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Posted by J Raymond Redbourne on November 21, 2002 23:31:52 UTC

more funding for observational astronomy, and theoretical physics as well, including cosmology and astrophysics.

My main reason is a bit of personal philosophy. I earnestly believe that we'll achieve super-c interstellar travel in the near future. Many now alive will see it, and it will become commonplace. The groundwork for that travel must be laid before we actually make the jump.

And it is being laid now, for technology, physics, navigation and philosophy-of-responsibility. The philosophy is being drilled into our heads by Star Trek and the other SciFi programs, as well as the results of the trashing of Earth.

The only thing I say, is that all major projects should be justified in the media,and that the general public, who is paying the shot, should be allowed respected input. Following this, the experimenters should present a full report to the taxpayers, as to what they got for their money.

In major industrial/commercial projects, this is called CPM-PERT: Critical Path Method - Performance Evaluation and Review Techniques. I'm sure much of this is already done, or major projects would never get off the ground. But there is still little responsibility to the taxpayer displayed.

And there should also be a public forum for input from the general public on cosmology and theoretical physics, especially where people outside of the power holders are yet stakeholders with no say.

This invites all sorts of kooks and obstructionists. But it also lays open the professionals to criticism well-deserved. At the same time,it provides the opportunity for public recognition of those who actually produce progress. It could possibly re-orient the general public away from the horrendous amounts of money and fame going to entertainers, and channel it toward reality.

But perhaps I'm back on the soapbox again. What could possibly redirect the general public's attention away from Charley's Angels remakes and assorted non-elected actors playing the President, at only hundreds of times as much money as the real President makes?

Anyone that points out the sky really is falling, is consigned to the cracpot list.

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