Science and Technology in the Military, with Ash Carter

Milstar Satellite artist’s concept - U.S. Air Force image, courtesy of Northrop Grumman.

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About This Episode

What will the future armed forces of the United States look like? Neil deGrasse Tyson finds out when he interviews former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter. Joined by comic co-host Leighann Lord and Michael Horowitz, an expert on military innovation and the future of war, our crew is here to break down the complex role science and technology play in national defense. Learn why DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was created and how it shares a similar origin story to NASA. Explore bio-warfare, cyberwarfare, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology. You’ll hear about Ash’s scientific background, including his work in quantum chromodynamics, and how he came to believe scientists have a duty to give back or participate in government. He also reveals the two most important things he learned from his science background. Discover why the U.S. will have to reshape its global defense strategy now that contemporary technology is becoming accessible to more nations. Mona Chalabi drops in to help us quantify the U.S. defense budget, and P.W. Singer, defense strategist and author, joins in to discuss what World War Three might look like in a distant future. Chuck Nice heads into the street to ask people what their favorite weapon of the future is, and Bill Nye boards the U.S.S. Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum to ponder the connections between military guidance and technological breakthroughs. All that, plus fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about death stars, lasers, and much more!

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Science and Technology in the Military, with Ash Carter, as well as Neil’s extended interview with Ash Carter here.

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  • Fate Unleashed

    So why not educate the populous of our entire species the superfluous nature of war?We aren’t the same hairy savages we were thousands of years ago, even though it seems some of the population seemingly struggles with a slower mental evolution than the rest of us. Perfect harmony and peace isn’t possible, but the union of the world’s main nations should be enough to oversee any small nation that want’s to abuse it’s privilege as government. Again, I want to employ the most beneficial and realistic actions, otherwise these ideas are nothing more than pipe dreams. We should have a stone wall defense and call it a wrap. Let’s take the $580 billion for the defense that we currently have and put it where it needs to be…$5 billion. The other 90% of the current budget should go to NASA, and the rest goes to other branches in need, mainly the education department (to help students financially, so they can earn their degrees). We need NASA to make discoveries for science first, and let the military in for any situation where a new discovery may be useful for them; instead of the way it is now, which is needs reform. The future of our species requires science and technology to come first, while also uniting us to fight for discovery, education, and understanding. Any human being that can’t see such an obvious answer to the problems of today (Q2 2017) nothing more than a fool. America doesn’t run the world, but we sure as hell are one of the few at the front of the pack, so the moment we can make strides for the better, the rest of the world can follow suit. Now, the catch is getting the useless fucks that are literally holding the world back to either die off or get replaced ASAP, then we can make this happen. This needs to happen, even if I’m not here 2000 years in the future when people finally accept the gravity of reality.

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