I cannot think of a more apt metaphor of American science today, especially in 2020, than this footage which catches the Arecibo Observatory’s final decay. Recently, engineers predicted total failure at the Observatory was imminent and this video, from two days ago, proves it. Whatever investments of American will and tax dollars made over multiple decades are now lost permanently.
America came out of World War II as an unchallenged world superpower at a level previously unseen in history. But 75 years on, a creeping sense of entitlement from its citizens, including the assumption that America is “special” and does not have to play by the usual historical rules, has eroded nearly everything that did make the country great.
Insane levels of individual greed and monumental amounts of population fear stoked by endless hardcore misinformation from the likes of Fox News and lubricated by the softer editorial choices of legitimate, but corporate, news media giants like CNN and the NY Times, have decimated the country’s sense of Community.
People of all political stripes arrogantly believe their own “research” (digital point-and-clicking for an hour or two) can match studied opinions of those who have trained for years to earn their title of “expert.”
Ruling public institutions create upward flows of money to individual billionaires who massage public relation channels to maintain celebrity and public adoration. These individuals could not hope to possibly spend this money over several lifetimes. This wealth, however, does come in handy when buying the loyalty of the public institutions. The dynamic creates a perpetual motion machine of politics-for-payment-for-politics for a few hundred billionaires while the majority of the country does with less each year and squabbles among itself about who is to blame for its plight.
Meanwhile, the machines and infrastructure of our present-day society are aging beyond the breaking point. And yet, there is no political will to staff and fund these “non-sexy” problems.
Societies are developed over centuries. They cannot be repaired overnight.
America is running out of time.