[Noisebridge-discuss] Sigh -- I'm not helping with Maker Faires this year.

Martin Bogomolni martinbogo at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 09:23:47 PDT 2012


The -message- is important though.

A recruiter is legally bound, by the contract they have signed with
the US armed forces, to identify and attempt to recruit as many
qualified people as they can through a number of enticements into the
US armed forces.  This is their primary job.

A DARPA STEM grant comes with a couple strings attached (it must be
spent for the purpose the grant was applied for, namely
Science/Tech/Engineering/Math education) but it does not commit anyone
who accepts that grant to the purpose of recruiting, or to perform a
research task for the US armed forces.

The thinking that goes into a Military Recruiter is: "Send out our
most charismatic, and experienced soldiers to go find people who will
be useful to the military and recruit them."

The thinking that goes into the STEM education fund is : "Support
science, technology, engineering and math in schools and get people
interested in science.  The more people get interested in these
subjects, the higher quality pool of people we will have in the US in
the future to draw on."

I'm not going to scoff at DARPA money, especially since it doesn't
require or _directly_ encourage people to join the military.   I would
honestly be more delighted if this money came from an education
initiative outside of the military, but because it doesn't tie the
carrot on the stick directly to military service, I also don't have a
problem with it.

IMHOI it's taking millions of dollars away from projects that might
directly be used to hurt people, and beating it into plowshares
through education.   I feel this kind of thing should be
///encouraged///.    If it comes down to it, I'd rather that every
agency in the government that could spend money on education and
making participation in science and technology do so.   Certainly,
many do (from the CDC in disease prevention and education to the FDA,
from Welfare offering job training to the NSF directly funding
science).


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