Is Reality TV The Future of Space Travel? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

Is Reality TV The Future of Space Travel? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios


Here’s an idea. Maybe the only way to pay
for ambitious space travel is if it doubles
as entertainment. All that talk about Mars and
the teletransportation paradox in our Three Short Ideas
episode from a couple weeks ago got me thinking and
reading more about Mars, Mr. friendly, red, potential
home away from home. And in my internet
space travels, I realized that I completely
missed Mars One’s announcement that they had decided on the
finalists for their doomed, I mean, soon to be mission. Doomed! If you missed the
dish, here’s the gist. Dutch money haver Bas Lansdorp
announced two years ago that his not for
profit Mars One would send a small group of
people to that planet in order to establish a
permanent human presence. Those people would be selected
based upon an open application process, meaning
like, open, open. Anyone can apply. You want to go to Mars? Come on down. You’re the man, Bob. On February 16, 2015, Mars
One announced the Mars 100, 100 finalists that will
be further whittled down into only a few groups of four. Right now, the plan is that
one of those teams of four will be sent to Mars in
2024 to live for as long as they can live. No coming back, one-way ticket. Now, if at this point,
you are shaking your head in absolute disbelief
and/or incredulity, you are in super good company. Everyone who is anyone
in the space game has said that Mars
One is doomed. Chris Hadfield, Wired,
former astronauts, space professionals,
astrophysicists, they all say it is utter foolishness. Here, watch. Hey Gabe, Mars One,
utter foolishness, right? Utter foolishness
sounds about right. The trip alone might turn
their bones to glass. See? Gabe knows what
he’s talking about. He has a PhD in physics, but
more importantly, a YouTube show, which is great. You should watch it. He knows what he’s
talking about. Experts say that Mars One is
going to cost 10 times as much, take 10 times longer, be
100 times more dangerous, and require significantly more
planning than is currently arranged. Basically, if we ever
meet Evghenia on Mars, it’s not going to be as soon
as 2024 and probably not because of Mars One. But snark aside,
let’s real talk. Mars One is exciting. Mars has long,
long been a symbol of hope, a second
chance, another planet to ruin after we’re done
mucking up this– oh, sorry. I forgot, snark aside. People are talking about Mars
One, So many people applied. For countless lay
people, Mars One is the most visible
and exciting attempt at the colonization of space. Why is it so visible? Because it’s entertaining. I mean, yes, it is fascinating
and like I said before, it does provide that sense of hope. But I mean come on, we
all know that if something is fascinating and/or inspiring,
that doesn’t automatically mean that people are
going to care about it. And entertainment actually is
a part of Bas Landorp’s plan. One of the original
funding sources of Mars One and arguably its
biggest PR feature is that it would double
as a reality TV show. People training to go to Mars,
people going to Mars, people being on Mars probably kicking
the Martian bucket all on TV. [MUSIC PLAYING] And as much as I want to
give Tina Fey oh, brother faces to infinity and
beyond, part of me thinks that maybe
that’s a great idea. I mean, it’s a terrible idea
but it might work anyway. Who are the big players
in space exploration? NASA, the Japanese Aerospace
Exploration Agency, SpaceX, each of them differing
degrees of underfunded and in need of resources. If you’re going to bring
home all of the bacon it seems like the
three best ways are one, entrepreneurship
and investment, which is where Bas and
Elon got their start. Two, real estate
investment and I think it’s fair to say that
it’s not exactly a seller’s market on Mars right now. And three, entertainment, doubly
so if it involves superheroes. Diane, remind me to
call Bas and pitch Avengers on Mars,
the first MCU entry to be shot in actual space. In talking with the New York
Times a couple years ago, Lansdorp put it
thusly, “we are talking about creating a massive
media spectacle, much bigger than the moon landings
or the Olympics with potential for revenue
coming from TV rights and sponsorships.” Except, just a few months
ago, the production company that Mars One was in talks
with, Endemol, the people who are probably best known for
making the UK reality TV series Big Brother, dropped the
project because they couldn’t quote “come to an agreement
on the details,” which I think is code for ha, ha, ha, no. Lansdorp says that that is
not going to stop him though, and that entertainment
will still be a major component of the
funding, a documentary style project produced by an
as yet unnamed entity. Beyond making me wonder what
they would have been making with Endemol if not a
documentary style project, this also reinforces
for me the connection that Lansdorp sees between the
future of space exploration and entertainment. From the very beginning,
he said he had no idea how to develop the
gear only that he was interested in figuring out
the business model for space exploration. Did he find it? A massive contingent of sci-fi
stories might say, yeah. Hunger Games, Battle Royale,
Running Man, Stay Tuned, even the Truman Show,
to a certain degree, all draw some connection between
the state of a society, profit, and the publicly
broadcast trials and tribulations of specific
people for entertainment. And those are just movies. There are plenty
of other stories, novels, and games premised
on showing actual people in the way of actual harm
because it’s actually very profitable. What they also tend to have
in common is some dastardly force drunk on
power or hell bent on control or
subjugation operating on some maniacal idea of
what does and does not count as order or at the
very least, someone acting like the emperor
at the gladiator games, a final say, a
presider of some kind. I don’t think that there’s any
of that at play with Mars One, but it’s hard to argue
