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Pentagon to Significantly Cut CS Research

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the how-dare-they-take-away-the-free-money dept.

The Almighty Buck 408

GabrielF writes "Over the last few decades, DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has funded some of the most successful computer science research projects in history, such as the Internet. However, according to the New York Times, DARPA has recently decided to significantly cut funding of open-ended computer science research projects in favor of projects that will yield short-term military results. Leading computer scientists, such as David Patterson, the head of the ACM are outraged and worried."

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Technology (3, Insightful)

mikeleemm (462460) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120690)

Since the whole .COM bust, technology has been slow moving. Doesn't come as a surprise funding will be cut on such either. Pretty sad unfortunately, but just look at the slowdown in any research, new products and innovation.

Re:Technology (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120699)

It seems to go in a cycle, innovation followed by consolidation. Someone will make a breakthrough somewhere and we'll see the process start over again.

Re:Technology (1)

mikeleemm (462460) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120731)

Hope so, but where are we heading as far as computer technologies anyways? The "latest" crap is things like VOIP, RFID and wireless. All of which are not too special, all hype, and implemented kind of poorly. Obviously, as far as things such as processor technology/speed/etc, the increase has been fairly slow in the past few years, and not too much advancement in software or applications of such. Other than government, who's obviously out to fund things that immediately and directly benefit them at this point, companies are doing the same exact thing, generally funding things that make money only.

Re:Technology (4, Insightful)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120737)

Don't think so. This was there before the bust, so why is there any relation to the bust.

Not saying there is anything special about this president but next time try to pick one who has friends in industries you want to see funded because thats how this game works.

Re:Technology (1, Interesting)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120771)

Exactly!!! With Bush, you get federal funding to help research drilling for oil in a nature preserve (Anwar) and cut funding for science/technology.

Re:Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120775)

Cold War ended...

no point in proliferating real WMDs, or cool technology.

Re:Technology (5, Insightful)

notque (636838) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120777)

Not saying there is anything special about this president but next time try to pick one who has friends in industries you want to see funded because thats how this game works.

I'd rather my president have a combatitive relationship with industry than a friendly relationship.

Re:Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120869)

I'd rather my president have a combatitive relationship with industry than a friendly relationship.

This is slashdot. I believe you mean then a friendly relationship. :o)

Re:Technology (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120783)

Um, it's not a budget cut. It's a shift.
Companies (defense contractors) are getting the
research monies that schools used to get.

Your theory about an echo-of-the-dot-com bust
is wrong.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120692)

blag

free registration blah blah blah (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120693)

SAN FRANCISCO, April 1 - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Pentagon - which has long underwritten open-ended "blue sky" research by the nation's best computer scientists - is sharply cutting such spending at universities, researchers say, in favor of financing more classified work and narrowly defined projects that promise a more immediate payoff. Hundreds of research projects supported by the agency, known as Darpa, have paid off handsomely in recent decades, leading not only to new weapons, but to commercial technologies from the personal computer to the Internet. The agency has devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to basic software research, too, including work that led to such recent advances as the Web search technologies that Google and others have introduced. The shift away from basic research is alarming many leading computer scientists and electrical engineers, who warn that there will be long-term consequences for the nation's economy. They are accusing the Pentagon of reining in an agency that has played a crucial role in fostering America's lead in computer and communications technologies. "I'm worried and depressed," said David Patterson, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley who is president of the Association of Computing Machinery, an industry and academic trade group. "I think there will be great technologies that won't be there down the road when we need them." University researchers, usually reluctant to speak out, have started quietly challenging the agency's new approach. They assert that Darpa has shifted a lot more work in recent years to military contractors, adopted a focus on short-term projects while cutting support for basic research, classified formerly open projects as secret and placed new restrictions on sharing information. This week, in responding to a query from the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Darpa officials acknowledged for the first time a shift in focus. They revealed that within a relatively steady budget for computer science research that rose slightly from $546 million in 2001 to $583 million last year, the portion going to university researchers has fallen from $214 million to $123 million. The agency cited a number of reasons for the decline: increased reliance on corporate research; a need for more classified projects since 9/11; Congress's decision to end controversial projects like Total Information Awareness because of privacy fears; and the shift of some basic research to advanced weapons systems development. In Silicon Valley, executives are also starting to worry about the consequences of Darpa's stinting on basic research in computer science. "This has been a phenomenal system for harnessing intellectual horsepower for the country," said David L. Tennenhouse, a former Darpa official who is now director of research for Intel. "We should be careful how we tinker with it." University scientists assert that the changes go even further than what Darpa has disclosed. As financing has dipped, the remaining research grants come with yet more restrictions, they say, often tightly linked to specific "deliverables" that discourage exploration and serendipitous discoveries. Many grants also limit the use of graduate students to those who hold American citizenship, a rule that hits hard in computer science, where many researchers are foreign. The shift at Darpa has been noted not just by those researchers directly involved in computing technologies, but by those in other fields supported by the agency. "I can see they are after deliverables, but the unfortunate thing is that basic research gets squeezed out in the process," said Wolfgang Porod, director of the Center for Nano Science and Technology at the University of Notre Dame. The concerns are highlighted in a report on the state of the nation's cybersecurity that was released with little fanfare in March by the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee. Darpa has long focused on long-term basic research projects with time horizons that exceed five years, the report notes, but by last year, very little of Darpa's financing was being directed toward fundamental research in the field. "Virtually every aspect of information technology upon which we rely today bears the stamp of federally sponsored university research," said Ed Lazowska, a computer scientist at the University of Washington and co-chairman of the advisory panel. "The federal government is walking away from this role, killing the goose that laid the golden egg."

