Some of the professors/scientists I worked with before were great at doing this. Technically you are correct, but these people really knew how to come up with crazy narratives about how important the research is and how it can lead to advances in defense, generate more money, etc. (this was how I originally came to work with them, I fell for the marketing in my more idealistic days; when I couldn't work on what I thought I would because the push was more on doing some research that could be tied to the marketing, I ultimately left).
The unfortunate side of this legislation is that it will cause an opposite effect. The things that will get funding are the BS more-marketing-than-legit-research proposals made by people that don't have a unique thoughtful idea at all (just looking at getting grants and tenure), and the actual true research proposals where someone has a legitimate interest to study and cannot predict its ultimate value will get thrown in the gutter.
It's very sad, let's try not to let this happen. But I guess to do so, not only do you need to stop this type of legislation, but you need good people in general reading the proposals...
I have not tried to contribute to wikipedia yet (though I have thought about it, I have been unsure whether I want to try given the currently climate described), but it occurred to me: how does one become an editor?
I am wondering, if current editors are appointed and have permanent control and this is causing problems, what if Wikipedia switched to something akin to slashdot's moderation (and metamoderation) tool? Let random people vote on if they think the change was warranted. They don't need to be experts on the topic, just answer yes or no as to whether the change was significant and properly documented with references. If so, then vote ok, and overrule the mods that may be blocking it. Is that not possible?
I am not from Oregon and maybe the laws differ, but in my state there is required yearly inspections where you get the little sticker on the windshield. I do not understand why one couldn't simply write down the mileage from the odometer once a year during your required state inspection, and that mileage is submitted to the state as the amount to tax you on? (You of course would get a copy of the form for your own records). Why have a device that tracks anything at all when there is already an odometer that does exactly what they want, track mileage! Use the existing services - mandatory state inspection - and bam, done. No tracking, no extra expenses.
Of course, I am not sure why you would want to tax mileage in the first place. I'd rather raise the gas taxes, and if people driving big 4-wheel-drive jeeps 1 hr each way to work can't afford it, then maybe it will finally prompt some rethinking about what cars we buy and how we do this whole jobs and commute thing. I would like to see more telecommuting, etc, for example. (But I would guess there would instead be an uprising from anti-tax people that want their big jeep rather than simply thinking basic economics, so probably wouldn't happen like this anyway).
It's amazing how nobody in the media was talking about the problem of Gerrymandering 2007-2009...I wonder why?
Probably because 2010 was the last census, after which the districts were required to be re-drawn, so this is all recent history and therefore gets reported on. Because the Republicans had just swept into power after the 2010 elections, they were able to draw districts favorably for themselves. This doesn't mean Democrats wouldn't/haven't done it, just that the most recent use of gerrymandering has been just a couple years ago by Republicans.
Ultimately, I'm wondering if we can't push for an open source algorithm for computing districts based on population centers? This way, it cannot be political, it is open source and verifyable.
Non-essential just means the government and rule of law will not collapse today without them. (if you don't count collapse of congressional rule of law)
For example, the feds employ a lot of scientists and researchers. Most of them will probably be sent home today, and no one will notice.
In the near term, however, when our research that gives us better technologies, methods, etc. (remember, things like the internet that we are using right this minute were once government research projects!) has been inoperable and other nations pass us up technologically, we will come to regret putting "spending" ahead of everything else...
... it is an article that says if you try and make money you are bad...
The author I'm sure very well understands patents. I think your statement over-simplifies his argument though.
One of the conversations we as a society need to be having right now is regarding HOW people make money. Is it bad to try to make money? Absolutely not. Everyone needs to be able to at a minimum cover basic life needs, and those that work harder should definitely be able to reap what they sow and have extra goodies and a good retirement. I think that's fair.
The question is, are people making money by exploiting people? Are they knowingly taking advantage of people's ignorance, or taking advantage of laws and systems, to maintain their upper hand and avoid competing against others that very well might have better ideas and more drive, but cannot get a foothold to even start a business? Worst of all, are people suffering when they do not have to, if such a business model was not in the way of a better system? Patents make sure that anyone with a better idea (perhaps someone could come up with a way to make healthcare more affordable while still making money??) is not able to actually compete. What about the right of the entrepreneur to establish a new business? Why is everything always framed in the established businesses, rather than the people prevented from creating businesses (and jobs)?
IMHO, there is something sociopathic about one's business model being to make money on the suffering of others (particularly things like medical issues, which are often through no fault of one's own -- cannot choose your DNA, etc.). Simply saying "Well someone has to pay for it, and they have a right to make money" doesn't really correct the fact that someone is still capitalizing on someone's illness. Perhaps this is a place where the government makes a lot of sense -- perhaps most medical research should be publicly funded and available to all. Get the idea of "I have to make money off of this cancer patient!" out of the system entirely. (Really, I think education and health care should be rights (or "perks", if you prefer) of any citizen; the function being to give everyone a similar base when they start out in the world. After that, it is up to you what you want to make of yourself, but at least everyone is given a fair chance.). This isn't saying patents in general are a bad idea, but simply questioning whether patents on human health are a good idea..
I can't say I know the answer, but I think pretending any attempt at conversation is an assault on business's rights to make money is disingenuous, and I'm really getting sick of "...but business!" being the response to everything. How about we agree that if current business models are not working, we try to allow new ones to take over?