with its danger factor, the pure spectacle of it. The trip is explicitly one-way. The central tension here
is not will they make it. It is in what way will they
end up not having made it. Their total success is
still a weird and grim one. Some MIT students
ran the numbers and assuming that they
do make it to Mars, they say that the first crew
member would die on day 68. And sure, the moon landing
was absolutely a spectacle but I would argue that
it wasn’t designed as one and I think that makes
a big difference. If we’re thinking from step
number one that this mission has to succeed both as
a scientific endeavour and a profitable piece
of entertainment, how do we navigate that
relationship successfully? I don’t know. My gut says, woo,
that seems tough. So, in place of specific
recommendations, let me just say this. For me, and for
lots of us, I think, our ideal of space
travel was established by Star Trek, of all places. And this idea that humanity
is able to traverse great interstellar distances
to find new life and locations and provide guidance
because we have moved beyond some
measure of self-interest. Insofar as space travel
represents the possibility of a global community which has
moved beyond boring old power structures, will Mars
One be reliant on them? If so, maybe that makes it no
different from any other not fictional space program. But still, the relationship
with entertainment leaves me feeling a bit dizzy. What do you guys think? Is entertainment a
good funding source for the future of
ambitious space travel and do you see that
as causing any problems? Let us know in the comments. And if you were to subscribe
I would be over the moon but not on my way to
Mars because we all know how that’s going
to turn out, not well for anybody, apparently. Last week we talked about
the Sims, Judith Butler, and gender performance. Let’s see what you had to say. We’re going to do
comments a little bit differently this week. I’m not going to respond
to particular comments, only a couple things
that sort of came up a lot, themes that developed. But before we do
that, I just want to say thank you
to everybody who was in the comment section
for last week’s video trying to have a reasoned
and respectful conversation. You know, like I go to
meetings at Google and YouTube and they ask, you
know, like how do we get every comment section on
every video to be like yours? I have to tell them that
I, I literally don’t know. Like, it’s not something
that I can tell them because it’s just it has to
do with how great Idea Channel viewers are. So I just want to say
thank you to everybody who was trying to have as good
a conversation in the comment section last week as they could. It means so much. The first of two
really big points that I want to talk about is
the one about my proclamation that boys who aren’t interested
in fire trucks or video games and so on are not seen as
referencing another gender because there were a lot
of people in the comments who had the opposite experience. That in not being
interested in those things, they were called
all manner of names like sissy, girly,
et cetera, et cetera. And this was a thing that we
had a bit of a conversation about before
shooting the episode. The people involved
in that conversation all had really
different experiences and my personal
experience, as someone who was called no shortage
of terrible names growing up, was that the people
using those insults didn’t see me necessarily as
referencing another gender in my actions but rather
saw femininity as an insult to hurl at a young boy. That it wasn’t that
I was being girly but that girliness was an
insult, which I realize is maybe kind of
like splitting hairs. But, of course,
that doesn’t mean that other people have had
exactly that experience and so there was definitely
room for more nuance when we made that point. So thank you to
everybody who wrote a comment about
that idea, letting us know your experiences. The second of two
really big points that I want to talk
about is this idea that Butler’s theories
don’t leave a lot of room for biological
difference when it comes to the gender
spectrum, specifically this idea of brain sex. From what I understand,
a lot of the science is still in development
and not meant to replace the
cultural idea of gender but rather contribute to it. But it seems that
there is a difference in the brains of people who
experience gender dysphoria, that it is either the
cause of gender dysphoria, a result of gender dysphoria. But either way,
there seems to be some measurable,
verifiable difference in the brains of those people. This is good for two reasons. The first being that if
someone feels as though they are different but are
ultimately unsure, this provides some sort
of proof or validation. And the second being that
it kind of erases the idea that gender
dysphoria is a choice and that if there are
people saying, oh, you’re just choosing
to be this way, there is a kind of
verifiable proof that, that is not a choice. It is part of who they are. However, there seem to
be also competing ideas that the medicalization
of gender could come with its own set of
very, very complicated baggage. Like, let’s say someone
feels gender dysphoric and is actually
ready to transition but they need monetary support
in the form of insurance to accomplish that transition. But they don’t have the
necessary neurological markers to prove that they are, in
fact, really gender dysphoric. Will their insurance now not
cover their transition or not to the degree that
they would before? This is, it’s all really,
really complicated and there are many, many
sides to each of these aspects and there are things
that we had no idea about, due in no small
part, to the fact that we don’t have this
embodied experience. So I just want to restate,
and re-, re- restate, thank you so much to everybody
who let us know about these things, who hung out in the
comments of last week’s video and tried to have respectful,
reasoned conversations, and sort of let us know
about their experience. It means so, so much. So yeah, thanks and
we’ll see you next week.

