We’re doomed

It is astonishing to me that the US, which owes a lot of its dominance in the world to the science and technology that it produces, has on its main policy-setting body, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, people who seem to be determined to undermine the very things that the nation depends upon. They may do this for a variety of reasons: venality because of the people who give them money, stupidity, or religious fanaticism but the end result is the same.

The Daily Show looks a recent hearing of the committee where they questioned the witness John Holdren, the White House Science Advisor.

(This clip aired on September22, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. Paulo Borges says

    On my side of the pond everybody is bankrupt, therefore scientific funding or any funding on anything is almost non-existent. On your side, the absurd is illustrated above.
    I guess we will need to rely on China and India to get some something done before we are doomed to live on house boats.

  2. Dunc says

    This is pretty much an inevitable part of the trajectory of empires. You start out having to compete with everybody else on a level playing field, so you need to pay close attention to reality in order to get by. Once you’ve acquired enough power though, that pressure is reduced, because you’re sufficiently powerful that you can get away with making mistakes. Without the constant pressure to self-correct, maladaptive beliefs continue to propagate until they compromise your competitiveness enough for somebody else to overthrow your dominance.

    There’s a lot more to the rise and fall of empires, of course, but this is definitely one element.

  3. md says

    This begs a question. If America has such dominance in Science and Technology, as you assert, how much influence does the White House Science Advisor really have?

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