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jspchief
04-22-2006, 10:04 AM
In light of the current problem with oil dependency, and triggered by Jenkins' $8k thread, I've decided to throw out an idea.

What if the US put NASA and the space program on hold for X number of years, and instead used those resources to research alternate fuel technology for autos?

The first thing that comes to mind is the brain power involved. NASA has to be about the largest collection of intelligence on the government payroll. Let these scientists start working on something that has immediate real world implications.

After the brains of the operation, comes the finance. The amount of money spent on research and space missions is astronomical (pun). We would be able to pour more money into alternative fuel research than every auto maker in the world combined would ever consider spending.

As far as I can imagine, the sticking point would be the actual halting of our space program. But as far as I know, we are already leaders in the field, and I can't see any reason why it matters if we fall a few years behind. There are plenty of idealogical reasons why America wants to lead the pack, but do they really compare to what might be accomplished in it's stead?

So here's the tentative plan:
1. A time limit, say 5-10 years. At the end of that limit, the research is either
Submitted for an extension if progress is being made Turned over to US auto makers to let them continue research from the foundation the government built Halted because we've found a viable solution2. If a solution is found, the details/technology could be
Sold to automakers, or Patented and licensed to automakers for a feeAt the end of it all, we have put more money and research into this problem than the private industry ever will. We could also tax the use of this technology to recoup some of the money spent (what's the last NASA project that did that?) And then we'll resume the scientific scavenger hunt that is our space program.

I'm sure there are flaws to my idea, and I welcome you to point them out (as if I had to ask). I'm just trying to think outside the box.

stevieray
04-22-2006, 10:07 AM
I wonder if the shuttle comes in Chiefs red.

Skip Towne
04-22-2006, 10:08 AM
Sounds like a plan. But would the gubment ever do something that made so much sense?

JBucc
04-22-2006, 10:08 AM
Sounds like a pretty good idea. So it won't happen.

CosmicPal
04-22-2006, 10:09 AM
No. I want to live like The Jetsons. Keep firing them rockets.

Dunit35
04-22-2006, 10:10 AM
I know there are millions of things in space that have yet to be learned, but I feel like a reason for so much space explorations is because it makes the U.S. say to themselves " We found this out before anybody else, we are better than you."

This is a good idea Jsp and would do more good for us then the space program right now.

StcChief
04-22-2006, 10:10 AM
I'd Agree to slow the space program to get an alternative energy up and running in America

Thumb our noise at Oil creeps in their glorified 3rd world.

jspchief
04-22-2006, 10:11 AM
I should add, there's plenty of room to go off on political tangents about the government and their use of our tax money. As it pertains to my idea, feel free to discuss it.

Just try and refrain from turning this into a DC thread. I'd like to get the reaction of the entire board before this gets turned into another partisan pissing match.

jspchief
04-22-2006, 10:14 AM
Sounds like a pretty good idea. So it won't happen.You know, you're right. It won't ever happen. It's too outside of the comfort zone of our government. I can almost hear the voices of the politicians summarily dismissing it.

It's too bad. It could quite possibly be the most progressive use of our tax dollars in history, by not only meeting the needs of the average citizen, but also severely decreasing the diplomatic scrotum vice that the middle east has us in.

kregger
04-22-2006, 10:14 AM
What, and not let GWB find his little green men?

CosmicPal
04-22-2006, 10:15 AM
Well, if you want to know- a great many scientists are not happy with Bush and his Mars mission. Most scientists want to go back to the moon. They want to put a telescope on the moon so we can see even further into space since there is no atmoshpere or anything like that on the moon.

I have no problem doing that. After that though, if we're not discovering anything new or resourceful- then drop the program for a few years.

Skip Towne
04-22-2006, 10:17 AM
What, and not let GWB find his little green men?
F*ck a bunch of little green men. I want my SUV!!!

kregger
04-22-2006, 10:20 AM
Actually, I think more of the scientists are excited about Hubble 2 than the moon scope.

BucEyedPea
04-22-2006, 10:20 AM
When the price of oil gets too high alternatives will develop...and they are as we speak. "We" as in gov't research will lead to nowhere.

jspchief
04-22-2006, 10:22 AM
What, and not let GWB find his little green men?The space program has been in existence long before GWB came along.

If you don't have anything constructive to add to the conversation, at least try and refrain from bringing it down with partisan tripe.

Skip Towne
04-22-2006, 10:22 AM
When the price of oil gets too high alternatives will develop...and they are as we speak. "We" as in gov't research will lead to nowhere.
Agreed. Just like that ridiculous plan to land a man on the moon.

JBucc
04-22-2006, 10:23 AM
I wonder how much of the space race has resulted in actual meaningful discoveries or developments and how much has just been haha we did it first stuff.

jspchief
04-22-2006, 10:26 AM
When the price of oil gets too high alternatives will develop...and they are as we speak. "We" as in gov't research will lead to nowhere.The pressure is still not on automakers to develop something else. Why would they risk the money, when there is no real competition to force them to? As long as they know the large portion of vehicles on the market are gas, they won't feel any pressure to come up with something else.

Why wouldn't government research lead anywhere? It's certainly attained miracles in regards to space exploration. What do we really lose if the next $50 billion we were planning on spending on space was instead spent on solving one of the nation's biggest problems?

Talisman
04-22-2006, 10:27 AM
As soon as we decided to halt the space program they'd go finding a meteor with space bugs on it in buried deep in a glacier.

Dunit35
04-22-2006, 10:27 AM
I wonder how much of the space race has resulted in actual meaningful discoveries or developments and how much has just been haha we did it first stuff.


Exactly what I said. I bet that is a huge reason for it too. It all started during the Cold War and it's still all about who found something new first.

jspchief
04-22-2006, 10:31 AM
This biggest argument I can think of against this is that it would create a slippery slope. If it was a success, we would be tempted to earmark that money for some other problem next, once again putting off the space program.

I'll admit I don't feel the value of our current space program justifies the expense, but I'll conceed the need for for scientific exploration. This isn't something we want to shelve forever.

patteeu
04-22-2006, 10:32 AM
Military superiority in space is too important to let some other country get it. It's the ultimate high ground. I voted no.

JBucc
04-22-2006, 10:33 AM
Military superiority in space is too important to let some other country get it. It's the ultimate high ground. I voted no.Why not let the military handle that then and let the scientists do science stuff that could help people.

jspchief
04-22-2006, 10:38 AM
Military superiority in space is too important to let some other country get it. It's the ultimate high ground. I voted no.Do you feel that's the driving force behind our space program? I'm sure it's part of it, but I never really considered that it might be such a key factor.

jAZ
04-22-2006, 10:40 AM
I don't think we can completely suspend NASA's for years, as many of those activities play a very central role in our nation defense (spy satalites, comm satalites, etc).

However, I think it can be drastically reduced. It's a very interesting suggestion.

kregger
04-22-2006, 10:42 AM
The space program has been in existence long before GWB came along.

If you don't have anything constructive to add to the conversation, at least try and refrain from bringing it down with partisan tripe.
Sorry to piss on your cornflakes. I was only suggesting that the whole idea of a manned mission to Mars is a ridiculous waste of time and money. The rovers were and still are as good a scientific tool as we've seen from the space program in some time.
I think your idea is worth discussing. A scaled down NASA is not a bad thought. If they concentrated on the Space station and the Hubble 2, there would be plenty left over for your plan. JMO

Saulbadguy
04-22-2006, 10:43 AM
I don't see why we can't do both.

banyon
04-22-2006, 10:43 AM
Military superiority in space is too important to let some other country get it. It's the ultimate high ground. I voted no.

Yikes. we agree...sort of.

We have to put serious efforts into developing alternaitve energies, though. There are plenty of other truly wasteful uses of taxpayer $ that I would prefer used to this end.

