurial launch companies. But that was the only sense in which this wasn’t a traditional debate about man versus robots.

The good thing is everyone is saying that we have to have a national debate as to purposes.

I’ll have to bug Warren to do a show with a wider variety of viewpoints, and without so many inherent (false) assumptions. He did two or three years ago, with me, Tom Rogers, and Lori Garver.