You can tell when the anti-intellectuals are in charge: they start throwing away investments in knowledge that took generations to build, all in the name of short-term economy. The latest instance: the state of Wyoming wants to shut down the University of Wyoming Geological Museum. It’s already been starved down to a minimal (well, more like inadequate) staffing level, and now the state just wants to erase it completely.
This doesn’t make sense. A museum is a repository of accumulated information — if you discard it this year because you don’t want to maintain it, you never get it back. It’s gone. You can’t decide at a later date when you’re more flush that maybe you’ll restore it, because you can’t, you have to start anew, and hope that future legislatures are a little more far-sighted than present ones. It frustrates me immensely to see academic infrastructure demolished because some bean-counter would rather throw away money on some waste of resources like abstinence-only education or locking recreational marijuana smokers in jail.