On what those would be...I am positive we disagree.

unlurking
04-22-2006, 10:43 AM
Why not let the military handle that then and let the scientists do science stuff that could help people.
I agree with patteeu, but to answer your question, there kinda busy doing something else ATM. Financially the military can't afford to cover space research while a war is going on (this is not meant to be an anti-war spiel, just pointing out there funding and attention is kinda strapped).

In terms of the "managing" the program, I wouldn't mind them being involved or partnered with a more civilian minded agency, but not in complete control. I don't want military space testing to elminate bio-research etc, although I wouldn't mind seeing a mix. Lasers on the space station would be cool. :)

mikey23545
04-22-2006, 10:43 AM
Since Nasa's budget doesn't amount to even 1% of our national spending, how about we go for something that would really free up some <i>wasted</i> money...

Please insert the name of your favorite "support the crack Mommas" welfare program here...

'Hamas' Jenkins
04-22-2006, 10:45 AM
Jsp, I really like this idea, and I like your sig even more.

jspchief
04-22-2006, 10:47 AM
I don't see why we can't do both.Maybe both is a more realistic suggestion. It's probably not practical to completely abandon the space program.

I'm just thinking on the lines of the massive amount of money and brain power at our disposal. It's a way to use federal money to adress the problem, ideally without it costing the taxpayer any more than he's already paying.

IMO, one way or another, the government is going to have to start pushing very hard to solve this problem. The private sector is not going to give this an big effort until they have a gun to their head.

cdcox
04-22-2006, 10:49 AM
DOE's research in energy science is about $1.3B. In addition there is an unquantifiable, but significant amount of government funded research going on at Universities related to energy production. This is incomparison to a $16B NASA budget. Clearly, the diverting of billions of dollars from NASA to energy research would greatly increase the availability of funds.

I would disagree with the statement that NASA holds the largest scientific brain power trust in the nation. This isn't the '60s when space explortion was the hot career for our best and brightest young minds. Since the Apollo program, the missions have been modest in terms of the vision and the budget. Besides, these people have been trained and thinking about aerospace for their whole career. A few of the very brightest minds at NASA could make good contributions to the energy problem in a short period of time, but to move most of the aerospace engineers and scientists over to energy would be a waste of money as there are better minds with more applicable training already out there.

More to come.

unlurking
04-22-2006, 10:50 AM
I can see a "scaled down" operation, but before that can happen, we NEED the next generation of space vehicle. The main reason for exhorbitant costs to NASA has got to be the shuttle. I may be wrong, but a single launch costing in the billions of dollars range is unacceptable. Once the new fleet is completed (hopefully reducing operational costs drastically), most of that space travel research can likely be handed over to the private sector. The X-Prize, Burt Rutan and Virgin Galactic, are right on the cusp of ushering a new industry. Once space travel (even low orbit) gets off the ground, we'll see the addition of orbiting hotels (many designs already in the works) and further travel expiditions. Very soon NASA's budget requirements will drop anyway.

StcChief
04-22-2006, 10:52 AM
Maybe both is a more realistic suggestion. It's probably not practical to completely abandon the space program.

I'm just thinking on the lines of the massive amount of money and brain power at our disposal. It's a way to use federal money to adress the problem, ideally without it costing the taxpayer any more than he's already paying.

IMO, one way or another, the government is going to have to start pushing very hard to solve this problem. The private sector is not going to give this an big effort until they have a gun to their head.

Agreed. I think the energy problem is something industry has been half a$$ avoiding and not giving alot of attention, for far too long.

I guess we didn't anticipate the Chinese economy rising so fast and putting the demand on oil as quick.... Though the signs have been there.

Manned Trip to MARS should be scraped at this point it doesn't make sense.

Getting the total world energy problem under control needs to be a priority for every country. We need to lead the way.

Skip Towne
04-22-2006, 10:57 AM
Jsp, I really like this idea, and I like your sig even more.
The Kiss of Death.

DaneMcCloud
04-22-2006, 10:58 AM
I've been a huge fan of NASA, their research and discoveries my whole life and would not want to see it shut down. That being said, there's really no reason TO shut it down.

I have a very good friend whose father designs power plants and power station all over the world. From Orange County, CA to Jakarta, Indonesia. He has long contended that cold fusion could have been a reality in the 80's and that there would be alternative fuel sources readily available now but for one thing: The Oil Lobbyists.

Without turning this thread into a partison or political thread, the oil companies are the very reason that there are no alternative fuel sources available. They have too much power over everyone in Washington, DC (Republican & Democrat) for this to happen. Either the automakers or an outside tech firm will have to fund the research for alternative fuel sources to become a reality. That is, at least until all of the oil is gone.

mlyonsd
04-22-2006, 11:14 AM
I've said several times the President should challenge the country to develop alternate fuels much like JFK did with the moon shot.

I agree with patteeu though that we can't afford to drop the space program all together because of security reasons.

I'm not much on creating or raising taxes but this is such an important issue I'd consider it.

Maybe a windfall profit tax on fossil fuels and/or an import tax on goods from countries where we have more than a 2/1 ratio of imports vs. exports. I'm tired of countries paying workers $1 an hour getting all of our blue collar jobs.

cdcox
04-22-2006, 11:16 AM
So would it be a wise investment to throw billions of federal dollars into energy research?

The best government success stories in solve-this-now-science are the Manhatten project and the Apollo program. These programs were different from energy in at least two ways. First, the end customer was the government. The projects received virtually no input from the public and were not subject to the socio-political-economic scrutiny that energy development would be. In both cases the problem statement was "Do X, there are no constaints". Scientists and engineers are good at that. You start throwing more constraints on a problem like energy (environment, politics, ecomonics) and scientists and engineers have an infinitely more difficult task. More on this later.

Second the technology related to the bomb (atomic physics) and space exploration (rockets, computers, modern materials) were relaively new, and so great advances could be made in a short period of time because every advance increased the state of knowledge by a significant percentage. In contrast, the physics of energy is extremely well studied. We know what the rules are (laws of thermodynamics) and they are stacked against us. We know what most of the technologies are and most of them have limitations. Investing money will make progress in optimizing against the limitations, but because almost all of these fields are mature, progress will come slowly.

One final limitation of throwing money at the energy problem is that the percentage of money that you waste will increase as you spend money on the problem. Right now funds are scarce and so they are tending to go to the best people. If you triple the funding, many more people will jump into the energy game, some good and some not so good. You'll get more money in the hands of the best people, but at some point you'll give more and more to those whose contributions won't get you that much closer to the solution. So spending 10x what you spend now will only get you there maybe 2.5x times as fast. Sometimes that is a good decision, sometimes not.

More to come.

unlurking
04-22-2006, 11:16 AM
I've been a huge fan of NASA, their research and discoveries my whole life and would not want to see it shut down. That being said, there's really no reason TO shut it down.

I have a very good friend whose father designs power plants and power station all over the world. From Orange County, CA to Jakarta, Indonesia. He has long contended that cold fusion could have been a reality in the 80's and that there would be alternative fuel sources readily available now but for one thing: The Oil Lobbyists.

Without turning this thread into a partison or political thread, the oil companies are the very reason that there are no alternative fuel sources available. They have too much power over everyone in Washington, DC (Republican & Democrat) for this to happen. Either the automakers or an outside tech firm will have to fund the research for alternative fuel sources to become a reality. That is, at least until all of the oil is gone.
I wholeheartedly agree that big oil has actively attempted to thwart research into alternative energy. Whether or not cold fusion is around the corner I don't know, but they seem to keep doind amazing things every day in science around the world.

Skip Towne
04-22-2006, 11:17 AM
I've said several times the President should challenge the country to develop alternate fuels much like JFK did with the moon shot.

I agree with patteeu though that we can't afford to drop the space program all together because of security reasons.