100 thoughts on “Is Reality TV The Future of Space Travel? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios”

  • Federico Bianchini says:

    Intresting economic model. What if they applied it outside mars, on other investment heavy operations? Like war.

  • Here in Brazil, there was an university entrance exam (equivalent to SAT) in which we needed to make arguments about Mars one and everything mike talked about.
    I believe this subject is so interesting now for what it could become in the future. 
    On the one hand, if they don't make it, like most people believe to be the case, there may be catastrophical reprecussions for the people that try to go on next, and the whole "mars colonization" dream could become even farther away from us.
    On the other hand, their success could become "the mark of the brave dreamers", ushering an age of progress and stimuli for space exploration and tecnological development.

    The problem with this kind of "bet" is that its not really necessary. 
    Technology is advancig fast enough, so what's the urgency?
    Why do they need so desperately to go?
    Do the people working at Mars One have better calculations or prediction skills than the rest of us?

    To find out, tune in on MarsOneTv!

  • From my first exposure to this story on, this concept has really deeply unsettled me. I don't know whether or not the feelings are completely rational, or how much they are shaped by a worldview that is very western and very, very sheltered (ie, I don't have to face death in any physical way in my daily life). But the idea of selecting people for a public spectacle that in all probability will end in a gruesome failure, and how those candidates might be selected with reference to appearance and gender and personality just…ick. 

    I'm not even entirely sure what's causing this ethical snag in my head but the whole thing just feels so monumentally off. Thanks for addressing it – great video, as always!

  • Or if in flight my wings should beat so far
    From the kind grass that is so cool and deep
    That it must poise among the winds on high –
    Yet will I sing to thee from star to star,
    Piercing thy sunshine, and will always keep
    A song for thee amid the farthest sky.

  • I've went back on forth on this idea. At first, entertainment's impact on space travel seemed outlandish, but now I do think that some degree of entertainment value will be necessary for a space tourism industry. I think for me, we don't feel like we are at the point where entertainment value and space tourism are ready to take center stage, so I don't think Mars One will succeed in that respect. But given time, Futurama says there will be a theme park on the moon. 😀

  • you mentioned you were unsure why your comments section was so good. i have noticed a trend where the more interactive the youtuber is with the viewers, the better the comments are. and the bigger the youtuber the worse the comments are.
    like with pewdiepie he didn't interact much with his viewers and probably read less than 1% of the comments. also he is really big so similar to justin bieber, a counterculture formed just by virture of his popularity and regardless of actual skill or merit. and so his comments got so bad he chose to effectively shut them down
    on the other side markiplier is another youtube gamer in the top 100. however he is very interactive with his audience. often playing fanmade games. and referencing inside jokes from previous videos. in addition he regularly collaborates with many smaller youtubers which allows him to leech off their intimate connection with their viewers.
    now you, you are a relatively small youtuber and everypony who watches knows that you read a significant amount if not all comments. which makes them care a lot more about what they say. in addition you feature certain comments so people are inclined to create insightful quote-worthy comments in the hopes that they will be featured. furthermore you mention how good the comments are which causes people to want to make better comments. and finally the subject of your channel attracts a type of viewer who is more likely to leave a good comment

