“As an example, the Michigan Tech paper describes an item known as a “parametric automated filter wheel changer.” The item would cost about $2,500 from a commercial vendor but could be made with a 3-D printer for less than $100. It’s essentially a plastic wheel that holds colored filters in place as they rotate, testing the effects of the varying colors on the number of electrons that are emitted for each photon fired into a solar cell, Mr. Pearce said. “It was $2,500,” he said, “and all it does is move the filter around.”
As this matures, we’re all going to benefit.
“There is more, and recent, antiscience fare from far-left progressives, documented in the 2012 book Science Left Behind (PublicAffairs) by science journalists Alex B. Berezow and Hank Campbell, who note that “if it is true that conservatives have declared a war on science, then progressives have declared Armageddon.” On energy issues, for example, the authors contend that progressive liberals tend to be antinuclear because of the waste-disposal problem, anti–fossil fuels because of global warming, antihydroelectric because dams disrupt river ecosystems, and anti–wind power because of avian fatalities. The underlying current is “everything natural is good” and “everything unnatural is bad.”
Different people want to suppress different things. That’s not enough to legitimize any attempts though.
“More concerning, say the editors, is that this trend may be a symptom of a growing dysfunction in the biomedical sciences, one that needs to be addressed soon. At the heart of the problem is an economic incentive system fueling a hypercompetitive environment that is fostering poor scientific practices, including frank misconduct. The root of the problem is a lack of sufficient resources to sustain the current enterprise. Too many researchers are competing for too little funding, creating a survival-of-the-fittest, winner-take-all environment where researchers increasingly feel pressure to publish, especially in high-prestige journals.”
Not the best of news, but better for things like this to be brought up internally than be forced upon the discipline from without.
“Well, let’s see. We’re back to black-box rules of thumb. People will take the outputs of the oracle-computers without understanding what they really mean, and apply them successfully or not. But causal principles that are not known are called “occult.” (Remember, occult meant “hidden,” not supernatural.) And the attempt to manipulate physical matter by use of occult powers was called “magic.” It’s not just that the technological fruits of the advanced science are mirabilia (“marvels,” “miracles”) it’s that the scientist-priests do not understand the principles behind them, either. So perhaps Arthur C. Clarke was far more right than he knew when he said that a sufficiently advanced science would be indistinguishable from magic.”
A scifi author describes how science could die, but high technology remain.
“A suitable analogy (h/t James Hannam) would run this way: Suppose I put a pot of water on the stove to make some tea. A physicist then runs into my kitchen and begins measuring temperatures of the coil and the water, the vapor pressure, conductivity of the kettle, and all what have you. When he is done, he thoroughly understands what makes the water boil. He knows the water, the fire, the air, and even, regarding the kettle, the earth. The one thing he does not know from all his measurements is that I wanted to make a cup of tea.”
Quite interesting, especially on the position of medieval Christian philosophers on natural causes.