The Seduction of Athena by Ares.
Yes, it is war again in Europe. That is not strange in fact it was expected and obvious in the attitude of people over the last decade. Once you see people like Trump and Putin at the wheel of advanced nations you know something is rotten in this world. What US did in Irak was not better than what Russia does in Ukraine and the whole show is immersed in fake news and propaganda. Like some little canary birds were once used in mines to warn about the presence of gas (by dying first), fundamental (!) science is a very good canary bird for detecting poisonous politics in this world, again by starting to die first.
Nowadays science is heavily depending on funding . Applied science gets support from companies, the industry, the government, but fundamental science was and is more and more depending on governmental funding. In the universities scientists are becoming managers hunting for so-called external funds since the university budgets have been cut and recut. So wisdom has to sell itself…it has to be marketed. Research with immediate application ,often the result of short time planning and strategies, not only gets support from the industrial-military complex more easily, it is also picked up by the media rapidly and this created the research with “high visibility”,usually with easily explainable results on a layman’s level. The more fundamental science, purely curiosity driven at first ,has a high specialization level ,a lot of technical pre-knowledge is necessary and probably there are no immediate direct applications in view. Nevertheless most advances in any science are building on the theoretical fundamental work done in abstract research. All the abstract mathematics that went into computer science, in the computers themselves, in data base ,in search machines like Google,…is a good example.
The very fundamental scientific research was largely depending on governmental support , but while all sources of financing for research were shrinking, eg the military budgets too, pressure on governmental funds became also bigger. The European security project “Eurosec.” claimed in its introduction : “…we have to strive for a closer symbiosis between civil research and military research!”. How could such symbiosis be supported by European research organizations? Well easily via the selection of research projects to get funded. As always, projects aiming at direct applications find their way as before but now the selection of fundamental research is not done on the basis of pure scientific quality ,now the possible symbiosis of the research and military applications becomes an ingredient in the decision making. Ares is softly but strongly putting his arms around the naked shoulders of Athena.
Meanwhile the industrial-military lobby, thriving in a society that changes everything, entertainment, culture, art, science, emotions,…,into objects or products with a price-tag ,embeds itself in all political organisms and the mass-media. Scientists have become mercenairs tied to varying companies in short time research contracts ,hopping from project to project for self-financing research. The universities were at first rather free from this effect but after the budget cuts the research laboratories began more and more to behave like the industrial labs, research that brought in some funds but was rather superficial got priority over fundamental work and long term planning. More time and man-power is spend on rather trivial research connected to minor technological problems in industry! The scientific committees in different organizations obtain almost exclusively an alibi function, they have to give the scientific agreement for decisions already taken by politicians in cooperation with (international) lobby groups. In fact lobby groups offer scientists to write projects for them, using their “influence” in European or other institutions to get support on the “inside” for such projects. It is clear that the scientific value as well as the actual contribution of the scientist in the project becomes very debatable. I know even big scientific organizations have given in to this lobby-system (happily not always with success because the peer reviewing system sometimes still works!).
The old idea of science purely driven by curiosity for the sake of real knowledge and wisdom is dying ,it is now driven by the lust for funds…Athena is naked…Ares is about to drop his mask and the seduction will become a rape!
Ares is not Putin, that is just a frustrated KGB agent, no, Ares is in the mind of people , in racism, in intolerance, in nationalism, in economic exploitation… short: in our society, in us! Now there is another war in Europe and many leaders are crying about giving more funds to the military while the level of poverty in the civilised world is steadily on the rise. That people like Putin; just one example, are actually the result of exactly that war-philosophy in the past is (deliberately) ignored. So the fearful crab keeps its fighting claw growing…until it lays on the beach immobilised by its weight dying the hunger death.