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23. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 25, 2013, 22:28 mag
Cutter wrote on Jan 25, 2013, 21:52:
jdreyer wrote on Jan 25, 2013, 19:23:
That's not true at all. There are lots of reasons to have government funding science research:
- If a particular field of research or project has no immediate profitable application, like the Hubble telescope or Large Hadron Collider
- If a particular research field won't return profit quickly enough, like fusion.
- Research projects that need to be applied to everyone, but won't be affordable to everyone if market based solutions are used, like vaccines.
- Projects that are simply too large, complex, or expensive for any corporation to handle, like the moon landings or Manhattan project

And on and on. In fact, the device you're entering your communication on (your computer) and transmitting it to the rest of us (the internet) are both the product of governmental research programs.

Wrong on all counts. It's pure sophistry to say all the advances related to government funding wouldn't have occurred without them. Most advances occur without government. Not one thing you mentioned was at all necessary, much less profitable. The moon was ego. the A-bomb is defense related anyway. The LHC and Hubble are interesting but aren't essential to anyone. Vaccines would be provided cheap because the alternative is too costly. And ENIAC was also related to defense and it was based on the abacus. In fact none of this government related stuff would have occurred without it occurring in the free market first. Telescopes were paid for by private patrons. And on and on it goes. So no, you can't convince me that that there's the need to spend even 1 penny of tax dollars on research science.

I might be thinking of someone else, but aren't you Canadian, Cutter?
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