What Can The US Do To Keep Its Tech Edge?

Marc

Fully vaccinated are you?
Leader
Admin
#1
There have been a few interesting discussions lately about the US's place in the technology world. With our supposed fall in the broadband rankings combined with US university's recent poor showing in the ACM's programming contest, a number of folks are worried that the US is losing its technology edge. There is the argument that things aren't as bad as they might appear -- and it's tough to determine the state of the entire industry on these two, somewhat random, datapoints. However, there's no reason people shouldn't at least be thinking about ways to improve US competence in the technology field. The head of the ACM suggests that a few simple changes could make a huge difference, just by showing young people that the country cares about technology. For example, he notes that schools in other countries base some of their funding wins on how well they do in the ACM contest, and the Russian winners a few years ago got to meet with President Putin -- while President Bush seems to focus on congratulating sports winners. While having the President say hi to some CS students is a nice idea, it's hardly a real plan to push tech education forward. Last year, remember all those claims from both Presidential candidates about universal broadband? It didn't actually do very much to stimulate broadband at all. So, politicians saying things isn't quite the same as doing things. Meanwhile, some are noticing that the real broadband competition appears to be happening in Europe, where there isn't duopoly control over access -- though, it's also not clear that many of those companies competing will be able to survive for very long. The real trick is (a) understanding how important technology is, and what it's real impact is and (b) making sure nothing is impeding competition. Right now it's not clear that the US is doing the greatest job on both of those points -- but that doesn't mean we should rush into making big changes that will cause even more trouble either.
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#2
Marc said:
So, politicians saying things isn't quite the same as doing things.
There is a lot that politicians are doing to stifle advances in science and technology. I don't want to turn this into a political whining thread, but you asked the question, and opened the door. You can read about the anti-science positions of the Bush administration here where there's information about the fact that "On February 18, 2004, 62 preeminent scientists including Nobel laureates, National Medal of Science recipients, former senior advisers to administrations of both parties, numerous members of the National Academy of Sciences, and other well-known researchers released a statement titled Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policy Making. In this statement, the scientists charged the Bush administration with widespread and unprecedented "manipulation of the process through which science enters into its decisions." The Union of Concerned Scientists issued a similar report, linked to on the page referenced above. Among other things, the two reports contend that:

  • There is a well established pattern of suppression and distortion of scientific findings by high-ranking Bush administration political appointees across numerous federal agencies. These actions have consequences for human health, public safety, and community well-being.
  • There is strong documentation of a wide-ranging effort to manipulate the government's scientific advisory system to prevent the appearance of advice that might run counter to the administration's political agenda.
  • There is evidence that the administration often imposes restrictions on what government scientists can say or write about "sensitive" topics.
  • There is significant evidence that the scope and scale of the abuse of science by the Bush administration are unprecedented.
Add to this the fact that in public school districts across the country there are movements afoot to corrupt the teaching of science through the introduction of religious creationism, and you have an atmosphere that can hardly be expected to be conducive to leadership in science and technology.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
#3
JSW05 said:
There is a lot that politicians--particularly of the Republican variety--are doing to stifle advances in science and technology. ... you have an atmosphere that can hardly be expected to be conducive to leadership in science and technology.
Well said! :applause:

I perceive a selective appreciation that science and medicine can coexist with spiritualism and religion. One need not disdain one to advance in the other.

I am afraid the leadership of the day--indeed, of the past decade or so--looks too closely at the short term gain of initiatives and not enough at long term strategy. This means R&D is being sacrificed to mergers; it seems preferrable to buy your competition over beating them with a better product or service.

Similarly, in legislation it seems okay to attach a price to a person's health on a curve in ages in the population, when deciding how strenuously to demand emissions cuts in power plants and gas mileage improvements in motor vehicles. But the long-term environmental effects (we are now looking at mercury at a cause of the alarming rise in learning disabilities and autism in children) are not being weighed even though the damaged labor pool's effects will be profoundly felt in contribution to spending and taxation.

Meanwhile, our schools are financially stressed again as businesses pay a lower share of taxes, while households pay more and cry for relief. Budgets are being revised to accomodate the rising power costs. Look for larger classrooms and skimpier programs in things like home ec, which teaches how to follow a process. Band may be next, though we can now show that learning music develops pathways between the right and left portions in the brain, thus linking creativity with pragmatic thought and benefitting math scores.

Conservative prerogatives and morals are thus placed and enforced with apparent discrimination.