  • this is not really related to the topic of this episode, but you mentioned at the end "Over the Moon", which in turn reminded me of "Closer to the Moon". That is the title of a very good movie about a real bank heist that took place in the 50's in communist Romania. The robbers were all former resistence fighters in the WW2, of jewish faith and also founding members of the romanian communist party. After they are condemned to death by firing squad they are made by the propaganda ministry to film a reconstitution of their deed. And this is what the movie covers, the absurdity of the whole situation. The topic, the acting and cinematography is pretty good. Also it's all in english, even if the characters are romanian, and the actors are all mostly american or british (i.e. Mark Strong, Vera Farmiga). This is the imdb link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2017486/  
    Just google the movie and you will most likely find it somewhere online (i doubt netflix has it, but i couldn't tell you as it is not available in my country)
    Best wishes, 
    A big fan from Romania

  • the private sector is leading the way and pushing forward when the governments in the world have reduced funding. Neil deGrasse says the government has a vital role of being first and removing the primary obstacles and dangers so that afterwards the public/private sector can benefit from risks already made.  the entertainment aspect is tough to deal with, the need for en mass support via TV is helpful but not to the point where we watch people die on TV and watching these people fail on something as epic as going to Mars.  

  • salamander7125 says:

    here's the only problem I see:
    -hey, do you want to watch that reality TV show about those 4 people traveling millions of miles away from their homes to die one by one until there's only one left?
    inhales sharply Nope.

  • If it became a reality show, it will get boring soon after they land…
    Unless they add some "action" by "making" troubles every now and then, like cutting their connection with earth so the word gets all over the globe to "create thrill" and attract viewers, before reconnecting with them.
    You know, like a reality show, if there were no troubles and exciting stuff going on no one will be interested in watching it.

  • QuiteContradictory says:

    They could really just set up a kickstarter for people to donate towards materials for rockets. Send the materials to Mars, bring everyone back and do it again for season 2. I also just spent $500 on kickstarter…

  • personalobserver says:

    Mars has always been at the pinnacle of our focus, getting there would be an entertaining success to say the least.

  • Opie's Funeral says:

    I very much wish I could quote you in my university paper as a legitimate source but I feel like that wouldn't fly with my professor.. P.S. Do you listen to Sufjan Stevens? He's used  on his Tumblr before, but maybe that's just all over the internet.

  • Was the mission to the moon solely about science or was it also a form of distraction/entertainment?  The US government had no specific need to send men to the moon.  Cold war yadda yadda russia but ultimately the billions of dollars could have been spent on other equally effective means of propaganda or research.  People who remember the moon landing remember watching it on TV and rooting for brand America and everything that came with it.  We only now have learned about the uncertainty of the result of that trip.  The president had a speech at the ready in case the astronauts got stuck on the moon!  

    Perhaps the only difference in this situation is an ideological reason to send people to mars.  Why was it so easy to support a government sending people on a seemingly impossible, daring, inspiring mission to another world; but so hard to support a private company doing the same?

  • I think the reason your comment section is this way is because of the way you respond to your commentors, philosophy tube has a similar response portion to his videos and his comments are largely of the same tone.
    In short you set the bar both in the type of people you attract to channel with the content you make and what is considered a good (enough to be featured) comment.

    Maybe you could do an episode on whether we are seeking validation in our ideas when we debate and if something like having your comment featured in the following episode provides that validation – it's an Idea.

  • @PBS Idea Channel 
    You guys still need to make an episode talking about Steven Universe.

    I won't go away until it's done.

  • I don't think funding by entertainment would work out because, like all great endeavors, it will be long hours of boredom punctuated by brief moments sheer terror. If they edited footage a full year they would probably gather enough footage for maybe a couple of weeks of good episodes.

  • I was recently listening to a radio program about how the moon was sold. It talked about how the moon was sold to america through everything from the food astronauts ate all the way to selling the life stories of astronauts to Life magazine so no one else could publish them. Space already is an entertainment industry. They just haven't created any new content until now. 

  • if you click through the video while paused, it just looks like hes making facial expressions to the images that pop up…

  • I'd really love to hear other people's opinions on how well they think NASA's public relations aspect is run. I actually think they could use a little more "entertainment" in their outreach. I'm not talking about having a reality TV show, but something to make it more palatable and fun. I absolutely love NASA and learning about space, but I feel like their message gets lost and doesn't reach the number of people it needs to. Most people don't know we have people living in space and thought that NASA just shut down after shuttle. They need to make great content to get people excited and have them want to fund NASA. One of the wonderful things about it being a government program is that they can and must share a majority of their research with the world. What are your thoughts? How could they make their content better?