I'm not much on creating or raising taxes but this is such an important issue I'd consider it.

Maybe a windfall profit tax on fossil fuels and/or an import tax on goods from countries where we have more than a 2/1 ratio of imports vs. exports. I'm tired of countries paying workers $1 an hour getting all of our blue collar jobs.
I haven't seen your brother around in awhile. Is he OK?

morphius
04-22-2006, 11:18 AM
There are already alternitives out there, the auto companies just need to get them to market. Seriously, Ford announced that using a hydrolic technology they were able to get 60mpg in an F150 with a technology devolped in the EARLY 90's. Power the thing by biodiesel, mix in the hybrid technology with a plug in to charge the batteries overnight, and some battereis so that you can run just on the batteries for a period of time before the diesel engine kicks in. I saw a guy on Discovery running a biodeiesl engine that he was getting 40mpg in a Suburban, so obviously it must get a lot better gas milage. We have also read of people that have gone 100's of miles on the battery alone when they made the above change of charging it overnight and adding some capacity to their hybrid cars. Plus the bio comes from the US, so we are not dependent on our philosophical enemy's. There was also a group recently that came out with a slightly better battery technology that more then halfs the weight and size of the current batteries used in hybrids that can be charged in minutes instead of hours.

We have ALL the technology available to us, people gets to keep there SUV's, as the hydrolic technology needs a larger vehicle anyway. Basically, we get everything we want with this solution, and we don't have to touch our space program. If you want to improve something, improve the battery technologies, we can do everything else now.

mlyonsd
04-22-2006, 11:23 AM
I haven't seen your brother around in awhile. Is he OK?

Yea he's fine, had a couple of beers with him just the other night. I think he's been working a little harder than usual. One of the techies in his group quit and they decided not to replace her. I think he's expected to pick up the slack.

In fact he's in Phoenix this weekend for the NASCAR race and then in a class all next week on some of the new stuff he's responsible for.

Ari Chi3fs
04-22-2006, 11:47 AM
http://www.blogsofwar.com/images/pigsinspace.jpg

Simplex3
04-22-2006, 12:02 PM
What do we really lose if the next $50 billion we were planning on spending on space was instead spent on solving one of the nation's biggest problems?
ROFL

Yeah, $3 gas is right up there with AIDS, cancer, terrorism, malnutrition, and lots of other problems as far as the body count goes. I saw thousands of people writhing in pain for days, weeks, or months before dying horrible deaths at the local Conoco station.

cdcox
04-22-2006, 12:06 PM
I'm going to now demonstrate that the technologies are for the most part known and in many cases developed to the application state. Of the remaining constraints to solve the problem, probably 50% are technological while the remaining 50% are political, economic, sociological.

For automobiles there are essentially three options. Continue to use fossil fuels, run on batteries or run on hydrogen. The last two require new electrical generation capabilities which I'll address later.

There are probably undiscovered fossil fuel reserves out there. Finding them is mostly an economic problem. With crude oil at $75 per barrel, I'm sure oil companies around the world will find more oil. When they do, price will come down. We can also go into the Alaska reserves. Or improve technologies for using the Canadian oil sands. We can extend fossil fuels by supplementing them with ethanol. All of these options are more expensive than what we are accustomed to. In the area of fossil fuels, it is an economic problem where modest levels of research spending would probably be sufficient to make all the gains that are there to be made.

For electric cars, improved and more efficient batteries are needed, but most of all we would just like them to be cheaper. Industry is already effective in improving battery efficiency. They will become cheaper as demand rises. Very little benefit to investing government $ here.

For hydrogen cars, we need to solve the hydrogen storage and fuel cell problems. This is an area where government research would be worthwhile. But this is not a huge problem. An investment of $1B a year would go a long way here.

Investment in basic materials research would also benefit both electric and hydrogen cars. Say another increase of $1B per year.

Both electric and hydrogen cars would require more electrical generating capability. Several options are available, very few of them requiring massive upgrades in technology.

Coal, its cheap and we have lots of it. Need to spend money to implement pollution control on sulfur, NOx and particulate emissions. No technology advances are essential for these. CO2 would be the most difficult pollutant to control.

Nuclear is clean and the technology established. It can be safe. All resistance to the idea is political and sociological in nature.

Renewables have a role, but I believe a supporting one. Hydroelectric is at maximum capability in this country already. I'm impressed by the solar collector technology now deployed in the Mojave desert. This is already a commercial operation with plans to double output. The limitation here is the proximity of deserts to places where electrical demand is high. Photovoltaics I'm much less impressed with. Maybe material advances will change my mind. Wind can play a role. There are already many companies that have developed systems for extracting energy from tides. Renewables will play a supporting role, (up to 40%) of energy demand but I don't see much benefit to additional government research. As costs of traditional energy go up, these will become more profitable.

Fusion would be great, but we are too far away to throw huge money at it. Many advances in many areas are needed before it will come to fruition.

In summary, I think another $3B per year in government investment in energy would be beneficial (one billion each to hydrogen storage/fuel cells, basic materials research, and the best of everything else). After that, your return on investment will go to crap.

If we come to the realization that energy costs are going to be 150 to 200% of what they were in the 20th centrury, the scarcity goes away. Since the rest of the world will be paying the same for their energy, it is not a disadvantage.

I'm done.

Simplex3
04-22-2006, 12:16 PM
Here's an idea. Let's cut all the aforementioned govt programs, cut the taxes, and let the people have the money back. By and far the majority of inventions targeted at consumers are created by private industry. As evidenced by the X Prize, private industry does it better, faster, and cheaper than the govt. every single time.

'Hamas' Jenkins
04-22-2006, 12:21 PM
Military superiority in space is too important to let some other country get it. It's the ultimate high ground. I voted no.

Oh f*cking Christ. I want to make an SDI comment, but I'm going to STFU

cdcox
04-22-2006, 12:25 PM
Here's an idea. Let's cut all the aforementioned govt programs, cut the taxes, and let the people have the money back. By and far the majority of inventions targeted at consumers are created by private industry. As evidenced by the X Prize, private industry does it better, faster, and cheaper than the govt. every single time.

I agree that private industry does technology better than the government, but PI invests very little in the basic research that makes all of the technology possible. Furthermore, where do you think industry gets its advanced technical training? In graduate school, where they learn how to research on government funded projects. Private industry benefits tremendously from government funded universities and government funded research. Let each do what it is good at.

Bowser
04-22-2006, 12:31 PM
I've become quite the pessimistic conspiracy theorist whne it comes to questions like this. I fully believe that somewhere in a lab is some kind of slush-hydrogen fuelthat is waiting to be implemented in the world, but the lobbyists and gas barons won't allow it to happen.

Money makes the world go 'round, you know.

Simplex3
04-22-2006, 12:33 PM
I agree that private industry does technology better than the government, but PI invests very little in the basic research that makes all of the technology possible. Furthermore, where do you think industry gets its advanced technical training? In graduate school, where they learn how to research on government funded projects. Private industry benefits tremendously from government funded universities and government funded research. Let each do what it is good at.
If your assertion that these technologies are mostly mature is correct (and I believe it is) then isn't govt's role done?

Simplex3
04-22-2006, 12:35 PM
I've become quite the pessimistic conspiracy theorist whne it comes to questions like this. I fully believe that somewhere in a lab is some kind of slush-hydrogen fuelthat is waiting to be implemented in the world, but the lobbyists and gas barons won't allow it to happen.

Money makes the world go 'round, you know.
Think for one minute about how much money the first guy to market with this type of tech would make. Then imagine being the idiot who has it and isn't selling it. The first guy to market with this type of thing is going to make so much money the oil guys are going to be lined up, just like you are now, to bitch about it.

