Well, apparently the Government is cutting funding to the CSIRO. As we all know from documentaries, realistic dramas on the television, and informative and educational works of fiction, scientists at the CSIRO spend all their time figuring out ways to expode the world, travelling forwards in time to the end of the universe, travelling backwards in time to the age of the dinosaurs, reanimating the rotting corpses of dead people, switching the brains of humans with apes (and vice versa), creating armies of robots to dominate the world, setting up lines of telepathic communication with evil spiders halfway across the universe, and engineering vast black holes to destroy the universe. But apart from that, what else have they done for the betterment of Australia?
Supporters of the CSIRO often claim that without government funding, they would not be able to effectively work out new ways of destroying the world, or setting up robot armies to dominate us all, and so on, and so on. On the other hand, maybe private initiative would be able to step in and help out? Although the philanthropic organisation SPECTRE, devoted to the charitable goals of annihilating democracy and bending the rest of the world to its will, has fallen by the wayside of late, it is true that there remain hundreds of other private interests and charitable societies with similar goals in mind. Pokemon, for instance. Perhaps they would be able to fund the activities of Australian scientists instead?
Also, this may seem controversial, but I'll say it anyway: why should the Government be relied upon to dominate the world, and conquer the universe? Shouldn't this be the responsibility, equally, of private world-domination companies, who can do it, off the public dollar?
Destroying the world: is it a public good, or a private responsibility? It's a dilemma we must all face up to from time to time.
(Riffing on the idea suggested in Jeremy's title)
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