Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Things I'd Rather Post...
In general I really don't like politics. I love science. But science is very largely funded by the government. There is no return on investment for the latest Mars lander that would entice a private launch. It can't happen. Same with particle physics, fundamental chemistry/biology and more. Yet that research is necessary to get to the technological breakthroughs that are important.
If you want to open a store be glad that the government built the roads and/or transit that gives [more] people [easier] access. If you operate an online marketing business be glad that multiple governments did all the hard work creating the internet. If you want to develop new technology be glad that the government funded all sorts of insane-sounding-at-the-time research projects that led to lasers, PTFE's, quantum entanglement,...
20 years ago science and facts were pretty universally accepted. Yes, there have always been anti-science people in the US (mostly religious but some cranks, pseudo-scientists, frauds, nuts), but politically they didn't have much of a voice (which is fitting, as they are not much of the public). Today the anti-science segment of society has a nearly equal share of the seats as the much much larger pro science segment: i.e. pretty much any Republican politician. This doesn't mean that all Republicans are anti-science, but that all Republican politicians at the federal level must enact anti-scientific policies and legislation in order to maintain their seats.
So we have Romney who maybe/probably is aware that global warming is real, a threat, and largely attributable to human behavior picking a running mate who is full on conspiracy theorist on the topic. The GOP debates included contests to see who could be the most anti-science (remember the evolution question?).
This is not sustainable. We deserve political contests where facts are not debatable. We deserve to vote for Obama or Romney based on policy differences where both sides' policies have reasonable, factual basis. What we have is a lying and insane right wing controlling the GOP and a set of weak, complacent Democrats who refuse to actually fight them (also too, in many cases, they just appropriate the right's formerly not so crazy positions).
So I post on politics. Because we need to have a sane and competent government to get the best out of society.