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Go to: The Dark-Matter Ages

Northampton's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Northampton

Comment 23 by djs56 :

trying to show the kind of immediate causal connection (we funded X million dollars that created Y new industries) that are required for these kinds of cost benefit analyses are difficult to come up with.

Maybe, but i also think that you can't just say funding "big science" creates new industries, there should be more quantative statements. One of the most repeated posts on this entire website must be "show me the evidence," I think that is all that governments are saying.

Just because you think it may be "hard" or "difficult" to show isn't going to be a good enough reason not to do it, and, clearly, teams of scientists are (starting) to do it.

I think we're talking about two different criteria here. There's a criteria of profitable science and the criteria of good science. By 'good science' I mean that which has the greatest chance to increase our understanding of nature. My fear with this new wave of business model science is that we will become Rome; a tremendous number of interesting pieces of consumable bric a brac but no contribution to understanding.

When asking for evidence one needs to specify evidence for worthwhile scientific endeavors as well as the trivial consideration that some fool will pay you a few shekels for it.

Wed, 20 Jun 2012 22:20:10 UTC | #947928

Go to: The Dark-Matter Ages

Northampton's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Northampton

Comment 18 by dgharmon :

Why doesn't “dark matter” clump?

It does clump because dark matter interacts gravitationally and gravity is ultimately what makes things clump. It does not clump in the way normal matter clumps because dark matter is weakly interacting (two blobs of dark matter would pass right through each other). If two clouds of dust were to head toward each other due to gravitation they would collide and heat up. The conversion of their kinetic energy to heat would slow them down and we get a good clump. Because dark matter is more ghostlike it is less efficient at clumping but it clumps nonetheless.

Now I've said "clump" so much it sounds like a nonsense word.

Tue, 19 Jun 2012 13:56:35 UTC | #947846

Go to: The Dark-Matter Ages

Northampton's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Northampton

Stop voting for the same two parties if they keep letting you down. Seems ridiculous to complain the government is doing x & y, and then vote them in again.

I don't think it is that simple. The usual option to the two party candidates is an extremest or more likely a one trick idiot appealing to some sub group of idiots. When there are reasonable candidates I have voted for them. They don't win.

Even if they did, the thing that seems ridiculous to me that I can't complain about something so complicated as a human being running something so complicated as a country. I did not vote for someone because I agreed with every little thing they said or stood for. I voted for them because I agreed with more of what they said than the others. I don't see how this precludes my protest or complaint when the candidate I voted for does something I disagree with.

Sun, 17 Jun 2012 13:36:46 UTC | #947747

Go to: Belief In God Plummets Among Youth (CHART)

Northampton's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by Northampton

Comment 1 by The Truth, the light :

I still find 68% a pretty scary number, but at least it is on a downward trend.

I agree. The trend is encouraging but I still feel like I'm living in a big goddamn insane asylum.

Sat, 16 Jun 2012 14:49:59 UTC | #947706

Go to: The Dark-Matter Ages

Northampton's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Northampton

Random thoughts:

Comment 9 by epat :

We simply have to quit expecting the government to fund everything. That kind of thinking got us here in the first place. The private sector will have to assume more of the lead in funding these types of projects as governments continue to spend themselves into oblivion. Want to spend money on research? Start a business and use it as a funding mechanism. Join with like-minded entrepreneurs. Want to continue to be disapointed? Sit around and wait for government money. Does this sound stupid? Maybe...but neither taxing the hell out of "the rich" or starving the poor are likely to be enough. Besides, both are immoral.

Governments should fund what businesses will not, no? Why shouldn't government invest in its citizens?

Start a business to fund a space telescope? How do we make money? Launch it in a big Coke can? Is that worth over 9 billion dollars? How?

Comment 10 by Ornicar :

Sorry Mr. Krauss but who cares ? Research is important. Physics, darn important. But would next discoveries be made in Brasil, India or Angola doesn't matter for science.

You know, it's a tiny ball of rock in the middle of a huge, cold, hostile and expending universe. South Dakota or Vladivostok is all the same from a Big Bang point of view.

From a Big Bang point of view none of us matter. It is our point of view that should concern us. Our point of view is narrowed when countries, especially the big rich ones, shirk their responsibility to educate and inspire us.

Sat, 16 Jun 2012 04:25:05 UTC | #947660

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