BucEyedPea
04-22-2006, 12:37 PM
The pressure is still not on automakers to develop something else. Why would they risk the money, when there is no real competition to force them to? As long as they know the large portion of vehicles on the market are gas, they won't feel any pressure to come up with something else.

Oh really?
New Hydrogen Cars (http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/040924/040924_h2r_hmed_7a.hmedium.jpg)
German luxury carmaker BMW unveiled the world's fastest hydrogen-powered car, dubbed the H2R, at the Paris auto show this week.

2007 Chevy Malibu Hybrid
2007 Toyota Sienna Hybrid Minivan

Currently these still rely on electricity and fossil fuels, but there has been promise shown this can be done without fossil fuels. Only I can't seem to find the original article again. Don't forget the fist internal combustion engines were primitive too. And other types of engines were tinkered with before that one.

Also:
Alterative Energy Markets Gaining Share (http://www.axcessnews.com/business_092004.shtml)

The gov't is actually following the auto industry's lead...not the other way around....the same way it's always been.

California Hydrogen Highway (http://www.bmwworld.com/hydrogen/schwarzenegger.htm)
Hydrogen Highway Map (http://www.hydrogenhighway.ca.gov/vision/hhmap.htm)

Why wouldn't government research lead anywhere?

The economic historical record is overwhelmingly clear: It is individuals not groups or committees ( Gov't is design by committee and they rarely get anything done.) that have been responsible for the major discoveries and breakthroughs that have improved our living conditions. Mavericks who will rise above a craving for agreement in order to get something done who are free from politics and the control that gov't money brings.

It's certainly attained miracles in regards to space exploration.

I disagree with this assumption. I wouldn't go that far by saying it's "attained miracles." Most of NASA's science discoveries have been second hand in nature and not major. They've relied on earlier major breakthroughs of private individuals and scientists and have implemented them in new ways.

What do we really lose if the next $50 billion we were planning on spending on space was instead spent on solving one of the nation's biggest problems?

Gov't does not solve scientific problems. It's job is to protect rights.
It is because of certain treaties by gov'ts that have barred entry into space markets that have prevented space exploration advancement. We'd be a lot further along in this area had this not happened. NASA/gov't science has had extraordinary waste and ineffieciency connected to it , which is typical of gov't enterprise. Since there is no market to discipline their expenditures by going out of business, they just tax the people more. Gov't researchers and scientists thus milk the system to remain employed and drag out the process. Economics 101.

Science needs to remain free and that requires staying in private hands.

It is exactly when prices get too high that invites competition for cheaper alternatives. Then others copy. This is how our standard of living improved and that includes a cleaner environment. Afterall, horses feces all over the streets whereby people got lock jaw wasn't exactly environmentally friendly compare to the automobile.

Science was in the hands of the state in the Soviet Union too....did it really improve their lives?

cdcox
04-22-2006, 12:40 PM
If your assertion that these technologies are mostly mature is correct (and I believe it is) then isn't govt's role done?

Not for the two areas I highlighted:

Fuel Cells/H2 storage

basic materials.

The $1B on "everything else" I would target toward high risk, big gain types of things that industry probably wouldn't attempt. This would serve two purposes: 1) you might get lucky on something completely new and 2) provide training for the next generation of energy scientists/technologists.

Bowser
04-22-2006, 12:40 PM
Think for one minute about how much money the first guy to market with this type of tech would make. Then imagine being the idiot who has it and isn't selling it. The first guy to market with this type of thing is going to make so much money the oil guys are going to be lined up, just like you are now, to bitch about it.

**** the oil guys. I'm saying the idiot with the technology isn't being allowed to sell it- not that he doesn't WANT to sell it. Power comes with money, especially shitloads of money.

Hopefully I'm just paranoid about things like this.

BucEyedPea
04-22-2006, 12:46 PM
Hopefully I'm just paranoid about things like this.

Emotional, yes....don't know about paranoid.

See above post....it's happening as we speak.

That big auto makers and oil companies can put stops on such is true but that argument is overplayed. Somes things are just too big to stop....look at what the PC did and all the mini-computer big guys said it would never happen, yet it did! And we all benefited from it. Even if such big energy and auto maker businesses bought out such people...they could still make a killing by selling the new technology too. So we all still win.

Don't forget Edison was funded for his experiments by a lot of Wall Street BIG guys!

Simplex3
04-22-2006, 12:47 PM
**** the oil guys. I'm saying the idiot with the technology isn't being allowed to sell it- not that he doesn't WANT to sell it. Power comes with money, especially shitloads of money.

Hopefully I'm just paranoid about things like this.
Who could keep him from selling it short of killing him? Surely he would have told SOMEONE that he was working on it and getting close if not there.

The beauty of free-market economies is the checks and balances. As much as it's in the interrest of the oil guy to supress it it's in the interrest of some media guy to find out about it and expose the oil guy.

Bowser
04-22-2006, 01:08 PM
An interesting read....

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060422/bs_nm/group_opec_dc_2

jspchief
04-22-2006, 01:23 PM
ROFL

Yeah, $3 gas is right up there with AIDS, cancer, terrorism, malnutrition, and lots of other problems as far as the body count goes. I saw thousands of people writhing in pain for days, weeks, or months before dying horrible deaths at the local Conoco station.I was thinking more along the lines of the health of the economy and being diplomatic hostage to those cocksuckers in the middle east. It's not as narrow as just wanting cheap gas. But don't let that keep you from being a wiseass.

Mr. Laz
04-22-2006, 01:32 PM
imo the government needs to "focus" anyway


pick a problem, solve a problem ......... move on


instead they flounder in the muck not doing anything at all.


seems to me that the scientists of NASA should be able to step right in a help find an alternative renewable fuel source.

Maybe if they do a good enough job they can use the fuel source to make more space flights at a much cheaper cost. :shrug:

ChiefFripp
04-22-2006, 01:36 PM
We need the space program to keep a millitary edge, but we could stop all the planned missions to mars and all of that for a few decades. Besides, wouldn't it be great if we stopped war, poverty and fed everyone on earth before we try to infest the rest of the galaxy. Just the hippie in me I suppose.

cdcox
04-22-2006, 01:43 PM
The economic historical record is overwhelmingly clear: It is individuals not groups or committees ( Gov't is design by committee and they rarely get anything done.) that have been responsible for the major discoveries and breakthroughs that have improved our living conditions. Mavericks who will rise above a craving for agreement in order to get something done who are free from politics and the control that gov't money brings.

I disagree with this assumption. I wouldn't go that far by saying it's "attained miracles." Most of NASA's science discoveries have been second hand in nature and not major. They've relied on earlier major breakthroughs of private individuals and scientists and have implemented them in new ways.

Gov't does not solve scientific problems. It's job is to protect rights.
It is because of certain treaties by gov'ts that have barred entry into space markets that have prevented space exploration advancement. We'd be a lot further along in this area had this not happened. NASA/gov't science has had extraordinary waste and ineffieciency connected to it , which is typical of gov't enterprise. Since there is no market to discipline their expenditures by going out of business, they just tax the people more. Gov't researchers and scientists thus milk the system to remain employed and drag out the process. Economics 101.

Science needs to remain free and that requires staying in private hands.

It is exactly when prices get too high that invites competition for cheaper alternatives. Then others copy. This is how our standard of living improved and that includes a cleaner environment. Afterall, horses feces all over the streets whereby people got lock jaw wasn't exactly environmentally friendly compare to the automobile.

Science was in the hands of the state in the Soviet Union too....did it really improve their lives?


You're very misinformed about the relative roles of industry and government in science.

How many Nobel prize winners were from private industry?

Name one privately funded science project on the scale of the Hubble Space Telecope or the Spallation Neutron Source.

Private industry is good at technology (finding applications for science) but they do very little real science, because the profits are too far away.

