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Old 29th May 2021, 03:52 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Yes bit if one costs x then 2 cost less than 2x .
How much less is the riddle.
There's no point to the riddle. They didn't want or need to spend the money for two. Why would they?
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Old 29th May 2021, 03:58 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
There's no point to the riddle. They didn't want or need to spend the money for two. Why would they?
Something like an heir and a spare.
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Old 29th May 2021, 04:09 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Something like an heir and a spare.
What for? If the rocket blows up they can always build the spare after. That would save money in case things go right, which they usually do.
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Old 29th May 2021, 04:25 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
I'm not. The time to evaluate his merits was when the telescope was being named. Maybe they should have picked a different name. But they didn't.

Changing the name now gives in to and encourages a pathological obsession with past sins. It's not healthy. And there is no limiting principle to this drive to erase the past. No name is safe.

There are plenty of people "obsessed" with the past sins. With good reason. Don't forget the Holocaust. Don't forget the genocide of colonialism.
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Old 29th May 2021, 05:18 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I wonder if building 2 of these things might have been a good idea.
Well if there was some fundamental flaw (like the way the Hubble's mirror was made) then building 2 now means 2 machines with the same problems.

Better to wait to see what (if any) problems exist and what needs to be done to correct it before building a second.

(Even if the second was built but not launched, retrofits will probably be more of a hassle than building from the ground up)

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Old 29th May 2021, 09:02 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Well if there was some fundamental flaw (like the way the Hubble's mirror was made) then building 2 now means 2 machines with the same problems.

Better to wait to see what (if any) problems exist and what needs to be done to correct it before building a second.

(Even if the second was built but not launched, retrofits will probably be more of a hassle than building from the ground up)

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Problem with that approach: it takes a long time to build a new one.

Good thing with that approach: we've learned things in the meantime, and the new one could be better than the original.

In which case, if JWST fails, don't just build a new one, build the next generation telescope. The one that hopefully we're going to build anyway. It's not like we were going to build JWST and then have no plans for future space telescopes.

But I've got my fingers crossed that everything goes well.
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Old 29th May 2021, 04:15 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Well if there was some fundamental flaw (like the way the Hubble's mirror
was made) then building 2 now means 2 machines with the same problems.

Not necessarily. If two independent teams each build one then they both
probably won't make the same mistake. Both might succeed, one may fail,
the other one may fail, or both may fail. So a one out of four chance that
both will fail.
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Old 29th May 2021, 04:38 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
There are plenty of people "obsessed" with the past sins. With good reason. Don't forget the Holocaust. Don't forget the genocide of colonialism.
Ah yes, James Webb, the notorious genocide and mass murderer, in whose "honor" nothing should ever be named. Thanks for putting this in the proper perspective!
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Old 29th May 2021, 04:40 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Solitaire View Post
Not necessarily. If two independent teams each build one then they both probably won't make the same mistake. Both might succeed, one may fail, the other one may fail, or both may fail. So a one out of four chance that both will fail.

But if it's two independent teams building them, there's none of the cost savings Samson was anticipating.

Also, the chance that both will fail is the product of the chances of each of the two individuals failing. That's 1/4 only if that's what their product is, such as if each individually has a 1/2 chance to fail. I don't think either project would be funded at all if their chances of failure were expected to be that high.
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Old 30th May 2021, 01:30 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
But if it's two independent teams building them, there's none of the cost savings Samson was anticipating.

Also, the chance that both will fail is the product of the chances of each of the two individuals failing. That's 1/4 only if that's what their product is, such as if each individually has a 1/2 chance to fail. I don't think either project would be funded at all if their chances of failure were expected to be that high.
Except as Puppycow pointed out this is swim or sink.
I am now thinking that 10 billion is a modest expenditure, and future projects should be calculated with multiple redundancy contingencies funded by the wide boys from America, Russia, China, India and Mexico.
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Old 30th May 2021, 03:10 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Ah yes, James Webb, the notorious genocide and mass murderer, in whose "honor" nothing should ever be named. Thanks for putting this in the proper perspective!

I was referring to the post by Giz, not the JW specifically.
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Old 30th May 2021, 01:44 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
There are plenty of people "obsessed" with the past sins. With good reason. Don't forget the Holocaust. Don't forget the genocide of colonialism.
I don't think you understood my point. When the telescope name was being chosen, Webb's alleged sins were already in the past. And I said that that was the time to evaluate him. So I explicitly supported evaluating the past, and not forgetting it.

