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Thread: The Thirty Meter Telescope - construction will begin

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    The Thirty Meter Telescope - construction will begin

    Thirty Meter Telescope
    Update: Hawaii governor says construction of controversial giant telescope will begin soon | Science | AAAS
    TMT International Observatory
    Thirty Meter Telescope Set to Begin Construction - Sky & Telescope

    Its name refers to the diameter of its primary mirror. Like other large-telescope mirrors, it will be segmented. It will have 492 segment mirrors, each one hexagonal and 1.44 meters across.

    This telescope provoked a strange kind of NIMBY objection. Certain people objected that its construction would be sacrilege, that it would desecrate Native Hawaiian sacred sites. These people did a lot of litigation to stop the project, but it looks like it has been resolved and that the project will continue. The TMT had a backup site in case Hawaii proved intractable: the Canary Islands.

    I find that objection very odd, since it would seem to be a great honor to have a large telescope on the mountain's peak. It's not like it's a resort that caters to annoying rich jerks with a raging sense of entitlement.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    But then again, you never know. Maybe they feared that all the construction would inconvenience those "annoying rich jerks with a raging sense of entitlement" that like to ski Mauna Kea.

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    I sure hope they get the testing right this time....

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    No, they are not giving up, nor should they. I'd be up there with them myself if I were on the islands right now.


    They were never consulted to begin with. You want someone to believe that it is a "great honor" to have your crap built on land they supposedly have joint authority over, maybe ask first. Not after. Moving in with guns and forcibly taking something is not good PR. If there had been a good faith attempt from the start - where the start is the illegal seizure of the islands by the US at the behest of a megacorporation - this whole thing would never have become the fiasco it has become. Pleading ignorance of politics is not a suitable answer if you're all too willing to exert that political power over those who have been disenfranchised by that political history.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Annoying rich jerks with a raging sense of entitlement get away with being annoying by having a heck of a lot of money to spend. The builders of the TMT don't have nearly as much money for such purposes, it seems.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Annoying rich jerks with a raging sense of entitlement get away with being annoying by having a heck of a lot of money to spend. The builders of the TMT don't have nearly as much money for such purposes, it seems.
    But they do have the coercive power of the state behind them. Many of these protesters are going to end up behind bars. If this goes like things did in Dakota territory last year, many with grievous physical injuries. US policy on indigenous rights (that there should be none unless granted by self-defined forms of noblesse oblige) has never changed, but different parties take advantage of it at different times. Yesterday it was industrial agribusiness, the next day tourism, today the military-scientific wing.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Also, the TMT has 1.4 Billion dollars behind it just in terms of direct investment, let alone the legal and police services they've been receiving from the US Government for free. If that's "far less" than the behemoth of the tourist industry (likely true) it also far more money than the Hawaiian people could possibly raise in defense of their lands.

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    And who said science can't be political, emotional, and downright irrational.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    And who said science can't be political, emotional, and downright irrational.
    Maybe political and emotional but not irrational. Mauna Kea already has thirteen telescopes on its peak because that location is one of the best in the world for optical observations. To place the proposed telescope elsewhere would defeat its purpose by degrading its abilities. This proposed telescope will far surpass the abilities of those other thirteen on Mauna Kea.

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