We could certainly be applying our considerable brain power to solving our most troublesome problems. My dad, whom I revered, often said "Science caused the problems, and science can fix them."
 

Marc

Fully vaccinated are you?
Leader
Admin
#4
:topic: Let's try to keep politics and religion 'neutral' in this thread, please. I admit, I did open the door a bit but let's keep the conversation civil.

I take responsibility for bringing in a controversial topic.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#5
I won't say "how" to vote, but the fact is:
by not voting, we effectively give control to an organized and passionate minority, regardless of which side of center their politics lie.

The act of voting requires something more than 10 minutes at the polling place and getting a little paper sticker on your chest. It implies making yourself completely knowledgeable about the issues and who really represents your view.

This means keeping up with issues on every level:
from zoning in your own backyard
to
how your city and county decide paving contracts
to
how your national government deals with issues on national and international matters.

It means ensuring you don't give away your own rights out of fear created by demagogues masquerading as nice guys who are tough on law and order.

Are you really aware how funding for science programs or art programs is decided in your local school district? Did you exercise your opinion by voting for folks who think and will act the way you want?

Former Speaker of the House, "Tip" O'Neil, is famously quoted as having said,
"All politics is local." Take that to heart and pay attention to your local politics.
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#6
Marc said:
:topic: Let's try to keep politics and religion 'neutral' in this thread, please. I admit, I did open the door a bit but let's keep the conversation civil.

I take responsibility for bringing in a controversial topic.
Please read the title you gave to the thread: "What can the US do...?" I'm not sure that this is actually a partisan issue, because there are plenty of moderate Republicans who are appalled at the Bush administrations anti-science policies. This issue can't be discussed without reference to what is actively being done to stifle achievement in science and technology, unless all you want are platitudes.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
#7
JSW05 said:
Please read the title you gave to the thread: "What can the US do...?" I'm not sure that this is actually a partisan issue, because there are plenty of moderate Republicans who are appalled at the Bush administrations anti-science policies. This issue can't be discussed without reference to what is actively being done to stifle achievement in science and technology, unless all you want are platitudes.
Thank you for that.

The other day I was discussing appropriate assessment topics with a social studies teacher at my school. While we are supposed to remain secular in school, it seems fair to notice, trace and compare religion's impact on government policies, private practice and civic developments throughout history.

There are many examples in various countries, such as Muslim clerics discouraging further science, mathematic, medicine and literary advances beginning in the 14th century with profound results. Galileo was called a heretic for claiming the earth was not the center of the universe, but orbited around the sun.

I think we can draw a few parallels, perhaps note history attempting to repeat itself.

And so I stress that I do not wish to simply make political statements, but form connections between very influencial factors and link them to outcomes or potential results so people can see the long range potential of current incremental changes.
 
R

Randy Stewart

#8
All you have to do is watch a few minutes of a golf match on TV and you'll see Phil Mickelson in an ad to keep the young interested in science. It doesn't really matter who is behind it, we can argue evil administrations for weeks without getting anywhere (except kicked out of the cove!).
Why is this happening? What would be the point of reducing our advancements?
IMO it is due to the instant gratification needs of the younger generations. There is no desire to do research all they want is the end result. They don't want the journey they want the destination. My son in college actually feels that when he graduates he will walk into a 6 figure a year job. I told him he better be including the cents in that figure, even coming out of a Big 10 school.
Science is a great deal of hard work in the background, that doesn't always get noticed. I don't believe many want to do that.
 

Marc

Fully vaccinated are you?
Leader
Admin
#9
I guess my point is there are plenty of Democrats in the same boat as the Republicans which is why I saw it as more of an issue discussion. When I posted it I hadn't thought of this as a partisan, but in retrospect that aspect looms large. I probably shouldn't have posted it because of the potential to bring partisan politics into it. But it's here and as long as it stays civil I'll keep it open.

When I posted this it was in part because as I look around it seems like so much in the US is dying as other areas of the world are increasingly thriving.

Again, I'm on the border myself for starting the topic. I probably shouldn't have started it, in retrospect, but it's here so let's see what happens.
 

