pointless research projects causing us to pay more taxes

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okay so as we all know whenever some scientist wants to study just about ANYTHING he gets to do it and this is costing tax payer money because every time a project comes up we pay even more money.
now let me specify here:
global warming.
how to get rid of nuculear waste.
how to detect when earthquakes are going to strike.

theese are examples of things that DO deserve tax payer money!
now theese do not:
travel patterns of the canadian beaver.
dose choclate make you fat?
were do most acidents occur in the home?

what is your opinion should theese type of research projects get funding or not?

 
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Apparently it’s genetic

Now there’s something that requires a proper scientific investigation.

 
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Since the focus of your point is your, our, the “consumer’s” MONEY being spent—in particular by the govt (via taxes)—in a manner that one might see as being frivolous,,let’s look at similar money being spent in the private sector.

Do ya not realize the amount of “research”, testing, etc. that manufactures do?
Do ya not realize the amount of surveys they do.
NOW, pay attention here….do ya not realize how much of nearly every product ya buy contains ADVERTISING costs?

I fucking already know what a car is.
I don’t buy one everyday….if I want to know what the latest equipment on ANY OF THEM is, I only need go online and Google. Or, if I have a particular manufacture in mind (like, how fucking many of them are there?), I can’t easily locate their showrooms and go have a looksee.

Hell, half the time….upon seeing a commercial spot on TV for a car, perfume, you name it,,,I haven’t a clue as to what they want me to buy. How many of us actually pay any attention to the TV ads? I usually mute them until about 5..THAT’S FIVE..minutes have passed. Don’t get me started on infomercials.

Please, do not think I be any too naive. I know most sitcoms, newscasts, etc. cost money to produce and the advertisers//sponsors are the ones who pay for us to be able to see them productions…usually for free.

The point is, there are “hidden costs” in most any product (nearly ALL?).
The point is, how many//much of these costs are—as YOU are asking—are really “necessary”,,,and therefore “wasting” our money when we buy them?

 
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Typically a lot of money goes to the important researches. But a lot of the smaller researches are somewhat worthwhile. For example if you know where various kinds of accidents happen at home you can then try to increase safety. Additionally a lot of research is done that will later support other research for example at one point there was something involving how good shrimps can run while being poisoned. However this was so we could test whatever certain parts of the oceans were dangerously polluted so we could avoid these areas while fishing. Knowing something like the travel patterns of the canadian beaver could result in things like building tunnels underneath certain highways so less beavers get killed so we are left with more beavers which benefits tourism as well as environmental stability(which in turn is part of preventing global warming and mass extinctions).

 
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Please give us the objective definition of pointless research, because I think that all the examples you have given are important.

 
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Not exactly objective, but you could start here for some research projects which certainly appear to be pretty pointless. The fact that there is no evidence of contagious yawning in the red-footed tortoise was never very high on my list of things to find out. But then again, it is just possible that some world shattering discovery will be made on account of that discovery. I somehow doubt it though.

 
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It tells us something about empathy which in turn might prove useful in finding similarities between humans and animals especially in regards to certain disorders. In general I think weird science isn’t bad but it might be in cases where we are proving something we are all rather certain about where the money might be better spent on other research.

 
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While I agree that some research out there does appear to be a little irrelevant, I don’t think it’s fair to assume that tax money is beinging used to fund it.

 
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Two percent of our tax money is used on research

It’s a common misconception that many people use in order to shoo people away from the real problem. The truth is that research has the most positive effect on GDP than any other thing the government pays for. Because of NASA, we had a giant economical boom based upon the incentive for businesses to produce goods based off of new research done by NASA. It frustrates me when people assume that research is being over-done, because in all logical truth, we are absolutely doing nothing for research. Most research nowadays is having to be done by private companies, which is solely based upon supply and demand. This pisses me off. So no, we should actually be spending more money on research, and stop wasting our time and money on other programs that could be easily fixed. How? Launch us into an economic golden age by making children want to actually get an education, instead of wanting to be garbage men. Get to mars. Make the genius minds from other countries want to come to the United States, because we are the head of all technologies, just like what happened when we went to the moon. And by god, stop spreading the lies that we are actually spending money on research. In all honesty, we are doing nothing.

 
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Pointless? When people saw Michael Faraday poking a rod of magnet through a loop of wire, they thought it was pointless. But Faraday knew that “one day sir, you may tax it.”

The power of science is the greatest power of mankind, the only kind of power that makes us superior to other animals; Only
short-sighted fools will ever underestimate science.

