Tuesday, May 15, 2012

thought for the day/ James Burke connections and spinoff technology

Faraday was once asked from some woman what use is electricity; Faraday is known to have said "of what use is a baby."  Of course, babies and electricity have their uses.
In my previous post, I pointed out that despite James Burke's best efforts to complexify the history science and humanity, it's really not so complicated or that much. The more you look at it, despite all the details, after awhile it gets to be not so much.  I said this was because our species is actually quite young!  Then, I realized an idea of where more connections can be found - spinoff technologies.

After World War II,

and because of this atomic bomb getting the Japanese to lay down without sending in the troops to weed them out,

 . . . science budgets really went through the roof.  These were justified because they might make death rays,

well, that youtube didn't have OakRidge's particle accelerator; i know they had one working as late as 1990s; in fact they used quantum entanglement in some of their experiments I remember reading about it back then.

Here's the SLAC. The slac discovered the quarks that make up protons; the slac also created matter out of pure energy around 1997.  Today, the slac is turned into a giant light source to picture chemical reactions and do other such experiments. 

And then, of course, there's the Saturn V rocket!

They like to joke that amongst the spinoff technology of the Apollo program was tang drinks.  Other spinoff technology was the microwaves, pacemakers. 

Before World War II, science was done on shoestring budgets at best.  Universities did the majority of the funding.  Well, there was the industrial barrons of the late 1800s who helped build the great refractor and then reflector observatories,

Generally speaking, it was pretty hard to get science funding if it wasn't military. Today's space probes to the various planets are justified on both the spinoffs for commercial and military technology because of World War II.

Perhaps some more curiosities of spinoff technologies that have gone on since world war II was Ferdinand Porsche's idea of auto-racing used to speed up technological development.

I used to love IMSA GTP racing and Formula 1; but not so much anymore.  Those glory years are gone; the romantic era for motor racing is long gone; they ban any technological innovation.  I fear the romantic era for science is also fast going away.  They don't want everyone to have their own nanomanufacturing system; they want to confine all humanity on earth to do so. I see "Logan's Run" coming; well, nothing lasts forever!

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