Simplex3
04-22-2006, 01:43 PM
We need the space program to keep a millitary edge, but we could stop all the planned missions to mars and all of that for a few decades. Besides, wouldn't it be great if we stopped war, poverty and fed everyone on earth before we try to infest the rest of the galaxy. Just the hippie in me I suppose.
The only way to stop war is to kill all animals. Kind of seems like killing everyone to stop a few from killing seems a little overboard, though.

BucEyedPea
04-22-2006, 01:48 PM
You're very misinformed about the relative roles of industry and government in science.

How many Nobel prize winners were from private industry?

Name one privately funded science project on the scale of the Hubble Space Telecope or the Spallation Neutron Source.

Private industry is good at technology (finding applications for science) but they do very little real science, because the profits are too far away.


Sorry but you're the one misinformed.
Nobel Prize aside...which is simply gov't connected elitist people making a decision.
Kinda like the "Academy" in the "Academy Awards" peers rubbing each other's backs...but not the market which would be the box office, where the real people have spoken and vote with their dollars or feet.


Who Should Pay for Science? (http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=229&sortorder=title)
State Science;State Truth (http://www.mises.org/story/362)
"Yet the Hubble itself represents a boondoggle. Launched in 1990, Hubble's main mirror had been polished to the wrong parameters and required expensive repair to render photographs significantly more useful than those obtained from Earth."

Name some private science that represented a major advance for man?
(1) Edison's light bulb,(he lit up a whole section of Manhattan too) discovery of motion picture science; brought music into our homes with the phonograph, storage battery, Edison profoundly affected modern technology and our lifestyles far more than the Hubble; Edison patented more than 1,000 discoveries. Edison's inventions were often in response to demand for new or improved products. etc. etc.

(2) Alexander Graham Bell's telephone
(3) Wright Brother's Air Flight...and many others here.
(4) Pasteur's discovery of penicillin...which was a lab accident btw!
(5) Radar, radio, satellite technology.....

(6) Ted Nelson used the term "hypertext" in 1965. His 1974 book "Dream Machines" spelled out the mechanics of hypertext, which became the basic building block of the World Wide Web.

Simplex3
04-22-2006, 01:50 PM
You're very misinformed about the relative roles of industry and government in science.

How many Nobel prize winners were from private industry?

Name one privately funded science project on the scale of the Hubble Space Telecope or the Spallation Neutron Source.

Private industry is good at technology (finding applications for science) but they do very little real science, because the profits are too far away.
Just a thought, but where does the govt. get the money they throw at these great big projects? Do they pull that from the magical money tree forrest or is that from tax dollars generated by private industry and individuals? Maybe private industry doesn't take on large projects like that because the oppressive tax code doesn't allow them and they know the govt will do it anyway.


:)

Mr. Laz
04-22-2006, 01:53 PM
btw - imo finding a alternative fuel source might be the quickest way to solve the problem of the middle east for the world.

it would make those countries virtually meaningless to the rest of the world and would eliminate the absurb financial influence they have on the rest of us.

they would be just a bunch of 3rd world tribes fighting each other, without enough cash to hurt anyone but themselves.

Simplex3
04-22-2006, 01:55 PM
btw - imo finding a alternative fuel source might be the quickest way to solve the problem of the middle east for the world.

it would make those countries virtually meaningless to the rest of the world and would eliminate the absurb financial influence they have on the rest of us.

they would be just a bunch of 3rd world tribes fighting each other, without enough cash to hurt anyone but themselves.
I've been saying that for years. You're a genius.

BucEyedPea
04-22-2006, 01:56 PM
Wow! Simplex you sound like a big free-market guy!
Welcome to the club! :)

ChiefFripp
04-22-2006, 02:06 PM
btw - imo finding a alternative fuel source might be the quickest way to solve the problem of the middle east for the world.

it would make those countries virtually meaningless to the rest of the world and would eliminate the absurb financial influence they have on the rest of us.

they would be just a bunch of 3rd world tribes fighting each other, without enough cash to hurt anyone but themselves.

The 5% of humans who don't waste their time with shopping, video games, rock videos, eating at Wendy's, television series and internet forums need to get on this right away!

Skip Towne
04-22-2006, 02:23 PM
Sorry but you're the one misinformed.
Nobel Prize aside...which is simply gov't connected elitist people making a decision.
Kinda like the "Academy" in the "Academy Awards" peers rubbing each other's backs...but not the market which would be the box office, where the real people have spoken and vote with their dollars or feet.
BucEyedPea4me, didn't you read the Planet user agreement? You are not allowed to have an opinion until you have 1000 posts.

Logical
04-22-2006, 02:29 PM
Just a thought, but where does the govt. get the money they throw at these great big projects? Do they pull that from the magical money tree forrest or is that from tax dollars generated by private industry and individuals? Maybe private industry doesn't take on large projects like that because the oppressive tax code doesn't allow them and they know the govt will do it anyway.


:)

I used to believe that, but as time and cynicism grew I realized they would not reinvest the windfall they would just pocket it. There would be a few exceptions but I believe far in excess of 95% would never use it to improve our technology. Now the government could use a carrot/stick approach where research on oil independence could be used as a tax credit against the industries tax burden and that would probably work.

Logical
04-22-2006, 02:31 PM
As far as the space program if we would just eliminate the wasteful manned space missions we could still do unmanned space exploration and divert a majority of NASAs funding to oil independence research.

BucEyedPea
04-22-2006, 02:34 PM
BucEyedPea4me, didn't you read the Planet user agreement? You are not allowed to have an opinion until you have 1000 posts.
I'm in luv! :)

Nevah saw that p'nut!

Rain Man
04-22-2006, 03:20 PM
Instead of stopping the space program, how about we do this instead?

Any time a new project comes along that will require a large infusion of federal dollars into a local area, all Senators and Congressmen will know that the locale will be selected by random chance among all communities in America. If Senator Kennedy wants to build a Museum of Underwater Rescue, or if Condit wants to build a Museum of Criminology, then they can't propose that it be built in their own community. The community will be selected only AFTER the vote, which means that 90 percent of that money will be saved and can be put toward energy research.

banyon
04-22-2006, 05:13 PM
Instead of stopping the space program, how about we do this instead?

Any time a new project comes along that will require a large infusion of federal dollars into a local area, all Senators and Congressmen will know that the locale will be selected by random chance among all communities in America. If Senator Kennedy wants to build a Museum of Underwater Rescue, or if Condit wants to build a Museum of Criminology, then they can't propose that it be built in their own community. The community will be selected only AFTER the vote, which means that 90 percent of that money will be saved and can be put toward energy research.

The lottery ping pong balls would likely be as "random" as the NBA draft.

Nice idea though.

Demonpenz
04-22-2006, 05:28 PM
maybe gwb will find wmd's

Simplex3
04-22-2006, 06:23 PM
Wow! Simplex you sound like a big free-market guy!
Welcome to the club! :)
I've been voting Libertarian or other independent for over 15 years.

cdcox
04-22-2006, 09:08 PM
Sorry but you're the one misinformed.
Nobel Prize aside...which is simply gov't connected elitist people making a decision.
Kinda like the "Academy" in the "Academy Awards" peers rubbing each other's backs...but not the market which would be the box office, where the real people have spoken and vote with their dollars or feet.


Who Should Pay for Science? (http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=229&sortorder=title)
State Science;State Truth (http://www.mises.org/story/362)
"Yet the Hubble itself represents a boondoggle. Launched in 1990, Hubble's main mirror had been polished to the wrong parameters and required expensive repair to render photographs significantly more useful than those obtained from Earth."

Name some private science that represented a major advance for man?
(1) Edison's light bulb,(he lit up a whole section of Manhattan too) discovery of motion picture science; brought music into our homes with the phonograph, storage battery, Edison profoundly affected modern technology and our lifestyles far more than the Hubble; Edison patented more than 1,000 discoveries. Edison's inventions were often in response to demand for new or improved products. etc. etc.