Re:free registration blah blah blah (1)

notque (636838) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120740)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Pentagon - which has long underwritten open-ended "blue sky" research by the nation's best computer scientists - is sharply cutting such spending at universities, researchers say, in favor of financing more classified work and narrowly defined projects that promise a more immediate payoff.

Government Officials state that this was the same justification for war with Iraq, and opposed to allowing UN inspections which were working to continue.

no reg. link (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120784)

Here's a link a link where no registration is required [nytimes.com] .

People! When you submit a link to the NYT use the New York Times Link Generator [blogspace.com] !

Re:free registration blah blah blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120813)

My eyes, they bleed at the sight of your paragraphless wall of words.

Better Formating (2, Informative)

Maddog Batty (112434) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120909)

April 1 - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Pentagon - which has long underwritten open-ended "blue sky" research by the nation's best computer scientists - is sharply cutting such spending at universities, researchers say, in favor of financing more classified work and narrowly defined projects that promise a more immediate payoff.

Hundreds of research projects supported by the agency, known as Darpa, have paid off handsomely in recent decades, leading not only to new weapons, but to commercial technologies from the personal computer to the Internet. The agency has devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to basic software research, too, including work that led to such recent advances as the Web search technologies that Google [slashdot.org] and others have introduced.

The shift away from basic research is alarming many leading computer scientists and electrical engineers, who warn that there will be long-term consequences for the nation's economy. They are accusing the Pentagon of reining in an agency that has played a crucial role in fostering America's lead in computer and communications technologies.

"I'm worried and depressed," said David Patterson, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley who is president of the Association of Computing Machinery, an industry and academic trade group. "I think there will be great technologies that won't be there down the road when we need them."

University researchers, usually reluctant to speak out, have started quietly challenging the agency's new approach. They assert that Darpa has shifted a lot more work in recent years to military contractors, adopted a focus on short-term projects while cutting support for basic research, classified formerly open projects as secret and placed new restrictions on sharing information.

This week, in responding to a query from the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Darpa officials acknowledged for the first time a shift in focus. They revealed that within a relatively steady budget for computer science research that rose slightly from $546 million in 2001 to $583 million last year, the portion going to university researchers has fallen from $214 million to $123 million.

The agency cited a number of reasons for the decline: increased reliance on corporate research; a need for more classified projects since 9/11; Congress's decision to end controversial projects like Total Information Awareness because of privacy fears; and the shift of some basic research to advanced weapons systems development.

In Silicon Valley, executives are also starting to worry about the consequences of Darpa's stinting on basic research in computer science.

"This has been a phenomenal system for harnessing intellectual horsepower for the country," said David L. Tennenhouse, a former Darpa official who is now director of research for Intel [slashdot.org] . "We should be careful how we tinker with it."

University scientists assert that the changes go even further than what Darpa has disclosed. As financing has dipped, the remaining research grants come with yet more restrictions, they say, often tightly linked to specific "deliverables" that discourage exploration and serendipitous discoveries.

Many grants also limit the use of graduate students to those who hold American citizenship, a rule that hits hard in computer science, where many researchers are foreign.

The shift at Darpa has been noted not just by those researchers directly involved in computing technologies, but by those in other fields supported by the agency.

"I can see they are after deliverables, but the unfortunate thing is that basic research gets squeezed out in the process," said Wolfgang Porod, director of the Center for Nano Science and Technology at the University of Notre Dame.

The concerns are highlighted in a report on the state of the nation's cybersecurity that was released with little fanfare in March by the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee. Darpa has long focused on long-term basic research projects with time horizons that exceed five years, the report notes, but by last year, very little of Darpa's financing was being directed toward fundamental research in the field.

"Virtually every aspect of information technology upon which we rely today bears the stamp of federally sponsored university research," said Ed Lazowska, a computer scientist at the University of Washington and co-chairman of the advisory panel. "The federal government is walking away from this role, killing the goose that laid the golden egg."

(Page 2 of 2)

As a result of the new restrictions, a number of computer scientists said they had chosen not to work with Darpa any longer. Last year, the agency offered to support research by Leonard Kleinrock, a computer scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles who was one of the small group of researchers who developed the Arpanet, the 1960's predecessor to today's Internet.

Dr. Kleinrock said that he decided that he was not interested in the project when he learned that the agency was insisting that he employ only graduate assistants with American citizenship.

Darpa officials, who declined repeated requests for interviews, disputed the university researchers. The agency, which responded only in writing to questions, contended that the criticisms leveled by the advisory committee and other researchers were not accurate and that it had always supported a mix of longer- and shorter-term research.

"The key is a focus on high-risk, high-payoff research," Jan Walker, a Darpa spokeswoman, stated in an e-mail message. Given the threat from terrorism and the demands on troops in Iraq, she wrote, Darpa is rightly devoting more attention to "quick reaction" projects that draw on the fruits of earlier science and technology to produce useful prototypes as soon as possible.

The Pentagon shift has put added pressure on the other federal agencies that support basic information technology research.

At the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering of the National Science Foundation, the number of research proposals has soared from 2,000 in 1999 to 6,500 last year. Peter A. Freeman, its director, said that the sharp rise was partly attributable to declines in Pentagon support.

"Darpa has moved away from direct funding to universities," Mr. Freeman said. "Even when they do directly fund, some of the conditions and constraints seem to be pretty onerous. There is no question that the community doesn't like what the head of Darpa has been doing, but he has his reasons and his prerogatives."

The transformation of Darpa has been led by Anthony J. Tether, a Stanford-educated electrical engineer who has had a long career moving between executive positions at military contractors and the Pentagon.

Last year, Dr. Tether's new approach led to a series of cutbacks at a number of computer science departments. Program financing for a Darpa project known as Network Embedded Sensor Technology - intended to develop networks of sensors that could potentially be deployed on battlefields to locate and track enemy tanks and soldiers - has been cut back or ended on as many as five university campuses and shifted instead to traditional military contractors.

