MUST READ EDITORIAL FOR ALL SCIENTISTS

mike mlietzow at ucla.edu
Tue May 19 21:33:12 EST 1998


Marc Andelman wrote in message <35621F0C.3F19 at ultranet.com>...

You asked what I think and I told you.  You seem to enjoy being
argumentative so I'll bite one last time.

>mike wrote:

>> 3.  Yes, I think that people deserve to be rewarded for good ideas and
the
>> sweat and toil required to bring those ideas to fruition.
>
>You did not answer my most important question. Do you approve of government
>granting patent rights to universities, and will you agree to this when
>the day comes, and it surely will, that the university adminstrator
>asks for your cooperation?  Will you accept royalties.


For the life of me, I can't figure out why you think patents should not be
awarded to whomever is responsible for creating a product or idea.  Yes, in
the case of universities, the credit will probably not be doled out
appropriately.  That is no different than for someone working for a large
corporation.  Didn't we cover this already...life's not fair.


>> > 4.  No, I am not optimistic about the "free enterprise" system.
>
>Is putting universities in position of great control
>over the technology sector going to make some sort of golden age?
>These institutions are not exactly known for fairness or efficiency?


If they're so inefficient, why are you worrying?  And fairness?  Where can
you find fairness in this galaxy?

>Do you believe
>that, since people should be rewarded for good ideas, that the public
>should reward you personnally, mediated by the violent power of the
>state to take our taxes.  To you further accept the Mandarin class
>that will result, as the non-elected elite parcles out the licences,
>grants, etc.   Do you accept the interferance with the private sector
>that the editorial in question warns against?


Anybody who mediates violent power in order to award me personally is okay
in my book.  Easy Marc, just kidding.  With all due respect, I think you're
just spouting the typical "sky is falling" rhetoric that occurs whenever
somebody's particular cause is threatened.  The Sierra Club exagerrates for
their causes, the financial powerhouses exagerrate when their monopolies are
threatened.  Most of this is simple except for your involvement.  That part
is perplexing.  Why are you so interested in such a petty issue.  Do you
think this will have any consequences for you in 100 years.  You and I will
both be worm food so why don't you just relax and be happy?

>>I don't need
>> to remind you of the nasty "sweat shops" resulting from complete laissez
>> faire policies.
>
>You mean the nasty sweatshops called universities where  people work
>without health, saftey, job security, prospect for promotion, or
>even benefit of citizenship?


And industry is different?  What's your point?

>Our present "use once and throw away" lifestyle is selfish
>> to the point of being idiotic.
>
>You will be used and thrown away by the academic institutions you
>work for.


We're all going to be used and thrown away.  It's called life.  Come to
peace with that fact and you'll be a lot happier.

>> 5.  No, I don't care about patents for myself.  If I come up with an idea
or
>> product that will improve society or ease someone's suffering, I want it
to
>> be used.  The satisfaction of a positive contribution to society is
reward
>> enough.
>Good. But what if the univeristy adminstrator wants you to delay
publication
>so that they can patent it? What will you do?

I don't know of any lab that gets permission from the U. administration
before publishing.

>> 6.  Yes, I am a hopeless idealist.  Objectively, I know this to be
nonsense
>> since greed is programmed into our evolutionary paths.  Most of the
rhetoric
>> claiming a "non-animal" status for the human species comes from those who
>> have failed most miserably in transcending their animal instincts to
become
>> enlightened humans.  Because this is reality, I seek solace in nature.  I
>> prefer to feed my mind with an understanding of our natural world rather
>> than feeding my ego with trendy trinkets.  This may offend some but
that's
>> tough.
>
>Hopeless because you cannot work for the institutions where you are and
maintain
>your integrity. You will eventually lose all self respect in academia.


Sorry, I'm not particularly hung up on getting respect from outside sources.
I just have to respect myself.  If you need some sort of external
validation, that's your problem.

>What is being done for the environment in a technological sense?
>All the money available to scientists exists in biomedical or computers.


True, but solving our environmental problems is not "rocket science" (i.e.
it doesn't require huge funding to figure out the solution).  1.  Reduce
consumption (i.e. all the disposable "conveniences" and the idiotic pursuit
for keeping up with whatever is trendy at the time).  2.  Control population
growth (why any thinking person would want to bring children into this
nightmare of a "society" is a mystery to me).
Of course, these are impossible goals since the world is filled with
shallow-minded half-wits.  If you think you can save the world, all the
power to you.  In 50,000 years the human species will be history and none of
what happened today or tomorrow will have mattered.
Peace,
mike





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