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30. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 26, 2013, 04:43 jdreyer
Cutter, you're usually well informed and logical, but I can't believe your position on this. Have you gone full wingnut?

Just so I understand, you're in favor of wiping from the face of the Earth the following, and saying their contributions are so pedestrian, simple, obvious, and profitable that private corporations would have come up with them anyway:
- NASA (flight, rocketry, numerous other discoveries)
- NOAA (Weather prediction systems)
- CDC (Disease research)
- DARPA (defense projects, many of which have civilian application)
- All University research, including MIT (numerous, numerous discoveries in all areas of science)
- Oak Ridge National Lab (Nuclear, energy)
- JPL (Rocketry and flight)
- Los Alamos Lab (Nuclear, energy)
Etc. etc.


The only reason we have nuclear power (12% of world electricity) is due to government research. No corporation is going to take on that burden and risk otherwise. Much easier and more profitable to use coal, oil, and gas.

As for historical precedents, you're wrong. Hans Lippershey invented the telescope, paid for by the Dutch government. Galileo improved it and presented it to the Venetian government, and they instantly tenured him and doubled his salary, after which he continuously improved it while supported by the government. Kepler invented the Keplerian telescope while employed by the Holy Roman Empire.

Also, govn't research furthers science by allowing use of its patents very cheaply. Imagine if Apple held them instead.

Pure sophistry? That would be you dude, for thinking we'd be in the same place we are now without government research. Private research and government research each have their strengths and weaknesses, but compliment each other nicely to push technology along faster than either could do alone.
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