  • So I have an entirely biased view here I think but it seems to me that the effort to move our race from a single planet entity to a multi planet one needs to be an altruistic one. Our movement from a type 1 closer to a type 2 civilization will not last if it is for the gain of money, power, wealth or entertainment. It's like education. It just doesn't work well if it's not done for the purpose of the betterment of our population as a whole. Nasa and Japan's space agency et all could be successful is actually moving us forward as a race because their intent is not to make money or some ultimately macabre spectacle.

  • Interesting points. I love how you went "beyond" the Reality show only funding with real estate and movies… But I don't think its going to happen because:

    1. Entertainment industry doesn't make money THAT big… Even if you take all money that you make from it. Commercials, merchandise, movies, etc., I think you cant make enough money to fund mission this big.
    2. Real estate… well, yeah, you can make some money on that, but really, how big is going to be market for martian estates in next… 60 years?
    3. The reality show might sound like fun, but in reality, life in space gets old very quickly. Especially on such a long timescale. You are confined to a very small area, and there are not many things you could do there to keep attention of average viewer. It is better to just build a stage on earth, have a few people "simulate" trip to Mars… Its cheaper ,easier and if it gets boring, they could have things like aliens attacking or something.

    So no, I dont think entertainment or real estate is going to fund any mission in near future… maybe when space travel gets really cheap, or as a side project, like documentary or reality TV with only one hour update every week.

    The main industry that is going to push space exploration in future years is going to be mining industry. The mining of asteroids, moon or mars has much greater potential. It makes enough money to fund such a mission and it should be very profitable, although I think we will have to wait 30-50 years for that. In next few years, we will have to rely on government institutions to progress our space exploration.

    But I also think that Mars One shows something much deeper about our society. Scientific institutions like NASA are underfunded, there is not much happening in space exploration and there is nothing interesting is going to happen for like 20-40 years. With our current technology, we can do much bigger, more ambitious and more frequent space missions, but they are just not happening, because of lack of funding, and because of general disintrest. And that is pretty depressing. 

    Mars One is for people a faint glimmer of hope, that we could hasten the progress of space exploration, and achieve a lot, even in our short lifetimes.

  • If Youtube asks you how to improve the  comments, tell them to not sort the comments by amount of replies, it just brings the most controversial comments to the top.

  • Andrew Golubiewski says:

    First! (person to die on mars) Hey, that's still the kind of thing that gets you remembered throughout history. Remember Roanoke? Yeah, basically you get to be the Roanoke of mars.

  • Regina Annette says:

    I feel like this idea of an expedition so far from home is similar to how women would want to become flight attendants in the early stages of commercial air travel in he 130s and 40s
    They could travel the world cheaply and easily without the lengthy education required to be a pilot
    The prospect of leaving earth without having to become an astronaut is appealing

  • Why can't we focus on robots building a space station for other robots mining asteroids.Commodities seem bigger money than all that other joke.The ship might even get their fast so we can mine an asteroid belt near Mars.The only probably I see is space viruses… 

  • Waiiit a second, wont the candidates they cast now be about 10 years too old for the mission? in… well … 10+ years? ^^.

  • Juan Isidro Acevedo says:

    The main problem I see is if (when?) decisions start to be taken with ratings in mind rather than the actual scientific mission. We know how "reality" shows are nudged and controlled by the producers, so will the same apply here? Considering Bas' intention is the business aspect of it, it worries me.

    And that leads me to my second problem: He's going to effectively sacrifice a handful of humans in the name of profit. That posits a tremendous ethical dilemma. Early astronauts/cosmonauts were risking their lives sure, but they were doing it for the greater good as the prime objective. Not filling some dude's pockets.

  • I think Mars One (if done) could boost our interest in colonization beyond earth or totally destroy it for some decades.

    The thing is, it's only a one way ticket, they will die out there for sure. I have no doubt that it would be very interesting, people like to watch other people get hurt, social experimetal drama and death in movies and tv. But here's the point, every discovery/colonization in history has been done with the idea of profit (there are exceptions), profit gained from the riches that we can get from the new land.

