Marc Andelman drgonfly at ultranet.com
Tue May 19 19:08:44 EST 1998

mike wrote:
> 2.  No, I do not think technology is worthless.  I AM using a computer,  I
> use very advanced instrumentation to answer scientific questions, and I
> enjoy a high quality audio sytem in my home.

Good, because to preserve the environment you love is going to take
some technical solutions.

> 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. 

> > 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?

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?

>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?

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.

> 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?

> 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.

Hopeles because you cannot work for the institutions wher you are and maintain
your integrity. You will eventually lose all self respect in academia.

> 7.  Yes, I do want to be an academic for the rest of my life.  The "grubbing
> for grants" is your perspective.  I will agree that the current dispersement
> of government funds has many serious problems.  Incompetent people are often
> funded while some good and creative scientists are not.  This is not a
> unique position for academicians.  Plenty of well thought out business
> ventures fail while other seemingly silly ventures are quite successful.
> Unless you live completely off the land, you're always at the mercy of the
> unpredictable nature of society.
> 8.  Yes, I suppose I am a hippie.  If that means wanting peace for all
> peoples and respect for the environment , then I will wear that designation
> with honor.
> Peace,
> mike

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

Marc Andelman

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