But the relevant "sin" in question now, after the name was already chosen, isn't actually whatever Webb did. That was relevant when the name was chosen. The sin we're actually evaluating now was choosing the wrong name. And not only are Webb's sins far removed from the Holocaust or colonialism, but naming the telescope after him is also removed from what Webb did. So making comparisons to genocide is so hyperbolic as to be irrelevant.
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Old 30th May 2021, 01:46 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Yes bit if one costs x then 2 cost less than 2x .
How much less is the riddle.
Not enough less.
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Old 30th May 2021, 01:48 PM   #54
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What sin?
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Old 30th May 2021, 07:09 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Except as Puppycow pointed out this is swim or sink.
I am now thinking that 10 billion is a modest expenditure, and future projects should be calculated with multiple redundancy contingencies funded by the wide boys from America, Russia, China, India and Mexico.
10 billion isn't a modest expenditure.

For comparison, it's similar to what would have been spent on the Super Conducting Super Collider. That was cancelled after something like 20% of its budget had already been spent, because Congress just decided that it was too expensive.

If you want to start spending a lot more money on astronomy it makes less sense to just make two of everything than it does to make more. Get the next generation space telescopes approved and built.
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Old 30th May 2021, 08:00 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
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I AGREE
This thing is such an intricate apparatus and every single part has to work correctly. There won't be any possibility of sending a space shuttle out to repair it this time. That's what worries me.
I'm pretty sure Elon would work something out.
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Old 30th May 2021, 09:52 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
10 billion isn't a modest expenditure.

For comparison, it's similar to what would have been spent on the Super Conducting Super Collider. That was cancelled after something like 20% of its budget had already been spent, because Congress just decided that it was too expensive.

If you want to start spending a lot more money on astronomy it makes less sense to just make two of everything than it does to make more. Get the next generation space telescopes approved and built.
Yes but the new generation of tech 100 billionaires have associated interests
Not when this was designed eg.
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Old 30th May 2021, 09:53 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Not enough less.
To be fair though, this was often that case in the past, wasn't it?

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were basically identical copies of the same design, right?
Same with Viking 1 and Viking 2, and some of the Mars rovers.

But in this case I think I understand why they only built one.

Sure, if they are exact copies of each other, you don't need to redesign the second one, but actually building it seems to be what costed most of the money.
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Old 30th May 2021, 10:05 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
To be fair though, this was often that case in the past, wasn't it?

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were basically identical copies of the same design, right?
Same with Viking 1 and Viking 2, and some of the Mars rovers.

But in this case I think I understand why they only built one.

Sure, if they are exact copies of each other, you don't need to redesign the second one, but actually building it seems to be what costed most of the money.
Yeah, the JW is considerably larger, more complicated, and much more expensive than the Voyager, Pioneer and Viking missions.
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Old 31st May 2021, 07:52 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yeah, the JW is considerably larger, more complicated, and much more expensive than the Voyager, Pioneer and Viking missions.
And Voyager and Viking were based on the 10 probe Mariner series. Wikipedia puts the cost of all 10 of the Mariner probes at half a billion which is about 4 billion in today's dollars.

https://www.dollartimes.com/inflatio...nt=1&year=1965
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Old 31st May 2021, 10:50 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
To be fair though, this was often that case in the past, wasn't it?
Sure.

Quote:
Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were basically identical copies of the same design, right?
At least close enough.

The difference here, though, is that they could do things with two probes that they could not do with one. A second JWST would provide data faster, but a second one doesn't provide any different capability than the first. Same with Mars probes: you're sampling different parts of the planet, and one probe cannot do that.

