Pro-Science, Anti Research
Science discussion in the mainstream always focus on the reductive "pro" vs "anti" dynamic. While there are a lot of people in the world who flat-out deny the existence of established science, making the mainstream conversation a worthy discourse, that's not what I'm trying to participate here.
Within the "for-science faction", there are two seemingly compatible points of view:
- We should save humanity from distinction.
- We should improve the human condition.
See the difference? Some do, others blind themselves to it.
Surely, distinction is a worse human condition?
... therefore, we shouldn't get distracted by things like making rockets, digitizing our minds, creating suns on earth. Oh, we still need basic science research but... if we could spend money on saving ourselves, those far-out ideas should take a chill pill. Survival is the most important thing!
The argument is around austerity: why put the chips on 21, when we can put it on black?
It's strange, isn't it? The crowd that wants dirty energy sources gone, also dislike space exploration? The "progressives" wants nothing but to conserve?
Scientific research should be expensive, because, in order to improve our lives in unimaginable ways, "the science" must actuate. Knowing an asteroid's existence is not the same as harvesting the resource from it; knowing how the sun works is not the same as replicating it here; knowing a monkey can play pong with brain probes is not the same as humans doing it safely. (Some may categorize these things as "engineering" or "commercialization": yes, all of that.)
The austerity argument is anti-scientific research. Saying we should save money on fusion to spend more money on solar panels is the same as "but children are starving in Africa!".
The world sucks in multiple ways. You may feel overwhelmed that, as a whole, humanity is under siege for one reason or another. But others may feel differently. They want to put their limited chips on a riskier bet for bigger returns. They are no less rational than you. And (thank god) we don't have a world dictator that forces us to take their bet, or yours.
I'm at peace with that.