"The network has now become as vital as the weapons themselves," Dr. Tether said in an appearance before the advisory committee last year, testifying that secrecy had become more essential for a significant part of the agency's work.

That has created problems for university researchers. Several scientists have been instructed, for example, to remove previously published results from Web sites. And at U.C.L.A. and Berkeley, Darpa officials tried to classify software research done under a contract that specified that the results would be distributed under so-called open-source licensing terms.

"We were requested to remove all publicly accessible pointers to software developed under the program," said Deborah Estrin, director of embedded network sensing at U.C.L.A. "This is the first time in 15 years that I have no Darpa funding."

At Berkeley, Edward A. Lee, who was recently named chairman of the computer science department, agreed not to publish a final report at Darpa's request, even though he told officials the data had already become widely available.

Despite the complaints, some pioneering researchers support the changes being driven by Dr. Tether and say they are necessary to prepare the nation for a long battle against elusive enemies.

"There are pressures and demands on Darpa to be relevant," said Robert Kahn, a former Darpa administrator who is now president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives in Reston, Va. "People think it should stay the same, but times have changed."

Still, a number of top scientists argue that the Pentagon's shift in priorities could not have come at a worse time. Most American companies have largely ended basic research and have begun to outsource product research and development extensively even as investments in Asia and Europe are rising quickly.

And many computer scientists dispute Darpa's reasoning that fighting wars demands a shift away from basic research. During the Vietnam War, they say, Darpa kept its commitment to open-ended computer research, supporting things like a laboratory in the hills behind Stanford University dedicated to the far-out idea of building computing machines to mimic human capabilities.

John McCarthy founded the Stanford artificial research lab in 1964, helping to turn it into a wellspring for some of Silicon Valley's most important companies, from Xerox [slashdot.org] Parc to Apple to Intel.

"American leadership in computer science and in applications has benefited more from the longer-term work," Mr. McCarthy said, "than from the deliverables."

Does decent formatting mean nothing to you? (3, Informative)

admiralh (21771) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120931)

Modding up to 5 a 15-second cut and paste post is simply ridiculous.

You moderators ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

sigh... (5, Insightful)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120694)

I am not surprised but this is kind of sad. Lets stop open ended research that may help people in the future... instead we will spend that money on killing people in the short term.

as great as this country is, it is sometimes frustrating to be an American

Re:sigh... (-1, Troll)

notque (636838) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120723)

I am not surprised but this is kind of sad. Lets stop open ended research that may help people in the future... instead we will spend that money on killing people in the short term.

So usual operations?

Hey, let's add some more faith based tax breaks with this now unneeded money!

Re:sigh... (5, Insightful)

Rostin (691447) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120782)

There are at least two false dilemmas, here.

First, why do you assume that short-term military spending won't help people in the future? It's not at all obvious that having a powerful, technologically advanced military prevents us from helping people in the future. I would hope that the reverse is true, in fact.

Second, do you think there's a compelling reason to believe that in the absence of military research, people would stop killing one another? Isn't it true that (at least in theory) having better, more accurate weapons means that we kill *fewer* people?

Re:sigh... (1)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120810)

you make a good point that having a strong military may help people someday. I just think our priorities are a little strange sometimes. Anyhow... I really do hope you are right.

Re:sigh... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120839)

Oh, yeah, it's *so* nice being in denial.

Re:sigh... (2, Insightful)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120884)

It's the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. What should its priorities be, if not defense? Defense-related research should be its bread-and-butter; it needs to be done, and it's more logically their province rather than, say, the more-general NSF or the public-health NIH.

Re:sigh... (4, Insightful)

snarkh (118018) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120868)

It's not at all obvious that having a powerful, technologically advanced military prevents us from helping people in the future. I would hope that the reverse is true, in fact.


The US already has the most advanced military and by far the largest military spending. Why is such an increase in military research nececessary at this point in time?

Second, do you think there's a compelling reason to believe that in the absence of military research, people would stop killing one another?


Who said anything about the absense of military research. The question is about the purpose of redirecting funds from long term CS research into short-term military spending.

Re:sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120821)

great comment.. sure is frustrating

Re:sigh... (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120859)

+5 insightful? People, this is *CompSci* we're talking about here. Think for a moment. What materials does a CompSci researcher need? A few thousand dollars worth of computing equipment? Maybe ten thousand a year in custom board manufacturing costs? Beyond that you're just talking about people's wages. This isn't chemistry or rocket science where rare and expensive materials are needed for experiments! This is computer science where 90-99% of the research is intellectual!

Just think for a moment here. If they've got massive multi-million dollar budgets, where is all the research money going?

Re:sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120885)

You could also take a more constructive look at this as a focus for the short-term into saving the lives of the soldiers on the battlefield.

I'm sure if you were to ask, most Americans would like to see our soldiers come home safe, and wouldn't mind putting off advanced CS research for a few years.

Well... (5, Informative)

sabernet (751826) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120695)

While this does royally suck, we cannot forgot DARPA is a defense agency after all. And in the modern, "Make war, not talk" times of the current administration, this was almost forseeable.

Re:Well... (5, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120929)

Well, like they say, it's killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Maybe this move can get some new weapons system out there a few months earlier, but in the meantime, you're not inventing the technologies which permit whole new classes of weapons systems.

I'll put it in StarCraft terms: you're spending your minerals on upgrading your Zealots, and failing to invest in the pylons and tech structures that would allow you to build a whole frickin' fleet of Protoss Carriers.

-1: USians are stupid (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120696)

Who cares.

Re:-1: USians are stupid (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120729)

-1: Using the term "USians" reflects more on your intelligence than it does on ours.

