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Space Idle

Entire South Korean Space Programme Shuts Down As Sole Astronaut Quits 186

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-this-job-and-launch-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes The entire South Korean space program has been forced to shut down after its only astronaut resigned for personal reasons. Yi So-yeon, 36, became the first Korean in space in 2008 after the engineer was chosen by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to lead the country's $25m space project. Her resignation begs questions of KARI regarding whether she was the right person to lead the program and whether the huge cost of sending her into space was a waste of taxpayer's money.
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Entire South Korean Space Programme Shuts Down As Sole Astronaut Quits

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  • begs FFS (Score:5, Informative)

    by asifyoucare (302582) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:15PM (#47667187)
    Her resignation does not beg questions; it prompts or raises them. To beg the question is to assume a particular answer in the reasoning used to arrive at that answer.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Give up. Language evolves.
      • Re:begs FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GonzoPhysicist (1231558) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:34PM (#47667309)
        It's not evolution it's erosion, we are losing the original meaning and gaining nothing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Meanwhile, many other words and phrases over the centuries have lost the original meaning while "gaining nothing" and yet we're all still here!

          Language most certainly evolves with no regard to ones opinion.

        • Re:begs FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

          by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:46PM (#47667391)

          It's not evolution it's erosion, we are losing the original meaning and gaining nothing.

          New words with new nuances, and reusing old worlds with new nuances happens all the time too. English is richer by far than it was 2 centuries ago. We may have gained nothing on this particular transaction, but we're far and away net positive.

          • by Type44Q (1233630)

            but we're far and away net positive.

            If that were even remotely true, usage of modern collaqialsmisms would be proportional to intelligence (hint: any fool can see that it isn't...).

            • by Type44Q (1233630)

              collaqialsmisms

              Colloquialisms?!

          • Re:begs FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

            by njnnja (2833511) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:06PM (#47668033)

            Being against this particular transaction is not the same as being against the evolution of language. As far as I can tell, the new meaning of the phrase "begs the question" is the same as "raises the question," except with the additional nuance that the speaker/writer wants to sound like a person who is well read enough to have encountered the phrase in its original usage but, in fact, is not and has not. Being against that does not make one a grammar nazi or language Luddite.

            • Re:begs FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

              by thegarbz (1787294) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @05:28AM (#47669263)

              If you actually begged a question in the way its defined and you pointed it out chances are a very small subset of the population will now actually have a clue what you're talking about. Like it or not the common use of "begs the question" has changed and fighting it makes you look like a pedant.

              I find it hard to get worked up about this stuff when there are people out their who say things like "I could care less", when they mean they don't care at all.

              See what I did they're?

              How are we supposed to fix the more complicated phrases of English when we're losing touch of even the most basic grammar. You know it's bad when Weird Al has written a song about it. [youtube.com]

              • People have debated whether language knowledge should be considered descriptive or prescriptive for centuries. I doubt you two chuckleheads are going to resolve this debate today. Nor do I think Slashdot is the ideal place to resolve this issue. But that's me.

                • by thegarbz (1787294)

                  Nothing is getting resolved here. It's a religious debate.

                  The important part is that both views are offered publicly so that a neutral 3rd party can make up their mind. Kind of like ensuring that people don't spend every waking moment tuned into just Fox News for their view of the world.

              • by Talderas (1212466)

                Technically correct is the best kind of correct!

        • Re:begs FFS (Score:4, Funny)

          by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @08:30PM (#47667635)

          It's not evolution it's erosion, we are losing the original meaning and gaining nothing.

          If that were true we're still be speaking Sumerian.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            If that were true we're still be speaking Sumerian.

            That's a dumb thing to say even if going for a joke, because the premise included "gaining nothing" and clearly, we have at least gained new opportunities to mock people.

        • Re:begs FFS (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hey! (33014) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @12:41AM (#47668613) Homepage Journal

          Sometimes the loss of an awkward construction is a gain for language.

          "Begging the question" was never a very good choice of terminology -- a half-baked translation from the Latin petitio principii. You might as well use the Latin because you have to know what the term means to have an chance of decoding its meaning; the words give no clue. "Asking ill-founded questions" or "asking premature questions" would have been better.

          "Begging the question" has *always* misled most readers and hearers, and we're better off with the new meaning, which *everybody* understands (although many dislike).

          • Re:begs FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Kojiro Ganryu Sasaki (895364) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @04:31AM (#47669175)

            I agree entirely.

            People who write "would of" instead of "would have" should be shot, though.

            • by thegarbz (1787294)

              I could care less if people write "would of".

            • by Talderas (1212466)

              Probably, but then I wouldn't get quite as much joy as I do from funetic aksents.

              Dem mek boyz better git to workin on da red wunz. Dey go fasta. What waaaghlord Jubblybutt wantz, waaaghlord Jubblybutt gitz!

