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comment by dingus
dingus  ·  1415 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Myth of Basic Science

The way the author tries to make technology out as an organism with a mind of its own, independent of humans, is silly. He's got it backwards. People drive invention, we direct it, we guess where it will go. It's only when you see things in a macro-scale that things tend to look almost organic, like almost every other chaotic process.

Additionally, the author is pretty much wrong. As others have pointed out, most world-changing innovations were first done in a lab, not in a workshop. The author tries to employ the argument that more public funding of research is worse for science. This is demonstrably untrue, even using his own examples. The Germans in the 30s and 40s had by far the most advanced military technology in the world, probably due to their heavy public funding of basic sciences. Sputnik might have been based off research done with philanthropic funds, but in the end it was public funds that put a man on the moon and got us pictures of Saturn. And finally, he claims that it's unlikely private funding of sciences would devolve into "cloning people's pets," except that this sort of genetic research seems to be exactly where corporate science is going.