    The economical gain in this proyect will come from merchandise and advertisement here on earth, not from mars itself. So if something goes wrong: they die on the trip, or die really soon or people suddenly don't find the show interesting, the profit will stop, the participants would have wasted their lives and we will not get anything from it aside from a cool topic of discussion. So another proyect like that will not be repeated if it's not government funded or a scientific/war/survival necesity.

    On the other hand, if everything goes as expected, or they discover something really trancendant (new life, new riches, new materials…) it will certainly boost the global interest to get there. But i really think that the probabilities of everything going wrong are insanely high.

    Also, i know the participants would be volunteers, and they will basically agree to die for this proyect, but the sole idea that the producers and sponsors will profit from poeple that give their lives to them it's just disgusting to me, i think that's a kind of slavery giving that they will not earn money and they will end their lives out there (i'm aware that this is not new, but it will be in a totally different level). 

  • This reminds me of the discussion of the "golden age" and the idea that sponsorship is linked to acheivements. Great artists of the past had benefactors. Philosophers had society's support to ponder deeply and discover new forms of math. If a project is to work, it needs funding. I think the majority of people today would pay for entertainment more so than a vague scientific advancement. 

  • 9:30. it's the former. however I wall say that it's not femininity that is offensive it's being "misgendered" that is uncomfortable.Gender is part of your identity and people getting that deliberately wrong will always work as an insult.
    calling a chick "manish" is just as offensive.

  • I love space exploration, so much so that I majored in astronomy.  I love reality TV, so much so that I starred on a reality show.  What does it say that I have zero interest in this endeavor?

  • Crystle-Marie Loomos says:

    Hey Mike just thought I'd let you know that my 2yo daughter loves loves loves your show. She climbs up onto my lap and snuggles every time she see's me watching this. If she's gonna watch stuff on the internet with me, I'm glad it's you and not ODB 😛

  • …Or! How about "Return to the Moon! The reality show!" More realistic, people are not doomed and I'd still watch it.

  • Calvin O'Boyle says:

    Touching in part on your comparison between this endeavor and  science fiction, might I ask in what way is MarsOne an affront to science? I certainly understand the skepticism of professionals in the field, but I certainly don't see why practically pursuing something this ambitious is a bad thing. I think that rather, in comparison to sci-fi, where the future of technology is explored, this endeavor is a bold first step in the direction of future space travel and colonization. There are failed firsts for everything, but to condemn this endeavor – is almost to condemn the ideal behind it. I think that MarsOne should be appreciated for what it could be for the future – whether it is a strict success or fail. Common opinion has not been kind on a number of other seemingly impossible scientific endeavors, following which it has been proved horribly wrong. At the very least MarsOne is an interesting establishment of a business model for the future of space travel. And science fiction is only fiction so long as we think things CAN'T be done.

  • Samuel Edwards says:

    No. Nup. No way. Not even close. Big fat load of, no.
    Humanity's gradual progress into space is a wonderful thing. It will be slow and involve genuine sacrifices of time, money and even lives. To make entertainment as a funding source opens the door to those sacrifices becoming commodities to be exploited. 
    I assure you, no one wants humanity to spread to the stars more than me, But, a show like Big Brother cheapens relationships and human interaction by dramatizing its more tumultuous aspects for an audience because doing so makes money. To see something like humans journeying to (and even dying on) Mars cheapened by that same process would break my heart.

  • Mars One is either the biggest ego product of all time or the biggest grab and run scam of all time yet so many people are giving it the time of day even though they have no funding and no actual details on the technology needed to do this.

  • Jopper Mijnlieff says:

    they should start with putting a reality show on the moon becouse its less deadly probably .. also you could use it as a training station for the mars one 

  • Reality Show Idea: Jersey Shore on Mars.  Even if they don't survive the journey, the world would still be a better place.

  • neonatalpenguin says:

    I just knew Mike would find a way to take traumatic childhood experiences specific to boys and men, and invert them so that they're actually evidence of misogyny.

  • Yes and No. I think the entertainment aspect could actually assist in providing the funds required for actually doing the thing, and I don't see many problems with it… aside from getting people based on entertainment value instead of training and skill.

