Sunday, August 4, 2013

Marooned --On Science Illiteracy Island

It's tempting to take the "O" out
of "maroon" when talking about
them who are scientifically illiterate.
Often, the marooned don't know
they are missing an "O".

Consider the "cure cancer"
theory of the economist
to the right (at 4:50/16:28)

(If you don't want to watch, he says basically that increased size of the free marketplace (to the "Global" scale) is what incentivizes all manner of scientific advance: in medicine, in computers, in energy, etc. The mind just boggles.)

The mind boggles because it is so tempting to fall prey to the economic siren calls of what feels like "sound logic" when in fact it is no logic at all.

Marco Polo did not invent Pasteurization because of expanded access to China, a guy named Louis did.
The words "science", "invention", progress and "inevitable" do not inevitably go together.
"Innovation" and "progress" are not dogs.
If you call out their names, that does not make them come.

A special creature known as the "inventor" has to show up in between all those broad scope concepts and do the hard and specific work of inventing a specific thing that constitutes a promotion in the progress of science and the useful arts.
So what does "incentivize" an inventor in coming up with a next notable invention or "innovation"?

Does the inventor hold back on his/her Eureka moment
until the market is large enough?
Did Einstein hold back on E=m*c^2 until
the market was large enough for an atomic bomb?


He came up with his idea because the time was right for it inside his mind and his mind alone.
The economist speaking above is flat out wrong.
If you expand size for the potential market, that does not make the innovation and invention dogs come.
(to be continued ...)

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