The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » sci.math.* » sci.math

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: The questionable value of basic research
Replies: 10   Last Post: Feb 18, 2014 2:42 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Tom Potter

Posts: 497
Registered: 8/9/06
Re: The questionable value of basic research
Posted: Feb 15, 2014 7:51 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

"Odd Bodkin" <> wrote in message
> On 2/12/2014 8:49 AM, Tom Potter wrote:
>> It is appears that my pal "Odd Bodkin",
>> like most people,
>> has been brainwashed by scientists <sic> on the public dole,
>> to value research in terms of how many taxpayer's dollars
>> are spent on a research program ,
>> rather on it's value to mankind,

> No, I think you missed the point.
> The point is that basic science (that is, unapplied) is considered TO HAVE
> VALUE for mankind.
> I gather that you disagree and think that basic science has no value to
> mankind. You are in the minority.
> For what it's worth, I've just started reading this book:
> And in the very first section of the very first chapter, they distinguish
> science from technology. Science and technology are two completely
> different things, they say, done for completely different reasons, though
> many people get them confused.

>> and has been conditioned to call folks
>> who question the value of taxpayer funded expenditures
>> "bitter complainers".
>> It also appears that,
>> like most people,
>> my pal "Odd Bodkin"
>> does not comprehend that MOST high energy
>> and General Relativity research
>> are efforts to find paths
>> that can be FORKED from
>> useful models of reality
>> into nominal amounts data obtained
>> from costly, taxpayer funded projects such as 20 "strange" particles.

> I don't think of it as a fork from a useful model. I consider models, in
> the SCIENTIFIC sense, to be and accurate representative of nature or not.
> Science is about understanding how nature works, not how it can be
> leveraged into something USEFUL. The latter is technology, not science.
> Aristotle's notion that all things naturally settle into a state of rest,
> is a useful idea. It represents our everyday experience rather well, and
> is an excellent and simple rule of thumb that is very useful. It is also a
> bad scientific model. Notice the difference between usefulness and
> scientific goodness.

>> [ No doubt, after one finds 20 "strange" particles.
>> if they can keep beating the horse,
>> they find forks to similar particles.]
>> The fact of the matter is
>> that there is an infinite amount of data
>> that has been accumulated over thousands of years,
>> that can be used to create and rationalize numerous theories,
>> and it is sad that a few people, motivated by race, religion, security,
>> prestige, etc.
>> use the Mass Media and Taxpayer money to promote costly
>> projects that could never be justified
>> using any rational investment analysis.
>> For example observe that billions of dollars have been
>> wasted in efforts to find FORKS from General Relativity
>> to data obtained by needless research projects.

> As I mentioned earlier, $9billion has been spent on two bridge projects,
> one in San Francisco and one in New York, that benefit no one except those
> that live in those communities, and the lifetime of value on that
> expenditure is 75 years, tops. This is comparable to the money spent on
> the LHC, which advances GENERAL KNOWLEDGE for all mankind, and which
> knowledge will influence understanding for centuries.
> You tell me which of these is more valuable, and why.

>> Observe that SMART people use SMART criteria
>> for setting objectives.
>> rather than set objectives based on race. religion,
>> greed, lazinessiness, etc.
>> they are stupid, greedy, lazy, racist, religious,
>> and are at odds with most of mankind.
>> One's perception of reality
>> can be forked from Moses, Jesus, Mohammed,
>> the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, etc.
>> just as it can from General Relativity
>> and a few artifacts found by spending
>> billions of the taxpayer's dollars.
>> There is plenty of data,
>> that has been, and is,
>> observed and measured often,
>> and if one's OBJECTIVE is
>> waste less money, time and minds,
>> and make the world a better place,
>> one should use the enormous amount of data available,
>> and build models that fit one's OBJECTIVES
>> and can be TESTED,
>> rather than ones that can be FORKED
>> from Moses to Gods,
>> and from General Relativity to worm holes, dark matter, gravity waves,
>> etc.
>> -- Tom Potter

Like most folks,
I have no problem with ANYONE or ANY GROUP
investing their OWN time, money and minds,
to do research on black holes, dark matter, cold fusion, hot fusion, etc.

but I strongly believe that people on the public dole
should NOT be able use the force of government
to get OTHER PEOPLES MONEY to do research on ANYTHING
that cannot be justified by returns to the people who pay the bills.

And I believe that there should be CLEAR, SWORN statements
of the rationale for the research. the cost, the time frame,
and a projection of the returns, and that

ANYONE who promotes and profits
from failed research using OTHER PEOPLES MONEY
should be tried in civil and criminal courts
to determine if they were incompetent or criminal.
and that on ALL projects using OTHER PEOPLES MONEY,
there should be FULL Disclosures of the TRACK RECORDS
of all participants who benefit more than two times the minimum wage.

It appears that the most costly high energy and astrological research
is an effort to FORK results from some race/religion/national model
rather that to determine a better model based on serendipity.

In case anyone objects to my basing FORKS on serendipity,
it makes no sense to keep doing research to verify what
is verified daily by tradesmen, technicians, engineers, etc.

Can you imagine $2,000,000,000.00 being spent on one project
to verify Ohms Law like the billions of dollars spent
trying to rationalize Einstein's models
and FORK it into something unique and useful?

And can you imagine billions of dollars of
money FORCED from OTHER PEOPLE being used
to rationalize things that can never be experienced
in time and space like the beginning and end of time
and the mind of God?

Tom Potter

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.