(2) Alexander Graham Bell's telephone
(3) Wright Brother's Air Flight...and many others here.
(4) Pasteur's discovery of penicillin...which was a lab accident btw!
(5) Radar, radio, satellite technology.....

(6) Ted Nelson used the term "hypertext" in 1965. His 1974 book "Dream Machines" spelled out the mechanics of hypertext, which became the basic building block of the World Wide Web.


ROFL ROFL ROFL

You might want to check the facts before repeating things from whatever propaganda source you are getting them.

Pasteur was an acadamician, and not affiliated in any way with industry. Radar as a method of detecting aircraft was invented by Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt he worked in the the British Meteorological Office and the British National Physical Laboratory (both governement funded) when he made the advances in using radio waves for detecting storms and aircraft. The internet came out of ARPANET, which is about as goverment related as you can get. So from your 6 examples of industry research, it turns out that 3 of them were government funded.

The three remaining examples on your list are over 70 years old. Each of them was at the science/application boudary. They were trying to invent something rather than make a discovery. I agree completely that inventing devices for every day use is best done by industry rather than govenment funded scientists. But these practical technological applications were built on the previous work of scientists.

As for the Nobel prize being a bunch of scientists patting each other on the back, tell me which of these Nobel prize winning advances you are willing to throw away. This is a short list only going back 20 or 30 years and includes contributions from both industry and government funded research.

Integrated circuits
Transistors
Primary cause of ulcers
The cause of the ozone hole
Superconductors
The electron microscope
The MRI
Genetic regulation of organ development
Functioning of the nervous system
Genetic control of embryo development
The genetic basis of antibody diversity
Understanding cholesterol metabolism
The CAT scan
Polymerase Chain Reaction

Hubble started out a disaster (people make mistakes) but in the end it delivered as promised.

Adept Havelock
04-23-2006, 11:11 AM
Instead of stopping the space program, how about we do this instead?

Any time a new project comes along that will require a large infusion of federal dollars into a local area, all Senators and Congressmen will know that the locale will be selected by random chance among all communities in America. If Senator Kennedy wants to build a Museum of Underwater Rescue, or if Condit wants to build a Museum of Criminology, then they can't propose that it be built in their own community. The community will be selected only AFTER the vote, which means that 90 percent of that money will be saved and can be put toward energy research.


More than a bit optimistic, but I really like the idea!

As for the mothball NASA for a few years suggestion, I like it to a certain point. We need to keep the sat. launch bit going (or revive the private Phoenix SSTO system that was tested a ways back). Stop the shuttle, put some of that money into developing the new RSV to replace it, and use most of what's saved in Alternate Energy research.

As for using the NASA brain trust, I'm sure some of the scientists are in applicable fields for this research. I'd really like to see some serious effort thrown into "zero-point" energy research. From what little I've read and comprehended of it, it looks like a promising field (at least to this layman).

Simplex3
04-23-2006, 11:22 AM
I'd really like to see some serious effort thrown into "zero-point" energy research. From what little I've read and comprehended of it, it looks like a promising field (at least to this layman).
No offense, but I'll bet what you're read was written by guys trying to get govt. funding for their work. I'm sure it sounded great.

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 11:49 AM
Pasteur was an acadamician, and not affiliated in any way with industry.

Didn't mean to imply he was tied to industry.
You do also know that universities are funded by altruistic private individuals right? Especially before the big gov't model of funding research with forcible extraction of other people's private property (income).

The internet came out of ARPANET, which is about as goverment related as you can get.

I knew someone would bring up ARPANET. I already know about that. But there is a lot more to this. As with many scientific discoveries, there are usually multiple individuals involved in the same research even around the same time. Often there are complaints as to who disovered what first. This is even true of some of Isaac Newton's discoveries.It's true of Gutenberg's printing press, the Chinese beat him to it.

The technologies developed at ARPANET were also going on outside of it. I remember researching this in detail. I just can't all specific details off the top of my head. But it doesn't all go as claimed for credit. So to say this technology would have never developed without gov't funding or the with the gov't does not hold.There was other technology brought in discovered earlier and simultaenously by others. I was gonna happen no matter what.

So from your 6 examples of industry research, it turns out that 3 of them were government funded.
See above.

But these practical technological applications were built on the previous work of scientists.
Precisely my point.
True also of the Manhattan Project. You know that Leo Szilard (discovered atomic fission before Germans and gave to Brits in secret to safeguard) and Einstein wrote FDR as private individuals residing in US during the War about atomic fission and the Germans but FDR was didn't heed their pleas and was uninterested until they persisted?

As for the Nobel prize being a bunch of scientists patting each other on the back, tell me which of these Nobel prize winning advances you are willing to throw away. This is a short list only going back 20 or 30 years and includes contributions from both industry and government funded research.

Integrated circuits
Transistors
Primary cause of ulcers
The cause of the ozone hole
Superconductors
The electron microscope
The MRI
Genetic regulation of organ development
Functioning of the nervous system
Genetic control of embryo development
The genetic basis of antibody diversity
Understanding cholesterol metabolism
The CAT scan
Polymerase Chain Reaction

I am not saying all their recognitions are bad...but there are many more that go just as unrecognized that have benefitted our lives in major ways. So it is a peer thing to large degree.

Also the "cause of the ozone hole" is disputed by many other scientists.

In fact even in Einstein times his Theory of Relativity was criticized and still is today by some. It is an arbitrary. So just because something gets "official" recognition while others do not...is NOT always a valid basis for support. There is such a thing as politics and cultural lag that enter in. Dr Semmelweis was vilified by the medical establishment for claiming that not washing hands was leading to child-bed fever and infant mortality. Now it is widely accepted. How many lives did he save with that? It was officially believed that the Earth was once flat...but even ancients before then knew it wasn't.

Hubble started out a disaster (people make mistakes) but in the end it delivered as promised.

At a hundred times the cost and waste as the private sector which would have gone out of business. That's part of why it's called a "boondoggle."

Adept Havelock
04-23-2006, 11:55 AM
No offense, but I'll bet what you're read was written by guys trying to get govt. funding for their work. I'm sure it sounded great.

Not great. Just interesting. The articles weren't what I'd consider a "this is the next huge thing" approach, just presented as one of several interesting possibilities worthy of some further research. If I can find them, and your interested, I'll pass them on.

FWIW, I find your skepticism quite understandable. I've certainly seen a lot of junk science bandied about in a fishing attempt to get funding.

cdcox
04-23-2006, 12:01 PM
Didn't mean to imply he was tied to industry.
You do also know that universities are funded by altruistic private individuals right? Especially before the big gov't model of funding research with forcible extraction of other people's private property (income).



I knew someone would bring up ARPANET. I already know about that. But there is a lot more to this. As with many scientific discoveries, there are usually multiple individuals involved in the same research even around the same time. Often there are complaints as to who disovered what first. This is even true of some of Isaac Newton's discoveries.It's true of Gutenberg's printing press, the Chinese beat him to it.

The technologies developed at ARPANET were also going on outside of it. I remember researching this in detail. I just can't all specific details off the top of my head. But it doesn't all go as claimed for credit. So to say this technology would have never developed without gov't funding or the with the gov't does not hold.There was other technology brought in discovered earlier and simultaenously by others. I was gonna happen no matter what.


See above.


Precisely my point.
True also of the Manhattan Project. You know that Leo Szilard (discovered atomic fission before Germans and gave to Brits in secret to safeguard) and Einstein wrote FDR as private individuals residing in US during the War about atomic fission and the Germans but FDR was didn't heed their pleas and was uninterested until they persisted?



I am not saying all their recognitions are bad...but there are many more that go just as unrecognized that have benefitted our lives in major ways. So it is a peer thing to large degree.

