It’s a disgrace that the country which once led the world in science-based technology innovation has fallen so far:
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Buckminster Fuller mused in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth that the destruction of buildings in Japan and Germany by bombing during the Second World War actually did them a favor, eliminating sunk cost arguments for the rebuilding and even redefinition of their industrial infrastructure.
Of course, we are doing it to ourselves, with the likes of ignoramus Representative Lamar Smith in charge of federal funding of science programs.
The U.S. federal government should note, however, as represented by the present Congress, that the people they are dorking are not dumb. And, they will figure out a way to do the things they love without federal or company funding. (There are other kinds of funding.) And when the day comes that this same federal government asks their help, it will be within their every right to demand High Payment for it, not only for themselves, but for the projects and the future they are preserving and which, this pathetic government and, presumably, the people who elected it, have so little respect. They would not, in doing so, be the least bit unpatriotic. They would, in doing so, simply embrace the ethics of people like Howard Hughes and Alexander Graham Bell. Mr Bell co-founded Science magazine, now a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. And Mr Bell did not have a doctorate. Not that he needed one. Neither did Mr Buckminster Fuller.
And people wonder why scientists, as a group, tend not to vote Republican?
Facts are, while governments can get in the way and harm people, in the modern world, most of the changes, for good or ill, are the result of technological innovation. The natural vehicle for this is the modern corporation. Corporations and governments need to eventually align themselves with the Laws of Physics. Otherwise, Things Get Expensive.