Totally believable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120698)

with bushie in office. I guess he's scared of "the internets"

excellent. (3, Funny)

notque (636838) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120702)

This means they are going to use this money instead of fund the radically out of control social security right?

It's in serious need... They should get to that.

nope just bigger weapons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120844)


Report Says Pentagon Spending on Weapons to Soar
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/01/business/01milit ary.html [nytimes.com]

I think something is broken in your society, please fix it before the rest of the world takes your toys away (like ruin your economy but you seem to be doing that without much help)

Re:excellent. (1)

Jameth (664111) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120858)

"It's in serious need... They should get to that."

Indeed, it is in serious need. After all, it will only last another 30 years on this system.

Now, how could we get enough money to keep something solvent thirty years from now...hmmm...that seems like a rather long-term goal...hmmm...oh, wait, we could fund something open-ended, as we did with the internet, and start up another economic boom through innovation somewhere down the line, like around ten years from now when the whole system stops resulting in positive returns and begins sliding towards uselessness.

Re:excellent. (1)

notque (636838) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120887)

Indeed, it is in serious need. After all, it will only last another 30 years on this system.

It doesn't suddenly die in 30 years. It will remain for long after that as long as the egotistic and selfish among us don't kill it.

Frosted Piss! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120703)

Come on 20 seconds. Pass so that I can hit post! SUBMIT!!!

Frist Pizost! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120705)

Frist Pizost!

zerg (4, Funny)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120709)

Great! We didn't want to compete w/ India anyway...

Re:zerg (2, Insightful)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120849)

There's a big difference between funding CS research, and competing with the code for hire shops in India.

DARPA funds quite a bit of research that is a long way from becoming technology that we use in our homes. Many papers that I read that are funded by DARPA, I read with the realization that I won't see a practical system do these things for at least 10 years, probably much longer.

That said, there are a few other things to say:
1) The D in DARPA is for defense... many of these projects get into places that are hard to tie directly to defence.
2) Most of the work is publicly published, companies in India would have it anyway.
3) It really is a problem that they are cutting this money. Universities desparately need it. It is hard to find funding for everything that needs to get done. Somebody needs to fund it.
4) DARPA probably gets much more bang out of their buck for university research funding than they do internal projects. I know it cost quite a bit more to run projects at my contract house than it does to get projects funded at a University. All the U is looking for is money to run the lab and pay the students' tuition and stipends. There is significantly more overhead for contractors.

Re:zerg (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120867)

Great! We didn't want to compete w/ India anyway...
You don't get it. With reduced funding, all your defense research are belong to India.

Time for a fed Dept of Information Technology (2, Interesting)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120711)

I believe strongly that the feds should consolidate their IT into a department of Technology or IT. I know that the NIH (HHS), the NSF, the DoD and the DOE commonly fund IT research, but it often doesn't fit into their missions. Our gov't should support Technology development and infrastructure just like it supports health (HHS), transportation (DoT), Energy (DoE), Science (NSF), security (HS) and defense (DoD). Who is going to build the next public cyberinfrastructure if it isn't appropriate for the other departments?

Spending cut, scientists outraged; news at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120713)


Leading computer scientists, such as David Patterson, the head of the ACM are outraged and worried."


Of course computer scientists are outraged at a cut in spending on computer science. It'd be more of a story if they instead supported the new spending plans.

Note Self... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120721)

Change that computer app designed to feed the world into a laser-guidance missile control program to kill all those hungry poor fuckers.

Re:Note Self... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120819)

Then eat them.

KFG

I guess someone important finally watched (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120725)

all 3 Terminator movies in a row and clued in after a night of hard thinking that "Skynet v0.8" was too suspiciouly named to continue to v1.0.

My question... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120727)

So here's my question: how many Slashdot users are going to whine here about DARPA not giving out enough research money and then wander over to DailyKos and whine there about how the Bush administration has brought about the largest budget deficits in US history?

Probably the same number of people who like to whine about Hubble being deorbited and then whine about how we'll never visit Mars.

Pick, people. Free money doesn't come without a cost to something else.

Re:My question... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120750)

The Bush administration brought about the largest budget deficit because of the war you fuckass, so yes people have the right to complain that shit is being mismanaged.

You know what's funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120797)

Even with all these budget cuts to stuff we all care about, the budget deficit is still growing...

The war in iraq has created a quagmire that sucks up all our money... Which mostly goes to the private army industry.

Re:You know what's funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120906)

thats because the rest of the world realises if its going to fight USA it doesnt need guns, just make your country worthless,
China and Japan already own a massive amount of US holdings, if they sell your economy will collapse in an instant
so keep pissing them and the rest of the world off, please

Re:My question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120803)

Dude. Four words: R. T. F. A.

These is not, I repeat NOT, about budget
cuts. It's about budget shifts. The same
money is being spent on *companies* instead
of *schools*. Got it?

In fact, the DARPA funding is up, big
time, since 2001. (Hint: DARPA is part
of the military.)

Re:My question... (3, Insightful)

notque (636838) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120807)

So here's my question: how many Slashdot users are going to whine here about DARPA not giving out enough research money and then wander over to DailyKos and whine there about how the Bush administration has brought about the largest budget deficits in US history?

And how many people will post arguements that are entirely nonsensical.

They aren't cutting the cost. They are redirecting it.

AND!

I assure you that this funding is no where near the funding of the Iraqi war.

Which had nothing to do with 9/11.

So Bush made a choice to attack Iraq, gave us justification that at best was terrible intelligence and at worst was a bold faced lie.

Free money doesn't come without a cost to something else.

Exactly, The cost of the Iraq war is not only lives, but could fund social security and medicare quite nicely.