Also the "cause of the ozone hole" is disputed by many other scientists.

In fact even in Einstein times his Theory of Relativity was criticized and still is today by some. It is an arbitrary. So just because something gets "official" recognition while others do not...is NOT always a valid basis for support. There is such a thing as politics and cultural lag that enter in. Dr Semmelweis was vilified by the medical establishment for claiming that not washing hands was leading to child-bed fever and infant mortality. Now it is widely accepted. How many lives did he save with that? It was officially believed that the Earth was once flat...but even ancients before then knew it wasn't.



At a hundred times the cost and waste as the private sector which would have gone out of business. That's part of why it's called a "boondoggle."

Why didn't you tell me you belonged to the tin foil hat club. We could have saved us both a lot of time.

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 12:04 PM
Why didn't you tell me you belonged to the tin foil hat club. We could have saved us both a lot of time.

Wow what a non-sequiter response!
No conspiracy or ufo's stated here.

Guess you can't come up with a reasonable response...that's what usually prompts ad hominem, a sign of intellectual bankruptcy. You must be a left-winger?

cdcox
04-23-2006, 12:18 PM
Wow what a non-squiter response!
No conspiracy or ufo's stated here.

Guess you can't come up with a reasonable response...that's what usually prompts ad hominem, a sign of intellectual bankruptcy. You must be a left-winger?

I can't come up with a reasonable response? This from someone who claims that out there somewhere there is a alternate history of the internet that shows the huge role that Corprate America had in its creation. Provide a link and then we'll talk. This from someone who claims that out there somewhere there are scientists that dispute that the ozone hole is caused by chlorofluorocarbons. Provide a name so I can look up their refereed publications in scientific journals on the subject of the ozone hole. Then we'll talk. This from someone who claims that industry could launch Hubble for $15M and maintain it (including all the data analysis) for $2M a year (1% of the governments' cost). Retract that stupidity, then we'll talk.

The problem is that you are not providing any evidence to support your opinions. You are constructing a ghost without facts and expecting me to respond. Sorry I won't play your game.

I voted for Bush twice, so sorry I don't fit into you little model of the world where everyone who disagrees with you must be an evil liberal.

Bwana
04-23-2006, 12:22 PM
I don't have a problem with using the funds for an alternate fuel technology program, as long as they make one last flight to drop off tree hugging turd for brains Jenkins off at the mother ship before starting it. :D

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 12:39 PM
I voted for Bush twice, so sorry I don't fit into you little model of the world where everyone who disagrees with you must be an evil liberal.


No that explains it even more. Bush is NeoConservative, liberals with guns...and his administration closely resembles that of LBJ.
He's a socialist, big spending RHINO with more programs for the poor than Bill Clinton. NeoCons do have a debate style...name calling and smear.Ad hominem and abusive ad hominem.

This is why I didn't vote for Bush, the second time but went 3rd party instead.
Oh but I did volunteer as a counter in the Florida election debacle in 2000.

As to my making claims.....yeah...I am. Not unlike you though. I don't have time to get links for everything I say.But I know there out there because I had them before....and they are generally from libertarian economic sites.I just am not going to spend all day on this looking again. I can back it up though. But the Leo Szilard story is in his biography.

That being said your last post is more reasonable.

cdcox
04-23-2006, 12:52 PM
Not unlike you though.


No, I'm completely unlike you. I don't make arguements without being able to back them. I'm not so arrogant as to think that I am always right, but I won't make a statement I'm not willing to back with facts or retract as wrong.

A history of the internet:

http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/brief.shtml#Origins

One of the leading scientists on the ozone hole talks about her work:

http://www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=INTERVIEWS_Susan_Solomon

Costs of the Hubble Program:

http://hubble.nasa.gov/overview/faq.php#cost

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 01:01 PM
At your request cdcox...
State Science State Truth; Mises Institute (http://www.mises.org/story/362)

....Yet, anyone who questions the subordination of science to politics is dismissed with the words, "Without government, the Internet would not exist."

It is true that the current system sprang from the government funded ARPANET, designed to allow certain scientists to share data via linked computers. It is not true that a similar phenomenon would not have occurred spontaneously in the free market. Connecting computers to share data was nothing new. And the private sector was already working out a detailed vision of an Internet.

For example, computer guru Ted Nelson used the term "hypertext" in 1965. His 1974 book "Dream Machines" spelled out the mechanics of hypertext, which became the basic building block of the World Wide Web.

What Nelson could not envision was the explosive popularity of the Internet. This phenomenon was made possible by a later and purely commercial invention: the microprocessor by Intel. The microprocessor reduced the entire control process of a computer to a single integrated chip. Computers became affordable to individuals. Of course, government has taken credit for a system that would have originated anyway and spontaneously through the private sector.

Indeed, since the market place would not have banned commercial content, as the government originally did, the system would have probably developed more quickly and at lower cost. Instead of "the many" or "the few" deciding the particulars of the Internet, "the one" would have chosen.

That is, the Internet would have sprung from the collective and uncoordinated choices of individuals who used their own time and money to support the choices most useful to them. It would have evolved from far-seeing visionaries, like Nelson, who were disadvantaged by having to compete with government-funded entities....


That's the idea in Bastiat's "Seen Versus the Unseen"

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 01:05 PM
No, I'm completely unlike you. I don't make arguements without being able to back them.

Actually I usually do back myself up most of the time, but most people do not bother to read links, some don't even like them on some MB's and I do not always have the time to quote a bibliography to everything I say.

As for having to back myself up I did provide some back up. You just wanted it from what you consider a legit source.

I can have any opinion I want and I don't have to back it up with anything in a free country. This isn't school.

I do know the history of the internet I read it before and was engaged in a debate where I linked it backed up everthing I said. And even then it was still refuted...it's not an end all. That being said....I wouldn't put a lot of credence of NASA's facts, since they have a record of underestimating things at first and there is no comparable data as to what the private sector could do it for.

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 01:18 PM
Who should pay for science? (http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=229&sortorder=title)

(1)Much highly touted federally funded research is actually of dubious scientific value. For $25 billion the Apollo Program discovered that the Moon is made of rock, which everyone knew already. Incredibly, the Hubble Telescope, admittedly a remarkable instrument, has been placed in low Earth orbit and will burn up in the atmosphere in a few years. :hmmm: LOL!

(2) It is often said that basic research has become relatively expensive. So it has, for the simple but momentous reason that most of what can be learned by observing the world under normal conditions has been learned already. Galileo determined the laws of motion by rolling balls down a few home-made ramps. :hmmm:

(3) Everything done by the manned Space Shuttle could be done far more cheaply by robots. When the Shuttle ferried astronauts to repair the Hubble, a scientist associated with the former Soviet Union's own moribund shuttle program observed that the rescue mission cost more than a new Space Telescope would have.

.Bear in mind that, while some socialized science is worthwhile--weather satellites, for example--private industry, not the government, manufactures the satellites and the launch vehicles. Agencies like the National Bureau of Standards that run their own facilities buy their equipment from these contractors. (Dupont, not "the Manhattan Project," built the plant that made the plutonium for the atom bomb; had it had the will and the money, it could have built the plant on its own.)

The system of weather and communication satellites, if profitable, would certainly be self-supporting once privatized.

wazu
04-23-2006, 01:32 PM
I'd like to see this problem solved by the private sector. I actually am loving the rising price of gas right now. The market has to feel the pain to actually get moving on eliminating our dependence on foreign oil, and I generally don't like putting a problem in the hands of the government.

As gas prices increase the demand for more efficient vehicles will rise, and auto makers will rush to meet that demand. I have more faith in the efficiency of the simple laws of economics than I do in the blind, wasteful spending of tax dollars.

cdcox
04-23-2006, 01:38 PM
So, summarizing:

Private industry had the basis of the idea in the '60s but did not act on it because the Intel processor had not come along.