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            "Begging the question" has *always* misled most readers and hearers,

            No, no it has not. People who want to appear smarter than they really are have misread readers and hearers. They also like to point out that language evolves when caught full of shit.

            • by Reapy (688651)

              I really don't think people think "Oh man, how do I appear smarter here, yes, yes, I will use BEGS the question, only the intellectual elite use this phrase, and I shall be one of them!!"

              I think the phrase just makes no sense, I still can't understand how I'm actually supposed to use it. If I just looked at the words in the phrase, I would read it as something begging for a question, raising the need to ask a question. I didn't even know that phrase is somehow related to academia in anyway.

              But I guess I kno

        • Literally!
        • Re:begs FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

          by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @09:57AM (#47670197) Homepage

          Dost thou propose that thine language shall never evolve and change in any manner unless it be so approveth by thee and thine ilk of the Nazis of Grammar? Shall thine language become static and fixed as the firmament and the heavens? Or hath the pinnacle of grammarian excellence been such obtained as to negate further change, owing to it's divine revelation and celestial perfection?

          Would such change undo the works that man has wrought under heaven? Would thine countenance still continue as blessed and calm as days of yore? I beseech you, good sir, to ponder the myriad ways in which ones speech no longer resembles that of our forefathers, even as thou pines for a return to the olden ways.

          Methinks thine bloomers may have come become ill adjusted leading to your distemper. I prithee, settle thine dyspeptic mood and swallow your bile, lest ye strain thyself. These ill spirits do not become you, and place much strain upon your liver.

          I do believe the gentleman doth protest too much over matters of trifling importance.

          If you have ever said "let me google that", then you too are guilty of this. If you have ever used any expression which is newer than the dark ages, you're certainly guilty of this.

          Language evolves, and the fact that a second entire expression which sounds similar to the first is not the fault of the expression or the people who use it.

          Yes, there is the logical fallacy of "begging the question". But there is also the more modern "begs the question" implying "that causes us to ask this", and it has been in use for decades.

          Whether the grammar nazis among us accept or not is a different issue.

          So, yo dawg, chill and stop griefing, peeps be speaking differently than before. Deal with it.

          At best English is a bastardization of a several languages, thrown together with a hodge podge of rules which require you to know which language gave us the word and why, and it is entirely possible to construct phrases which sound similar but which convey an entirely different meaning.

          My advice to you, get over it.

        • It's not evolution it's erosion, we are losing the original meaning and gaining nothing.

          We still have the original meaning, but it is has pretty much been limited to college logic classes for most of the last century. Giving pedants and excuse to bitch on the internet has probably boosted the original meanings usage an order of magnitude. If anything, the new meaning has probably saved the old meaning from obscurity and erosion.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        In this case language evolves through ignorance. We seek to counter that particular form of "evolution."

      • Give up. Language evolves.

        While I have made this same argument here on Slashdot numerous times - particularly when, a few years ago, people took umbrage because "hacker" was supplanting "cracker" - in this case you'd first need some supporting evidence that the phrase "begs the question" is actually changing meaning in popular speech.

        As far as I can tell, that is not the case - the submitter simply misused the phrase.

      • by lgw (121541)

        Give up. Language evolves.

        Sure. But that doesn't mean it should, at least not in every case. In this case, it shouldn't. Fighting back is appropriate.

        • Re:begs FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

          by stoploss (2842505) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @08:24PM (#47667609)

          Give up. Language evolves.

          Sure. But that doesn't mean it should, at least not in every case. In this case, it shouldn't. Fighting back is appropriate.

          I beg to differ, and I will fight your efforts.

          "Beg the question" was a poor choice for the English name for the logical fallacy initially, and the entire issue can be sidestepped by using a self-explanatory term like "presumes the argument".

          The modern usage form, meaning "prompts the question", is perfectly cromulent and befits the parsing of the phrase.

          Give up the dark side.

          • Let's assume that English evolves to the point that "begs the question" doesn't automatically label you as logic-deficient. English has evolved, and now it can also mean, "raises the question." Great.

            It is still a cliche, not a creative use of English, and labels the user as a person who can't express themselves very well. There's no way around it.
            • by stoploss (2842505)

              The only inevitability is that the term "begs the question" is now and will remain ambiguous.

              The point of language is to communicate, and ambiguity is typically noise in the channel. I will leave deliberately injecting ambiguity into communication to the diplomats and artists—I don't refer to the fallacy using the poorly chosen original term anymore, especially when plainer terms communicate the concept more clearly and efficiently.

              • by c6gunner (950153)

                The only inevitability is that the term "begs the question" is now and will remain ambiguous.

                Everything is ambiguous if you're ignorant. Why does that matter? Should I stop using words with more than three syllables just because someone might misunderstand them?