Facts about Iraq and Al Qaeda (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120864)

1. Where was Khalid Sheik Mohammed located each time Ramzi Yousef called him while planning the first WTC attack? Iraq.

2. To where did Ramzi Yousef flee after the first WTC attack? Iraq.

3. Where did Zarqawi go to hide after he got chased out of Afghanistan after 9/11/2001? Iraq.

In what country is Salman Pak [google.com] , a training camp where teams of four or five terrorists were taught to hijack civilian airliners with small knives? Iraq.

Go ahead, keep fooling yourself that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Just because Al Qaeda is based on fanatical Islam doesn't mean someone like Saddam Hussein couldn't use them.

Should I be worried? (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120728)

The problem is that Computer Science hasn't advanced much since the 80's. All the core concepts have been long established, and precious little groundbreaking research has emerged. I hate to say it, but most of the valuable work being done today is at the commercial level. i.e. Building upon the CompSci foundations to create useful, real world products.

The biggest area that I see research being useful is in artificial intelligence. There's so much that we;re still trying to comprehend about emergent behaviors. Unfortunately, AI is very much like Fusion. It's only 20 years away (for the next century). :-) Not that I begrudge the AI research. It's fascinating stuff and deserves to be done. Just don't expect any sort of immediate results.

Re:Should I be worried? (2, Insightful)

braindead (33893) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120833)

Yeah that's right, nothing came out of CS research in the last 20 years, everything's been already invented. To take just one example, this whole web [wikipedia.org] thing of the 90s should not count for anything. CS research is worthless, real progress comes from companies like Google [google.com] or Akamai [mit.edu] . Oh wait... both came to us straight from the university (Stanford and MIT, respectively).

Re:Should I be worried? (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120904)

To take just one example, this whole web thing of the 90s should not count for anything.

*Ahem* From your own link: The Web can be traced back to a project at CERN in 1989.

CS research is worthless

Didn't say that. I did say that there's not as much value as their used to be. The field is well saturated, and therefore is less likely to be much to be gained through expensive research. And as I also said, there's still research that's valuable, just far less overall.

real progress comes from companies like Google or Akamai. Oh wait... both came to us straight from the university (Stanford and MIT, respectively).

And how many millions of dollars did it take for PageRank to go from the start of research to an algorithm on paper? (Actually, I'd be quite interested to know. I'd expect that it probably wasn't more than a few thousand dollars.)

Re:Should I be worried? (1)

The_Bagman (43871) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120903)

Computer science has had unbelievable advances in the past decades, and not just in AI:

- parallel computing and supercomputing
- the Web
- scalable clusters and Internet services
- mobile computing
- breakthroughs in graphics
- breakthroughs in vision
- stunning advancements in computer architecture
- fundamental advances in theory, algorithms, etc.

It's true that the 50s, 60s, and 70s were wonderful in that many concepts were first discovered, but computer science had its greatest impact over the past two decades. Think of it this way: in the 70s, nearly nobody had touched a computer, let alone us having our national infrastructure depend on computing and internetworking!

Re:Should I be worried? (4, Insightful)

kb9vcr (127764) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120913)

The whole purpose of long-term research isn't to bang out invention after invention. It's an investment in the future of the technology.

Inventioning things that aren't apparent and obvious but which are useful and ground breaking is all about funding ideas which usually don't pan out. If your not willing to spend money to try risky ideas then the technology that might have been 20 or 60 years off will NEVER come.

Re:Should I be worried? (1, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120938)

The whole purpose of long-term research isn't to bang out invention after invention. It's an investment in the future of the technology.

I understand that quite well. But I'm still not seeing amazing new algorithms that have future potential in many areas. AI seems to be the most promising, with most other areas of research trying to tackle the same sorts of problems without AI.

Beyond AI, I have a very difficult time coming up with CompSci advances in the last decade. The BWT algo, Bayesian Filters, and that's about where I run out.

Re:Should I be worried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120940)

DARPA has announced today that they haved finished the primary development of Artificial Intelligence, and can now cut funding to unscrupulous, deceived research lackeys. (It is said you cannot con an honest person.) They will now wrap up the loose ends using only classified or NDA technologies. Open society was always just a lie designed to lure the idiot public with its false sense of security into manufacturing its own demise - in the form of beyond-their-comprehension intelligence and weapons systems. Extermination likely to begin on 100th anniversary of first world war. AI not enemy as all media programs people to believe, but deceptive elite who benefit from all technologies not publicly released are. $500 million per year and still no comprehensive open source meal planner evidence... 60% cancer preventable with improved diet. You make the inference. This is my first post. At this rate, maybe my last.

What is the meaning of this outrage? (1)

olderphart (787517) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120736)

The relationship between the wizard and the exchequer has always been a difficult one, and grant writing has become a high art, giving us such concepts as the Philospher's Stone, the Fountain of Youth, Human-Capable AI, Automated Intelligence Assessment, and more.

But the meaning of "outrage" in this context is not so much that outraged researchers have no answer to the question "what am I paying you for, anyway?" as that they don't understand the question anymore.

"Huh? Stop wasting my time! I've got a career to build here!"

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

--
OP

What a "great" news... (1)

EntrancedX (827523) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120739)

Where are we heading in today's world? Building weapons seems more important than improving our lives through research in CS and other non-violent areas. It makes no sense! Maybe a "hax0r-attack" from China will change their minds... Gah!

it was an odd arrangement (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120746)

Basic CS research ought to be funded, IMO, but there's no reason completely open-ended CS research should be funded by DARPA---that's what the National Science Foundation is for.

Of course, this cut in DARPA funding is unlikely to be matched by a commensurate increase in NSF funding, which is the real problem...

