science + politics = political science, by el gato malo

Science is free inquiry for the truth. There is no such thing as government science, a point el gato malo makes in this excellent article. From el gato malo at

federal funding of science is not helping, it’s hurting

during the last 3 years of mister toad’s wild ride with “the science™” i think many were initially loathe to believe or even imagine the extent to which “the experts” constituted a captured class who stood not so much as a check on governmental policy but as amplifiers of it.

but none of this should be surprising. they are not independent and this is trebly so for “academics.” they are as beholden as medieval bards singing for their supper and 20 times as vain. so that is only going to go one way:

he who pays the piper shall inevitably call the tune.

add to this “gato’s equation™” and you get some spectacularly bad outcomes.

science + politics = political science

kinda obvious once you see it, huh?

and it’s not as though we were not warned. perhaps one of the most prescient pieces of oratory in american history was the eisenhower farewell address. ike really knocked the cover off that one. it’s mostly remembered for its warnings about the military industrial complex, but to my mind the far graver and more insightful admonition was this: (bold mine)

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been over shadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

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