 
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There are however 2 sources of “pointless” scientific research. The first kind if the one where you write the result and then do the test. This is often by private organizations that want to make a point(such as cigaret industry doing research to the risks of smoking). The other is students who need to conduct at least one scientific research before they can graduate and are in an area that has little to research. The other is very small scale research that yields results that are highly unreliable. These are often produced by students who need to do at least one scientific research but don’t have anything in their field to study.

 
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Originally posted by thijser:

There are however 2 sources of “pointless” scientific research. The first kind if the one where you write the result and then do the test.

This is, by definition, not scientific research.

The other is very small scale research that yields results that are highly unreliable. These are often produced by students who need to do at least one scientific research but don’t have anything in their field to study.

I would not call that pointless. You need to start somewhere. These little studies are important for the students to get used to scientific work.
And the last time I checked the money they get from the state in order to conduct these studies – if they get anything – is so small that it could just as well be forgotten when compared to the money professional scientists get for their research.

 
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Originally posted by thijser:

There are however 2 sources of “pointless” scientific research. The first kind if the one where you write the result …..The other is students who need …. The other is very small scale ….

And the other is research into why some people can’t count, I suppose.

I came across this little gem about how to cure a common affliction, which I felt needed to be shared. So next time granny comes to dinner and gets hiccups, you’ll know exactly what to do!

Going back to Karma’s post, there is a difference between commercial advertising and research. When tobacco advertising was banned, the manufacturers found that their profits actually increased. They had been wasting money for years. Smokers didn’t need to be bombarded with ads, we were actively and constantly seeking out their products anyway. But commercial testing and research is very necessary, even the weird stuff. It’s a bit like testing software – they need to dream up the most unlikely ways that an idiot might abuse the product if they are to have any chance of making it unbreakable. It’s why they do beta testing; give it to a bunch of loonies and see what they get up to.

It really is difficult to know whether a line should be drawn anywhere. Going back to the link above, do we really need to know how far a penguin can poo? But then again, if there is even an outside chance that this information could have a bearing on human colonic illnesses, one could argue that the research does indeed have value. Even the most fatuous student research projects mean that the little ones are getting an education and broadening their horizons, so it could be argued that it has an indirect value. There are plenty of examples of research projects going awry and resulting in something useful. So overall I’m inclined to let it all happen, if only because we have no way of knowing what results the madness may produce until after the event.

 
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Aha….FINALLY: “So overall I’m inclined to let it all happen, if only because we have no way of knowing what results the madness may produce until after the event.”
Now we’re “going uptown”….lol

Of course, a cursory look from the casual observer might cause them to see only tomfoolery & waste in some (most?) of the “odd” forms of research. However, what is apparent is that w/o being very much (at all?) involved in the process,,,most ppl don’t see the “carry-over” or inspiration effect.

There’s the “dovetail effect” where an initial discovery of a “not-so-useful” ideal in itself can lead to opening of doors, windows,etc. that produces a whoooole lot of very useful products, etc. This very much PROVES my point. Sure, the guy was doing research to find something of real value when he “stumbled” upon the true benefit.

BUT, equally beneficial discoveries are either found from “silly” research or are inspired from both “findings” from them or just the fact that someone “up-&-went-there”….causing someone else to say: HEY, I think I’ll do something in THIS area concerning that idea.

As an inventor myself, I can tell ya that ABSOLUTELY a lot of what I come up w/ is completely built upon “what has come before”….I only “improve” it,,, or “expand” it into other areas. Often my “research” is little more than simple observation of behavior, activity, processes, etc. that appears to not be as “efficient” as I “feel” it could be.

The real quest is in the R&D to see if input is worth the output. Not all “good ideas” are worth the effort//cost. BUT, I can tell ya this….some of my R&D certainly has proven to be quite “successful”.

NOW, I want to tell ya something about the money spent by govt on testing….usually not done by the govt. itself, but rather via funding to private entities (often as grants to universities). When ya’re talking about an “investor” as HUGE as the FedGovt,,,ya need to understand that when an agency is created & budgeted….it usually continues to exist until, like currently, a financial “crisis” causes a hard look at the success of said agency.

Human nature “protects” these agencies. The director either loves the money his/er job pays or they truly, deeply believe in their research…or BOTH. S/he is gonna do whatever is necessary to keep that govt. funding coming….even if they have to do a little “padding” of the results.

THAT is where OVERSIGHT comes in….or, in actuality, DOESN’T COME AROUND AT ALL. Yeah, that looks a little stooopid. But, it can be of huge benefit. Upon finding that the initial thrust-is-a-bust for what they were looking for, the researcher might fall back to Plan B (then C, then D) and actually find something beneficial. The private sector greatly relies on this form of R&D.

