Date: Jun 30, 2013 9:55 AM
Author: Tom Potter
Subject: Re: What drives scientific progress?
firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
>On Thursday, June 27, 2013 6:12:51 PM UTC-7, ji...@specsol.spam.sux.com
>> Got any examples where advances were based on pure curiosity?
>> Every inventor I can think of was motivated by potential profit of one
>> sort or another.
>"At no period of [Michael Faraday's] unmatched career was he interested in
>utility. He was absorbed in disentangling the riddles of the universe, at
>first chemical riddles, in later periods, physical riddles. As far as he
>cared, the question of utility was never raised. Any suspicion of utility
>would have restricted his restless curiosity. In the end, utility resulted,
>but it was never a criterion to which his ceaseless experimentation could
>- Abraham Flexner
>"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep
>moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things, because we're
>curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
>- Walter Disney
>"But why, it has been asked, did you go there [the Antarctic]? Of what use
>to civilization can this lifeless continent be? ... [Earlier] expeditions
>contributed something to the accumulating knowledge of the Antarctic ...
>that helps us thrust back further the physical and spiritual shadows
>enfolding our terrestrial existence. Is it not true that one of the
>strongest and most continuously sustained impulses working in civilization
>is that which leads to discovery? As long as any part of the world remains
>obscure, the curiosity of man must draw him there, as the lodestone draws
>the mariner's needle, until he comprehends its secret."
>- Richard Byrd
>"Inventive genius requires pleasurable mental activity as a condition for
>its vigorous exercise. 'Necessity is the mother of invention' is a silly
>proverb. 'Necessity is the mother of futile dodges' is much closer to the
>truth. The basis of growth of modern invention is science, and science is
>almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity."
>- Alfred North Whitehead
>"Men will gather knowledge no matter what the consequences. Science will go
>on whether we are pessimistic or optimistic, as I am. More interesting
>discoveries than we can imagine will be made, and I am awaiting them, full
>of curiosity and enthusiasm."
>- Linus Pauling
>There are lots more...
Except for Disney,
all of Paul's examples were people on the public dole.
The bottom line is that people on the public dole,
rationalize their agenda of living secure and high
on other people's money
by hyping the value of open loop research,
funded with other people's money,
and directed by the "curiosity" of the people
on the public dole,
rather than by benefits to mankind,
or profit to the people funding the "curiosity" directed research.
If "curiosity" was a powerful force,
cats would rule the world.
Almost all "curiosity" driven researchers
are on the public dole,
but almost all scientific advances originate in the free market.
Watt bootstrapped the "Industrial Revolution".
Edison bootstrapped the "Electric Revolution".
Edison and Lee De Forest bootstrapped the "Electronic Revolution".
AT&T bootstrapped the "Solid State Revolution".
Intel bootstrapped the "computer Revolution".
Willard Boyle and George E. Smith at AT&T Bell Labs
bootstrapped the "Digital imaging Revolution".
Fujio Masuoka at Toshiba bootstrapped the "Flash memory Revolution".
I have to give Volta credit for bootstrapping chemistry and
with his invention of the battery which was driven by "curiosity",
and Watson and Crick for their discovery of the DNA structure,
and Faraday's "curiosity driven" discoveries using Volta's battery.
which goes to show that if you throw enough,
some will stick on the wall.