Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Pleasure of Discovery Is About More Than Just Science...

Popular understandings of the technical issues of science are often clouded by the language of science. The public often favors and believes in one or more popular scientists as intercessories even when those popular scientists say things that most other scientists do not agree with.

Popular scientists are now a select priesthood vetted by television, internet videos, and popular science books. It is the ultimate insult to a practicing scientists to say that that scientist's science is not science, which seems rather silly since science is really just a part of human discovery.

Suppose that a person has a hobby communicating science to others and is otherwise employed...is that person a scientist? Human discovery, after all, can take many different forms and communication of science to others is in some sense the most important part of human discovery. The pleasure of discovery is about much more than just science.

Suppose that a person only teaches science but does not actually do any science...is that person a scientist? The ability of teaching and communicating science to a new generation is an important part of wisdom and knowledge.

Suppose that a person does industrial R&D developing and testing new drugs...is that person a scientist? You know...it is kind of nice to make a living doing whatever you decide to do...and so many different kinds of activities that comprise what people call science.

The pleasures of discovering knowledge and wisdom are fundamental and science is really only a small part of the pleasure of all of human discovery. Working scientists get paid for addressing the great questions and problems of science and one of many various sources funds their work. Likewise historians and economists and sociologists also get paid for what they do in making a more efficient economy.

Here are 5
great questions and 14 great problems for science that support many of the 14 human needs of civilization.

Great Questions for Science (Knowledge):
1)      … Nature of Matter;
2)      … Natures of Force and Action;
3)      … Natures of Intelligence and Consciousness;
4)      … Origin of the Universe;
5)      … Molecular Basis of Life.

Great Problems for Science:
1)      Curing Cancer (Health);
2)      Curing Heart Disease (Health);
3)      Curing Aids (Health);
4)      Placing People into Space (Knowledge);
5)      Reducing Energy Costs (Energy);
6)      Improving Transportation (Transportation);
7)      Cleaning Up Defense Wastes (Security);
8)      Maintaining Economic Stability (Money);
9)      Reducing Human Environmental Impact (Environment);
10)  Stabilizing Population Growth (Environment);
11)  Maintaining World Peace (Security);
12)  Maintaining National Defense (Security);
13)  Harnessing Nuclear Energy (Energy);
14)  Reducing Crime (Security).

The human needs basis divides the U.S. GDP into 14 needs and the great questions and problems for science addresses just 7 of those 14 human needs. Each human need involves a percent of the GDP ($19.5 T in 2016) as well as a percent of the need spent on extended research and development, exR&D. That is, there are many company's exR&D that improve shelter materials, which include clothing and furniture, and those efforts are not normally considered science, but rather more engineering optimization.

Human Need
%GDP
DP in $B
exR&D Rank
description
1)      Transportation
18%

1.3%
Autos, planes, trains buses trucks, boats, roads, bridges, DMV’s, maintenance
2)      Shelter
16%

1.2%
Homes and commercial structures, clothing, furniture
3)      Health
14%

2.7%
Physicians, nurses, dentists optometrists, hospitals, pharma, hygiene
4)      Knowledge
8.4%

1.8%
K-12, universities, exploration, NSF, part of NIH
5)      Food
8.2%

0.7%
Farming, processing, grocery, agricultural chemicals
6)      Security
7.6%

7.3%
Police, judiciary, prisons, national guard, military, weapons
7)      Tools
7.2%

4.7%
Hand tools, machine tools, analytical instruments, sensors, robots, computers, software
8)      Risk
*


Insurance, social security, welfare
9)      Administration
5.1%


Local, state, federal (does not include judiciary, police, utilities)
10)  Energy
4.1%

5.0%
Oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, solar, wind, firewood, geothermal, power utilities
11)  Leisure
4.1%

0.2%
Parks, vacations, movies, entertainment, arts, music, religions
12)  Environment
2.7%

4.8%
Water, sewage, solid waste disposal, air pollution, habitat management
13)  Communication
2.6%

2.2%
Telephone, internet, radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, postal
14)  Money
2.0%


Banks, federal reserve, stock exchanges, commodities, coinage
These human needs define what people spend their lives doing as well as comprise a spectrum within each life and people then spend on their needs. Human needs describe an economy in a way that directly links R&D to increased productivity and therefore human needs basis provides a very useful way to optimize ex R&D resources for increasing productivity. 

When civilization decides to shift more %GDP on health, the wealth necessarily must come from some other human need, such as leisure or administration, for example. Even though health is a very important human need, people really desire to spend less and not more for health. Thus health exR&D should increase productivity and reduce health spending.



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