Unlike Global Warming Research, This Involves Actual Science

Great news: You’re paying for a 1 year experiment to find out if the universe is a hologram « Hot Air

Generally I’m a supporter of pure research, even in cases where there may not be an immediate, industrial benefit from the results. You never know what you might learn. And even leaving aside for a moment the impression that this sounds like an idea that was cooked up while smoking pot with that professor from Animal House, Fermilab does a lot of cool sounding research. But a year’s worth of high energy inteferometer experiments to see if we’re all a digital illusion? Let’s recall for a moment who is footing the bill for all of this.

As one of the taxpayers who is presumably paying for some small part of this, I’m fine with it.  I’ve always wondered about the possibility.  Eliminating it would be a good thing, I think, because eliminating uncertainties about the nature of reality is always a good thing from my point of view.

I’d much rather see this that yet another “study” rigged to support the contentions of the global warming religion, whatever they might be on any given day.



Posted in Science permalink

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Unlike Global Warming Research, This Involves Actual Science — 8 Comments

  1. Interesting place, Fermilab – I did some work there, on contract, awhile back, so I got to know a bit about it, and about the work that gets done there, and by whom, and who pays for it…

    It ranks, right now, today, as one of the top-end locations in the world for pure research in physics – in particular, in particle physics – and, therefore, in studies regarding the basic nature of the physical Universe we (appear to) live in. Although the whole site* is owned, and at a certain basic level is operated, by the Department Of Energy, the majority of the research – the designing, creation, conduct, analysis and reporting of the experimentation – done there is accomplished (and is in part paid for) through a collective effort by various academic foundations and universities/colleges, staffed with some pretty high-end scientific and engineering personnel from all over the world.

    I guess you can argue over whether or not we – as a nation – should be expending a bunch of money on “pure research”…especially if some of what that research involves seems to be sort of akin to Bill Cosby’s girlfriend musing (as a Philosophy major) on “Why is there air?…” (Bill knew the answer to that one, BTW)…but still…

    I don’t, in the end, have any real problem with this sort of “pure research” dealie, either –

    Those folks at Fermilab, for instance, are well aware just how relatively-fragile their funding for what they’re doing is – they’re also pretty aware of how many critical reviews they have to survive to get there and to start, continue and complete the work they’re doing. They have quite a lot of folks watching, monitoring their progress and their expenditures, and making certain that the maximum possible “return on investment” gets delivered…

    Better (from my viewpoint, anyway) to put some money on those folks than into midnight basketball, or Da Mooch’s so-called “healthy lunch initiative”, or “shovel-ready infrastructure” stuff, or deliberately destroying used-car engines, or…well, I’m sure you get the idea.

    (* It’s a fairly large place – do a Google Maps run on “Fermilab, Batavia, IL” and zoom in a bit, you’ll see some interesting stuff. Maybe even see a few grazing American Bison…)

  2. 1. I concoct an arbitrary “possibility” with no foundation in any facts.

    2. The government gives a lab millions or billions of my money and other people’s money, not donated voluntarily by us but taken by force in taxes, to investigate this “possibility.”

    3. I feel “fine with it” because “I’ve always wondered about the possibility” that…the universe is a hologram…? What possibility? What is the evidence for the alleged possibility?)

    4. I concoct other “concerns” about other groundless “possibilities” with respect to which I would appreciate having my mind put at ease.

    5. Some other labs spend more millions and billions of dollars extracted by force from taxpayers to investigate these concocted “possibilities.”

    6. This ends when…what?

    Never. There is no end to the investigation of groundless “possibilities”; they can be multiplied at will. I’m growing concerned that the real Bill Quick has been abducted and replaced by an android with fantasies that have to be fed at taxpayer expense. Silly? I have more justification for this as a hypothesis worthy of investigation than does anyone for the notion that we must inquire, at taxpayer expense, whether an evil demon is deluding me about all of existence.

    The terms of scientific research should not be set by Descartes, who regarded any doubt—however ludicrous and unsubstantiated, however contradictory to the self-evident—as a legitimate source of concern that must be allowed to fundamentally warp our thinking and, in this case, loot our wealth.

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