Marc

Fully vaccinated are you?
Leader
Admin
#10
Randy Stewart said:
...we can argue evil administrations for weeks without getting anywhere (except kicked out of the cove!).
Just to clarify, threads have been closed but I do not remember anyone who was literally 'kicked out' of the forums for expressing their views or for breaking rules applicable to this thread.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
P How to keep a ISO 9001:2015 certification when a company is sold ? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
A Awareness of Guidance and Policies - how do you keep track? Canada Medical Device Regulations 1
J How to keep MDD certificate valid when legal manufacturer has liquidity problem EU Medical Device Regulations 0
M Old Master Schedules - How Long to Keep? Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 4
W How long do you keep information about equipment no longer used? Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 2
lanley liao How to keep the manufacturing capability under the API monogram Oil and Gas Industry Standards and Regulations 7
E Best way to keep up with pharmaceutical quality knowledge and current affairs Service Industry Specific Topics 1
P Images of Product for Automated Process - How long to keep? US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2
J Organization merger. Should we keep two separate ISO 13485 certificates? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 6
R How to keep track of employee read-only training ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 14
D How long should we keep the spare parts available for our medical device, after we have stopped the production? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 0
D What are the important things to keep track of in product audit checklist? Software Quality Assurance 3
Ed Panek Ideas to keep quotes for consulting service accurate on not inflated Consultants and Consulting 11
CPhelan Internal audit - Combine similar nonconformities in one or keep separate? Internal Auditing 6
Sidney Vianna Interesting Discussion How major corporations in the West keep failing to uphold their pledges of abolishing child labor in their cocoa supply chains Sustainability, Green Initiatives and Ecology 3
J ISO 15223-1: Keep dry vs. humidity limitation label symbol Other Medical Device Related Standards 2
R How to keep track of all FDA rules and regulations for medical device companies 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 2
S Where to keep Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP) Validation Records ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 1
C ISO 14001 vs Existing Quality System - How to keep them separate? ISO 14001:2015 Specific Discussions 3
S Record Retention - How long must a company keep the following records? Records and Data - Quality, Legal and Other Evidence 17
Q Is Handwritten Raw Data required to keep with Electronic Records? 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 5
E Design Dossier/DHF Updates - What to Keep EU Medical Device Regulations 2
L Product Safety Officer - How to keep VW Happy VDA Standards - Germany's Automotive Standards 24
T How to keep Customer Engineering Specifications & CSRs Up to Date IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 6
AnaMariaVR2 FDA to keep closer eye on diagnostics: FDA chief US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 0
AnaMariaVR2 How to Keep the Fizz in Your Biz The Reading Room 0
H Best place to keep myself updated on EU Regulatory Changes EU Medical Device Regulations 7
T What Can Be Done to Keep Operations Trainers Busy? Training - Internal, External, Online and Distance Learning 3
V Device Retains - How many people keep retains of finished devices and why? US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 6
Q Material Changes - To keep questions and answers as records? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 10
J SR-001 Revision - Keep watching for the new revision of SR001 (It is expected soon) AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 2
Antonio Vieira Do you still keep old numbers of Quality Progress in paper format? ASQ, ANAB, UKAS, IAF, IRCA, Exemplar Global and Related Organizations 9
C Controlling QMS - We are expanding globally and want to keep our QMS Confidential Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 20
A Do you keep up your CCT (Certified Calibration Technician) Certification? General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 3
P Self Motivation - How to keep it when overwhelmed with problems? Career and Occupation Discussions 13
Q Do we need to keep MSDS documents for all "chemicals" used in the factory? Occupational Health & Safety Management Standards 4
K How you keep yourself motivated in tough times? Career and Occupation Discussions 15
T From Manufacturer to Distributor - Still keep ISO 9001:2008 Certification? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 5
K Documents required to display/keep during ISO 9000 Audit in EPCC firm ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 17
M Dbase or Excel file to keep track on our internal failures (Non conform products) Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 8
Q How should I Keep my various types of records .. ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 2
T How much information should I keep in my Master Document Register? Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 8
D Training Records - Requirement to keep original copy of training/assessment form? Records and Data - Quality, Legal and Other Evidence 12
R How long do I keep expired Calibration Certificates General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 8
Marc Flying will be a real pain now - New rules keep passengers in seats Travel - Hotels, Motels, Planes and Trains 7
S Revisions in ISO 9001 QMS Documents - Where to keep the record of revisions? Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 7
P New Year Goals and Resolutions - Did you keep your goals and resolutions in 2009? Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 5
C Do you keep ISO 9001 when going AS9100? AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 2
Q How many records should I keep when implementing Corrective Actions Records and Data - Quality, Legal and Other Evidence 3
S Outlook efficiency to safely send a document, and keep traceability Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 7

Similar threads

Top Bottom