[ExI] Private and government R&D

Mirco Romanato painlord2k at libero.it
Wed Jul 1 16:33:21 UTC 2009

Stathis Papaioannou ha scritto:
> 2009/7/1 Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it>:

>> Stathis could tell us how privately funded project are always short
>>  term minded. Not only, he could tell us how many public funded 
>> project become self-supporting like the Sagrada Familia (they fund 
>> the building with the tickets of the visitors).

> Does the Sagrada Familia make a profit and is it as great as the 
> profit that could be obtained by putting the money in a low risk 
> interest-bearing deposit?

I suppose not, as they use the money to fund the build of the Cathedral
itself. When the Cathedral will be completed, maybe.
But I don't think they will share the profit with the investors.
As a Roman Catholic Church I suppose they will use the funds for the
Church and for charities.
No investor will recoup his money in this.

>> Since it was built as an expiatory church, the financing of La 
>> Sagrada Família is totally private.
>> The disinterested donations and the revenue from the donative 
>> admission charge paid by two and a half million visitors every year
>>  are what make the building possible.
>> The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is managed by an 
>> ecclesiastical foundation, whose purpose is to administer the 
>> budgets and carry out the building project for a church dedicated 
>> to the Holy Family, faithfully following the initial guidelines of 
>> Antoni Gaudí.
>> The Construction Board of La Sagrada Família Foundation was created
>>  as an independent private canonical foundation on 20 July 1895 by 
>> the bishop of Barcelona at the time, Jaume Català.
>> From its beginnings as a foundation, and in accordance with the 
>> wishes of the descendants of the founder Josep M. Bocabella, the ex
>>  officio chairman is the archbishop of Barcelona.
>> The direction and coordination of the church building plan, the 
>> management of the funds and the actions of the Foundation are 
>> delegated to a person from outside the ecclesiastical sphere who 
>> works with the members of the Construction Board.
>> The delegate chairman and the members of the board all work 
>> disinterestedly.
>> WHAT IT MANAGES The Construction Board of La Sagrada Família 
>> Foundation is in charge of managing the funds and setting the pace 
>> and planning the building of the church. Since 1992 it has also 
>> managed the Gaudí House-Museum in Parc Güell, the house where he 
>> lived from 1906 to 1926.

> An investor in general would not invest in a company that won't make 
> a profit for decades, or ever.

Investors, for definition, finance only thing that will produce a profit
for them (or they hope so).
But talking about investors when we are talking about private
funding/financing of research is to dismiss with a wave of the hand all
private financiers that act for a not for profit motive.
You simply wish them don't exist.
But they exist, are plenty and are skilled.

> This isn't a controversial statement,

It is only convenient and unrelated with the question at hand.
It is useful to you as you re-frame constantly the terms of the discussion.

> it's just the way business works. Sometimes there are enthusiasts and
> private (as opposed to listed) companies who aren't answerable to 
> shareholders and don't care about maximising profit, but that goes 
> against the central principle of capitalist enterprise.

You could believe it , but it is not so.
The root of capitalistic enterprise was born inside the monks
communities. They elected their leaders and they mange the capitals
(terrains, building, wealth) for their communities. Having no heirs let
them to concentrate on the rational management and preserve the capital
from dissipation from unfit heirs. Monasteries grow larger and employed
large parts of the population. They started to produce in excess of
their consumption and sold the product to other monasteries and in
public markets.

>>> Don't confuse your desire to pretend you are good with actually 
>>> being good.
>> I think he confuse his desire to feel good about himself with 
>> actually being good.

> I'm a consequentialist: I only care about ultimate good effects, and
> when peoples' desire to "be good" doesn't lead to good effects, it's
> at best irrelevant and at worst dangerous.

Unfortunately, there is not "ultimate good effects".
There is not end after they live always happy and well.
The means you use to obtain your ends will follow you.
Whatever you do or are willing to condone will be used against you in
the future.

People caring only for the "ultimate good effect" have killed, maimed,
destroyed and enslaved multitudes. At the end of the day, the only
"ultimate good effect" they minded was they own good. It is a weak
excuse used by many weak persons to justify their weak actions.

People caring for the "ultimate good effect" destroy trust, deter
collaboration in the long run (and usually in the short run also). They
destroy the fabric of the society. They believe they are the ultimate
judge of others and their own actions. And, not strangely, they are
lenient with themselves and harsh with other.

Bin Laden, Pol Pot and others surely believed or believe that the
ultimate good effect is more important that the means used to obtain it.


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