Then the PC equiped with an Intel processor came along in 1980. Then industry did what? Oh, I'm sorry the dominance of the APRANET (a household word in 1980) cointinued to choke down industry efforts for another 10-15 years. Its a miricle the internet was even born, seeing how the government was invovled. ROFL Please.

Lets look at this more reasonabley. ARPANET was oringinally a defense project to connect military related computers. An avowed libertarian like yourself should surely agree that the defense of our nation is a legitimate role of government. Isn't it reasonable for the DOD to desire to have their computers have the ability to communicate?

Turns out that this had lots of neat uses for industry and everyday people as well. In order for it to come to full furition we needed PCs manufactured by industry and some visionary private individuals to make the first browsers. All three things had to come together at once: the network, inexpensive and powerful PCs and the vision of what it could become. Both the networks and the PCs were in place for more than 10 years before it really took off, largely due to lack of vision. That was the missing ingredient. Once the internet took off, the existing goverment network was easily accomodated. It was no impediment what so ever.

The government built something that would not come to full furition for more than 20 years. But its existance allowed experimentation, fueled the imagination, and paved the way for what the internet is today. In the mean time is served its initial purpose--to connect military computers. The pharmacutical industry is the only one I can think of that has the competitve environment that allows it to invest in such long term projects.

Give credit where credit is due. Recognize that government funded science has greatly benefited companies, our nation, and the world. Recognize that the competitive market environments don't allow most companies to invest in long term, basic science that may not have an immediate application to the marketplace. Recognzie that companies see the value in this basic research by making huge gifts to universities where much of the research is done.

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 01:41 PM
I'd like to see this problem solved by the private sector. I actually am loving the rising price of gas right now. The market has to feel the pain to actually get moving on eliminating our dependence on foreign oil, and I generally don't like putting a problem in the hands of the government.

As gas prices increase the demand for more efficient vehicles will rise, and auto makers will rush to meet that demand. I have more faith in the efficiency of the simple laws of economics than I do in the blind, wasteful spending of tax dollars.


BRAVO!!! :clap:

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 01:42 PM
So, summarizing:

Private industry had the basis of the idea in the '60s but did not act on it because the Intel processor had not come along.

That's not what that said. You're over simplifying. Read it again.
The gov't barred commercial entry into the area don't forget.How is it possible to do something then when being prevented? BTW they have done the same with space exploration...barred entry. That's EXACTLY what prevents competing interests from developing the same technology.

Give credit where credit is due.

I have. There is some credit granted to gov't in the above just not the mystique that's granted to it upon closer inspection. It's just hugely overrated and part based on unexamined fallacies. Just look at the delays and ballooning costs of the Human Genome project. LOL!

I'm all for private individuals giving to universities though. That's fine with me.
I teach at one. You and I agree there. In fact this is a good place to end on that agreement. :)

No hard feelings...I enjoyed talkin' with ya.' K?

cdcox
04-23-2006, 01:49 PM
(2) It is often said that basic research has become relatively expensive. So it has, for the simple but momentous reason that most of what can be learned by observing the world under normal conditions has been learned already. Galileo determined the laws of motion by rolling balls down a few home-made ramps. :hmmm:


Are you against learning anything about how genes function? Are you against learning how industry created pollutants move in groundwater? Are you against developing miracle materials that can replace human skin? Are you against building computers that are 100x faster than today's supercomputers? Cause you sure as heck aren't going to get any of these things by rolling a balls down homemade ramps.

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 01:51 PM
Are you against developing miracle materials that can replace human skin?

Bu..but, but Jeffrey Dahmer was doing the same thing. :harumph:

Demonpenz
04-23-2006, 01:58 PM
i just want something good to happen. This crazy gas is out of control. I can barely put food on the table.

Rain Man
04-23-2006, 02:05 PM
Are you against learning anything about how genes function? Are you against learning how industry created pollutants move in groundwater? Are you against developing miracle materials that can replace human skin? Are you against building computers that are 100x faster than today's supercomputers? Cause you sure as heck aren't going to get any of these things by rolling a balls down homemade ramps.

Maybe you just aren't thinking outside the box enough...

cdcox
04-23-2006, 02:10 PM
Just look at the delays and ballooning costs of the Human Genome project. LOL!


The government-funded Human Genome Project was completed two years ahead of schedule.

Celera, the private company that started a parallel effort was in many ways more efficient in their sequencing efforts. However, they desired to hold patents on the sequences. Celera initally agreed to pool their data with the government project, but the agreement fell apart when Celera refused to deposit its data in the unrestricted public database Genbank. Celera had incorporated the public data into their genome, but forbade the public effort to use Celera data.

Do you think it is in the interest of the world to have a single corporation hold all of the intellectual property rights to the human genome? Isn't it much better for this information to be accessible and usable by all scientists and corporations? I see no benefit in having basic fundamental scientific knowledge such as this owned by one company.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_genome_project

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 03:01 PM
The government-funded Human Genome Project was completed two years ahead of schedule.

Not quite.

When it was gov't funded it merely mapped 4% of DNA at it's halfway point which was 1998. It proceeded at a snail's pace until then.

Just as your link says further on down,it was speeded up BECAUSE of private investment. Also advances in computer technology aided it which was private development assisting it.

Link (http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=65
)


Precisely because of the prospect of the commercial use of the research, biotech companies would not wait until the end of time for the National Institutes of Health to announce its results. And they didn't.


This spring, a consortium of scientists, completely separate from the government project, announced they could complete the gene mapping in a mere three years at an estimated cost of $200 million. And rather than demand tax funding, scientists at the non-profit Institute for Genomic Research said they would rely on funding from for-profit scientific-instrument maker Perkin-Elmer.

Celera, the private company that started a parallel effort was in many ways more efficient in their sequencing efforts. However, they desired to hold patents on the sequences.

Not just at a faster pace by Celera, but at a fraction of the cost than the gov't was doing it. I wonder why?

initally agreed to pool their data with the government project, but the agreement fell apart when Celera refused to deposit its data in the unrestricted public database Genbank. Celera had incorporated the public data into their genome, but forbade the public effort to use Celera data.

Do you think it is in the interest of the world to have a single corporation hold all of the intellectual property rights to the human genome? Isn't it much better for this information to be accessible and usable by all scientists and corporations? I see no benefit in having basic fundamental scientific knowledge such as this owned by one company.

Unless competition is allowed to also do this mapping and is not barred from entry.

I will give you this: I feel you have a point regarding patents as I would rather see some reform on this due to what it's done to pharmaceuticals...I don't know how it should be done though at this point.

However, I have trouble with your implication which is that government always uses such information with more prudence than private ones: Uh...hum...like nuclear technology frying foreigners when private industry uses it to provide electricity. Gov't on average is usually more destructive in it's use of science and technology. Look at the Nazi & Japanese WWII doctors did with humans for experiments. And gov't standards are just never up to the same standards set by private enterprise. Look at the Post Office and public education for daily examples.

BucEyedPea
04-23-2006, 03:55 PM
I'd like to see this problem solved by the private sector. I actually am loving the rising price of gas right now. The market has to feel the pain to actually get moving on eliminating our dependence on foreign oil, and I generally don't like putting a problem in the hands of the government.

As gas prices increase the demand for more efficient vehicles will rise, and auto makers will rush to meet that demand. I have more faith in the efficiency of the simple laws of economics than I do in the blind, wasteful spending of tax dollars.
Well you CAN blame the gov't for this one:

Some of Bush's environmental, allegedly beneficial legislation has distorted market supply and demand. The law of unintened consequences at work here. You can also call him up and tell him to stop the belligerent talk toward Iran and not strike them...let alone the fact Iraq's not producing much because our gov't invaded it and destroyed it's infrastructure.

You think it's bad now....? Just wait.