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Technologists don't solve big problems, instead they enriched themselves with trivial toys.

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posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 10:28 AM
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I remember sitting in my family’s living room in Berkeley, California, watching the liftoff of Apollo 17. I was five; my mother admonished me not to stare at the fiery exhaust of the Saturn 5 rocket. I vaguely knew that this was the last of the moon missions—but I was absolutely certain that there would be Mars colonies in my lifetime. What happened?


For those interested in science & technology, and are curious about why the US hasn't done anything "big" since the 1960s - then this story is for you.

Why We Can't Solve Big Problems (MIT Technology Review).


There are different conclusions you can draw from this piece, but my takeaway is that *profit* has driven risky behavior away while allowing small(er) minded innovators to profit.

So what does ATS think, will we ever solve big problems again?




posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by Jason88
 


When you have 70% of the population take a $&%^ on science with their irrational beliefs it becomes hard to rationalize hard work that benifts people who are waiting for, and looking forward to death. Maybe once the world has a higer population of people who deserve these advancements it will become easier to find the motivation.
edit on 14-12-2012 by Wertdagf because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 10:40 AM
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I would have said it's 'health and safety' brigade and tick boxing that has put a stop to pushing new boundaries these days.

If your told something is dangerous for long enough, then you become convinced it's not worth trying to achieve.
Maybe that's what today's kids are growing up with and the result is that the future looks bleak, technically speaking.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 10:48 AM
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I would be more inclined to postulate that one of the main factors is a lack of funding caused by the extraction of wealth by bankers in this debt based system... slowly causing a world wide debt crisis where none of our Governments actually have the money to partake in any exotic large scale projects, let alone cover the basic necessities such as infrastructure funding and social security.
edit on 14/12/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 10:58 AM
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I would say it is a result of the collectivist attitude currently pervading our nation. When our "leaders" disdain those who "can build that", initiative is curtailed.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by DarthMuerte
I would say it is a result of the collectivist attitude currently pervading our nation. When our "leaders" disdain those who "can build that", initiative is curtailed.

Everyone before Obama took office did something great for humanity/science? Did I miss something, or can you explain further, if it seems I misunderstood you?
Ill throw my lot in with the religious folks and the monetary issues. I hope to go live on a moon colony someday
edit on 14-12-2012 by smashdem because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 04:39 PM
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The Chinese can make most things if there is a market for it, and the big difference is, they don't care about recognition or technology. They just churn it out and we eat it up.

The stigma connected to western technology is stifling inginuity.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 04:52 PM
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Blame government and environmentalists and activists and protesters and war...

Anyway. Gotta get back to picketing Big Pharma, I'm running late!
edit on 14-12-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 05:21 PM
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When it comes to warfare technology we solve big problems all the time. Technology has helped us take tremendous steps to better kill ourselves and neighbors. Unfortunately, their is more money to be made during chaos than in peace time.

We have the technology to solve any problem that we want. The problem is the motivation is all wrong in certain industries which leads to great profits but low returns for society in general.

For example:
Their is more money to be made in support services than their is in providing actual closed ended solutions.

I don't care if pharmaceutical companies make trillions on a daily basis or that their only goal is to make as much money as possible for their company. What I care about or question is how certain industries are allowed to make money.

Perhaps CERTAIN industries should be regulated on how they make money to ensure that both the consumer comes out winning and the investors comes out winning.

When it comes to health-care , perhaps the Pharmaceutical industry paycheck should be based on how healthy the country is versus its current business model of getting paid when you are sick. Same end game (MONEY) but the difference is how they get the money?

Another reason is probably how investors and corporations have become shortsighted and expecting instant returns on everything while forgetting about the future.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 11:13 PM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
reply to post by Jason88
 


When you have 70% of the population take a $&%^ on science with their irrational beliefs it becomes hard to rationalize hard work that benifts people who are waiting for, and looking forward to death. Maybe once the world has a higer population of people who deserve these advancements it will become easier to find the motivation.
edit on 14-12-2012 by Wertdagf because: (no reason given)


So what was the % of people when the Apollo missions were conducted? Want to bet it was higher? Guess that kills your theory ....



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 11:27 PM
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reply to post by OccamsRazor04
 


O yes... "the space program" a slight modification on millitary technology to whip the country into a flurry of frivolous spending to pay for secret projects.

I guess we did get tang... and memory foam....



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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reply to post by Jason88
 


I have to run into the office, and can't look it up at this time. But I recently read something by Neil Degrasse-Tyson relating to this. His belief is that the government should take on the responsibility of funding the programs that capitalists are afraid to get involved in. He believes that failure to do it creates a nation that forgets how to dream, and loses inspiration.

I would agree with this assessment. If our economic system is to be capitalism, then the government that uses it should take the responsibility of filling in its cracks. Especially considering we spend more than 180bil killing foreigners every year.

Which is what drives current technology, actually. Current technological advancements are in weaponry and surveillance Hardly of any use in promoting the general well being of mankind or planet Earth.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
reply to post by Jason88
 


I have to run into the office, and can't look it up at this time. But I recently read something by Neil Degrasse-Tyson relating to this. His belief is that the government should take on the responsibility of funding the programs that capitalists are afraid to get involved in. He believes that failure to do it creates a nation that forgets how to dream, and loses inspiration.

I would agree with this assessment. If our economic system is to be capitalism, then the government that uses it should take the responsibility of filling in its cracks. Especially considering we spend more than 180bil killing foreigners every year.

Which is what drives current technology, actually. Current technological advancements are in weaponry and surveillance Hardly of any use in promoting the general well being of mankind or planet Earth.


This.


Its not the fault of the engineers. We aren't less capable.

The fault lies in a lack of interest, or animosity, in the public at large towards science. That breeds an unwillingness in politicians (who are usually lawyers) to fund anything grand.

If society wills, engineers will deliver. Without the will there wont be any real progress.



posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 01:17 PM
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Yeah, sure. Tell that to Bill Gates or Norman Borlog.





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