                The phrase "begs the question" is never ambiguous to an educated individual who actually looks at the context in which it's employed. It's only ambiguous to those who either don't understand it's original meaning, or don't bother paying attention to the discussion.

              • by lgw (121541)

                The only inevitability is that the term "begs the question" is now and will remain ambiguous.

                The phrase should be abandoned, IMO. Use "raises the question" for the one, and "assumes the conclusion" for the other, or "beggars the question" if your audience has half a clue.

                • by Cytotoxic (245301)

                  The only inevitability is that the term "begs the question" is now and will remain ambiguous.

                  The phrase should be abandoned, IMO. Use "raises the question" for the one, and "assumes the conclusion" for the other, or "beggars the question" if your audience has half a clue.

                  Or "buggars the question" if it is a politician.

                • by stoploss (2842505)

                  The phrase should be abandoned, IMO. Use "raises the question" for the one, and "assumes the conclusion" for the other

                  That's the conclusion I drew a few years ago. For years I had been correcting the modern usage of the phrase, but then one day I got irked at the ambiguity and decided to read about it. Finding out that "beg the question" was a mistranslation of the petitio principii term changed my outlook. I mean, not to mention that the modern usage is syntactically and semantically valid English. The campaign to preserve a mistranslated term in favor of valid, intuitive English seemed untenable to me.

                  Now, I eschew the u

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              It is still a cliche, not a creative use of English,

              You mean like when you wrote that it was a cliche, a phrase which itself is so overused as to in fact be one? Hypocrisy is the greatest luxury.

              • by gstoddart (321705)

                You mean like when you wrote that it was a cliche, a phrase which itself is so overused as to in fact be one?

                Ironic, isn't it? ;-)

                And, cliche isn't a phrase, it's a word.

              • You don't understand what a cliche is........frequent use is not enough, otherwise it would be difficult to say "I'm hungry."
            • by gstoddart (321705)

              Know what else is a cliche? People whining about the relative meaning of a phrase which originated in the 16th century (and was apparently a bad translation from Latin), and a more modern phrase which uses some of the same words.

              Unless you are specifically in a context where you're doing formal logic or debating, the former is rarely used. And, if you're in that context, everybody knows the difference between those two things. If you're not, people probably mean the more modern version of it.

              So, dealeth

              • Who was whining? I was merely pointing out the characteristics of people who use phrases in certain ways. Use it not, lest thou be taken for a fool.
        • by CODiNE (27417)

          Prescriptivists always lose. Use defines the language.
          Sad to say. :-(

          • by sg_oneill (159032)

            Prescriptivists always lose. Use defines the language.
            Sad to say. :-(

            Not really sad at all. Thats how languages grow. And without language evolution we'd all be grunting and hitting each other with rocks and shit.

          • by lgw (121541)

            Prescriptivists always lose. Use defines the language.

            Chillax broheim. Ain't no thing.

            If you seek credibility when you write, as you might when you argue for a position, it's better to write in the manner of an educated adult. Much of what's admirable in humanity comes from our willingness to fight when it's likely that we'll lose.

            Jus sayin.

      • by crioca (1394491)

        Give up. Language evolves.

        Yes it does, and asifyoucare is contributing to that evolution.

      • by PJ6 (1151747)
        It's not evolution. It's the writer looking stupid.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      "Beg the question" is a commonly misused phrase that you probably confused with the uncommonly used phrase "begs questions".

      You are apparently objecting to something that did not even exist except in your own mind.

      I suppose if I were not a native English speaker, I could not have a conversation with you because you would be constantly correcting me on idioms I supposedly misused, only to find I simply mistranslated something that you otherwise, if not for your thickheadedness, would have understood just fin

    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      And when people say they are hungry enough to eat a horse, they actually would not eat a horse.

    • by jdavidb (449077)
      How do we tag misuses of the expression "begging the question" in the article summary? I tagged this story as "notbeggingthequestion," but if there's another tag out there people are using, I'd like to be aware of it.
    • by slew (2918)

      Her resignation does not beg questions; it prompts or raises them.

      To beg the question is to assume a particular answer in the reasoning used to arrive at that answer.

      It perhaps raises the question if she was the right person to lead the program...
      But it might beg the question that the huge cost of sending her into space was a waste of taxpayer's money (assuming that was the goal of spending the money)...

  • Not her fault (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:16PM (#47667199)

    Maybe they should have, I don't know, trained a few other people as well?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:20PM (#47667235)

    "Her resignation begs questions of KARI regarding whether she was the right person to lead the program.."

    Not at all - 6 years of service, why can't she resign?

