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

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Apr 26 13:35:05 UTC 2008

On Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 4:01 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>
> I suppose we can't stop charity but do you really want to rely on it,
> and is it a success of the free market if you do rely on it?

### "Suppose we can't stop charity"? Man, we *are* so far apart. Charity is
the true expression of good intentions. It is sharing your own with others.
It is the noblest behavior. I am not charitable... but at least I do
recognize it to be the superior expression and proof of moral fiber. Of
course, if you have a few hundred million affluent people, some of them are
guaranteed to be willing to support basic science. It is the success of the
free human spirit if we rely on it.


> The main
> purpose of taxation is to pay for that which the taxpayers consider
> worthwhile but which the free market won't provide, or won't
> efficiently and fairly provide.

### But no, taxation is mainly just a way of transferring money from those
who earn it to those who have political power. Free trade can provide
everything that's worthwhile.


> Charity is fickle and degrading; when
> I'm given something I want it to be because I'm entitled to it.

### The way I see it, the only, only thing you are entitled to is freedom
from violence. You don't have any rights to anybody's time, money,
resources. You don't have the right to take anything from others against
their will. Even if there are 50 million of people like you, you still don't
have the right to take anything from me. Merely "wanting" doesn't entitle
you to anything.

> 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

### But it does! If there is an unavoidable downside to a course of action,
a cost that outweighs the benefit compared to the available alternatives,
then yes, that cost negates the benefit. You can't justify concentration
camps by the good anatomical research that was done there - it is all
negated by the slaughter. Government-funded research will be always
predominantly political, most likely militaristic, always wasteful.

> 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?

### So you feel you are *entitled* to take from other people their hard
earned money and having it literally burned on perfectly useless adventures
that benefit nobody? You would want to spend 5 trillion dollars of other
people's money to send a few useless fighter pilots to Mars? Why?

Space travel for humans is generally a bad idea. Humans are not made for
living in space, and there is nothing useful for us to do in space that
can't be much more efficiently done by robots. Once uploading technologies
are developed, we'll see an explosion of private space travel, without a
single stolen dime.

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