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The "privatization" of science is already leading to the "destruction" of science.

The vast amounts of money made in various technological implementations of science: computers, bio-pharmaceuticals, etc., has given rise to a predatory capitalist group-think among scientists and technologists.  Partially due to the normal course of human competition - see the foo-foo over Who Invented The Calculus - and partially due to the current course of Science -> Technology -> Product -> "Money makes the world go around."  

I've been a part of, and observer of, this in computers.  Back in the 70s people would freely talk about their work and even explain ... in excruciating detail ;-) ... how it was done and why it was done.  Now I'm so NDA'ed I can't talk about anything remotely related to my work, as Mig can attest.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 03:39:43 PM EST
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Yup.

Also, as Science and Nature and the other print publications continue to move to online-only access, it gets harder and harder to read the refereed literature. Used to be you could walk into a public university library here in the U.S. and browse through piles of journals, but budget cuts combined with higher prices for the print versions has led to the shelves being empty. As a university student or staff member, you have an account and can get the articles, but otherwise it's pretty hard.

And the patent and copyright situation is completely ridiculous. The idea was to allow individual inventors to protect their ideas, but the effect of the current system is to make the barrier to entry into any technical industry extremely expensive. The first thing you have to do is buy reciprocal patent rights with the big players, since nobody can make anything these days without running into a patent.

Frankly, I hope this hacking leads to a bunch of lawsuits, because at this point the legal system is probably the best place to argue it. The scientific community has lost their position as an unquestionable elite, but the lawyers at least still have a grip on the legal system.

by asdf on Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 03:45:43 PM EST
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And the patent and copyright situation is completely ridiculous.

Nailed that one.

In the SO's field - genetics - the US Patent Office issued patents, back in the 70s, for basic molecular biology laboratory techniques.  

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 03:50:35 PM EST
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What I find amusing is the Ruling Class utterly depends on exponential growth to keep things moving along, in their view, while they steal the economic value of the production of the producing class lowering their purchasing power to nothing and they require a constant stream of new products from the R&D staffs which they prevent from blocking free and open information exchange.

We're getting to the point where we can't move because we're standing on our own hands.

It's nuts.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 03:59:47 PM EST
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Luckily, the lower classes will recognize this problem and vote for representatives who will fix it. Right?
by asdf on Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 04:02:52 PM EST
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Wrong, because information remains controlled, and without info, no one does nothing except lineup for Palin signatures.

But you were being sarcastic, so i agree.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 04:16:57 PM EST
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Yeah.  Change.  That's what's up!

Not.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 04:19:23 PM EST
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While women are certainly affected by this, I cannot help but believe this whole cultural FUBAR situation is primarily the result of male domination and testosterone run amok. Amusingly, it is not our hands that we are standing on, but another member. Perhaps by so doing from an early age, natural selection will come to the rescue of the species!  (A vain hope I know!)

The stupidity of trying to lock away everything for private profit of course originates in the ethos of our capitalist ideology. Everything must have a price and an owner and the value of everything must be discounted so as to be capable of finance and of an estimate of the present value of the resulting future income and all decisions must be made on the basis of optimizing the sacred "Return on Investment".  The stultifying effect this has on all aspects of our lives is the second greatest of all of the "internal contradictions" of which Marx did or could have spoken. The greatest, at present, IMHO, is the embedded need for exponential growth in a finite world.

While the problem of finite resources is, in theory, capable of at least partial resolution via a switch to renewable resources, resolving the problems inherent in having a mono-valent culture seems to me more problematic. The attraction of Chris Cook's ideas regarding unit trusts for me, beside the effect of undermining the need for exponential growth, is that, intuitively, it seems that this approach would free up some cultural energy that could be applied to quality of life issues.

Were we to put the economy on a "fail-safe" auto-pilot mode in which booms and busts due to the effects of money created based on debt are obviated, the scope for world domination through monetary manipulation could be confined to areas on which our lives and the lives of our children do not depend. Perhaps the energies of those with hyper-competitive tendencies and the need to manipulate and dominate others could be channeled, before they reproduce, into lethal blood sports. A few centuries of such a regime might result in a species that would actually be deserving of being called a "social species."

[Jonathan Swift has just ceased channeling through ARGeezer.]  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 10:35:19 PM EST
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