Friday, March 10, 2006

It seems to me that science has become servant of the state over the last
35 years rather than a servant of a broad search for truth.

If you want evidence of the state domination of research, just tally up
where all the R&D money has come from and gone to for the last 35 years.

What should the state do differently about science? Maybe make up a list of
what society needs and give cash awards to the people/firms who make the
breakthroughs and make the technology public domain.
For example, rather than make grants, there should be standard cash awards
for efficiency breakthroughs. Save a million barrels of oil per year and
get a piece of the action for a few years, even if the researcher does not
participate in the market development. If there is doubt about who made the
breakthrough, split the award.

What should science do differently? Work on the millions of little problems
faced by society and the planet. I'd like see a fraction of the money spent
on high energy physics, space research and military research spent on:

1. Symbiosis/environmental systems research
2. Efficiency research
3. Pain avoidance research
4. Satiating pleasure research
5. Energy sources ( Much money is spent here already. )
6. Communications
7. Data storage
8. Micro
9. "Real" social research by "real" scientists.
10. "Real" education research by "real" scientists.
( For example, Xerox probably learned more from their research on
Smalltalk than 99% of the so called educational researchers. )