Specifically OnTopic in regards to “pointless research”,, and totally depending upon ones feeling about WAR,, just how much research needs to go into finding so many ways http://www.defencetalk.com/denel-touts-highly-accurate-new-artillery-gun-36173/

This is ONLY for artillery. If ya factor in all the other killing devices that are the results of huge monetary investments…..ya might wanna rethink the whole “pointless” concept of particular kinds of research.

 
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Aha….FINALLY: “So overall I’m inclined to let it all happen, if only because we have no way of knowing what results the madness may produce until after the event.”
Now we’re “going uptown”….lol

Of course, a cursory look from the casual observer might cause them to see only tomfoolery & waste in some (most?) of the “odd” forms of research. However, what is apparent is that w/o being very much (at all?) involved in the process,,,most ppl don’t see the “carry-over” or inspiration effect.

There’s the “dovetail effect” where an initial discovery of a “not-so-useful” ideal in itself can lead to opening of doors, windows,etc. that produces a whoooole lot of very useful products, etc. This very much PROVES my point. Sure, the guy was doing research to find something of real value when he “stumbled” upon the true benefit.

BUT, equally beneficial discoveries are either found from “silly” research or are inspired from both “findings” from them or just the fact that someone “up-&-went-there”….causing someone else to say: HEY, I think I’ll do something in THIS area concerning that idea.

As an inventor myself, I can tell ya that ABSOLUTELY a lot of what I come up w/ is completely built upon “what has come before”….I only “improve” it,,, or “expand” it into other areas. Often my “research” is little more than simple observation of behavior, activity, processes, etc. that appears to not be as “efficient” as I “feel” it could be.

The real quest is in the R&D to see if input is worth the output. Not all “good ideas” are worth the effort//cost. BUT, I can tell ya this….some of my R&D certainly has proven to be quite “successful”.

NOW, I want to tell ya something about the money spent by govt on testing….usually not done by the govt. itself, but rather via funding to private entities (often as grants to universities). When ya’re talking about an “investor” as HUGE as the FedGovt,,,ya need to understand that when an agency is created & budgeted….it usually continues to exist until, like currently, a financial “crisis” causes a hard look at the success of said agency.

Human nature “protects” these agencies. The director either loves the money his/er job pays or they truly, deeply believe in their research…or BOTH. S/he is gonna do whatever is necessary to keep that govt. funding coming….even if they have to do a little “padding” of the results.

THAT is where OVERSIGHT comes in….or, in actuality, DOESN’T COME AROUND AT ALL. Yeah, that looks a little stooopid. But, it can be of huge benefit. Upon finding that the initial thrust-is-a-bust for what they were looking for, the researcher might fall back to Plan B (then C, then D) and actually find something beneficial. The private sector greatly relies on this form of R&D.

Specifically OnTopic in regards to “pointless research”,, and totally depending upon ones feeling about WAR,, just how much research http://www.defencetalk.com/denel-touts-highly-accurate-new-artillery-gun-36173/ needs to go into finding “so many ways”: http://www.google.com/search?q=the+latest+in+artillery+guns&hl=en&tbo=u&rlz=1T4GZAB_enUS446US447&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=TivXUJa1F4ny2gXpkYGwAg&ved=0CEcQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=641 to kill people?

This is ONLY for artillery. If ya factor in all the other killing devices that are the results of huge monetary investments…..ya might wanna rethink the whole “pointless” concept of particular kinds of research.

 
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theese are examples of things that DO deserve tax payer money!
now theese do not:
travel patterns of the canadian beaver.
dose choclate make you fat?
were do most acidents occur in the home?

travel patterns of animals can be very vital in understanding ecology. beavers especially are important because they create dams, and sometimes the local extinction or reduction (or increase) in numbers of beavers can change the behavior of rivers and lead to floods.
researching which things make you fat more than other is very useful research, especially considering the obesity epidemic of the USA and England.
knowing where most accidents occur in the home is very useful for the field of architecture and for firedepartment policy and training, that kinda stuff.

 
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I refuse to accept the claim that taxpayer money going to research—something which let us know how to cure a myriad of diseases; improve health; improve life expectancy; etc.—is harmful to a society. It is not.

Moreover, not all research is conducted through taxpayer money—many, if not all, universities carry out their own research. You will not find research from a national government on whether chocolate makes us fat or not, studies and research such as those tend to come from universities. And students in those universities agree to pay their student fees which go to research, development, marketing, etc.

 
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It’s very important that we know how to reliably find canadian beaver when we want it.

 
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Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

It’s very important that we know how to reliably find canadian beaver when we want it.

I absolutely agree.

Had to do it.

 
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not that beaver
 
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As OP shows, more money must be invested into English classes.