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July 15, 2008

U.S. should fund ‘green’ science

The July issue of Vanity Fair magazine has an article about the birth of what we today know as the Internet, including the very basic evolvement of the digital age.

What is notable about the early stages of this development is the huge investment made by the federal government. Without the millions of early dollars in support of the most basic research, the rapid and widespread advance of the incipient technology would possibly not have occurred.

The funding of this basic science made it possible for the U.S. to lead the rest of the world and to become the dominant force in the burst of technology.

One has to wonder if the same creativity and progress would not occur if the federal government would fund the so-far widely spread out efforts at the very basic level in the field of alternative energy and other “green” science.

Until there is a concerted effort, with the money it will take to make significant strides in this most crucial technology, the U.S. is wasting time and effort.

Steve Sherry
Kansas City

Comments

Casady

"Ooh, no, would love to agree, but Vanity Fair is a for-profit general-interest publication. What they print a) has to sell copies and b) by definition be vetted by a non-specialist"

True but it does not take a specialist to write an article telling us the initial internet backbone (ie. ARPAnet) was actually a mix of dedicate long haul facilities built by, I believe it was Sprint, MCI and GTE

Pub 17

big dreamer
Ooh, no, would love to agree, but Vanity Fair is a for-profit general-interest publication. What they print a) has to sell copies and b) by definition be vetted by a non-specialist. So if I read the article in Vanity Fair, to decide if it's right or wrong I have to rely on my own knowledge exclusively.
OK, then why do I need Vanity Fair?

big dreamer

Well Pub and others, Casady has it right. The internet in its original manifestation was an intranet for dept. of defense use only built and maintained under a big fat government contract by the private sector. Further, perhaps before you criticize a source you should really check into the accuracy of the article. Vanity Fair may not be Scientific America but that does not mean the information is bad or wrong.

Casady

Basic research can be accomplished just as easily in the private sector. Yes, the original internet backbone was owned by the federal government, as a vehicle to transfer DOD data. But who actually built it? Take a guess (hint: it was not a federal agency)

Rogue

should be "mark" (fingers are slower than brain again)

Rogue

Yes, mare it down Pube, it is unlikely to ever happen again.

Pub 17

Uh...Uh...Steve...
Why are you looking to Vanity Fair for information on scientific advance?

Rogue, are we going to agree for once?

 
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