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Richard Dawkins
Discussion of his work, ideas and activities
What would Darwin say? ;-) 
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19th-Jan-2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
I wonder who it was who placed the winning bid? It could have been an atheist like Dawkins, or it could have been a big fan of Einstein who wanted one of his letters, but it just as easily could be Kirk Cameron or some Vatican nut with the intention of destroying the letter. That's what I worry about.
21st-Jan-2011 05:35 pm (UTC) - ...and I have another question
As far as I know, this letter bought Russian. Although I am Russian too, I am very sorry that it was not Dawkins because Dawkins, I'm sure, would not only kept it as a relic, but would have used for the benefit of us all.

On the other hand, I do not think that it was anything threatening because contents of this letter we all know, and the only thign that can be achieved by destroying it is disturbance of the public.


But I have another question.

I have mentioned Darwin. I must admit that in the case with the letter, Richard was playing in a foreign field. Einstein was also not very good in making money, but since then much has changed.

Now financiers and capitalists are already totally dependent on scientists: they are building mathematical models of the market, create new economic theories and strategies, theories of recovery, give advice on marketing, etc. etc.

I am wondering why then scientists do not control the situation? Marx explained this by the fact that capital is always subordinates labour, but it was a hundred and fifty years ago, and he meant the working class. In our time, they say that Marx is obsolete, and instead of the working class, we have excellent well-educated, ambitious intellectuals. What prevents them from replacing the old elite?
21st-Jan-2011 10:27 pm (UTC) - Re: ...and I have another question
On the other hand, I do not think that it was anything threatening because contents of this letter we all know

I wasn't suggesting that a buyer with nefarious intent would destroy it to keep people from knowing its contents, I was suggesting that they would do it as a symbolic gesture to destroy the original. Book burnings don't remove the content, since it's easy to obtain copies of books, but rather serve as a symbolic destruction of unwanted thought. I wouldn't put it past some right-wing Christian nutjob to destroy it out of spite since many Christians still cling to the absurd notion that Einstein was a religious man.

I am wondering why then scientists do not control the situation?

Because there's a huge difference between being good at science and being good at running a business.

What prevents them from replacing the old elite?

Inertia, momentum, whatever you want to call it. Essentially, the rich control the bulk of the money and use that money to buy into ventures created by people like Einstein (or Facebook or Google). The creative types who make scientific discoveries don't tend to have the money to create huge corporations so they need the rich. The situation may be different than it was in Marx's time but it's not that different. Capital is still required to start a business and those with the ideas are rarely the ones with the money. As long as this is the case, and barring some sort of communist revolution that puts the money in different hands (which would be neither likely to happen or desirable), this is never going to change.
15th-Apr-2011 05:12 am (UTC)
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