Quote:
Sure, if they are exact copies of each other, you don't need to redesign the second one, but actually building it seems to be what costed most of the money.
I don't know the breakdown between design and manufacturing. The design component is probably pretty significant, and you don't have to duplicate that. But you don't really get economies of scale for the manufacturing part at two. So with a fixed budget, you're probably better off just making one telescope that's the best you can make rather than two lesser telescopes.
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Old 31st May 2021, 06:29 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Yes but the new generation of tech 100 billionaires have associated interests
Not when this was designed eg.
I have no idea what you're talking about here. Could you expand?
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Old 1st June 2021, 11:55 PM   #63
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Another launch delay

Quote:
During a press briefing with reporters on Tuesday, the telescope's director for launch services, Beatriz Romero, said that there are a "combination of different factors" to consider when setting a new launch date. These factors include shipment of the telescope, the readiness of the Ariane 5 rocket, and the readiness of the spaceport in South America as well. Romero said she did not expect to identify a new launch date until later this summer or early fall.
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Old 2nd June 2021, 01:19 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I cant imagine any reason that moving this telescope would be unplanned for.
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Old 2nd June 2021, 07:55 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Well, at least it doesn't appear to be a major delay. At least, not yet.

Could be as little as a couple of weeks.

Hopefully it will still launch this year.

Also:
Quote:
Launching and deploying Webb successfully would be a masterful feat—unfurling it in deep space requires 50 major deployments and 178 major release mechanisms. All of these must work, or the instrument will fail.
This is what makes me worry.
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Old 2nd June 2021, 02:23 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post

This is what makes me worry.
Yep. Given that it will be at at the L2 point, fixing it is not going to be easy. Or cheap.
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Old 2nd June 2021, 03:43 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I have no idea what you're talking about here. Could you expand?
Again, 10 billion is now small change for Gate Musk Bezos Zukerberg Buffet Apple etc.

I have no doubt there are plenty of reasons why they will never contribute to this public good.
A good that includes avoiding another Chuxilliub
None of them will wash with me.
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Old 2nd June 2021, 06:16 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by jonesdave116 View Post
Yep. Given that it will be at at the L2 point, fixing it is not going to be easy. Or cheap.
I doubt they'd bother trying to fix it at all.
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Old 2nd June 2021, 06:19 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I doubt they'd bother trying to fix it at all.
Elon would try. He'd do it just to prove that he can.
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Old 2nd June 2021, 06:59 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Again, 10 billion is now small change for Gate Musk Bezos Zukerberg Buffet Apple etc.

I have no doubt there are plenty of reasons why they will never contribute to this public good.
A good that includes avoiding another Chuxilliub
None of them will wash with me.
10 billion isn't small change to any of them.

JWST isn't cataloguing near earth asteroids (or further out asteroids or comets) so it's not related to "avoiding another Chuxilliub".

You want NASA to build and launch a second JWST, not "Gate Musk Bezos Zukerberg Buffet Apple etc." $10 billion isn't small change for NASA. If you now want to change the subject to how billionaires should engage in science-philanthropy, and particular space-telescope philanthropy, maybe we can have that conversation, but it's not what you were talking about earlier.
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Old 2nd June 2021, 08:41 PM   #71
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Two of those billionaires are also working on rockets that show promise of transforming space flight. That's certainly helpful towards dealing with another Chicxulub.
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Old 3rd June 2021, 03:57 AM   #72
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Edited:

On second thought, let's stay on topic.
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Old 3rd June 2021, 04:13 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The difference here, though, is that they could do things with two probes that they could not do with one. A second JWST would provide data faster, but a second one doesn't provide any different capability than the first. Same with Mars probes: you're sampling different parts of the planet, and one probe cannot do that.
A thought occurred to me though:

There would probably be more than enough demand from astronomers for telescope time for at least two telescopes like this.

That said, I'd like to see whether the first one works before we consider building a second. Since we still have all the plans, I'm sure we could probably build another one like it in less time and for less money than it took to create the first one, should it prove to be a smashing success. On the other hand, if it belly-flops, it might be better to go back to the drawing boards.

Worst case would be if the mission fails for an unrelated reason, like a rocket explosion. Then we'll never know whether the telescope itself would have worked or not.
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Old 3rd June 2021, 07:29 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Two of those billionaires are also working on rockets that show promise of transforming space flight. That's certainly helpful towards dealing with another Chicxulub.
Absolutely.
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Old 3rd June 2021, 07:50 AM   #75
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
A thought occurred to me though:

There would probably be more than enough demand from astronomers for telescope time for at least two telescopes like this.

That said, I'd like to see whether the first one works before we consider building a second. Since we still have all the plans, I'm sure we could probably build another one like it in less time and for less money than it took to create the first one, should it prove to be a smashing success. On the other hand, if it belly-flops, it might be better to go back to the drawing boards.

