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Pentagon cancels contract with JASON


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#1
starspawn0

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BREAKING NEWS!! Just confirmed by Hill staff: Pentagon has terminated the contract of JASON, the independent science advisory group that Congress & the public rely on for assessment of many technical issues. This is a travesty & will lead to more ill-informed, bad government.


The JASON group, which rotates members (I don't think there were lifetime appointments), included some of the smartest, most accomplished scientists in the world. People at the stature of Freeman Dyson, Richard Feynman, Terry Tao,  Edward Witten, James Watson, Claude Shannon, and others -- though maybe not these specific scientists.

The JASON group was perhaps the first to call serious attention to the Global Warming, in a secret report in 1979:

https://fas.org/irp/...d/jason/co2.pdf

This was long before it was a political issue, and JASON tries not to be political at all. They see their mission as giving a sober assessment of potential threats to the United States of America.

I can see why politicians (and political appointees) bothered by facts, who think they can make their own facts, want to get rid of JASON.

But it will leave the U.S. less prepared in the event of catastrophe, and remove a voice of reason if we go to war.


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#2
funkervogt

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God help the U.S. government if it keeps eliminating bureaucracies and work groups.


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#3
starspawn0

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For example, maybe we could eliminate big bureaucracies like the NSA, CIA and DOD (in general). Think of how much money we would save on taxes! -- a libertarian dream!
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#4
Erowind

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There's no such thing as apolitical. All human action is political. If science elucidates upon a threat (global warming) that poses a threat to a given groups interests (profit margins) that group (the government and its oligarchic lobby) may (will) turn hostile to them. The nice thing about this is that historically speaking scientists get very radical when they're not permitted by the powers at be to do science. It remains to be seen if the scientists of today will uphold those values with some more teeth or slink away and leave these systemic problems to the next generations to deal with. If scientists insist on sitting on their thrones (corporate academia) engrossed solely by their work (shuffling papers in hopes for research grants while dejectedly teaching classes they don't care about) and not actively participate in governance, opting instead to leave it to people with different motives (profit,) hostile outcomes like this are both inevitable and partially the fault of scientists themselves. When the best people refuse to participate in/substantively change governance, bad/incompetent people will. And those people will make our lives worse. If a given scientist doesn't want this sort of thing to happen they should actively work to make it systemically impossible.


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Edit: Not calling anyone out. My goal is to point out that the scientific community needs to take more responsibility for the world around it, especially in regards to culture and society. My writing style is often very aggressive which probably just puts folks on the defense instead of making them want to engage with any ideas I put forward.

Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.





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