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NASA Space Entertainment Games

NASA Holding Space Vs. Earth Chess Game 36

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-knights-still-jump-in-zero-g? dept.
A few days ago, NASA and the US Chess Federation teamed up to host a space vs. Earth chess game. Astronaut Greg Chamitoff is playing one side, while the other side's moves will be determined by a public vote. Four potential moves will be selected each weekday by a chess club comprised of students from kindergarten through third grade. Once the selections are made, visitors to the USCF's site can vote for the move they like best. The USCF is maintaining a blog to update the moves and board position, and to provide commentary.
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NASA Holding Space Vs. Earth Chess Game

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05, 2008 @02:21PM (#25265791)

    Earth wins, gloats, then...the next thing you know an asteroid mysteriously changes orbit and heads toward Florida.
    Space wins.

  • hm (Score:3, Funny)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @02:22PM (#25265793)
    this might have worked, but now that it's on the slashdot front page we're going to see millions of botnet votes for the worst moves
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is NASA trying to one-up "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?", who just had an astronaut on?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Because it's a public vote, and the majority of the population, even the smaller subset interested in this, can't see more than one move ahead. And if the vote somehow comes up with a long-term strategy, it won't be able to follow through. While the one person up there can think as far ahead as he wants.

  • If one of the astronauts wants to play chess by mail, that's fine. But this is just a PR stunt.

    • by ctetc007 (875050) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @04:00PM (#25266575) Homepage
      You're right, sort of.

      If one of the astronauts wants to play chess by mail, that's fine.

      They actually did a game over the summer between Mission Control and Chamitoff, which ended with MCC resigning on 8-13: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition17/chess_chamitoff.html [nasa.gov].

      Regarding the PR stunt, yes, it is one because it's try to draw lot's of attention, but so is every outreach program run by any kind of organization.

      Part of NASA's mission, to quote Michael Griffin, is that "NASA is in the inspiration business." (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=29218) That in itself is PR.

      Space exploration needs to be on the forefront of science, along with things like the LHC, etc. Our country is on a decline on the science, technology, and innovation front. Our government has let it go by the wayside (see http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=29133 [spaceref.com] specifically for the space program), and too much of Generation Y is ignoring science, going into "soft" fields (preaching to the choir).

      Like I said, NASA needs to inspire more young children to get into science and technology. If what it takes is a "PR stunt" like this, then so be it. Sure, NASA benefits from it, but the real beneficiaries, if it works out right, are the children, and by extension, future society.

  • Kindergarteners? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drDugan (219551) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @03:04PM (#25266141) Homepage

    OH, think of the children!

    But seriously - more rational deduction in early education including logic games and reasoning will help fight the absurd and assinie War on Intellectualism [bilerico.com].

    I play chess and Go with my daughter each chance I get.

    Intelligence FTW! (Its amazing that one has to even say it...)

    • by Roxton (73137)

      Nah, logic is just another tool in the arsenal of people who want to manufacture justifications for their biases. Recognizing the limitations of logic and of hard & fast philosophies is the first step to any real intellectual maturity.

      • by Jimmy_B (129296)

        Nah, logic is just another tool in the arsenal of people who want to manufacture justifications for their biases. Recognizing the limitations of logic and of hard & fast philosophies is the first step to any real intellectual maturity.

        If you reject logic, then your biases are all that's left. This sort of anti-intellectualism is already close to destroying the United States, so please don't spread it any further.

        • by Roxton (73137)

          No, sir. Intellectualism gave but one gift to the world. The ethos that one need not (and perhaps should not) believe those things for which he has no justification.

          The rest is human decency, valuing the needs and concerns of your fellow men.

          • by Jimmy_B (129296)

            The only way to justify anything is by combining facts with logic. Since you have rejected logic outright, you can't justify anything, so your philosophy simply says that no one should believe anything. You either have a simplistic and misinformed view of what logic is, or you're an advocate for stroke patients.

            • by Roxton (73137)

              Logic combined with facts? Seriously?

              No, at the heart of every justification is a value judgment. Every public policy decision, every social decision, every choice in spending a night out or choosing a job or lifestyle, is rooted in a value judgment.

              The very worst breed of intellectualism is that which seeks to supplant human concerns with an inhuman, unthinking, and presumptive moral calculus.

              • There is no essential conflict here. As Hume said, "reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions". You're right to criticise those who "[seek] to supplant human concerns with an inhuman, unthinking, and presumptive moral calculus.". But once you have those concerns, logic can be a helpful tool in managing them.
                • by Roxton (73137)

                  Absolutely. Well, almost. "Manage" is a strong word. It's too compatible with something I see fair too often -- the drive to seek a devilish consistency in the ramification of one's feelings at the expense of other feelings, particularly matters of conscience and social justice.

      • all your biases are belong to us?
  • Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FlyByPC (841016) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @04:28PM (#25266797) Homepage
    So, the choices we get to vote on are chosen in advance by people with little understanding of the complexity of the issues involved?

    Somehow this seems strangely familiar...
    • i have no idea if the parent is talking about slashdot polls or the upcoming election...

      but it seems to me that either case is equally valid.

      i'll play it safe and go with slashdot polls. yes, that must be it.

  • Russians did it. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Catmeat (20653) <mtm&sys,uea,ac,uk> on Sunday October 05, 2008 @08:12PM (#25268287)
    The crew of Soyuz 9 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_9 [wikipedia.org] played chess with the ground in 1970. They had a zero-g chess board that the pieces could clip on to.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

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