  • Management 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kittenman (971447) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:21PM (#47667237)
    Always have a back-up.
  • by Harlequin80 (1671040) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:23PM (#47667255)

    If the whole project was dependant on the body they send in to space then they had bigger problems and they didn't have a space program at all. What they had was a person they put on a russian space ship and then FTA stuck in front of people to say what it was like.

    If that is the case and the program was a program of 1 person then why would she have stayed? No development, nothing interesting, no reason to be there.

    • by AHuxley (892839) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:39PM (#47667341) Homepage Journal
      Lots of nations tried different ways of getting into space. Some like the UK and Australia did deals with the USA.
      East Germany looked to the Soviet Union.
      Long term the only way for a nation to get into space is to do do India did. Fully understand every aspect of the basic science and have your own hardware and software production, then move onto the next easy stage of space technology.
      Other space nations will give you a free ride for the press or sell you tech but will not give away their own hard work.
      • by lgw (121541)

        The space program evolved from the Cold War, partly as a way to show that your nation has the technology to launch "a payload" into orbit and "land" it anywhere in the world you care to, without involving mushroom clouds in the demonstration.

        Building your own program, as India is, is for sure the only way to achieve that Cold War goal (especially if you also grow your own nukes). Rented space ships seem fine for science. For national pride? Probably varies by culture, but I'd think a good ad/propaganda a

      • There has never been an Australian citizen in space.

        Of the two Australian born persons who have been in space. One of them took American citizenship in order to join NASA's astronaut program, the other already was an American Naval Officer when he joined NASA.

        The only British Citizen that has been to space went up with the Soviet space program.

        To my knowledge, the NASA human spaceflight program was for Americans only since its inception.

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Australia tried so hard with vast test area https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] after WW2.
          The UK spent big on US equipment ideas and space related tech for its own secure sat https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] option.
          Both nations show its kind of hard to get gifts or buy in. Your own staff and production lines have to be set up in sync with your nations own science pace.
          India really shows the science advancement option, as it started at the same time, with less and years later shows what can do now as a n
    • I totally would have stuck around. If only to be able to talk to the next person into space.

      "Did you like zero gravity?"

      "Yep"

      "Did you do cartwheels through the ship?"

      "Yep"

      "And grab the oh shit handles on the other side?"

      "Yep"

      "I rubbed my balls on that"

      "Well they washed them down"

      "With sterile pads"

      "Yep"

      "Balls on that too"

      "Shut up. I'm getting coffee."

      "In the coffee cup on your desk... ?"

  • She's hot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    With that being said, it's silly to rely on only one person for your ENTIRE SPACE PROGRAM. That's a lot of stress and, no matter how intelligent, one person cannot conceivably perform all the desired tasks/research/whatever else astronauts do.

  • by Dorianny (1847922) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:32PM (#47667301) Journal
    The whole trip was a "matter of national pride " and little more than a PR stunt in response to China's space program. She spent 11 days on the ISS on what amounts to space tourism, the average stay for real astronauts is 2-7 months. After returning to earth her job has been little more than to be paraded around and to give speeches.
  • In 2010, she began a new journey at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business to pursue more down-to-earth endeavors in the private sector.

    Loosely translated:

    Government jobs in Korea are similar to the ones in the West... they're no place for the gifted.

  • Q: Why did Albanian airforce not participate in WW2? A: The pilot was sick.

    Sounds similar to SK's Space Program issue.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      my wife's home country had air force with two airplanes (one MIG-21 fighter and one ground attack L-39 Albatross), one of which didn't work. Just checked and it's even funnier nowadays they both don't work! They had five copters too that worked but the civilian government took them over to fly VIPs around

      • by serbanp (139486)

        You're actually talking about today's Albania, isn't it? Wikipedia does mention that all fixed-wing aircraft have been retired from their Air Force in the last couple of years.

  • by rossdee (243626) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:48PM (#47668221)

    Sth Koreas space program shut down because the Seoul astronaut resigned

  • I can't help but picture NASA calling a press conference just to say "We're looking pretty good now, aren't we?".

  • She's 36, married, no children.

    Guess that's what "personal reasons" are. The biological clock is ticking.

    • by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Thursday August 14, 2014 @08:21AM (#47669681) Homepage Journal

      Not every female wants kids ever. Nor every male. Sometimes personal reasons can mean "I want something different out of life", or "I am tired of the PR", or any other number of things.

  • by drolli (522659)

    A $25 Million program depends on a single person not getting in an accident, not having physical (36 is not so young in that aspect) or psycological problems, or (in this case) not getting pregnant and keeping prepared and waiting for a decade between the spaceflights. And then the question is if this person was the right person?

    Having a big project depending on a single person is absolutely stupid.

  • It couldn't be the people she works with? It sounds like, her problem.
  • To go against the wishes of your management in Korean culture is one tough thing to do. That lady has got (metaphorical) balls. More so than the large majority of the Koreans I've worked with (in Korea).

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