Re:it was an odd arrangement (1)

convolvatron (176505) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120934)

yes. exactly. the real problem is the state of basic research and funding.

having darpa, onr, doe, and that whole crew fund research has always warped things. while it did mean that more money was going into cs, the military spin and the very loose kind of peer review resulted in alot of that money going to stupid things. and most of the good basic work had to be disguised by putting pictures of tanks and helicopters on slides and using the word 'warfighter' alot.

This Makes Sense (2, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120749)

While it sucks for the CS people in the Pentagon, it just makes sense right now to divert money to things that will benefit the troops in Afganistan and Iraq. I'm sure that some of the CS projects help soliders on the ground, but as we know, 95% of IT projects aren't completed on time. So why not deliver better weapons, vehicles, body armor, and other technology that has the capability of saving lives right now.

Once we're completely out of Iraq and Afganistan, hopefully they'll put the money back into long term research.

Re:This Makes Sense (1)

notque (636838) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120758)

While it sucks for the CS people in the Pentagon, it just makes sense right now to divert money to things that will benefit the troops in Afganistan and Iraq. I'm sure that some of the CS projects help soliders on the ground, but as we know, 95% of IT projects aren't completed on time. So why not deliver better weapons, vehicles, body armor, and other technology that has the capability of saving lives right now.

Once we're completely out of Iraq and Afganistan, hopefully they'll put the money back into long term research.


Wouldn't that have made sense before the war, not years into it?

Re:This Makes Sense (1)

TheBlacklion (860208) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120838)

Well the deal is that we have not had to engage in such widespread urban conflict before. Realizing we need more armored Humvees makes sense now, but then hindsight is 20/20.

Re:This Makes Sense (1)

notque (636838) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120902)

Well the deal is that we have not had to engage in such widespread urban conflict before. Realizing we need more armored Humvees makes sense now, but then hindsight is 20/20.

Tommy Franks thought we needed more armored Humvees. That isn't hindsight at all, he thought it then and was shut down.

Re:This Makes Sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120824)

95% of IT projects

Um, 100% of DARPA projects are completed on time. That's part of the requirement for DARPA: finish you fscking report, or be blackballed for life.

The 95% failure rate you cited is for companies. And guess where the money is going? From schools, which have a nearly 100% perfect performance, to defense contractors.

Now, in your experience, how good are the defense contractors at keeping budgets and production schedules?

Re:This Makes Sense (2, Insightful)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120846)

Once we're completely out of Iraq and Afganistan, hopefully they'll put the money back into long term research.

yeah. good point. I'll start holding my breath now........

/me passes out while clicking submit

Re:This Makes Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120873)

Yeah, there's an easy way to "support" your troops: stop the murdering and get them out asap.
OTOH, the more of them die the more the genepool is cleaned from useless crap.

google suggest (0, Offtopic)

dextroz (808012) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120754)

Completely off topic post... I am trying to find out - how common does a search term/phrase/expression (in numbers) need to be before google starts spitting it out in Google Suggest? I've looked all over but haven't found any concrete figures or official data. Thanks!

Pentagon Spending on Weapons to Soar (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120762)



Report Says Pentagon Spending on Weapons to Soar
By TIM WEINER

Published: April 1, 2005

A new report by the Government Accountability Office warned yesterday that the costs of the Pentagon's arsenal could soar by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

The Pentagon has said it is building more than 70 major weapons systems at a cost of at least $1.3 trillion. But the Pentagon generally understates the time and money spent on weapons programs by 20 to 50 percent, the new report said.

A survey of 26 major weapons systems showed cost overruns of $42.7 billion, or 41.9 percent, in their research and development phase.

Last year, the overall projected cost for those same 26 systems rose $68.6 billion, or 14.3 percent, to $548.9 billion, from $480.3 billion in the last 12 months.

A wider assessment of 54 major weapons systems showed that a majority are costing more and taking longer to develop than planned.

While Defense Department officials questioned details of some assessments of the major weapons systems, they did not dispute the report's overall conclusions.

The Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan budget watchdog for Congress, singled out several programs.

The research and development costs for the Army's Future Combat Systems, a program to build 18 sets of networked weapons and military robots for 15 combat brigades, have increased 51 percent in the last year, the report said. Army officials say the program could cost as much as $145 billion, or $53 billion more than first advertised.

The Joint Strike Fighter program, which is supposed to build 2,458 planes for the Air Force, the Navy, the Marine Corps and American allies, will cost $244.8 billion, or about $99.6 million for each aircraft, the accountability office reported this month. Four years ago, the program was supposed to cost $183.6 billion for 2,866 planes, or about $64 million for each.

The F-22 fighter jet program will cost $63.8 billion for 178 aircraft, or more than $356 million a plane, the office reported earlier this month. Twenty years ago, when the program began, the Air Force planned to buy about 760 F-22's at $35 million each.

A set of five surveillance satellites, called the Space-Based Infrared System-High, will cost $9.9 billion, not $3.9 billion as originally planned eight years ago, an increase of $1.2 billion a satellite, according to the new report.

The report also pointed to a Navy missile called the Extended Range Guided Munition. The program began seven years ago. Still in the test phase, it has cost $598.4 million. Seven years ago, it was supposed to produce thousands of weapons at a cost of $45,000 each. Today the price per missile is estimated at $191,000.

The watchdog agency, in scores of reports produced since the end of the cold war, has consistently explained why so many weapons cost so much more than promised.

"Performance shortfalls, schedule delays and cost increases," the office has said, are "the logical consequences" of the weapons-buying culture.

Congress and the Pentagon "create incentives for pushing programs and encouraging undue optimism, parochialism and other compromises of good judgment," according to the office. In that culture, "persistent performance problems, cost growth, schedule slippage," and other failures "cannot all be attributed to errors, lack of expertise or unforeseeable events."

