[ExI] Private and government R&D

Mirco Romanato painlord2k at libero.it
Fri Jul 3 01:23:47 UTC 2009

Dan ha scritto:
> --- On Thu, 7/2/09, Eschatoon Magic <eschatoon at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think the idea is not so much to shackle people with arbitrary
> rules as to rule out coercion.  I'm not sure about Mirco on Rothbard,
> but my view is there should be no coerced funding period. 

his is the same position of Rothbard.
He only wrote in his article that, back in the 1950, the best solution
between research done by government employees and research bough by the
government from privates the last is better.

In the same article he supported that the best way is to let the market
decide how much research and what research is most needed. Because the
resources used for research could be better used in different
enterprises (like producing paper sheets, pencils and erasers that
were/are fundamental for the research projects).

> It's not a
> matter of trusting the marketplace, but of allowing individuals to
> make their own decisions on how to use their resources.  This means,
> if you have a particular project that needs someone else's
> cooperation -- e.g., for funds or for anything else -- you have to
> persuade them peacefully to help you -- not just get someone stronger
> -- e.g., that biggest of all organized criminals in any society, the
> state -- to force them to help you.

> Don't you think that this sort of persuasion, in the long run, would
> go further toward developing the kind of future we want as opposed to
> the quick, "let's break as many eggs (or heads) as possible to make
> an omelette" approach?

IIRC, Hans Moravec wrote that research is like to buy a ticket at the
lottery (*) and he make the example of two scenarios:
1) They devote to the research of AI 100 millions of $ today for a team
of the best scientists with the best hardware available. Then they work
ten years.
2) They  wait 9 years, hire 10 teams with good scientists (not the best
ones) and give them the best hardware they can buy with 100 M/10 (this
is HW 9 year more modern than the HW used in the first scenario). Then,
in a year they obtain the same result doing the same work of the first

In the meantime, the 100 million could be used to turn out a profit in
some other enterprise or to finance some other short term, more urgent, R&D.

The problem with research is that is difficult to organize to find
something we don't know exactly where it it, what it is, and if really
it exist.


"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research,
would it?"
- Albert Einstein

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