[ExI] Against government science funding was Re: New Hope for Alzheimer's Disease Vaccine

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Sun Apr 13 14:44:51 UTC 2008

Stathis wrote:
A lot of government research spending has been into war-making
techniques, especially in the US and the Soviet Union. That's bad, but
it doesn't negate the fact that most of the outstanding scientific
discoveries of the past century have been funded by government,
usually directly but even if you take into account outstanding private
institutions such as Bell Labs, at least indirectly through the public
education system.

I think that while war is a very ugly thing, scientific spinoffs from
military research have been hugely beneficial to society in general.  It's
sort of a sad irony attached to the human condition.  But finding new and
better ways to kill (or defend from being killed/conquered/bullied, human
distrust of the other is a giant component to this) is a much larger
priority than discovering better ways to heal and extend life.  I keep on
wistfully pondering how just a tiny miniscule fraction of the funds spent on
the U.S. war in the Middle East could pay for Aubrey de Grey's entire
longterm anti-aging research project.

he continues:
As for propaganda and the space program, so what? It's a tragedy that
the propaganda appeal of manned space flight wore off after the first
few moon landings. Do you see private entrepreneurs stepping in with a
few trillion to colonise Mars or the asteroids?

We are not at that step yet, but will be in time.  Please remember, many say
the moonlanding was a couple decades ahead of schedule from what it probably
would have been without a cold war competition spurring the United States to
action.  I see hope for manned space flight between Richard Branson, Robert
Bigelow, Burt Rutan, etc., in the private sector and Nasa's next generation
launch vehicles like the "Ares" being prepared to replace the aging space
shuttle fleet.

Frankly, I'm very excited about the new generation of spacecraft being
readied by Nasa.  I had expected a "futuristic" version of the old shuttle
to be the heir apparent, but instead a "retro/tried and true" approach was

Ares I, Crew Launch Vehicle


Ares V, Cargo Launch Vehicle


John Grigg  : )
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20080413/7c983d6f/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list