From an extremely different era 4
Continuing the theme of constrained monopolies....
I was thinking about the timeline of USEFUL and MEANINGFUL research in speech and hearing and language. Realized that the timeline is simple and binary. When Bell Labs was running, there was meaningful and useful research. After Bell Labs closed down** in '84, no more meaningful and useful research. We're just reheating Bell's leftovers.
Broadly, in all fields of learning, academia has never been the major source of useful and meaningful research and knowledge. Real knowledge has always come from commercial and military developments. EXPERIENCE and PURPOSE, not theory.
In most subjects the commercial and military developments are scattered across many companies and agencies and countries. In speech and hearing it's just Bell Labs,
Why was Bell unique? Constrained monopoly,
similar to Soviet industry. ATT was granted a monopoly under strict rules. It issued stock like other corporations, but it couldn't listen to The Market, couldn't play the usual manipulation games. It had to work toward the public interest, so it did. Its research was nominally aimed at improving the phone system, but every topic expanded far beyond Bell's narrow interests.
Key points: Socialism does NOT mean entitlements and free stuff. Socialism does NOT mean non-zero taxes.
More subtly, the usual dictionary definition, "state ownership of the means of production", doesn't hit the target. We have partial government ownership
of GM now, without the advantages of socialism. The best definition is "state CONTROL of investment."
Bell exemplified state CONTROL without state OWNERSHIP.
When invested money is controlled and distributed by Goldman and Bezos and Elon, the economy serves Goldman and Bezos and Elon, which means EXACTLY ZERO useful and meaningful developments in any area. It means TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF ALL REAL VALUE AND LIFE.
** The lab supposedly continued as Lucent after ATT broke up, but the real research stopped at that point.
Labels: Natural law = Soviet law