Ronda Hauben on 24 Aug 2000 19:19:12 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> L.A. Times column, 8/14/00 -- Tech Policy(part2of2)

It was a bit disappointing to see that Gary Chapman seems
to feel that the discussion over US science and technology policy
is useless.

Instead that folks should just support the Democratic Party and 
hate the Republican Party.

This seems to call for mischaracterizing the support for basic 
research as the Republican Party position.  In this way one 
can claim that support for basic research is illegitimate,
after all isn't it so because otherwise why would the Republican
Party support it.

To the contrary. I haven't heard nor seen any support from
the Republican Party for basic research in computer science.

Instead I have heard them talk about how you need more product
oriented research. Or military specific research toward

However, the basic research supported in computer and communications
sciences (then called information sciences) in the US Department
of Defense up into the 1970's was the kind of research that has
given the world interactive computing and the Internet.

Thus to create a straw man, i.e. some form of "basic research" that is
called for by the Republican Party and then knock it down as 
Gary does in his original column that I responsed to and his 
subsequent answers to me, doesn't help to encourage any discussion
about the needed science and technology policy in the US.

Fortunately there is a movement in the US that is independent
of either party. And this movement documents that both parties
are acting in a way that is contrary to the US constitution in
that they have disenfranchised the US people and instead have
provided for various means of exerting power over government 
to the big corporate interests in the US.

Unfortunately, when it comes to a science and technology policy,
such a situation can have very serious effects not only in the
lack of new science and technological development that it 
will foster, but even more seriously in taking scientific 
and technological advances away from the public and putting them
instead into the hands of the same powerful corporate interests
that are already wielding far too much power over the US government
and the US society.

Gary Chapman <> wrote:

>Ronda Hauben has a strong background in the history of technology policy
>in the U.S., and equally strong opinions. Getting into a debate with her
>about the history of U.S. S&T policy would be interesting but
>unfortunately something I just don't have time to do these days. Moreover,
>the kinds of things we disagree about would require serious megabytes to
>develop, and would be like trying to squeeze a dissertation into a Palm

Gary, earlier you said you agreed with me. Now you claim it would take
"megabytes" to explore the disagreements. I welcomed the fact
that discussion is needed about the nature of the policy that
will be carried out by the US government, and am disappointed that
you are bowing out of any discussion of the policy you urged 
people to support just 10 days ago.

Nettime-bold mailing list