  • I think the main issue with space travel as entertainment is that even "reality tv" is scripted to some extent. maybe not word-for-word, but there is certainly some planning. Similarly, the performers on the shows are just that — performers. If the astronauts have to play characters as well and have to simulate drama, it would certainly endanger the mission. Even the news we see is made into entertainment to an extented as mentioned in the Halloween episode, so I agree with the production company: there isn't really a way to make this "show" interesting and dramatic on a regular basis while not endangering the science

  • I think one reason that people are more respectful in your comment section is that you are paying attention to the comments and actually broadcasting some. People are more likely to be a jerk when they feel they are anonymous. It's not that their messages are any less anonymous on your channel, but there's that impression that people are actually reading and drawing public attention to their comments. Even more than that, you are encouraging people to really have a conversation. I think this also has to do with the types of people who would be interested in Idea Channel, but also the atmosphere you foster. I feel when you are asking us a question and responding to us, that you actually are genuinely a conversation with us. Some other YouTubers do the questions and respond, but there is something in the WAY that you ask and respond that makes it seem like you genuinely care. I haven't ever been a troll on the internet, but I could see why having a forum to act irrationally or as a character that isn't myself would be interesting. But, I respect you, because you have fostered a respectful atmosphere, so even if I were to be a troll regularly, I wouldn't want to be one on your channel. It's not desirably to do something disrespectful to someone you genuinely respect. So, if you want respect and a respectful atmosphere on the Internet, earn it. If you were to just spout off facts and make claims about the ideas and come to conclusions or get angry like so many YouTubers, then it'd be easy to feel comfortable to be disrespectful in the comments. I enjoy shows like the Daily Show, but I bet they are reviving a lot of angry comments. It's not that John Stewart doesn't earn peoples respect, it's just that he's hostel. You may make challenging comments but I feel like you GENUINELY are interested in thinking through all the many aspects of an idea. That makes me what to respond with a genuine answer not just angry and silly comments.

  • Sam Gasper Mortellaro says:

    The moon landing was absolutely designed as a spectacle; it was spectacle for the USSR and not for entertainment revenue, but still a spectacle. 

  • Somehow the idea of making a media spectacle about actual people actually going insane and dying scares me a little, as well as how nobody else seems to have a problem with that.

  • Melissa Marcher says:

    Let's say they do get to Mars and everything goes well. The "entertainment" part of the project works too. 
    But what if the viewers get bored after 10 years? Where will the money to keep the people on Mars alive be coming from?
    (I realise that the plan is that they crow their own crops there. But I imagine there must be something they can't make on their own. Like medicine and such.)
    Will the Mars One project just let them die there, then?

  • The reason I watch this channel instead of Vsauce is because this channel (used to) not have as much painfully cringeworthy and fake overacting. Can you please keep it that way? Less quirky skits and dramatic pauses, more actual content?

  • I'm sure the idea of making a reality show out of traveling to mars was around before the book, but when I hear about Mars One I get this feeling that someone read "Red Mars" by Kim Stanley Robinson and said "Hey guys, doing that can't possibly take much longer then writing a book about it did, right?"

  • Even if the first batch of space colonists all end up dead, their experiences and tribulations will most likely leave us with a lot of data so that we can in the future increase the likelihood of survival in regards to space colonization.

    Nothing is ever gained without sacrifice. 

    We've got a whole universe out there; and unfortunately, people are gonna die before humanity has every planet in its pocket.

  • I hope you actually read these – there is, and has been for many years, another group that has planned from the beginning to have a strong media presence, and has counted on it for a large chunk of their funding as well. OpenLuna.org. their goal is just a little more realistic. You may not have heard of them though, because they are a group of scientists and engineers who actually /do/ know the hardware, just not the funding model. And, since they want to go to the moon, they are drown out by the Mars craze. You should look into it. They plan to do much of the testing publicly, are open-source and plan on holding public contests for some design elements (rovers and rover drivers, for example), and intent to send the live footage back unencrypted. "Sponsored by X" of course.

  • First of all, people are truly interested in space travel, so any forthcoming attempts at space travel are bound to attract attention.  I don't think we should rely on government space agencies to develop the necessary means for space travel.  NASA got us to the moon, but only because of the early interest in space travel.  If we expect to go back to the moon and go to Mars and beyond, we'll need true entrepreneurial innovations to fund and develop it.  But I'm not sure "reality TV" is the way to go about it.  Suppose that the Mars One trip goes better than expected, with no major problems or disasters?  People are bound to lose interest.  Private or not, I would be terribly disappointed if they ended up "faking" the reality of the trip.  This would be the first people to go to Mars, not Jersey Shore. 

    But then, no one expects this venture to be successful, so this is bound to be more like a tragedy, and I don't know about other people, but I can only watch a trainwreck for so long before looking for something lighter and happier. 

