This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.
Don't Tell Anyone:
With Shakira Andrea Sison
Pride Press / Anvil Publishing, 2017
Cupful of Anger,
Bottle Full of Smoke:
The Stories of
Jose V. Montebon Jr.
Silliman Writers Series, 2017
First Sight of Snow
and Other Stories
Encounters Chapbook Series
Et Al Books, 2014
Celebration: An Anthology to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop
Sands and Coral, 2011-2013
Silliman University, 2013
Handulantaw: Celebrating 50 Years of Culture and the Arts in Silliman
Tao Foundation and Silliman University Cultural Affairs Committee, 2013
Inday Goes About Her Day
Locsin Books, 2012
Beautiful Accidents: Stories
University of the Philippines Press, 2011
Heartbreak & Magic: Stories of Fantasy and Horror
Old Movies and Other Stories
National Commission for Culture
and the Arts, 2006
FutureShock Prose: An Anthology of Young Writers and New Literatures
Sands and Coral, 2003
Nominated for Best Anthology
2004 National Book Awards
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IAN ROSALES CASOCOT
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
8:27 AM |
Science and Capitalism
Capitalist short-sightedness. Must everything we do -- especially in pursuit of forming new knowledge -- have profit motive?
I'm currently watching the documentary Particle Fever
(2014), directed with gusto by Mark Levinson -- which has sadly been left out of the short list of documentaries vying for the Oscar this year -- and this particular scene struck me as the answer to many of our dilemmas. And why unflinching capitalism, which asks how we can profit above all, is the secret problem hindering progress.
The film follows the scientists of the Large Hadron Collider
and their search for the Higgs Particle. In one scene, scientist David E. Kaplan is asked this question in a conference: "Let's assume you're successful, and everything comes out okay. What do we gain from it? What's the economic return? How do you justify all this? By the way, I am an economist."
Dr. Kaplan replies: "I don't hold that against you." Much laughter from the conference. Then he goes on: "The question was, what is the financial gain in running an experiment like this, and the discoveries that we will make in this experiment. And it is a very, very simple answer: I have no idea
. We have no idea. When radio waves were discovered, they weren't called 'radio waves' because there were no radios. They were discovered as some sort of radiation. Basic science for big breakthroughs needs to occur at a level where you're not asking what is the economic gain, but you are asking: what do we not know, and where can we make progress. So what [is this experiment] good for? Could be nothing -- other than just understanding everything."
Labels: capitalism, documentaries, film, Higgs Particle, Large Hadron Collider, life, science
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