November 14, 2009

Video review: nuclear series 3

These two videos show just how much taxpayers money was around for war research.

IBM and Bell (AT&T) got in on the action. In many cases, the rate of return on investment in war industries became too good to resist. Many companies that started out as manufacturers of civilian goods soon became full time defence contractors. An example of this is collins radio. The military-industrial complex was born.

A happy little missile. For a happy little war.

Here is a cartoon that explains how guidance systems for missiles work. Why a cartoon? I hope this wasn't for showing in a school classroom.

a missile named mac-bell telephone (from 1962)

IBM and militarism

on guard SAGE (1956)

Note the first few lines about protecting resources, and showing an example of "resources" children, as in future workers. We see the corporate mentality of this film.

This movie is interesting in how government can spend a huge amount of resources on military technology and also as a snapshot of the latest and greatest in computers in 1956. Remember a laptop one uses to play war simulation games today is more powerful than the machine shown here. But the SAGE is as big a humvee, if not as big as a parking lot of humvees, and probably consumed as much power.

Can we spend resources to create green technologies?

As far as post war investment in education is concerned, that came partly in response to Sputnik in 1957. Fearing falling behind in the space race, and especially what that meant for the ballistic missile arms race, the American government became concerned in a perceived lack of engineers and physicists. More emphasis in math and science became the call in children's education.

There was even a National Defense Student Loan program, and those with loans under the program were required to "complete an affidavit disclaiming belief in the overthrow of the U.S. government." -wikipedia

So education can and is very politicized.

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