Science in the public view: A good gamble … Researchers at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, did something gutsy but smart Tuesday: they revved the Large Hadron Collider up to a new energy level in full public view. Happily for the dozens of scientists and engineers in attendance, the LHC successfully reached its goal of a 7 TeV energy level–two beams of protons each at 3.5 trillion electron-volt energies whizzed in opposite directions and eventually collided at several points in the gigantic underground ring-shaped particle accelerator. Scientific projects by and large are hardly cloaked in secrecy. But the LHC's run Tuesday was much more exposed than your typical project: anyone interested could watch the proceedings via Webcast, and CERN sent status events over Twitter. … But even if the LHC run had flopped–and indeed success only came on a third attempt Tuesday–the project probably would have gained something. That's because many of the challenges the LHC faces have nothing to do with the formidable technical obstacles of building and operating a ring 26.7 km in circumference that can observe what happens when two beams of protons moving at 99.99 percent the speed of light run into each other. It's convincing people that the LHC has value at all. – CNET News
Dominant Social Theme: It lives! Hallelujah, it lives!
Free-Market Analysis: We'll put our biases right up front (don't we always?). We DON'T think the LHC has any value. We're old fashioned. Newton invented physics when an apple fell on his head. Copernicus figured out that the planets revolved around the sun with a pocket telescope. Why in God's name, then, does it take US$4 BILLION and a rusty inner-tube the size of Manhattan to discover what the Universe is made of. We already know anyway. It's made of energy and built by God.
Not to be flippant (well, OK, we have a bias against government boondoggles, especially the globalist kind) but the CERN LHC is the latest and greatest excrescence of scientific Dark Ages in which we live. (What, you didn't realize you were living through another Dark Age?) The power elite, which corrupts everything it touches, has virtually taken over organized, academic science (in our opinion) and turned even the greatest establishments into agents of its fear-based dominant social themes.
Does the power elite want to launch a dominant social theme proclaiming the world is running out of potable water? It merely has to rev up the right Universities and scientific think tanks and a plethora of grave warnings, double-blind studies and resultant white papers will establish the gravity of the threat. The same thing as regards "global warming." It is no coincidence that a handful of meretricious scientists and NGO bureaucrats could convince the world of a danger that doesn't exist – and then blame a life-giving gas – carbon (dioxide) – for poisoning the earth.
There are so many other examples these days. Vaccines likely have a down-side risk for some children, but you'll never hear of the possibility from the mainstream press. Pharmaceutical drugs may be bad for your health and treat the symptom rather than the underlying cause (nutritional or otherwise). Energy in copious quantities is probably available by a variety of means, but the powers-that-be will continue to pretend that it can only be dug out of the ground at great expense, or generated via massive nuclear reactors that are dangerous to run and hugely expensive to build.
The era of the individual inventor would seem to be over – or at least that is what we are led to believe. It is a dominant social theme, of course – the idea that science these days is so complex and sophisticated that it costs billions to pursue and needs charades like the LHC to discover anything of significance. In fact, as we have pointed out previously, the universe may be bound together by electricity rather than gravity and the gravitational theory may eventually be seen as a most questionable explanation.
In the meantime we have the LHC and the celebration of infinitesimal particles smacking together without a single sound. Yes, no doubt all this Big Science will eventually come up with something in order to justify the amazing cost and sizeable construction of this immense boondoggle. You know we think of this gigantic collider as a kind of pustulant fiat-money funded tumor. Only time and hindsight can lance it.