    However, as long as governments do not forcibly restrict it, there are bound to be more private ventures into space.  I would think that a truly entrepreneurial director of such a venture would realize that while Reality TV can be part of the experience, other, more reliable revenue streams must also be developed to perpetuate the program.  Things like communications, industrial processes, merchandising, etc. 

    In any case, as far as scientific value goes, we will learn more from what is done wrong than we will from what is done right, so that future ventures can be more successful. One can only hope that not too many people will die from those mistakes.

  • MarsOne has been shown to be a scam; but that should have been obvious with a little critical thinking and cursory research

  • Adam Kolařík says:

    I think entertainment IS a bad source for funding space exploration. Exploring is a very dangerous Endeavour and we never really watched people put in real danger, there was always a secure environment for every reality show like the survivor and you would never see anybody get hurt or die. But in this show, you probably would.
    Another thing is, that TV shows get canceled a lot, because their views drop…how would you cancel these kind of missions, if people would just stop watching them "mid season"? For space exploration, you need stable funding…

  • Unsubscribed 9-12 months ago. Saw your video on Korrasami a month ago and watched all the videos after that and I realised I understand what you're saying now so I subscribed again 😀

  • Christmas HYPEBEAST says:

    the comment section of your videos only get good feedback because you're a respectable person and have a lot of truth around your videos.

  • It's not gonna be a "reality show." It'll be more like a long documentary. The only reason they're calling it a reality show is to get us hooked even though it does the opposit

  • * LEAKED SPACE CAMP PROMO SCRIPT *
    "Anouncer: This season on Fox: NASA Space Camp.
    Watch as 72 people from around the world undergo some of the most strenious mental and physical training and testing ever devised as they compete for a once in a lifetime oportunity to go where few men have gone before. With your host, Zachary Quinto. At Space Camp, someone will will live their dream."

    Okay so I made that up. But, surely it's just a matter of time (specific details aside).

    And, in that sceanrio, where the show is run to pay for something else (a manned mission to Mars, say), I see no conflict. However, if the relatiuonship is more direct (the show about a manned mission to Mars pays for the same mission to Mars), my fear would be injected/manufactured drama would overshadow everything else.

    Imagine Big Brother but in a tiny preassurised container surrounded by vacuum at close to absolute zero. There is the strict daily routine neccessary to make the journey possible at all, plus intermitantly a voice tells you to do something generally designed to cause social friction amongst a group of people specifically chosen in the belief the created dynamic will also generate social friction. This goes on for a minimum of 3 months (more likely closer to 9), and all the while they are in a compition to see who will win the right to go down in history as the first person to set foot on Mars.

    It would probably get pretty good viewing figures esspecially if they can keep things amped up for the whole journey (I'm thinking a homicide in month 4 or 5 with a month or two of trial and justice to follow, maybe the medical officer developes a crippling substance dependancy; that kind of thing).

    Sure, we'll get to Mars. But, I'm not sure it would be worth it.

  • Reality shows create tension between actors to encourage drama which is not what you want to add on a one-way inter-solar trip.  All the people who volunteered for the Mars One mission are probably happy to dodge a Big Brother Spin-off.

  • UntroubledBicycle says:

    On the comment section, I think the fact that they get their comments responded to in the next video plays a very big part, and then there's also the fact that they get picked by you specifically – a very charismatic host with a luscious beard.

  • Zachary Williams says:

    I think if Mars One would advertise it as a documentary of the lives of these people then it would be better because it would let them filter out things. That way if something did happen they could give privacy, censorship, or whatever.

  • I think twitter feeds and facebook updates from astronauts and space missions are indeed a sort of entertainment and the fact that people follow them reflects the verifiable interest among the people. We don't need some reality show and make a scientific space mission into a fiasco.

  • unstoppableExodia says:

    hmmm that's really interesting that PBS ideas channel has one of the cleanest comments sections in all of youtube. My thoughts are that it is largely to do with the discussion that the videos foster. These are videos that naturally attract viewers who know the difference between opinion and fact so there are far fewer bonehead comments to begin with. Then factor in a host who is proactive about asking specific questions to the viewers to start a constructive discussion in the comments section. The show also highlights selected comments so there is further incentive for the viewer to say something that isn't mean spirited or dumb.

  • What, if those people are going to be permanently on Mars. What will stop them from breaking international law, and start claiming Mars land? If they are going to be on the surface, forever. I think they would have a right to do so. Or to make whatever Mars colony law that those people want.

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