There is the theoretical side of science which is mostly publicly (or academically) funded. This is a lot of the stuff that makes you go "oh neat" but has little to no practical application in our lives.
Then there is the practical side of science, this is almost always privately funded through companies R&D teams, this is the stuff you use.
Until the theoretical side of science can really get the support of individuals, they're pretty much doomed to get cut first in any budget because their focus is almost exclusively on interesting, but not practical solutions.
Unfortunately either the hardware side or the software side was lacking.
See, there are some little things called Pell Grants, Scholarships and Student Loans, these make it so college is much less price sensitive. Mix this with 6 years of guidance councilors stressing the importance of college, a depressed job market where a college degree is a requirement for even the most basic of entry-level positions and you have a market that isn't very price sensitive.
Its not like a student applies for college and is hit by a $15K bill for their first year, loans and grants cover it and so they might only pay $1-2 thousand per year up front.
All the knowledge you'd gain from college can be found for free online. And there are a hell of a lot better and more rewarding experiences you can have with 4(+) years of time and $60K.
The only reason to go to college and spend their absurd fees is so that you can get a higher paying job (or more rewarding) out of college that is worth more than the $60K and 4+ years you spent at college.
Candidate Obama said that The Bush administration puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.
That is quite different than what President Obama is saying now.
This is very much like George Bush Sr.'s "Read my lips: no new taxes" line.
Nowhere did Candidate Bush nor President Bush vow to end illegal wiretapping. But Obama did.
Even from a geek's perspective I really see nothing better about Firefox OS than the OSes available today.
But this is progress and certainly enhances our quality of life, not detracts from it.
The same thing is true when I'm working on a project and realize that I ran out of some component (or I broke it!). It used to be that Radio Shack was really good at keeping just about any part I needed in stock, but anymore their electronics hobby section is much, much, smaller than their Cell Phones/PC section.
Happy people don't kill themselves.
I disagree. While undoubtedly the vast majority of suicides are due to severe depression and unhappy people, there are a number of other reasons why people commit suicide. For some, they want to go out with dignity. Others have a debilitating illness and want to be in their right mind when they die rather than die unable to even recognize their own children.
Now that doesn't mean that suicide is the answer or that I condone suicide or anything, merely that there are some people who commit suicide without being really unhappy.
Unfortunately, the more we find out about this type of stuff the less personal responsibility people seem to have.