They are instead "embedded as the undesirable, but apparently acceptable, consequence of the process," the office has said. "These problems persist not because they are overlooked or underregulated, but because they enable more programs to survive and thus more needs to be met."

David A. Walker, the comptroller general of the United States, who oversees the accountability office, told Congress in testimony submitted with the report yesterday that that the traditional "buy it before you try it" practices that have pervaded the weapons-buying culture are continuing, contrary to the written policies of the Pentagon.

"Although U.S. weapons are the best in the world," Mr. Walker said, "the programs to acquire them often take significantly longer and cost significantly more money than promised and often deliver fewer quantities and other capabilities than planned." He noted that the five biggest weapons programs now cost at least $521 billion.

"If these megasystems are managed with traditional margins of error, the financial consequences can be dire," he warned.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/01/business/01milit ary.html [nytimes.com]

Sadly this isn't an april fools joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120820)

Wow, one of the first times I wished something wasn't an april fools joke.

your society is broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120861)

please fix it

Re:Pentagon Spending on Weapons to Soar (1)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120916)

The overbudgettyness was because they were forced to build DRM into everything.

(no, im not serious)

Twilight of the empire (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120770)

So the gist is that DARPA wants to fund companies, and not universities. And when they do fund .edus, they have outrageous restrictions, like requiring all help on a project be US citizens.

As a CS students, I can tell you: finding hack US coders is easy; find qualified US students who can do research is hard. It's like they don't teach math or science in US schools anymore or something. Kids from Greece or China or wherever come over here, and run circles around US students in formal predicate logic, discrete math, and other subjects that Ken and Barbie found too hard. It's no exaggeration to say that over 70% of all research students are foreign--simply because there are not many qualified US students. (It's a different story if we needed literature or communication students--we've got tons of those.)

America is a country where companies don't make anything anymore. Instead, they just own the IP, and outsource the *production* to China/Taiwan/India. Hell, look at Transmeta, also in /. news today: they are switching to a pure IP model. Exactly what makes use sure that this model is sane for a country? Production capacity is not very mobile, but intellectual talent does not have to stay put in the US. The engineers who invent the IP can just as easily be located (and will soon be born, educated, and working entirely) overseas.

US Companies went through a similar cylce of eating-the-seed corn in the 80s. What happened was they got their asses handed to them by Japan, where R&D was focused on basic science, and not the "short term" deliverables. Now, it seems DARPA is going to try to repeat the same experiment in failure.

Don't get me wrong. This is not the last straw for the US R&D system, but merely one more straw in what has to be the last bundle. It's twilight of the empire, folks. If you're young, start learning another language.

A far better solution is to let all students in US institutions work on projects. (If a project is truly classified, then just use one of the many defense contractors.) When foreign students graduate, most of them (not all) want to become US citizens. What better way to recruit new talented citizens for a country? With the *reeeediculous* DARPA restrictions, many of the foreign students I know are going home. They expect (rightly) that in 10-15 years, their countries will dominate in the industries they've trained for.

Re:Twilight of the empire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120822)

What happened was they got their asses handed to them by Japan, where R&D was focused on basic science, and not the "short term" deliverables.

Whose economy is better now than in the mid 80's?

Re:Twilight of the empire (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120856)

Well, the Japanese are better off in many ways.
Or do you define 50% of your loans held by
Chinese banks an American success story.
Dude, we're in TRILLIONS of dollars of debt,
the boomers are about to bankrupt the rest of
the budgets.

Japan's got a few problems with banking. We've
got systemic failures.

I suppose you can look at the numbers today,
and say the US is better off. But the US
is better off because the government borrowed
trillions of dollars and pumped it into the
economy. If the Japanese did the same, they'd
look great today as well. But in 10-15 years,
when those bonds come due... look out.

Re:Twilight of the empire (1)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120830)

The sky is falling!

Fighting the last war (2, Interesting)

Quinn_Inuit (760445) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120774)

True to form, our military is preparing to fight the last war. In 2014, we'll probably be hearing about brigades getting lost or forgotten about, blue on blue airstrikes meant for ground support, and other results of a massive attack on military information networks conducted by cells from around the world.

On the plus side, by the time we fight the Mongolian Khanate in 2037 we'll have the best network firewalls in the world. :)

They'll also make a slight name change (2, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120780)

... in favor of projects that will yield short-term military results.

If they can predict beforehand what a project will yield, then it's not research; it's engineering. So they should change their name from DARPA to DAPA.

Re:They'll also make a slight name change (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120914)

No. It's merely directed research with a heavy emphasis on real-world applicability.

If you leaf through modern comp-sci disserations and research projects, you'll find that it's unusual for them to say "we really don't know what the hell is going to happen if we try". Instead, they state specific objectives and methods such as improving database performance through reordering lock queues or aggregating transactions that work with shared code or data. It's no less engineering than what DoD likes to see.

Misleading /. Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120788)

It's not cutting spending. It's just redirecting it, i.e. "sharply cutting such spending at universities...in favor of financing more classified work and narrowly defined projects..."

It says that in the first sentence. The NYT title is more accurate.

it's $ distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120789)

there is a budget
the goal of those on the receiving end is to increase it or at least keep it the same.
when 'hard' military expenses are low, lots of this budget is justified by research. otherwise it's bullets, planes, tanks, etc.

so what.. (2)

danielk1982 (868580) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120793)

We don't need the military to drive computer innovation..we're doing fine.

short sighted (2, Interesting)

sfcat (872532) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120800)

This reminds me of the time the patent office was closed in the 19th century because someone proclaimed that everything that could be invented, had been invented. This is very short signed. The number of advances from DARPA research is quite impressive. Many top CS schools get quite a bit of money from DARPA. I don't know how they'll make up this shortfall. Of all the things to cut from the government budget, this is one of the worst. I'm not going to mention the B-word but how many stupid decisions is this administration going to make. How about we cut some of the congressional perks? Or any of the other 9000 things the federal government wastes on every year. Software is one of our few exporting industries, and now we are cutting its funding too. Not the end of the world, but still not a good thing.

AwOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120805)

Oh great... there goes teh Internet!

My experience of DARPA CS funding (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120811)

My experience of DARPA's funding of "CS" is putting all 64 bit alternatives to the 32-bit (segmented) IP address plus 16-bit port out of business.

Aside from Xerox's 64 bit MAC address which was shelved as the basis for IP addresses, there was another standard promoted by a group of companies from Apple to Atari to Western Electric/Bell Labs to Packet Cable to Knight-Ridder circa 1982 which consisted of an unsegmented system identifier and object identifier combined in an 64 bit address -- the SID growing from the LSB up and the OID growing from the MSB down.

It would have been a very different and far superior world if they had not been stopped by DARPA's idiots.

Budget Defecit (2, Insightful)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120812)

In these times of budget shortfalls and spiralling national debt, money has to be saved somewhere. Things with unknown results a long way in the future are an obvious target.

Does it suck? Sure. But America has shown in elections it doesn't want European-style high taxes to pay for stuff, and when you can't pay for stuff, you can't have stuff.

Blah blah economy blah blah free market forces blah blah alledgedly unpatriotic intellectuals blah blah small government blah blah starve the beast blah blah 9-11 blah blah blah.

Michael

CS = Computer Science (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120817)

Not Customer Service.

Why isn't it an editor's requirement to define every TLA in a headline?

Darpa should have cut spending years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120818)

DARPA should cut spending on basic research - Yeah, it's like country club spending for a group that hasn't produce anything in a long time. DARPA should just buy the product off the shelves, it's a lot cheaper, and heck - it works a lot better.

High tech is mature - why spend on basic research?

Pure Research (2, Insightful)

Jameth (664111) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120823)

Without even DARPA funding pure research, the US will really be screwed. AT&T, while it was a monopoly, had enough money that it did a lot of rather open ended research. That's gone. XEROX had the PARC for a while. That's gone. We got wonderful benefits from all the research they did for the space program, and now that's nearly gone.

Pure research is what makes for major innovations. It's what keeps a nation on top. The fact the the US invented the internet is one of the major reasons that the US is still so dominant in the IT field. If the US keeps funding some open-ended goals, it might manage to stay on top through these recessions due to inventing something the rest of the world just doesn't have. With the way things are now, the US will have trouble competing against India and China if it sticks to the same jobs that everyone else does.

Brains at the top (2, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120825)

This is another moronic desicions i have seen come from the current US administration in the field of scientific research.
What worrys me most is the fact they are diverting the funding into short term yield millitary research project ... Which given the current administrations track record is not a positive sign for world peace .
The 20th centuary can be rememberd for many many things and i think DARPA deserves alot of respect for some of the CS projects it funded , however near totaly ignoring the long term benefits of CS research projects in favour of short term gains will just lead to problems further down the line .
I was angry enough when the US gouvernemt decided to halt funding to Stem-cell research and other things , now here is another nail.

Pentagon to Significantly Cut CS Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120829)


CS -> Counter Strike ?

is that how they train men nowadays ??

ACM Worried?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120834)

Eh - look like pink slip comming down the ACM throat ? Now maybe ACM is going to yell and scream about outsourcing?

This Totally Makes Sense... (4, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120845)

With advances in communications technology, our Defense Department can outsource this sort of research to universities in countries where the cost is much lower. Countries like Iran, Yemen and North Korea are on the forefront of nuclear defense research, and would be happy to accept our funds for these sorts of purposes.

I need funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120850)

I have this really great idea for conquering the universe!!

Its called a...

Laser!

To GabrielF or the /. editor (2, Insightful)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120888)

Leading computer scientists, such as David Patterson, the head of the ACM are outraged and worried."

Outraged? Perhaps you may be outraged, but you slander individuals when you attribute them for saying things they did not say. Nowhere in the article did I read that anyone was outraged.

The military has decided not to put as much money into basic CS research as they did in the past. "Basic CS research" means theoretical research. By its nature, that means the Pentagon cannot turn around in 3 years and produce a tangible return on its investment. How dare those officials decide to not spend money that's not directly related to killing people or keeping personnel from getting killed! How dare those officials prevent foreign enemies from directly profiting from US funded military research! Why not attack your private sector employer? Most of them have been cutting back funding on basic research.

It certainly is unfortunate. But if you think basic CS research is critical to the US's well being (or more likely, your well being), bitch out your congressman for not funding research, not the military for doing its job. (Good for you for getting a CS degree, but the world does not owe you a living.)

Budget cut aphorism (2, Insightful)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 8 years ago | (#12120948)

> Leading computer scientists, such as David
> Patterson, the head of the ACM are outraged and
> worried.

Everyone who's budget is cut is outraged and worried.

--
Toby

Rome (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12120950)

This is another step towards the U.S. becoming military, unproductive Rome which used the prosperity from peaceful, enlightened Greece to bring misery and death to its people.

Greece produced a wealth of culture. From Plato and Aristotle's philosophy on governments we derive our idea of the republic, where every individual's rights are important, and democracy, where the people rule. From Euclid and Pythagoras we know the principles of geometry and that the earth is round. These were discovered around 300-500BC.

Then the Romans came and put an end to this period of amazing discovery. It would be a millennium before the Rennaisance and science would be born. In Rome, everything was put in terms of fighting war. Math was only useful if it could be directly used in battle. It was taught to students in forms like "a phalanx eight deep and twenty wide consists of how many warriors?" People were not encouraged to learn for learning's sake.

Let's not make the same mistake.
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