Worst case would be if the mission fails for an unrelated reason, like a rocket explosion. Then we'll never know whether the telescope itself would have worked or not.
I think we can safely assume that it works. That's not to say that this particular article will be free of any major malfunction. But I doubt the project would have gotten this far if the basic design, the construction, and all the components weren't already known to be sound.

It's not like we're throwing milk and lemon juice into a glass and then we'll decide if it's a tasty beverage and we should pour a few more. This is more like a gin martini, shaken not stirred, but if you shake it one too many times it's undrinkable. So you pour another one and pay more attention to the shaking.
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Old 3rd June 2021, 10:26 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
A thought occurred to me though:

There would probably be more than enough demand from astronomers for telescope time for at least two telescopes like this.
Sure, but they don't have the budget for two of these. And with the budget they do have, any telescope they could build two of wouldn't be as good. And they'd rather have less time on a better telescope than more time on inferior ones.

ETA: I can see a use case for multiple identical space telescopes, though. With radio astronomy, building multiple telescopes to form a giant array allows you to get vastly better diffraction limits on your signal than you can with a single telescope.
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Old 3rd June 2021, 10:44 AM   #77
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
I really wish NASA would stop doing this prototype-only stuff. If we can justify designing a single sun-shaded telescope operating at a lagrange point a million kilometers from Earth, why not send three and have a bit of redundancy?
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I hate to say it, but where investing in redundancy makes sense is in national defense.

Let's also note that there are multiple redundant systems on board the JWST. And that's generally a better way to achieve redundancy than building two that don't have internal redundancy. It doesn't guard against a launch failure obviously, but it does mean you can swap them in one at a time. Can't do that if the redundancy is spread across two independent instruments.
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Old 3rd June 2021, 11:42 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Let's also note that there are multiple redundant systems on board the JWST. And that's generally a better way to achieve redundancy than building two that don't have internal redundancy. It doesn't guard against a launch failure obviously, but it does mean you can swap them in one at a time. Can't do that if the redundancy is spread across two independent instruments.
Fair enough. Thanks for the added perspective.
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Old 3rd June 2021, 11:59 AM   #79
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The reason they don't have the budget for two or three is because it's expensive but not valuable. It isn't curing cancer. It isn't controlling the spread of disease. It isn't providing safety and security. It isn't producing peace and prosperity.

It's being built with the surplus generated by these other, more valuable investments. And there's nothing wrong with that. But let's not imbue it with mystical qualities of value far beyond its practical applications. That would be scientism.

There's nothing wrong with speculative blue-sky investment, but it's the least valuable kind of investment. One JWST would be nice to have. Two or three might be nicer, especially if you're a cutting-edge cosmologist thirsty for scope time. But on our society's list of people who need stuff, such cosmologists and their ten billion dollar tools are probably somewhere near the very bottom.
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Old 3rd June 2021, 07:09 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The reason they don't have the budget for two or three is because it's expensive but not valuable. It isn't curing cancer. It isn't controlling the spread of disease. It isn't providing safety and security. It isn't producing peace and prosperity.

It's being built with the surplus generated by these other, more valuable investments. And there's nothing wrong with that. But let's not imbue it with mystical qualities of value far beyond its practical applications. That would be scientism.

There's nothing wrong with speculative blue-sky investment, but it's the least valuable kind of investment. One JWST would be nice to have. Two or three might be nicer, especially if you're a cutting-edge cosmologist thirsty for scope time. But on our society's list of people who need stuff, such cosmologists and their ten billion dollar tools are probably somewhere near the very bottom.
Paul Graham would say that each individual company y combinator chooses to invest in is "expensive but not valuable" in your sense, in that they put money in and end up with either failure or very small returns. But that's made up for by the huge successes that come around once in a while. He'll also tell you that he really can't tell the difference between them.

Basic science is to society what startups are to investors. You don't know where any major advances will come from, so most of the money that you put in will lead to no or very small returns of practical value. But the few major successes, which make up less than 1% of the total, more than fund all the rest.

Of course you're also right that aside from practical value that sometimes comes out of basic science, we also get the beauty of learning about the universe for it's own sake. And that may be reason enough for society to invest at the level that we do in things like space telescopes. But practical value does come out of these sorts of things, and we can't predict ahead of time which basic science will turn into valuable applications.
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