Should NASA have its earth sciences mission defunded?

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Should NASA have its earth sciences mission defunded?

Postby Braininvat on December 3rd, 2016, 12:58 pm 

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Re: Should NASA have its earth sciences mission defunded?

Postby wolfhnd on December 3rd, 2016, 8:21 pm 

The problem with government programs is mission creep and inefficiency. It is almost impossible to discontinue a program once in place, take the Affordable Care Act for example. The close ties between the military and defense contractors would be another example. I see little evidence that the required competence to manage such large enterprises exists in the bureaucratic class or for that matter in the intellectual class.

Some elements of natural selection need to be introduced into the bureaucratic system. People who are more or less immune from being fired may not be the best choices for our most important endeavors. Bureaucratic were never meant to be part of the political system. Unfortunately most government agencies are more about internal and increasingly external politics than competency.

The complexity of earth science dictates that there is little chance that we can predict how resources should be allocated. That is the problem with trying to make science efficient. Unless you already know what you need to know you don't know where to look. A good deal of chaos is actual healthy. We must allow scientists more latitude than other disciplines where consensus is more useful. Bureaucracies unfortunately are rigid hierarchical institutions. We can't fund every hair brained idea but NASA could be more diverse. The trick is increasing diversity while maintaining some semblance of efficiency.
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