On 6/6/2013 10:48 PM, Tom Potter wrote: > "Absolutely Vertical" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message > news:email@example.com... >> On 6/6/2013 9:56 AM, Tom Potter wrote: >>> Do you think that people >>> should get a reasonable rate of return >>> for the time, mind and money >>> they expend acquiring information about a "tool". >> >> as far as i know, fundamental science research is not done for the sake of >> a 'reasonable rate of return'. why do you think it should be? > > What other social functions do you think > should operate carte blanche > other than war and fundamental science reseach? >
none of them should operate carte blanche. it's just that the measurable objectives of those activities are not practical applications in near term. they have _different_ measures of success.
the objective of defense and war is the security of the people of a nation. the objective of fundamental research is the advancement of knowledge for its own sake. the objective of support of the arts out of public funds is the intellectual and esthetic health of the people. the objective of support of public parks and protected lands is the preservation of natural, undeveloped, unexploited resources for their own sake. the objective of space exploration is simply that: exploration. the objective of support of emergency assistance for the least, the last, and the lost is purely social altruism and expression of moral code.
none of these objectives have to do with practical applications in the near term, but are considered just as valuable -- by the majority.